Native American languages * Native American cultures * Native American people

  * Find Native American ancestors in your family tree

Muinane Pronunciation and Spelling Guide

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

Sponsored Links

Muinane Vowels

Character
We Use:
Sometimes
Also Used:
IPA symbol: Muinane 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.
i  ï, 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.
o    o Like o in note.
u     Like u in flute, only with the lips unrounded.

Muinane Consonants

Character
We Use:
Sometimes
Also Used:
IPA symbol: Muinane pronunciation:
b    b ~ p Like b in bin or the unaspirated p in pin.
c  k, qu  kh Like the c in cat. C and qu in this orthography are pronounced exactly the same.
ch    t Like ch in cheese.
d    d ~ t Like d in day or the unaspirated t in stay.
dy  dj  dj Like the way British people pronounce the d in dew. To Americans, it sounds like a d and a y pronounced together.
f    φ A bilabial fricative, like an English "f" but pronounced without touching the upper teeth to the lower lip. This is the same Japanese "f" sound from the mountain name "Fuji."
g  gu  g ~ k Like g in gate or the unaspirated k in skate.
h  ’   A pause sound, like the one in the middle of the word "uh-oh."
j  h  x Like the raspy j in Spanish jalapeño.
ll  j, dj  d Like j in jar.
m    m Like m in moon.
n    n Like n in night.
ñ    ny Like ny in canyon.
p    ph Like p in pin.
qu  c, qu  kh Like the k in king. Qu and c in this orthography are pronounced exactly the same.
r     Like the r in Spanish pero, somewhat like the tt in American English butter.
ry  rj  rj Like ry in the Japanese word ryu. To Americans, it sounds like an r and a y pronounced together.
s    s Like the s in sun.
sh     Like sh in shell.
t    th Like t in take.
ty  tj  tj Like the way British people pronounce the t in tune. To Americans, it sounds like a t and a y pronounced together.
v    β Bilabial v as in Spanish navidad. It resembles an English v sound but is pronounced between the two lips instead of with the top teeth against your lip.
w  kp, pk  kp This is a coarticulated sound does not exist in English. It is actually a k and p pronounced simultaneously.
y    y Like y in yes.

Muinane Tones

Muinane is a tone language. Some syllables are pronounced with higher pitch than others. In English, the last syllable of a question is pronounced with high pitch, so you can hear the difference between sentences like "You see a man." and "You see a man?" In Muinane, such high and low tones are used in nearly every word, giving the language a lively sound.

There are two tones in Muinane, high tone and low tone. High tones are marked with an acute accent, like this:

a low tone
á high tone

Muinane Indian Pronunciation and Vocabulary Resources

   Muinane words
   Witotoan language

Sponsored Links



Back to South American Cultures
Back to our American Indian websites for kids
Back to Colombia languages



American Indian art * Indian heritage culture * Warekena * Alberta First Nation * Indian tattoos

Would you like to help support our organization's work with endangered American Indian languages?



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