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Boruca Pronunciation and Spelling Guide

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

We Use:
Also Used:
IPA symbol: Boruca 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.
o    o Like the o in note.
u    u Like the u in flute.

Boruca Consonants

We Use:
Also Used:
IPA symbol: Boruca pronunciation:
b    b Like b in boy.
ch  č  t Like ch in chair.
d    d Like the d in day.
g    g Like the g in girl.
h  j  h Like h in hay.
j  ll, y  d Like j in jar.
k  c, qu  k Like the k in kiss.
m    m Like m in moon.
n    n Like n in night.
ng    ŋ Like the ng in sing.
ñ    ñ Like ny in canyon.
r     Like the r in Spanish pero, somewhat like the tt in American English butter.
s    s Like s in sun.
sh  x   Like sh in shell.
t    t Like the t in tell.
ts  tz  ts Like the ts in cats.
w  hu  w Like w in way.
y    j Like y in yes.
 h, ?   A pause sound, like the one in the middle of the word "uh-oh."

Boruca Tones

Boruca 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 Boruca, such high and low tones are used in nearly every word, giving the language a lively sound.

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

a low tone
á high tone

Boruca Indian Pronunciation and Vocabulary Resources

   Spanish-Boruca Dictionary (Amazon affiliate link)
   Boruca words
   Boruca picture dictionary
   Chibchan language

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