How do we pronounce -ch-?

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How do we pronounce -ch-?

The letters -ch- are pronounced in various ways:

  • as a hard sound after a, o, u and au.

lachen

to laugh

kochen

to cook

suchen

to look for, to seek

rauchen

to smoke

  • as a soft sound after e, i, ä, ö, ü, double vowels such as eu and ei (but not au), and after l, n and r.

lächeln

to smile

das Recht

the law/the right

ich

I

die Küche

the kitchen/the cuisine

der Leuchter

the candlestick

weich

soft, smooth

die Furcht

fear, dread

  • The letters ‑chs‑ are pronounced "ks":

wachsen

to grow

sechs

six

Note: a noun written ‑ch‑ can be pronounced differently as a singular or as a plural.

das Buch

the book

die Bücher

the books

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