Chilotin's Mapudungun Lessons: 1
Marimari kom pu che! / Hi everyone!
I posted about a Mapudungun course some months ago. Here we go!
Pronunciation and orthography
There are three main orthographies. I will use the "Mapuche Unified Alphabet", created in 1987 and used in many works. I'll use examples from English and Spanish.
a /ɐ/: It is like u in "nut" in Received Pronunciation. Similar to a in "hat" or Spanish a.
e /e/: Like Spanish e. Similar to e in "bed".
i /ɪ/: Like i in "ship". Similar to Spanish i, but shorter.
o /o/: Like Spanish o. Similar to o in "not".
u /ʊ/: Like oo in "hook". Similar to Spanish u, but more closed.
ü /ɘ/: Like u in "nut" in Southern American. A mid-central vowel. There is no similar sound in Spanish.
p /p/: Like p in "pot". Similar to Spanish p, but it can be aspirated.
t /t/: Like t in tick. Similar to Spanish t, but it is more "alveolar" (it doesn't touch teeth) and it can be aspirated.
k /k/: Like k in keep. Similar to Spanish c in casa, but it can be aspirated. Example: ka (and).
ch /tʃ/: Like ch in "church" or "chileno". Example: che (human being).
tr /ʈʂ/: Similar to tr in train. Similar to tr in Chilean Spanish (it is suspected a borrowing from Mapudungun). Example: ketre (chin)
(Note 1: The five consonants explained above are never in end of a syllable. You'll never hear words like "chic", "pot" or "match", excepting Spanish borrowings, like "doktor".)
f /f/: Like f in "five" (or Spanish f "faro") or v in "vine". It depends on the dialect, but most extant dialects use f. Example: foro (bone).
d /θ/: Like th in "thanks" (or Spanish z in "cazar" in Castile dialect) or th in "then" (or Spanish d in "codo", not in "andar"). It depends on the dialect and, again, most dialects use the unvoiced version. Example: domo (woman).
(Note 2: It is a pair. f goes with unvoiced th and v goes with voiced th.)
s /s/: Like s in "sand", never voiced like in "rose". Like s or z in Spanish from Latin America. Example: kuse (old woman).
sh [ʃ]: Like sh in "shine". It is only a variant of s in some dialects and an independent consonant in others.
g /ɰ/: Like g in Spanish "lago" (never like g in "tango"). There is no similar sound in English, but is similar to a g (the difference between English g and mapuche g is similar to difference between English d in "den" and English th in "then").
r /ɻ/: Similar to r in "red", but without rounding. Similar to "r rehilada" of Andean Spanish. Example: rere (black woodpecker).
w /w/: Like w in wow. Similar to Spanish gu in "agua" or Spanish u in "causa". Example: wew (victory).
y /j/: Like y in "yes". Similar to Spanish y in "yo" or Spanish i in "reinar". Example: yay (hail).
l /l/: Like l in "let", not dark l. Like Spanish l in "loco". Example: lig (white).
ḻ /l̪/: Like l, but tongue tip is placed between teeth. Example: peḻ (neck).
(Note 3: I'll use lh for this consonant, because it is clearer in text and easier to write.).
ll /ʎ/: Like lli in "million". Like Spanish ll in dialects without "yeísmo" (where "valla" sounds diferent to "vaya"), similar to l + i. Example: llalla (a man's mother-in-law, a woman's son-in-law).
m /m/: Like m in "man" or "mano". Example: mi (your).
n /n/: Like n in "no". Example: nag (below).
ṉ /n̪/: Like n before th: "month". Like n before t in Spanish: "cantar". Example: aṉtü (sun).
(Note 4: I'll use nh for this consonant. Same reasons of lh.)
ñ /ɲ/: Similar to ny in "canyon". Like Spanish ñ in "caña". Example: ñuke (mother).
ng /ŋ/: Like ng in "sing". Like Spanish n before k, as in "anca". Example: nge (eye).
Practice those sounds and comment or question about pronunciation.
Awesome, Chilotin! Your English is superb. I have just a few edits :)
There are three main orthgraphies." - just a typo - should be "orthographies."
Sounds more natural to me to say 'I will use THE "Mapuche Unified Alphabet"/ "are never AT THE end of A syllable" / "It depends on THE dialect" (don't use caps, I just don't know how to bold here).
What is "RP"? Received pronunciation? It would be great if you could spell it out, at least for us Americans ;)
I'm excited to continue! Thanks for this course.