How to Pronounce 'CH' in French

Hint: It's Not Like "French"

How would you pronounce 'CH' in a French word? It is not like saying the word "French" in English but uses an 'SH' sound instead. There are other pronunciations of 'CH' that every French student should know and this lesson will guide you through them.

How to Pronounce 'CH' in French

In French, the letters 'CH' have two possible pronunciations:

  1. The most common pronunciation is like 'SH' in the English "sheep": listen
  2. In a few words, the 'CH' sounds like a 'K': listen.

There is another rare use for 'CH' and it is typically found in words borrowed from other languages. This is written with the combination 'TCH.'

In this instance, it does sound like the English 'CH,' as in "cheap" or "match." The IPA (International Phonetic Alphabet) symbol is [].

French Words With 'CH' 

Now that you know how to pronounce the 'CH' in French, it's time to put it into practice. Which of these words uses the 'SH' sound and which uses the 'K'? See if you can guess before clicking on the word to hear the proper pronunciation.