Take a look at YouTube - Neighbours 5895 [Part 3] ("It's really great", about 0:50).
(No, I don't watch it. )
That's interesting! I haven't met anybody who would do such a thing in my entire life! It's admirable.I have done, especially when I was in England, where I could reasonably guess what aspects of my accent were difficult to understand.
If the proper pronunciation is the pronunciation to which you resort when you're facing misunderstanding, then you have a point. Usually, you're not facing misunderstanding.Why? - if the proper pronunciation is 'close'?
I'm not asserting anything about correctness. It's clearly an unclear case and people won't agree on this. This knowledge is enough for me and (I think) can be for any student.You seem to be asserting that 'clothes' is the correct form. All I'm saying is that 'clothes' is more easily understandable to mean 'clothes' than 'close' is.
I agree that it may be more understandable (although I'm sure it depends on the speaker's ability to pronounce the sound). But the same is true about the speech of native speakers. And the native speakers do very well with pronouncing "clothes" as "close", so it needn't cause much trouble alone in non-native speech either.
It's not the same. Germans do distinuish between the two sounds and it's absolutely clear that it's correct to make them different and incorrect not to. This is not so when it comes to "clothes". Native speakers don't pronounce the [ð] usually and it's not clear that it's incorrect.It's the same expectation that my German teacher had for me to say 'ich' and 'ach' properly. Of course, some non-native speakers will never get the hang of those sounds; and I will never say them consistently like a native German would. But I've always assumed that if you try to learn another language, you need to make an effort to use the sounds they use. Of course it's difficult. I don't think anyone here will claim that learning a foreign language is easy.
Also, there is a huge difference in difficulty in my opinion. The German sounds may be difficult for a person who doesn't have a practice in uttering them, but [ðz] is objectively difficult which the native pronunciation proves.
You can try making both words sound like they have two syllables: months will be MON-thes and shrimp will be sher-RIMP. Repeat many, many times until it comes out right. Shrimp will work before months. For months, put your tongue between your upper and lower front teeth for the mon part and pull slide your tongue up and back until it is in position to whistle the s. I hope that helps.