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Chibcha Pronunciation and Spelling Guide

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

Character
We Use:
Sometimes
Also Used:
IPA symbol: Chibcha 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 This sound does not exist in English. The Muisca 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.

Chibcha Consonants

Character
We Use:
Sometimes
Also Used:
IPA symbol: Chibcha pronunciation:
b  B, β, v  β Like the v in a Spanish word like navidad. It sounds similar to a cross between English b and v.
c  qu, k  k Like c in cold.
ch  č  t Like ch in chair.
f    φ A bilabial fricative, like an English "f" but pronounced without touching the upper teeth to the lower lip. It sounds like the Japanese "f" sound from the mountain name "Fuji."
g  γ, gh  γ Like the raspy g in the Spanish word saguaro. It sounds like the "ch" sound in German words like "ach," only voiced.
h  j  h Like h in hay.
k  c, q, qu  k Like the k in kiss.
m    m Like m in moon.
n    n Like n in night.
p    p Like the p in pin.
pk  pq, kp  pk This is a coarticulated sound that does not exist in English. It is actually a k and p pronounced simultaneously.
qu    kw Somewhat like the qu in queen.
rr  r  r Like the rolling rr in Spanish perro.
s    s Like s in sun.
t    t Like the t in tell.
w    w Like w in way.
x  sh, š   Like sh in shell.
y    j Like y in yes.
z  zh, tz  ts Like the ts in cats.

Chibcha Indian Pronunciation and Vocabulary Resources

   Chibcha words
   The Muisca alphabet
   Chibchan tribe

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