Voiceless velar fricatives in the middle of words for “search”

On the bus this afternoon I had some French girls in front, as it unfortunately were not, and an old Andalusian couple (I think they were from Córdoba) behind. At a certain moment someone in both groups said they were looking for something, the French using chercher and the Andalusians using buscar, or rather bujcar, as it is often notated in novels featuring their dialect(s). Both have a voiceless velar fricative at the halfway mark, as does the German suchen. I must ring the Illuminati and ask them why this is.

(Update: I’m struggling a bit with chercher–or rather with my French. Is it uvular?)

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  1. Aye, the written r in French is uvular for most French people, either a trill or a fricative. Historically and to a certain extent in Canada today it wasn’t. Cf. this and this.

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