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Amuesha Pronunciation and Spelling Guide (Yanesha)

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

Long vowels are not written out in the practical spelling system of Amuesha, but we have spelled them as double vowels on our website as an aid to proper pronunciation.

Character
We Use:
Sometimes
Also Used:
IPA symbol: Amuesha pronunciation:
a    a Like the a in father.
aa  a:  a Like a only held longer.
e    e Like the e sound in Spanish, similar to the a in gate.
ee  e:  e Like e only held longer.
i  ë, y, i  i Like the i in police, only pronounced further back in the mouth.
ii  i:  i Like i only held longer.
o  u  o ~ u Like the o in tone or the u in tune.
oo  o:, u:  o ~ u Like o only held longer.

Amuesha Consonants

Character
We Use:
Sometimes
Also Used:
IPA symbol: Amuesha pronunciation:
b    b Like the b in bird.
 by, bi  by Like the by sound in beauty.
c  k  k Like the hard c as in cold.
 cy, ky, ci  ky Like the cy sound in cute.
ch  č  t Like ch in chair.
h    t This sound does not exist in English. It sounds a little like the ch of chair, only pronounced with the tongue curled back. If you are familiar with Chinese, this is the sound represented by "zh" in Mandarin Chinese.
g  gh   Guttural sound that doesn't exist in English. Like g in Spanish saguaro (see Voicing, below).
hu  w  w Like w in wall.
j    x Guttural sound that doesn't exist in English. Like ch in German ach.
ll  ly  ly Like the ly sound in William.
m    m Like m in moon.
 my, mi  my Like the my sound in mew.
n    n Like n in night.
ñ  ny  ny Like the ny sound in canyon.
p    p Like the p in pie.
 py, pi  py Like the py sound in pew.
qu  k  k As in the Spanish alphabet (from which the Amuesha alphabet was adapted), both qu and c can represent the k sound in English key.
r     Like the r in Spanish pero, somewhat like the tt in American English butter.
rr     This sound does not exist in English. It sounds a little like the ge of garage, only pronounced with the tongue curled back. If you are familiar with Russian, this is the "zh" sound used in Russian.
s  s  s Like s in sun.
sh  x   Like sh in shell.
t    t Like the t in tell.
 ty, ti  ty Like the ty sound in Katya, or the way some British English speakers pronounce the beginning of tune.
ts  c, tz  ts Like the ts in tsunami.
y    j Like y in yes.

Amuesha Indian Pronunciation and Vocabulary Resources

   Amuesha-Spanish dictionary
   Yanesha words
   Amuesha picture dictionary
   Amuesha body words
   Yanesha numbers
   Arawakan languages
   Languages of the Amazon

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