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Aleut Pronunciation and Spelling Guide

Welcome to our Aleut alphabet page! The following charts show the pronunciation for the Aleut 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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Aleut Vowels

Character
We Use:
Sometimes
Also Used:
IPA symbol: Aleut pronunciation:
a    ə ~ æ Like the a in about or the a in cat.
aa  aw, au  a Like the long a in father.
i    I ~ i Like the i in sick or the i in seek, depending on dialect.
ii    i Like the long ee in see.
u     Like the u in put.
uu    u Like the long ue in blue.

Aleut Consonants

Character
We Use:
Sometimes
Also Used:
IPA symbol: Aleut pronunciation:
ch    t Like ch in chair.
d     ~ d Normally this sound is pronounced like th in this. In words borrowed from other languages it is sometimes pronounced like d in day.
g    γ ~ g Normally this sound is pronounced raspily, like the g in Spanish saguaro. It sounds like the ch in German ach, only voiced. In words borrowed from other languages it is sometimes pronounced like g in girl.
ĝ     Like g only pronounced further back in the throat.
h    h Like h in English hay.
hl  ł, lh, /  ł This sound is a lateral fricative that doesn't really exist in English. The Aleut pronunciation sounds like the "ll" in the Welsh name "Llewellyn." Some English speakers can pronounce it well if they try to pronounce the "breathy l" in the word clue without the c in front of it.
hm     This is a voiceless 'm' sound that does not exist in English. It sounds something like an m and h pronounced together.
hn     This is a voiceless 'n' sound that does not exist in English. It sounds something like an n and h pronounced together.
hng     This is a voiceless 'ng' sound that does not exist in English. It sounds something like an ng and h pronounced together.
hw     A whispery w. Some British people pronounce this sound at the beginning of words like which. To other English speakers, it sounds like the sound made by trying to blow out a candle.
hy     This is a voiceless 'y' sound that does not exist in English. It sounds something like an y and h pronounced together.
k    k Like k in kite.
l    l Like l in light.
m    m Like m in moon.
n    n Like n in night.
ng    ng Like ng in sing.
q    q Like k in kill, only pronounced further back in the throat. The Aleut pronunciation sounds the same as the q sound from Arabic.
s    s Like s in sing.
t    t Like t in time.
v    v Like v in vine. Not all Aleut dialects have this sound.
w    w Like w in way.
x    x Like ch in German ach.
   X Like ch in German ach, only pronounced further back in the throat.
y    j Like y in yes.
z    z Like z in zoo. Not all Aleut dialects have this sound.

Aleut Indian Pronunciation and Vocabulary Resources

   Aleut tales and narratives
   Aleut words
   Aleut picture dictionary
   Aleut body words
   Aleut numbers
   Eskimo languages
   Indian tribes of Alaska
   Aleut stories

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