Wednesday, October 19, 2011

The Lakȟóta language and the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA)

   The Lakȟóta language uses sounds that are unlike those found in the English language.  It also does not have certain sounds that are found in English, like "r" or "v."  If you wish to learn the language without having to rely on someone who would love the opportunity to teach you how to speak it (for a fee or the cost of a book and tapes, of course, or, worse yet, or to gratify his/her desperate craving for attention -- yikes!), the best alternative is to rely on an international standard like the International Phonetic Alphabet.
   It doesn't cost a thing and it's available to you at your convenience.  The site of the IPA includes sound files that you can listen to and download.
   The most difficult sound is the "voiceless uvular fricative."  The sound is found in the pronunciation of Lakȟóta.  In this case, the sound is preceded by an aspirated "-k-."  The sound is also found preceded by an aspirated "-t-" for example or sometimes at the beginning of a word, too.
   (Double-click the image below to enlarge it.)