Japanese Lessons

Japanese Consonants: How to Pronounce ち

Japanese letter chi

Description of the Japanese Pronunciation ち

Picture describing Japanese pronunciation /chi/

ち consists of the Japanese consonant [tɕ] representing the sound of the roman letter /ch/ with the Japanese vowel [i]. When you pronounce [tɕ], your tongue is going to touch the place where is a little farther back than your upper gums. This closure will cause a buildup of pressure. Soon after that, you will make a chink and cause friction by passing air through the chink. This way is similar to the one to pronounce [ts] in つ, but you will use the point of your tongue where you make a chink is a little farther back than the [ts]. This sound is also similar to the English sound (cheese). The difference is that you need to use your tongue flat as opposed to pronouncing (cheese). [tɕ] is an unvoiced sound.

Does it make sense to you? Let’s try to pronounce ち after the tutor on the video!

Wasabi Japanese Pronunciation Lessons

Words Exercise with the Pronunciation [tɕ] ち

Please repeat the following words after the tutor on the video.

Words Roman Letters Meanings
 ちず chi zu  map
 ちち chi chi  father
 ちかい chi ka i   near, close
 ちゃいろ cha i ro   brown
 ちゃわん cha wa n   rice bowl
 ちかてつ chi ka te tsu  subway
 ちゅうい chu u i  attention, notice, note
 いりぐち i ri gu chi   entry
 ついたち tsu i ta chi   1st (day)
 にちようび ni chi yo u bi   Sunday

Sentences Exercise with the Pronunciation [tɕ] ち

Please repeat the following sentences after the tutor in the video.

Japanese Sentences English Translations
 茶色ちゃいろ茶碗ちゃわん使つかいます。  I will use the brown rice bowl.
 地下ちかてつ地図ちずりました。  I borrowed a map for the subways.
 七月ひちがつ一日ついたち日曜にちようです。  July 1st is Sunday.

Tongue Twister Exercise with the Pronunciation [tɕ] ち

Please repeat the following tongue twisters after the tutor on the video. Also, please focus on the pronunciation practice, not the meaning, because they were made only for the sake of practice.

Japanese Tongue Twisters Vocabulary


ちゃ: tea, てる: to make tea


第一だいいち: the first, じん: camp, 著者ちょしゃ: author, 知事ちじ: governor


うちの: our, チヂミ: Korean pancake, ちと: a little, ちがう: different




This is the how to pronounce [tɕ] ち. We recommend that you practice the sentences above at least 5 times for each exercise, though we understand that pronunciation practice can be dull. Good pronunciation will give you listening and speaking ability, and thereby you will be confident enough to speak Japanese with native speakers. Thus, the ability you gain is well worth the time spent. We are looking forward to seeing you in the next lesson; [ts] つ.

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