During my self-isolating weekend, I’m watching lots of funny videos. What’s funny is that the French cannot pronounce “th”. All day long, I hear them on the phone at the office saying to clients, “Sank you” at the end of a conversation, or “I sink zat’s a good idea.” Or “tree” instead of “three”. Once, I asked my 7-year old godson if he wanted me to make him a smoothie. He replied (in French) that it’s pronounced ‘smoozie.’ “Actually, it’s not,” I said, and explained to him why. I also showed him how to make the ‘th’ sound by sticking out his tongue a little.
The letter H is always silent in French, so ‘hair’ becomes ‘air’ and ‘hungry’ can sometimes sound like ‘angry’.
When I first moved to Paris and lived in the 9th arrondissement, I couldn’t pronounce a neighboring street called rue de Rochechouart. Or the metro station, Reuilly-Diderot. Here are two funny videos: Parisians trying to pronounce some English words and Americans trying to pronounce some French words.