Examples of Q’eqchi’ pronunciation

Q’eqchi’ Vowels

Vowel Pronunciation
a Like the a in father.
aa Like a only held longer.
e Like the Spanish e, similar to the a in English gate.
ee Like e only held longer.
i Like the i in police.
ii Like i only held longer.
o Like the o in note.
oo Like o only held longer.
u Like the u in flute.
uu Like u only held longer.

 

Q’eqchi’ Diphthongs

Dipthong Pronunciation
ay Like English eye.
ey Like ey in English they.
oy Like oy in English boy.
uy like the uoy in English buoy.

 

Q’eqchi’ Consonants

Consonant Pronunciation
b’ Like b in boy, only more plosive. To English speakers, it sounds as if Maya speakers are ‘swallowing’ the b sound, similar to the way b is pronounced in Vietnamese.
ch Like ch in chair.
ch’ Like ch, only glottalized (pronounced with a slight pop or click.)
h Like the h in hay.
j Like the raspy j in Spanish jalapeño.
k Like k in key.
k’ Like k, only glottalized (pronounced with a slight pop or click.)
l Like l in light.
m Like m in moon.
n Like n in night.
p Like the p in pie.
q Like k only pronounced further back in the throat. This is similar to the q in Arabic.
q’ Like q, only glottalized (pronounced with a slight pop or click.)
r Like Spanish r, somewhat like the tt in English butter.
s Like the s in sun.
t Like the t in tell.
t’ Like t, only glottalized (pronounced with a slight pop or click.)
tz Like ts in cats.
tz’ Like tz, only glottalized (pronounced with a slight pop or click.)
w Like gw in Gwen. Some speakers pronounce it like the qu in quick (closer to the sound of the Q’eqchi’ k followed by a w; alternatively, some pronounce it more like the w in the English wheel without an initial plosive.
x Like sh in shell.
y Like y in yes. Some speakers pronounce it more like the “ky” sound in cute.
A glottal plosive, like the one in the middle of the English exclamation “uh-oh”.  Represented in written Q’eqchi’ using the apostrophe symbol.