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Mocho Maya Pronunciation and Spelling Guide

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

Character
We Use:
Sometimes
Also Used:
IPA symbol: Mocho 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.

Mocho Diphthongs

Character
We Use:
Sometimes
Also Used:
IPA symbol: Mocho pronunciation:
ay ai  aj Like English eye.
ey ei  ej Like ey in English they.
oy oi  oj Like oy in English boy.

Mocho Consonants

Character
We Use:
Sometimes
Also Used:
IPA symbol: Mocho pronunciation:
b    b ~ б Like b in boy. Many Maya speakers pronounce this sound implosively, as if they were '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  č  t Like ch in chair.
ch'  č', chh, 'ch  t Like ch, only glottalized (pronounced with a pop of air.)
h  j  h Like h in hay.
j  h, x   x Like the raspy j in Spanish jalapeño.
k  c, qu  k Like k in key.
k'  c', q'u, qu', , 'c   Like k, only glottalized (pronounced with a pop of air.)
ky  cy  kj Like c in cute.
l    l Like l in light.
m    m Like m in moon.
n    n Like n in night.
ñ  ŋ, nh, ng  ŋ Like ng in sing.
p    p Like the p in pie.
q  k  q Like k only pronounced further back in the throat. The Mocho pronunciation sounds similar to the q in Arabic.
q'  k', , 'k   Like q, only glottalized (pronounced with a pop of air.)
s    s Like the s in sun.
t    t Like the t in tell.
t'     Like t, only glottalized (pronounced with a pop of air.)
ts  tz, ¢  ts Like ts in cats.
ts'  tz', , ¢', 'tz  t Like ts, only glottalized (pronounced with a pop of air.)
w  u, hu, v, vu  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."

Mocho Indian Pronunciation and Vocabulary Resources

   Mocho words
   Mocho picture dictionary
   Mocho body words
   Maya peoples
   Mexico Native people
   Maya stories

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