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Cofan Pronunciation and Spelling Guide

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

Character
We Use:
Sometimes
Also Used:
IPA symbol: Cofan 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  i This sound does not exist in English. The Cofan pronunciation 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.

Cofan 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:
an  ã ã
en  ẽ
in  ĩ ĩ
on  õ, ô õ
un  ũ, û, û ĩ

Cofan Consonants

Character
We Use:
Sometimes
Also Used:
IPA symbol: Cofan pronunciation:
b    b Like b in boy.
c  k, qu  k Like the soft k in sky. As in the Spanish alphabet, on which the Cofan alphabet is based, this sound is spelled c before hard vowels and qu before soft vowels.
cc  qqu, kk, kh  kh Like the hard k in king. As in the Spanish alphabet, on which the Cofan alphabet is based, this sound is spelled cc before hard vowels and qqu before soft vowels.
ch    t Like the soft ch in inch.
chh    th Like the hard ch in chair.
d    d Like the d in day.
dy    dy Like the di in French adieu.
f    f Like the f in far.
g  gu  g Like the g in girl.
j  h  h Like h in hay.
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 soft p in spy.
pp  ph  ph Like the hard p in pie.
qu  c, k  k Like the soft k in sky. As in the Spanish alphabet, on which the Cofan alphabet is based, this sound is spelled c before hard vowels and qu before soft vowels.
qqu  cc, kk, kh  kh Like the hard k in king. As in the Spanish alphabet, on which the Cofan alphabet is based, this sound is spelled cc before hard vowels and qqu before soft vowels.
s    s Like s in sun.
sh     Like sh in shy.
t    t Like the soft t in still.
tt  th  th Like the hard t in till.
ts    ts Like the soft ts in pants.
tss  tsh  tsh Like the hard ts in tsunami.
v    v Like v in vine.
y    j Like y in yes.
z    z Like z in zoo.
    A pause sound, like the one in the middle of the word "uh-oh."

Cofan Indian Pronunciation and Vocabulary Resources

   Cofán vocabulary
   Cofan alphabet and phonology
   Chibchan language family

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