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  1. Newbie
    Student or Learner
    • Member Info
      • Native Language:
      • Russian
      • Home Country:
      • Russian Federation
      • Current Location:
      • Russian Federation

    • Join Date: Jan 2017
    • Posts: 1
    #1

    Big problem with [θ] [] and [s,z] sounds

    Hi. I've got a big problem with pronunciation [θ] and [] and [s,z] sounds, when they're close. I don't know how to explain that, but just look at these sentences:
    1. Is this pencil?
    2. Cross the road.
    3. These sentences.

    How to pronounce them? I tried, but broke tongue.
    My pronunciation is about:
    1.[ iis pensil]?
    2.[croθe road]
    3.[is`entences]

  2. VIP Member
    Interested in Language
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      • Native Language:
      • American English
      • Home Country:
      • United States
      • Current Location:
      • United States

    • Join Date: Dec 2015
    • Posts: 12,046
    #2

    Re: Big problem with [θ] [] and [s,z] sounds

    Number 1 needs an article: Is this a/the pencil?

    I'm afraid you have to pronounce the /z/ in "is", the /s/ in "cross", and both sibilants in "these sentences". For sentence 1, I stop the flow of air momentarily between is and this while moving my tongue forward and arching it to touch the back of my upper front teeth. Perhaps you can practice is ... this, starting with a long pause between the words and gradually shortening it.

    The same strategy might help with sentences 2 and 3.
    I am not a teacher.

  3. Donna Norton's Avatar
    Member
    Interested in Language
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      • Native Language:
      • Polish
      • Home Country:
      • Poland
      • Current Location:
      • United States

    • Join Date: Apr 2016
    • Posts: 220
    #3

    Re: Big problem with [θ] [] and [s,z] sounds

    Here is a great video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3LD7m3luv0Y to see how should your mouth move when pronouncing these sounds. Just make sure to practice a lot! Almost all foreigners have problems with pronouncing these sounds, specially "th" sound. Also here https://custom-writing.org/blog/phonetics you can find excellent practice advice on how to improve your pronounciation.
    I find your lack of faith disturbing.

  4. probus's Avatar
    Key Member
    Retired English Teacher
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      • Native Language:
      • English
      • Home Country:
      • Canada
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      • Canada

    • Join Date: Jan 2011
    • Posts: 3,731
    #4

    Re: Big problem with [θ] [] and [s,z] sounds

    "Non-native-speakers (of English)" is more correct and precise than "foreigners".

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