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Aguacateco Mayan Pronunciation and Spelling Guide

Welcome to our Aguacateco alphabet page! The following charts show the pronunciation for the Aguacateco orthography we have used on our site, as well as some alternate spellings that you may find in other books and websites.

Aguacateco Vowels

Character
We Use:
Sometimes
Also Used:
IPA symbol: Aguacateco pronunciation:
a  ä  a Like the a in father.
aa  a·, a:  a Like a only held longer.
e  ë  e Like the Spanish e, similar to the a in English gate.
ee  e·, e:  e Like e only held longer.
i  ï  i Like the i in police.
ii  i·, i:  i Like i only held longer.
o    o Like the o in note.
oo  o·, o:  o Like o only held longer.
u  ü u Like the u in flute.
uu  u·, u:  u Like u only held longer.

Aguacateco Diphthongs

Character
We Use:
Sometimes
Also Used:
IPA symbol: Aguacateco pronunciation:
ay ai  aj Like English eye.
ey ei  ej Like ey in English they.
oy oi  oj Like oy in English boy.
uy ui  uj like the uoy in English buoy.

Aguacateco Consonants

Character
We Use:
Sometimes
Also Used:
IPA symbol: Aguacateco pronunciation:
b'  b  б Like b in boy, only implosive. To English speakers, it sounds as if Maya speakers are 'swallowing' the b sound, similar to the way b is pronounced in Vietnamese.
ch  č  t Like ch in chair.
ch'  č', chh, 'ch  t Like ch, only glottalized (pronounced with a pop of air.)
h  j   h Like the h in hay.
j  h, x   x Like the raspy j in Spanish jalapeño.
k  c, qu  k Like k in key.
k'  c', q'u, qu', , 'c   Like k, only glottalized (pronounced with a pop of air.)
ky  cy  kj Like c in cute.
ky'  cy', ky  kj' Like ky, only glottalized (pronounced with a pop of air.)
l    l Like l in light.
m    m Like m in moon.
n    n Like n in night.
nh  ñ, ng, ŋ  ŋ Like ng in sing.
p    p Like the p in pie.
p'  , 'p   Like p, only glottalized (pronounced with a pop of air.)
q  k  q Like k only pronounced further back in the throat. This is the same sound as the q in Arabic.
q'  k', , 'k   Like q, only glottalized (pronounced with a pop of air.)
r     Like Spanish r, somewhat like the tt in English butter.
s    s Like the s in sun.
t    t Like the t in tell.
t'  tt   Like t, only glottalized (pronounced with a pop of air.)
tx  č, tʂ  tʂ A retroflex sound ch sound like the cz of Polish. To English speakers, it sometimes sounds a little like "chr."
tx'  č', tʂ'  tʂ' Like tx, only glottalized (pronounced with a pop of air.)
tz  ts, c, ¢  ts Like ts in cats.
tz'  ts', c', , ¢', 'tz  t Like tz, only glottalized (pronounced with a pop of air.)
w  v, hu, vu  w Like w in way.
x  š, s, , ʂ  ʂ A retroflex s sound like the sz of Polish. To English speakers, it sometimes sounds a little like "shr."
xh  x, š, sh   Like sh in shell.
y    j Like y in yes.
 7   A pause sound, like the one in the middle of the word "uh-oh."

Aguacatec Indian Pronunciation and Vocabulary Resources

   Aguacatec words
   Aguacateco picture dictionary
   Mayan language family
   Guatemala Indigenous Language



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