Monday, October 11, 2010

영어 Hint of the Day #14: It's not 터, it is "the." Pronouncing "th" correctly

There are two reasons that sounds in English are not the same as in Korean, and the sound of ”th” as in the words “the,” “this,” and “that” are some simple examples.  Those reasons are:
 1.  Your mouth, tongue, lips and teeth are put into different position in English, even if you originally think that the sound is similar.
2.  Inaccurate translation leads to a “learned” word which turns out to have a heavy accent.   As a result, “Konglish” words when spoken as English, are heavily accented.

The sound of “th” must be made by taking your tongue and putting it between your top and bottom teeth.  The tip of your tongue must be visible to the person to whom you are talking.  This type of position doesn’t exist when you speak Korean:  that is why it feels strange, and that is why it needs practice.  The picture above is the way that your mouth should look like when pronouncing "th."

To make matters worse, you can easily find words in hangul that are trying to represent English words.  The word “the” is a prime example.  You can find signs in Korea that translate the word “the” into “터.”  It is wrong.  That is not the sound of the word “the.”  Practice it the way I suggest above to get it right.


Post a Comment