You simply have to learn all the pronunciation rules of all the languages we borrow words from--- which is a lot of them!--- and then learn the ones that we've changed, just to keep it interesting.I sometimes wonder how on earth we the foreigners manage to learn to pronounce English words and make ourselves understood
ok, just to give an example: scheme, technical, character.I can only think of one English word that has a 'k' sound, and it's derived from the name of an Austrian.
Mach is a measure of speed relative to the speed of sound named for the Austrian physicist Ernst Mach. In AE, it is pronounced like mock.
I know of no rules governing the pronunciation of ch, but the general absence of the 'k' sound except for foreign words explains the lack of need for such a rule.
One thing to bear in mind is that most of these words enter English through French and the French are themselves rather inconsistant with how they treat the Greek X. English has a 'sh' sound in 'machine' but a 'k' sound in 'mechanic' only because the French gave that x a soft 'ch' in machine but a hard 'c' in mécanique.ok, just to give an example: scheme, technical, character.
All these words, though, are of Greek origin, so I think all of you are right saying it's the foreign (Greek mostly) words that are pronounced like this. Thank you.
See my comment elsewhere on yachtAt least, am I right if I say that when "ch" is followed by a consonant, is always pronunced /k/?
Really?choir, orchid, chick, orchard, chaos, chic, chore, chef..and many more all sound different in their "ch". This was actually a lesson I gave my students in class. Tricky but you just have to remember these sounds in order to sound more like a native speaker.
And I would give such people a wide berth.I think many here in the UK would still say that schedule sounded with a 'k' is an Americanism unacceptable in good English.
Mental note.I would say schedule like "skedule" and I'm British.
chimera is pronounced with a K sound in English, as I noted in post 4 of this thread.
The OED pronunciation shows either the kite or kid vowel with the stress on the second syllable - which is pronounced like mere.Thanks mgarizona, but to tap into this further,
does it pronounceis it pronounced "Ki-mera" as in "kite" or "kid" with its first syllable stressed? "Shi-mera" sounds totally French.