Indian language * American Indian nations * Native American links

  * Find Native American ancestors in your family tree

Ixil Mayan Pronunciation and Spelling Guide

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

Sponsored Links

Ixil Vowels

Character
We Use:
Sometimes
Also Used:
IPA symbol: Ixil pronunciation:
a    a Like the a in father.
aa  a·, a:  a Like a only held longer.
e    e Like the Spanish e, similar to the a in English gate.
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 note.
oo  o·, o:  o Like o only held longer.
u  v u Like the u in flute.
uu  u·, u:  u Like u only held longer.

Ixil Diphthongs

Character
We Use:
Sometimes
Also Used:
IPA symbol: Ixil pronunciation:
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.

Ixil Consonants

Character
We Use:
Sometimes
Also Used:
IPA symbol: Ixil 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.
ch  č, tch  t Like ch in chair.
ch'  č', 'ch, tch'  t Like ch, only glottalized (pronounced with a pop of air.)
j  h, x   x ~ h Like the raspy j in Spanish jalapeño. At the end of words it is pronounced more like the h in hay.
k  c, qu  k Like k in key.
k'  c', , qu', q'u   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.
nh  ng, ŋ  ŋ Like ng in sing.
p    p Like the p in pie.
q  k  q Like k only pronounced further back in the throat. This is the same sound as the q in Arabic.
q'  k', 'k,   Like q, only glottalized (pronounced with a pop of air.)
r     Like Spanish r, somewhat like the tt in English butter.
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.)
tx  č, c  tʂ A retroflex sound ch sound like the cz of Polish. To English speakers, it sometimes sounds a little like "chr."
tx'  č', c'  tʂ' Like tx, only glottalized (pronounced with a pop of air.)
tz  ts, ¢, c  ts Like ts in cats.
tz'  ts', , ¢', 'tz  t Like tz, only glottalized (pronounced with a pop of air.)
w  hu, u, v, vu  w Like w in way.
x  š, s,  ʂ A retroflex s sound like the sz of Polish. To English speakers, it sometimes sounds a little like "shr."
xh  x, š, sh   Like sh in shell.
y    j Like y in yes.
 7   A pause sound, like the one in the middle of the word "uh-oh."

Ixil Indian Pronunciation and Vocabulary Resources

   Ixil Indian vocabulary
   Ixil picture dictionary
   Mayan language family
   Mayan legends

Sponsored Links



Back to the American Indian culture homepage
Back to Indian Words
Back to Guatemala Language Information



American Indian artists * Indian genealogy * Wabanaki camps * Ataniel fiction * Indian tattoos

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



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