The charts below show the way in which the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) represents Oromo pronunciations in Wikipedia articles. See Oromo phonology for a more thorough look at the sounds of the Oromo language.
English approximations are in some cases very loose, and only intended to give a general idea of the pronunciation.
|IPA||Oromo Letters||English approximation|
|kʼ||q||Sky (except more pressurized)|
|l||l||let (sometimes like full)|
|(p)||p||put (alt. spy)|
|pʼ||ph||Upper (except more pressurized)|
|ɾ||r||Ladder in SAE|
|tʃʼ||c||achoo (imitate a sneeze)|
|tʼ||x||stu (except more pressurized)|
|IPA||Oromo Letters||English approximate|
|ɐ||a||Similar to the "u" in bud|
|oː||oo||Like "oa" in oat except longer|
Placed before the stressed syllable
Marks a high tone
Marks a low tone
Marks a falling tone
Placed after the vowel
- The /b/ consonant is pronounced like /β/ between vowels unless the consonant is geminated.
- The /d/ consonant is pronounced like /ð/ intervocalically except when geminated.
- This is sounded as /ɾ/ in between two vowels except when geminated.
- The semivowels (w and y) along with the glottal stop are weakened intervocally.
- This sound is often pronounced as /x/ before the letters "n" and "t".
- The ejective consonants have no exact equivalents in English. The way that ejectives are sounded is by building up pressure in your throat, like when you sneeze, and then release the built-up air as you articulate the consonant where you normally would. So, /t'/ and /t/ are articulated in the same place but the difference is whether you build up pressure or not.
- Sometimes the l is velarized. Though this "dark l" is rarely used in Oromo.
- Only used in loan words.
- It is sometimes pronounced unaspirated as the "p" in spin and is confused with the /b/ sound because of this.
- When this consonant is geminated it becomes an alveolar trill.
- In the Oromo language(s) vowels are contrasted based on length, in addition to sound. So if you were to double the length of a given consonant (e.g. "a" to "aa") it often changes the meaning of the word. In IPA, vowel elongation is marked by two horizontal dots (ː) akin to a colon mark.