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Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Cebuano Phonology


The Cebuano language basically has three vowel sounds: a , i/e , o/u

Practice reading the following:

ako
sige
udto
adlaw
Espanya
ulo
adto
Inglatera
oras

Notice that whether it is spelled with an i or an e, the Cebuanos pronounce them identically. Take for instance the word "sige." Although, it ends with the soft /e/ sound, Cebuanos still pronounce it as: "sigi"

The same goes for the o/u vowels. The o/u is sounded similar to the 'o' in the English word 'do.'

These are the consonant sounds:

ng , p , t , d , k , r

g , b , m , n , l

h , y , w s


Do you notice that there six consonants listed in the topmost? They are the most difficult sounds for foreigners to learn, especially the initial 'ng':

Practice saying: Ngano?
This means "Why?"

If you are a foreigner learning this, unless you have the same feature in your language, this is very challenging.

The following consonants are unaspirated, by that I mean no air should come out of the mouth when they are spoken.

p
t
d
k

Practice the following:

kinse
piso
baynti
diin
kaha
puto
trabaho
dinhi
kini

Another feature of the Cebuano language or other Philippine languages is the "trilled r"

This is sounded similar to the Spanish rr sound which is created by flapping the tongue against the front roof of the mouth.

Practice saying the following:

komputer
motor
radar

Don't ever make the mistake of sounding the Cebuano 'r' the way English speakers say their 'r.'

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