https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Marko246521

How to pronounce ich

How is the first person personal pronoun, "ich", pronounced in German? Currently, I am on the very first topic, Basics 1. When they lady says things and says, "ich", it sounds to me like 'ish'. However, when the gentleman pronounces the same word it sounds like 'ik'. I would like to know if the two consonants at the end of "ich" are a soft sh sound or the harder sound as in the ch at the end of Bach. Bitte!

January 28, 2018

30 Comments


https://www.duolingo.com/profile/LavethWolf

I often see people say it's pronounced similar to the sharp h sound in the word hue.

January 28, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Max.Em

This seems to be a better idea, see also in the link that I just posted.

Edit: Is there any reason for down-voting my comment? I'm trying to point you to the most useful hint here (the one by LavethWolf), according to me, and to add a video with some more explanation on this comment. I'm sorry if you are understanding this is me self-advertising my own link......

January 28, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MortiBiRD

The ch of ch has a similar (BUT NOT THE SAME) sound as the sh of ship. In some dialects you will hear ich spoken with the same sound as sh.

Sadly, I do not know any english word that has the same sound as the ch in ich. Ill try to find one and edit it.

EDIT1: This may help someone or not. The ch in ich is this sound https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Voiceless_palatal_fricative

EDIT2: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=po1SyrEUziA That guy covers both ch sounds

January 28, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Max.Em

"ship" leads to the wrong track.... But in the linked video you can find the right way to pronounce it. I didn't understand the explanation, but the examples are correct....

January 28, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MortiBiRD

If someone gets on the wrong track because of ship then im sorry, I hoped the capitalized warning would make this clear enough. It just seems like english hasnt such a sound, so I just tried to describe it somehow. Even the video guy used ship as a bad example of how to not do it.

January 28, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/drvdw

When I started learning German, I always said “ich” with a “ch” like in the word “chair”. My first tandem partner tried to teach me the German ch, but I just couldn’t do it. When I pronounced it “ish”, she said it was much better than my English ch pronounciation. People liked ish much better so I said it that way for a while and eventually learned how to make the true ch sound. So I think the sh advice is good because it is the closest sound native English speakers will be able to make in the beginning.

January 29, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/slamRN

EDIT 2 is good video on CH sound in German. Thanks.

January 29, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Corinnebelle

So a h with a y? A combination of letters the same as one does when has a p with a b.

January 29, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MichaPau

Well there's a song from Rammstein where in the first half he sings 200 times (actually I haven't counted but it seems so ) - Ich will..

I guess Rammstein's music is probably not everyone's cup of coffee (including me) but, at least, they have a very clear pronunciation ;)

Perhaps it helps you to understand the ch sound...

January 29, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Max.Em

Rammstein have a very peculiar pronunciation, but at least their ch is correct. Don't copy the rolling r ;-). Edit: Oh, just to be clear: Apart from their R they don't say anything wrong, but way too strong articulated. To clear, in this sense...

January 29, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Luscinda

It's regional. You tend to hear sh for ch spellings around Bonn and Cologne.

January 29, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Andu444

In standard German the 'ch' in ich is similar to the British 'hue'. In some dialects it sounds more like 'ik' or 'ish' or 'i' (ee), or even 'ich' like in 'Bach' (Scottish 'loch') but I wouldn't use those to learn (unless you actually live there :)). Definitely never like English 'ch' (as in chair). If you can't say it I would start with 'ish' and improve with practice.

January 30, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Max.Em
January 28, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Marko246521

It seems to me the only sensible thing for me to do is attempt to mimic the pronunciation I hear on Duolingo.

January 29, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/PeterSchei7

Sorry, I forgot to mention: Google for "Duden". It will be very helpful in terms of spelling, meaning and correct pronounciation of German Words.

January 29, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Julian585039

it is kind of like you are growling at someone

January 30, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/aliya198650

remember, it is like itchy but without the "y".

February 1, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Marko246521

I have been advised to pronounce it so many ways I am more confused than when I started this discussion. I am unfollowing the discussion from now. Thank you to everyone who offered their help.

February 1, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/.Multilinguality

I pronounce it personally like "ick", but in German songs I hear "itch". Same goes with words like dich, auch, and mich.

January 28, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Max.Em

Also "itch" is terribly wrong. There is no such sound like "ich" in English, so you have to listen to some pronounciation guides on youtube.

January 28, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MortiBiRD

If youre pronouncing ich like the german 'ck' youre doing it wrong.

January 28, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/chooyo

Na ... just say you're from Berlin :))

January 29, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/timot50

ich as in Bach. That is what i have been taught. The other ichs are dialect but also correct, i think

January 28, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MortiBiRD

Ich is not pronounced as Bach. Ch gets pronounced differently after a,o,u,au compared to e,i, ei, eu, äu, y (depending how y sounds)

January 28, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/MortiBiRD

Second answer. This may be interesting for you https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=po1SyrEUziA and if not, it just wastes 2minutes of your time.

January 28, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/PeterSchei7

Marko, not knowing your native tongue, I better give you a hint in English. The personal pronoun "ich" sounds similar to the ending of "dish" (without the letter"d". There is no "k" sound whatsoever.

January 29, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Marko246521

My mother tongue is English. I didn't say what is what as I thought it was inferred as this is "German from English". I have to admit that is the sound I prefer.

January 29, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/DragonPolyglot

It’s pronounced like “itch” without the “t” sound. Most Americans get taught that all “ch” sounds in German is the guttural one but that’s incorrect.

January 28, 2018

https://www.duolingo.com/profile/Max.Em

No, also without the t it's wrong, you would end up with "ish" (or "isch", how I would write it as a German). This is a version that exist in some dialects and is generally considered as lower-class German, if you are not from a region where it's common.

January 28, 2018
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