Simple Nonlen has 18 consonants, 5 vowels and 2 diphtongs. They are always pronounced the same way.
In contrast to English, voiceless consonants (p, t, c, k) should be pronounced without aspiration (an "h" sound after the consonant). So, for example, "pin" is pronounced as in English "spin", but not as in English "pin" (which has an aspirated "p"). Unaspirated consonants are very widespread in the world's languages; for instance Romance and Slavic languages all have unaspirated voiceless consonants.
Most letters are intuitively pronounced correctly by speakers of English. There are only two exceptions:
"c" is pronounced like English "ch" as in "church"
"x" is pronounced like English "sh" as in "show"
In this table you find the pronunciations of the Nonlen letters. The consonants come first, then the vowels and diphtongs.
|Nonlen letter||X-Sampa||like in English ...||like in other language ...||Example of Simple and International Nonlen|
|p||p||pet||paprika (Hungar.)||pa (past), park (park)|
|b||b||bet||bazaar (Persian)||ba (body), banan (banana)|
|f||f||fat||feliz (Spanish)||fa (happen), famil (family)|
|m||m||met||matahari (Indones.)||ma (parent), magnet (magnet)|
|t||t||Ted||tour (French)||ta (stripe), total (total)|
|d||d||debt||divan (Turkish)||da (big), diplomat (diplomat)|
|s||s||set (not like rose)||samba (Portuguese)||sa (thing), sup (soup)|
|n||n||net||nomer (Russian)||na (opposite), nas (nose)|
|c||tS||chat||chai (Hindi)||ca (settle), cokolat (chocolate)|
|j||dZ||jet||jambo (Swahili)||ja (beautiful), jet (jet)|
|x||S||shed||shalom (Hebrew)||xa (woman), xampu (shampoo)|
|k||k||cat, kit||Kind (German)||ka (no), kandel (candle)|
|g||g||get||go (Japanese)||ga (equal), gitar (guitar)|
|h||h, x||hat||hao (Mandarin)||ha (adjective), hotel (hotel)|
|l||l||let||latte (Italian)||la (he/she), líter (liter)|
|r||r, R, r\||rat||rhythmos (Greek)||ra (fast), ris (rice)|
|y||j||yet||yalla (Arabic)||ya (far), yes (yes)|
|w||w||wet||wombat||wa (one), waks (wax)|
|i||i||meet, piece||mi (Spanish)||mi (I, me)|
|e||E, e||bet||me (Spanish)||me (make)|
|a||a||but, ah, far||mañana (Spanish)||ma (parent)|
|o||O, o||pot (Brit Engl), bore||no (Spanish)||mo (move)|
|u||u||boot||tu (Spanish)||mu (much)|
|ai||ai||bye||hai (Japanese)||mai (would)|
|au||au||about||hao (Chinese)||mau (physics)|
Watch me read the example words aloud:
Stress in Nonlen always falls on the last syllable in a word. If a word has more than two syllables, there may be a secondary stress on the antepenultimate syllable (the third from the end).
Examples (stress is indicated with an acute accent "´"):
v, z, zh, gh, kh, ', q, ñ, ly, rh, ä, ö, ü, ë, ï
Watch me read the International Nonlen sounds aloud. You first hear the single sounds, then the consonants preceded and followed by the sound "a":
Stress in International Nonlen
In International Nonlen, stress from the original language is most often preserved. If stress does not fall on the last syllable of a word, it is indicated with an acute accent "´".