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Barasana Pronunciation and Spelling Guide

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

Character
We Use:
Sometimes
Also Used:
IPA symbol: Barasana pronunciation:
a    a Like the a in father.
e    e Like the e sound in Spanish, similar to the a in gate.
i    i Like the i in police.
o    o Like the o in note.
u    u Like the u in flute.
u  ë, i  i This sound does not exist in English. It sounds like the i in police only pronounced further back in the mouth. If you've ever heard a Slavic language like Russian or Polish being spoken, it is the same "dark i" sound from those languages.

Barasana 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:
ã  a, â ã
 e, ê
ũ  u, ĩ, î ĩ
ĩ  i, ĩ, î ĩ
õ  o, ô õ
ũ  u ũ

Barasana Consonants

Character
We Use:
Sometimes
Also Used:
IPA symbol: Barasana pronunciation:
b    b Like the b in boy.
d    d Like the d in day.
h  j  h Like h in hay.
g    g~ŋ Like the g in go, or sometimes like the ng in sing.
k  c, qu  k Like the k in king.
m    m Like the m in moon.
n    n Like the n in night.
ñ  ny  ny Like the ny in canyon.
p    p Like the p in pin.
r  l, tl   Like the r in Spanish pero, somewhat like the tt in American English butter.
s    s Like s in sun.
t    t Like the t in time.
ts    ts Like the ts in cats.
w  hu  w Like w in way.
y  j  j~d Like y in yes or j in jar.

Barasana Indian Pronunciation and Vocabulary Resources

   Barasano Syntax: Studies in the Languages of Colombia
   Barasana words
   Barasana picture dictionary
   The Tucanoans
   Amazonian languages

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