Indian language * Indian tribes * Indian cultures website

  * Find Native American ancestors in your family tree

Itzaj Maya Pronunciation and Spelling Guide (Itza)

Welcome to our Itzaj alphabet page! The following charts show the pronunciation for the Itzaj Maya orthography we have used on our site, as well as some alternate spellings that you may find in other books and websites.

Sponsored Links

Itzaj Vowels

Character
We Use:
Sometimes
Also Used:
IPA symbol: Itzaj pronunciation:
a    a Like the a in father.
aa  a·  a Like a only held longer.
ä  a, y, 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.
e    e ~ ε Like the Spanish e, similar to the a in English gate. Sometimes it is pronounced more like the e in get.
ee  e·  e Like e only held longer.
i    i ~ I Like the i in police. Sometimes it is pronounced more like the i in hit.
ii  i·  i Like i only held longer.
o    o Like the o in note.
oo  o·  o Like o only held longer.
u  v u Like the u in flute.
uu  u, u·  u Like u only held longer.

Itzaj Diphthongs

Character
We Use:
Sometimes
Also Used:
IPA symbol: How To Pronounce It:
ay ai  aj Like English eye.
ey ei  ej Like ey in English they.
oy oi  oj Like oy in English boy.
uy ui  uj like the uoy in English buoy.

Itzaj Consonants

Character
We Use:
Sometimes
Also Used:
IPA symbol: Itzaj pronunciation:
b  b'  б Like b in boy, only implosive. To English speakers, it sounds as if Maya speakers are 'swallowing' the b sound, similar to the way b is pronounced in Vietnamese. At the end of a word this sound often is not pronounced at all.
ch    t Like ch in chair.
ch'  chh  t Like ch, only glottalized (pronounced with a pop of air.)
h  j  h Like h in hay.
k  c, qu  k Like k in key.
k'  k,   Like k, only glottalized (pronounced with a pop of air.)
l    l Like l in light.
m    m Like m in moon.
n    n Like n in night.
p    p Like the p in pie.
p'  pp   Like p, only glottalized (pronounced with a pop of air.)
s    s Like the s in sun.
t    t Like the t in tell.
t'  tt   Like t, only glottalized (pronounced with a pop of air.)
tz  ts  ts Like ts in cats.
tz'  ts', dz,  t Like tz, only glottalized (pronounced with a pop of air.)
w  u, v, hu  w Like w in way.
x  š, sh   Like sh in shell.
y    j Like y in yes.
    A pause sound, like the one in the middle of the word "uh-oh."

Itzaj Indian Pronunciation and Vocabulary Resources

   Itza words
   Itza animals
   Itzaj body
   Itza colors
   Itza numbers
   Maya language family
   Mexico Native Indians

Sponsored Links



Back to the American Indian Culture homepage
Back to Native American Indian Words
Back to Guatemala Indian Languages



Indian crafts * Catawba Indian tribe * Free beadwork * Ataniel fiction * American Indian poetry

Would you like to help support our organization's work with the Itzaj language?



Native Languages of the Americas website © 1998-2015 * Contacts and FAQ page