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,


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:


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:


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.


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:


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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