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Bari Pronunciation and Spelling Guide

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

We Use:
Also Used:
IPA symbol: Bari 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.
y  i, ü, ï i ~ ə This sound does not exist in English. The Bari pronunciation sounds like the i in police only pronounced further back in the mouth. Examples of such sounds in Eurasian languages include the "dark i" of Russian or the undotted ı of Turkish. Sometimes this vowel is pronounced more like the a in about.

Bari 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."

We Use:
Also Used:
IPA symbol:
ã  añ ã
ĩ  iñ ĩ
õ  oñ õ
ũ  uñ ũ
 ĩ, yñ ĩ

Bari Consonants

We Use:
Also Used:
IPA symbol: Bari pronunciation:
b    b Like b in boy.
ch  č  t Like ch in chair.
d    d Like the d in day.
h  h  h Like h in hay.
j    d Like j in jar.
k  c, qu  k Like the k in kiss.
m    m Like m in moon.
n    n Like n in night.
ñ  nh  ñ Like ny in canyon.
r     Like the r in Spanish pero, somewhat like the tt in American English butter.
rr  r  r Like the rolling rr in Spanish perro.
s    s Like s in sun.
t    t Like the t in tell.
x  sh, š   Like sh in shell.
y    j Like y in yes.

Bari Tones

Bari is a tone language. Some syllables are pronounced with higher pitch than others. In English, the last syllable of a question is pronounced with high pitch, so you can hear the difference between sentences like "You see a man." and "You see a man?" In Bari, such high and low tones are used in nearly every word, giving the language a lively sound.

There are two tones in Bari pronunciation, high tone and low tone. Tones are not normally marked in written Bari, and the source we have used for our vocabulary does not indicate tone. However, some writers, especially linguists, mark high tones in the Bari alphabet with an acute accent, like this:

a low tone
á high tone

Bari Indian Pronunciation and Vocabulary Resources

   The Languages of the Andes (Amazon affiliate link)
   Bari words
   Bari picture dictionary
   Bari body
   Bari colors
   Andean languages

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