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     Table of Contents Chapter 3 3.2.5 The sound ch

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Chapter 3: Pronunciation

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  3.2.5 The sound ch

Actually these two letters form one sound in two different sounds, the more and the less guttural. The more guttural sound is used seldom in English, but there is for instance the famous Loch Ness and The sound for the ch in Loch is exactly what we're looking for.

  More guttural
Kachel tile
  Bach   stream
  sachte   soft

Well, and then there is the less guttural and there is nothing that it can be compared. Try this: take The sound of sh (like in shiver) and move the corners of your mouth outwards. You'll get a hissing sound and it should sound like the following examples.

  Less guttural
ich I
  Gicht   gout
  sichten   to sight

Ok, the rule is:
after a, o, u, au, the combination of ch has the more guttural sound.
a fter äu, e, ei, eu, i, ie, ö the
ch has the less guttural sound.

  The Swiss version of The sound ch

Actually the Swiss only use the first version of The sound ch. In Germany you can hear a difference between the two sounds, the Swiss don't use it. Let's have a look at these differences.

  In the first case there is no difference between standard German and Schwizerdütsch
Both pronounce The sound quite the same.
Swiss version     German version   translation
  Sache   Sache   thing
  Rachen   Rachen   throat

  The second sound is different in standard German and Schwizerdütsch
Do you hear e the difference?
Swiss version      German version   translation
  Ich   Ich   I
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