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Shuar Pronunciation and Spelling Guide

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

Character
We Use:
Sometimes
Also Used:
IPA symbol: Shuar pronunciation:
a    a Like the a in father.
e    i Like the i in police, only pronounced further back in the throat. 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.
u   u Like the u in flute.

Shuar 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."

Though nasal vowels exist in Shuar, they are rarely written. Shuar speakers simply remember which vowels are nasal and which are not, just as English speakers remember when "a" is pronounced as in "father" and when it is pronounced as in "rather."

Character
We Use:
Sometimes
Also Used:
IPA symbol:
ã  ą, añ ã
 ę, eñ ĩ
ĩ  į, iñ ĩ
ũ  ų, uñ ũ

Shuar Consonants

Character
We Use:
Sometimes
Also Used:
IPA symbol: Shuar pronunciation:
ch  č  t Like ch in chair.
j  h  h ~ x Like h in hay. Sometimes the Shuar pronunciation sounds more raspy, like the j in Spanish jalapeño.
k  c, qu  k Like k in key.
m    m Like m in moon.
n    n Like n in night.
ng   ŋ Like ng in sing.
ñ  ny ñ Like ny in canyon.
p    p Like the p in pie.
r     Like the r in Spanish pero, somewhat like the tt in American English butter.
s    s Like s in see.
sh  x   Like sh in shell.
t    t Like the t in tell.
ts    ts Like the ts in tsunami.
w  hu  w Like w in way.
y    j Like y in yes.
    A pause sound, like the one in the middle of the word "uh-oh."

Shuar Indian Pronunciation and Vocabulary Resources

   Shuar words
   Shuar animals
   Jivaro numbers
   Jivaro language family

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