https://streamable.com/vawsc “I am sixteen thousand years old — counting as you count.” Then he turned to Nikolaus and said

Does the reader pronounce the first consonant in 'thousand' as /t/? As opposed to how he pronounces it in 'then'. Does he have a phonic rule where he pronounces /t/ after 'n'?

  • 2
    I've heard a lot of people pronounce "th" close to "t". We can only hear the false "t" whereas in fact it's similar to a very rough "tau". I often hear something like "tausand" being pronounced. This depends on the speaker's ability to pronounce "th" especially if he lisps. Commented Nov 8, 2017 at 5:36
  • It doesn't sound at all like /t/ to me in the recording. Regardless, you ask whether he has a rule where he pronounces "th" differently in "thousand" from "then". All speakers pronounce these words differently! "Th" in "thousand"/"thin/"thick"/"thistle"/"thimble"/"thirst"/"thought"/"thank" is unvoiced /θ/. "Th" in "then"/"the"/"this"/"that"/"there"/"than" is voiced /ð/.
    – rjpond
    Commented Nov 8, 2017 at 8:18
  • 1
    The sound in thousand sounds like /th/ to this US English speaker. But I will say it's not a very strongly emphasized /th/, so I can see why it might just sound like /t/ to you.
    – stangdon
    Commented Nov 8, 2017 at 13:36

1 Answer 1


No, I hear "thousand" with the common "th" pronunciation. It's a professional narrator using the standard American accent, though, and not an actor, so it's entirely possible someone reading the passage in character would pronounce it differently.

If someone did say "sixteen-tousand" it would definitely catch my attention, as this pronunciation is common to a number of accents. I would then note other irregularities to try and figure out where the speaker was from.

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