AFAIU, the h-sound in the English ‘huge’ is exactly the German ich-sound (e.g. in nicht). But I've noticed in a number of Rammstein songs, it's pronounced as ‘ish’.

Is this regional or is it the actual way to pronounce it? Or are they just being liberal with the pronunciation for the sake of art?

Here are some clips of the relevant parts of a few songs:

  • 3
    By the way, your linked YouTube clips are not available from Germany; see Blocking of YouTube videos in Germany on Wikipedia. – chirlu Jun 29 '13 at 8:01
  • Related: german.stackexchange.com/questions/1150/… – Didn’t see it before. Even the story about Helmut Kohl’s Gechichte is already related there. – chirlu Jun 29 '13 at 8:36
  • Is your question about, how Rammstein's singer pronounces the German ich-sound, or about, how huge is pronounced in English? – Toscho Jun 29 '13 at 9:06
  • I listened to all three examples, but they don't pronounce 'ich' as 'ish'. They pronounce it as [ɪç], just how it should be, for example the 'ich' in 'ich will', they pronounce 'ich' like any other native speaker pronounces it. [ɪʃ] sounds quite different. – Martin Hansen Jun 29 '13 at 12:38
  • @chirlu Sorry about that. Didn't know about the Youtube problem. The wiki page you linked offers a hack to get around it, and if you know of a Youtube alternative that's allowed in Germany, tell me and I'll post links to the songs from there – Andrei Khramtsov Jun 29 '13 at 16:10

It is not standard pronunciation. However, there are many dialects that exhibit different forms of merges between sibilants. This in turn can lead to hypercorrection, where, e.g., someone with a dialect that merges [ç] into [ʃ] tries to adapt his pronunciation to the standard and mixes it up, saying [gəˈçɪçtə] for “Geschichte”. (I’m thinking of a former Chancellor here. :-)) Unusual pronunciations may also be caused by a personal speech impediment (sigmatism, or lisp).

In the particular case of Rammstein, however, I’d think it is artistic intent. You can hear in Feuer frei that the vocalist is able to produce a [ç], singing [ɪç] before proceeding to [gəˈzɪʃt], with Licht being somewhat in between.

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