Advanced search

Saying F instead of TH

(62 Posts)
jarralass Thu 28-Apr-11 19:55:14


I was just looking at some recent messages, and there was one about speech, and it got me thinking the number of times my DH and I correct our son for not saying TH. Example, one, two, free.......frow the ball....

Yet he says "with" no problem and Thursday ok. Anyone had similar issue, and does it just stop or will he always say it?


SoloIsApparentlyACougar Fri 29-Apr-11 01:13:22

Thanks for your advice, but I think I'll make my own decision on that smile it's a walk in centre that I'll be taking her to, so I'm not depriving anyone else of an actual appointment. As a matter of fact, I refused to be referred to avoid taking up an appointment.

Gilbo1972 Fri 29-Apr-11 01:55:03

Ok hands up, I have always had this problem!!

I remember my mum always telling me its 'th' not 'f', use your tongue. I remember not really being able to hear the difference and not understanding the different mouth shape. It was only when I was about 25 (eek) I became conscious of it again as an Aussie girl who I worked with said, 'why do you londoners all speak like children?' I didn't know what she meant and she pointed it out and said it was 'sweet'! Well I was devastated and very embarrassed, I didn't realise I still did it. Other than that I have quite a 'posh' accent! ha ha. Anyway it was only when I started doing phonetics (using the Jolly Phonetic system) with my children I actually learnt how to pronounce it properly and can now hear the difference. You pretend you are a naughty clown and stick your tongue out a little and say 'them', then you stick it out a little bit more and say 'thumb' and then have lots of fun by making rude noises with your tongue out and say' ththth'. Even now I sometimes have to make a conscious effort to get it right (when I am tired, had a glass of wine...) but it certainly comes a lot easier!

LadyWellian Fri 29-Apr-11 02:13:35

DD is 11 and has a 'th' in her name, so I do pull her up on it. She can say 'th'; I just think it's easier for her (maybe camouflage, maybe just laziness) not to.

At that age, I'm not sure modelling - 'That's right - swimming is on Thursday' - is much different than just ' Thurs day', which is how I would usually respond to 'I've got swimming on Fursday'.

seeker Fri 29-Apr-11 07:03:41

If you were referred to a speech therapist because your 4 year old said "f" instead of "th" and had no other speech issues then you were badly advised.

SoloIsApparentlyACougar Fri 29-Apr-11 15:08:29

Well, we'll see. I plan on taking professional advice if nothing else.

SoloIsApparentlyACougar Fri 29-Apr-11 15:09:12

And it wasn't so much the f instead of th, it's that she has a considerable lisp.

SDeuchars Fri 29-Apr-11 16:55:59

Lots of people in Sarf Lahndan say F instead of TH - it does not necessarily mean they are uneducated although it can be painful to listen to for those of us from other parts of the UK (where people speak proper wink).

SoloIsApparentlyACougar Fri 29-Apr-11 17:23:02

Painful indeed SD. Most of my friends speak like that... <stomach tightens with the pain >

bessie26 Fri 29-Apr-11 18:53:47

I only found out I did this when I was about 30! My friend's drunk girlfriend mentioned it, until then I had no idea I did it, but was instantly very embarrassed about it!
So I'm trying to re-learn how to say loads of words, I can do ones starting with "th" now, but ones where the sound appears in the middle still catch me out blush
I would say if you want to correct it, do something sooner rather than (30 years) later!

SoloIsApparentlyACougar Fri 29-Apr-11 22:43:17

My thoughts exactly bessie. Slightly more difficult working on a lisp rather than 'just' the omission of correct pronunciation though.

generalhaig Fri 29-Apr-11 23:24:31

dd did this until the start of y3 - she decided that she didn't want to do it any more and practised saying "thirty-three thousand, three hundred and thirty-three" over and over again until she could make the right sound - it took her about three weeks and then she had to concentrate for another few weeks and after that it just became second nature and she doesn't bat an eyelid when faced with 'th' - no speech therapists involved, she just decided that it was time she spoke properly!

ds2 however still says 'f' and he's 11 ... the difference is that dd wanted to stop and he doesn't care ...

Maryz Fri 29-Apr-11 23:48:26

I remember howling with laughter at my cousin blush when he said "I didn't say somefin, I said somefin". We could, despite being Irish, pronounce our th's and our ing's. We felt quite superior about it.

He is a multi-millionaire now: we are all relative paupers. Obviously not pronouncing his th's did him no harm.

DoubleNegativePanda Fri 29-Apr-11 23:56:57

I think most children grow out of this on their own. However, I recently came across "Jamie at Home" on television and got excited as you all talk about Jamie Oliver so much. I turned him off halfway through as his speech was so fecking annoying. And the tongue constantly lolling out. Eurgh.

SoloIsApparentlyACougar Sat 30-Apr-11 00:29:23

Funny thing is that I completely love accept the way Jamie Oliver speaks...maybe it's because I like his cooking smile

EasterIgg Sat 30-Apr-11 00:35:10

I did this. At some point in primary school, had a few sessions with a speech therapist. Made me conscious of what I was going and have never done it since.

EasterIgg Sat 30-Apr-11 00:35:11

I did this. At some point in primary school, had a few sessions with a speech therapist. Made me conscious of what I was going and have never done it since.

seeker Sat 30-Apr-11 08:12:25

You know what?

It doesn't matter.

But if it does matter to you, then the worst possile thing you can do is make your children aware of it. If they can't help it, it will make them self conscious about their speech which could be disastrous. If they can help it, it will give them a massive weapon to use against you!

By the way, I have a friend who's child had several speech problems - "s" for "th", "l" for "r" and others. He lad lots of speech therapy because he couldn;t make himself understood. The therapist said that she wasn't even going to do anything with most of the issues becaue they would get better with time and parental modelling. The only one she was concerned about was in a word which started with two consonants, he would only sound the first one - so "spaceman" became "saceman". Se was right. He is 11 now, and while he still has some issues with the double consonants, all the rest have gone by themselves.

crazynanna Sat 30-Apr-11 08:21:26

My DD (age 12) does the opposite. She replaces 'F' with 'TH' in "thinger" for "finger". No idea why!

Beccabell Sun 01-May-11 12:22:07

Hi there
My DD1 stopped this at age 6, and DD2 is starting to get it right now age 6 and a half - she'll get there eventually. I found they just stopped saying f instead of th gradually - and being at school for a couple of years helped. I do pick up on my DD2's mistakes and she corrects herself, but I do it nicely as she's fairly quiet and I don't want to put her off talking to people!
If they are corrected, I think they grow out of it, especially if most of their peers no longer do it.
Don't worry too much - I used to obsess about it with DD1 - she pretty much speaks the Queens English now (except has started to punctuate her speech with "like" every few seconds and use an Australian intonation so that everything sounds like a question - aaghhh!) From one thing to another eh?

manicinsomniac Sun 01-May-11 12:55:45

The fact that there are adults who do this mean that, for some children, it is not something they are just going to 'grow out of on their own'.

I'm a teacher and this subject is raised occasionally in staff meetings, with the dominant opinion being that any child can be taught to say 'th' with enough effort put into it at an early enough age.

Personally, I think a few colleagues are a bit anally retentive about it (getting children to repeat over and over and pulling them up on it every time) but, admittedly, it does seem to work.

We are considering moving the intervention stage downwards from year 3 to year 1.

mrz Sun 01-May-11 13:14:15

It can become a problem when spelling words if the child says "wif" or "wiv" rather than "with" and in the case of my student the children really struggled because she replaced th^ with ^f or v when she read out loud or in a spelling lesson.

Elibean Sun 01-May-11 22:29:33

Yes. The only reason I even think about it with dd is because her teacher said it muddles her with spelling.

Actually, now I know she CAN say 'th' it doesn't bother me so much whether she does or doesn't. I was worried that speaking to her in French (in which there is no 'th' sound) for the first few years of her life had messed up her English confused

dd2, OTOH, has a genuine lisp - which I'm not going to worry about for a while longer as its already better than it was.

igggi Sun 01-May-11 22:40:42

I'm glad my parents didn't choose to ignore this, as I think it took me two speech therapy sessions to fix it. I wasn't physically unable to say th, I just really didn't know the mouth shape to make as I hadn't picked it up when I learned to talk.
Being corrected wouldn't have stopped it, I needed to be taught.

SoloIsApparentlyACougar Mon 02-May-11 00:38:12

Beccabell, from what I've heard from my Dd's peers in nursery, there is no way she's going to improve by being around them; just the opposite I think as they can't even say buTTer or waTer ~ so THing is never going to happen.

tika Thu 21-Jul-11 00:29:08

my son spoke well until a couple of months ago. now he started speaking v instead of th. he has just finished reception. today he was trying to write with and wrote wiv, i almost die. i try to correct him all the time but is difficult not to annoy him in the end. to make things worse we speak portuguese at home and my english accent is ok but not that good. i really don't know what to do to correct him.

he went through the wa (t) er, wa (t) ever phase at nursery and even innit, i spoke to the teacher and between both of us we won this one. he was at 4, doing it on purpose and all that! now i think that is more difficult as in the school teachers have more pupils and each child gets gets less attention. i am really worried

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now