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Sipacapense Mayan Pronunciation and Spelling Guide

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

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

Sipacapense Diphthongs

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

Sipacapense Consonants

Character
We Use:
Sometimes
Also Used:
IPA symbol: Sipacapense 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  h   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.
q  k  q Like k only pronounced further back in the throat. This is the same sound as the q in Arabic.
q'  k',   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'  tt   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."

Sipakapense Pronunciation and Vocabulary Resources

   Sipacapeño words
   Sipacapense picture dictionary
   Sipakapa colors
   Languages of the Mayans
   Mayan tribe legends

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