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Sacapulteco Mayan Pronunciation and Spelling Guide

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

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

Sacapulteco Diphthongs

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

Sacapulteco Consonants

Character
We Use:
Sometimes
Also Used:
IPA symbol: Sacapulteco 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  t Like ch in chair.
ch'  č'  t Like ch, only glottalized (pronounced with a pop of air.)
j     x Like the raspy j in Spanish jalapeño.
k  c, qu  k Like k in key.
k'  c', q'u, qu',   Like k, only glottalized (pronounced with a pop of air.)
ky  cy  kj Like c in cute.
ky'  cy'  k Like ky, 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  ŋ, ñ  ŋ Like ng in sing.
q    q Like k only pronounced further back in the throat. This is the same sound as the q in Arabic.
q'     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'     Like t, only glottalized (pronounced with a pop of air.)
tz  ts, ¢  ts Like ts in cats.
tz'  ts', , ¢'  t Like tz, only glottalized (pronounced with a pop of air.)
w  hu  w Like w in way.
x  š   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."

Sacapultec Pronunciation and Vocabulary Resources

   Sacapultec words
   Sacapulteco picture dictionary
   Languages of the Mayas
   Maya tribe legends

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