Don't let the CH in the name fool you - doesn't make the "ch" sound you're used to in words like choo-choo, children, or chocolate, nor even in chrysamthemum or chivalry. In fact we just use CH because there IS no such sound in English! It's a slightly stronger H that sounds to many English speakers like you're getting ready to spit.

Pronouncing "CH" as in "Chanukah"

Luckily there is such a sound in some other languages. If you're familiar with the ch sound in the Scottish Gaelic loch or the German achtung then you already know how to pronounce this. Many Spanish speakers also use this when they pronounce the j in words like rojo or the name Jorge. And of course we have the same ch sound in the Jewish Holiday of Chanukah or the Yiddish word chutzpah!

If you don't know any Spanish-speakers, and both German and Scottish are Greek to you, just make do by pronouncing a strong H sound. Or rent a foreign film! There are in fact some great Israeli films that you can usually find in the foreign section of your local video store. Otherwise there are always the Spanish movies!

And now, how are we going to remember this one? There aren't a lot of English words that start with the ch sound, and since chutzpah means "audacity" it's a little hard to picture. But let's think about Chanukah for a second. On this holiday Jews light a candelabra called a menorah or more precisely a chanukiah, and usually place the chanukiah on a table by the window so that people passing by can see the light.

So let's imagine that the Chet is a table that we're putting a chanukiah on!

Now let's try some reading practice again.

(chachacha) - The laughter of evil Russian scientists in your typical American spy film from the 70's. Not, however, the name of a popular latin dance.

(chag) - Holiday! For example, Chanukah!

(echad) - one.

The next letter was the origin of our letter T...