I am having just the hardest time saying the word "ich". It's frustrating!
Is it pronounced like - ish, ick, eech, eek, eesh, ???????????????
I'd appreciate your help a lot!
Place the top of your tongue against your palate (the roof of your mouth), more towards the back of mouth. The position is very similar to the tongue's position when you pronounce the vowel i. Keep your tongue in that position and blow some air through your mouth. Now utter a short [i] before and end with the ch sound. The ch is voiceless and really just the sound of air passing through your mouth. This is pronunciation applies when the "ch" follows a light vowel, ie. e or i. Licht, Hecht, Echo.
In contrast to that, the sound of "ch" after a dark vowel, ie. a, o, u, is produced by placing the tongue at the bottom of your mouth, similar to the position it is in when you pronounce the German "a", "o" or "u" sound. The mouth and throat are fairly open. But for the actual "ch" - [x] as in the Scottish "loch" - you produce a kind of gurgling sound pressing air through your throat.
Basically, both "ch" sounds correspond to the sound of air being pressed through the mouth while mouth and tongue are in the shape/position of "i" or "e" for the "ich" sound or in the shape/position of "a", "o" or "u" for the "ach" sound.