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Guajiro Pronunciation and Spelling Guide (Wayuu)

Welcome to our Guajiro/Wayuu alphabet page! The following charts show the pronunciation for the Guajiro 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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Guajiro Vowels

Character
We Use:
Sometimes
Also Used:
IPA symbol: Guajiro pronunciation:
a    a Like the a in father.
aa  a·  a Like a only held longer.
e    ε Like the e in get.
ee  e·, e:  e Like e only held longer.
i    i Like the i in police.
ii  i·, i:  i Like i only held longer.
o    o ~ Like the o in so or the aw in saw.
oo  o·, o:  o~ Like o only held longer.
u   u Like the u in flute.
uu  u·, u:  u Like u only held longer.
ü  i, y 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.
üü  ii, yy  i Like ü only held longer.

Guajiro Consonants

Character
We Use:
Sometimes
Also Used:
IPA symbol: Guajiro pronunciation:
ch  č  t Like ch in chair.
j  h  h Like h in hay.
k  c, qu  k Like k in key.
l  r   Similar to the ll in English bellow, only pronounced more quickly (so that the tongue only flaps once against the top of the mouth.)
m    m Like m in moon.
n    n Like n in night.
ñ    ny Like ny in canyon.
p    p Like the p in pie.
r  rr  r Like the rolling r in Spanish rojo.
s    s Like s in sun.
sh  x   Like sh in shell.
t    t Like the t in tell.
w  hu  w Like w in way.
v  b  β Like v only pronounced between the two lips, as in Spanish navidad.
y    j Like y in yes.
    A pause sound, like the one in the middle of the word "uh-oh."

Guajiro/Wayuu Pronunciation and Vocabulary Resources

   Wayuu words
   Guajiro picture dictionary
   Wayuu body
   Arawakan
   Wayuu mythology

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