There is quite a bit of misinformation out there on the web when it comes to the way German speakers pronounce "ch," a digraph (pair of letters representing a single sound) that appears very frequently in German words. So, let me set the record straight.
"ch" poses problems for people trying to learn German. For starters,
its pronunciation changes depending on the preceding letter or, if it appears at the beginning of a word, on the following letter or other circumstances (see main page below). To make things worse for English speakers, the resulting sound has, in the most common cases, no English equivalent.
Readers who have visited this post before will notice that the main part of my explanation has been moved to a separate page. I did this because I wanted the audio clips to work in more browsers. Blogger apparently supports audio only in a very limited form, and it does not support the HTML5 audio element at all. This is too bad because it's exactly this element that makes audio available in modern browsers across platforms without plug-ins ("natively," as the techies say). I therefore created a page outside of Blogger with the same content as the old version of this post, but with the audio elements updated to work with the latest versions of the most common browsers on both the Mac and Windows. If you encounter problems with this that you did not encounter before, please let me know by e-mail!
More on tonal variation in Sinitic
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