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Shipibo Pronunciation and Spelling Guide

Welcome to our Shipibo alphabet page! The following charts show the pronunciation for the Shipibo-Conibo 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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Shipibo Vowels

Character
We Use:
Sometimes
Also Used:
IPA symbol: Shipibo pronunciation:
a    a Like the a in father.
e    e Like Spanish e, similar to the a in gate.
ë  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.
i    i Like the i in police.
o  u   Like the au in caught.
u  o  o Like the o in note.

Shipibo Nasal Vowels

Nasal vowels don't exist in English, but you may be familiar with them from French (or from hearing people speak English with a French accent.) They are pronounced just like oral ("regular") vowels, only using your nose as well as your mouth. To English speakers, a nasal vowel often sounds like a vowel with a half-pronounced "n" at the end of it. You can hear examples of nasal vowels at the end of the French words "bon" and "Jean," or in the middle of the word "Français."

Character
We Use:
Sometimes
Also Used:
IPA symbol:
an  ã ã
en  ẽ
ën   ĩ
in  ĩ ĩ
on  õ
un  ũ õ

Shipibo Consonants

Character
We Use:
Sometimes
Also Used:
IPA symbol: Shipibo pronunciation:
b  v  β Like the bilabial v in Spanish navidad.
c  k, qu  k As in the Spanish alphabet (from which the Shipibo alphabet was adapted), both qu and c can represent the k sound in English key.
ch  č  t Like ch in chair.
cu  qu, kw  kw Similar to the qu in queen.
h  j  h Like h in hay.
m    m Like m in moon.
n    n Like n in night.
ñ  ny  ny Like ny in canyon.
p    p Like the p in pie.
qu  k, c  k As in the Spanish alphabet (from which the Shipibo alphabet was adapted), both qu and c can represent the k sound in English key.
r     Like the r in Spanish pero, somewhat like the tt in American English butter.
sh  š, x   Like sh in shell.
t    t Like t in tie.
ts  tz  ts Like ts in cats.
x  shr  ʂ This sound does not exist in English or Spanish. It is a retroflex s sound like the sz of Polish.

Shipibo Indian Pronunciation and Vocabulary Resources

   Shipibo vocabulary
   Shipibo colors
   Panoan-Tacanan

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