Pronunciation of the German "ch"

Hello there.

I noticed that a lot of people struggle with the pronunciation of the German “ch” so I made a short video on how to get the pronunciation just right.

Words you can practice this on, but are not limited to:

Blümchen, Ich, Trichter, Architektur, Ansicht, Acht, Lachen, Buch, …

TL:DW. Instead of trying to pronounce it, you actually just have to breath out to cause the desired sound.

Kind regards,

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Good tip, Asmir!

I explain it to English speakers as the hissing sound you can hear when you say ‘cute’. It’s hard to type it out, but ‘cute’ is kind of like k-ch-you-t. Just isolate that hiss, breath through it (as Amir suggests), and you’re good to go!

PS It can also sound like a cheeky little laugh teeheehee :wink:

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OMG. Thanks! This is super helpful. Every time I have to do the “ch” in German, I always hesitate. Now I can say the “ch” with some assurance!

Wow Asmir, thanks for sharing this! This is very useful! :heart_eyes:

Great video and explanation, @Asmir93! The ‘ch’ is definitely a difficult sound for us Americans so this is really helpful - thank you!

Wonderful!! Many many thanks @Asmir93! It’s so much easier to understand in a video than with a post!

Really useful video, @Asmir93! Thanks!
I just wanted to point out that there is a difference in the “ch” pronunciation depending on the vowel that precedes it (or if it’s a consonant).
So there’s a difference when you pronounce “ich”, “echt” or “Mädchen”, the sound is like you described, Asmir, like exhaling very softly.
And then there are “auch”, “nach” and “doch”, which sounds a bit “stronger”.
Let me pronounce it and see if you can all hear the difference:

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That is indeed true. I just tried to avoid putting to much info in there because when you get started on exceptions and what not, it just gets to complicated and overwhelming.

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Yes, of course! It’s phonetics, which is sometimes very hard to explain! That’s why examples are the best :slight_smile:!

I think if German learners can get the soft one down, then the “tougher” ch will come naturally :slight_smile:

Tbh, when I spend time down in Bavaria, my ch gets really hard and throaty. In some regions it sounds like they have something in their throat :slightly_frowning_face:

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Yes, @antomorr. There are some regions in the South of Germany which only use one or the other pronunciation for both, so there’s no distinction :crazy_face:.

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