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Aguaruna Pronunciation and Spelling Guide

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


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Aguaruna Vowels

Character
We Use:
Sometimes
Also Used:
IPA symbol: Aguaruna pronunciation:
a    a Like the a in father.
e    i Like the i in police, only pronounced further back in the throat. If you've ever heard a Slavic language like Russian or Polish being spoken, it is the same "dark i" sound from those languages.
i    i Like the i in police.
u   u Like the u in flute.

Aguaruna Nasal Vowels

Nasal vowels don't exist in English, but you may be familiar with them from French (or from hearing people speak English with a French accent.) They are pronounced just like oral ("regular") vowels, only using your nose as well as your mouth. To English speakers, a nasal vowel often sounds like a vowel with a half-pronounced "n" at the end of it. You can hear examples of nasal vowels at the end of the French words "bon" and "Jean," or in the middle of the word "Français."

Character
We Use:
Sometimes
Also Used:
IPA symbol:
a  ã, ą, añ ã
e  ẽ, ę, eñ ĩ
i  ĩ, į, iñ ĩ
u  ũ, ų, uñ ũ

Aguaruna Consonants

Character
We Use:
Sometimes
Also Used:
IPA symbol: Aguaruna pronunciation:
b    b Like b in boy.
ch  č  t Like ch in chair.
d   d ~ nd Like d in day. Sometimes it is pronounced nasally, like the nd in kind.
g  ng g ~ ŋ Like g in girl. At the end of a word or before a consonant it is pronounced more like the ng in sing.
h    h Like h in hay.
j    x ~ Raspy sound like the j in Spanish jalapeño or the g in Spanish saguaro.
k  c, qu  k Like k in key.
m    m Like m in moon.
n    n Like n in night.
p    p Like the p in pie.
r     Like the r in Spanish pero, somewhat like the tt in American English butter.
s    s Like s in see.
sh  x   Like sh in shell.
t    t Like the t in tell.
ts    ts Like the ts in tsunami.
w  hu, v  w ~ β Like w in way. Before the vowel i it is pronounced like a v only spoken between both lips, as in Spanish navidad.
y    j Like y in yes.
    A pause sound, like the one in the middle of the word "uh-oh."

Aguaruna Indian Pronunciation and Vocabulary Resources

   Aguaruna-Spanish dictionary
   Aguaruna words
   Aguaruna picture dictionary
   The Aguaruna alphabet
   Jivaroan
   Indians of Peru

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