How to Pronounce Haida

Note: Throughout this dictionary/glossary some words are linked to audio clips. This page demonstrates the individual sound of the letter, and to hear the sound in a word, check the Haida Alphabet page. http://haidalanguage.blogspot.ca/p/haida-alphabet.html

Of the Haida alphabet, there are 20 letters or characters that sound approximately the same way in Haida as they do in  English. They are

b ch d dl 
h i j k l 
m n ng p s 
t tl ts w y

Of the vowels in the Haida alphabet there are 6 letters with similar English sounds, such as

Xaad = English
aa = a
ei = ay
íi = ea
uu = oo
ú = u

Those letters, then are easy spoken for an English speaker, and not necessary to represent using audio.

The remaining 16 sounds represented by the Haida alphabet need some help with audio to pronounce it correctly. These letters are:


g

hl

’l

t’

k’

k

k

tl’

x

x
   
ts’

Letters without audio
a ĝ p’ ’w x̂ ya’



English like Haida Words

Some words in Haida sound nearly exactly the same in English. This is because some English consonants are hard for Haida speakers to pronounce and no such word existed in Haida, this dictionary may contain some words borrowed from English.

The letter B is very difficult for Haida speakers to pronounce for instance. If they wish to say, "big," they invariably say "pig."

Haidas were also unable to pronounce the F and V sounds correctly. When they wish to say Victoria, vinegar, flute, flour or found, they distinctly pronounce "Bictoria, binegar, plute, plour, pound."

Also the old people would always pronounce the english R as an L sound. Thus they say "labbit, liver, lice, lum, litle," for "rabbit, river, rice, rum and rifle."

Below is a partial list of words, borrowed from English. 

dáalaa
dollar, money, silver

cháagaas
checkers

chéen
chain

jáam
jam

kwaadaa
quarter; twenty-five cents

láayaa
lawyer

láad
lard

masíin
machine

swédaa
sweater

súub
soup

súgaa
sugar