The Lakota alphabet in Standard Lakota Orthography (SLO)

Characters

a  b  č  e  ǧ  h  ȟ  i  k  l  m  n  ŋ  o  p  s  š  t  u  v  w  y  z  ž  '

Digraphs

aŋ  iŋ  uŋ  čh  kh  ph  th  kȟ  pȟ  tȟ  č'  k'  p'  t'

Pronunciation guide

Lakota Symbol Specific Approximate description Lakota example
a like a in target aɣúyapi
e like e in bed épazo
i like i in sit igmú
o somewhat like o in torque oákaŋke
u like oo in took úta
nasalized like o in monkey aŋpétuwi
nasalized like i in mint iŋyaŋ
nasalized somewhat like oo in moon, nasalized; no adequate English example uŋči
g like g in got gnašká
ǧ [ɣ] like the northern French r (as in Paris); no English equivalent ǧí
h like h in hat hokšíla
ȟ [x] close to the Spanish x in Mexico, but with more guttural friction ȟé
č ~[cç] almost like ch in mischievous (unaspirated), but not like g in gin čónala
čh like ch in chin čhápa
č' [cçʔ] like č, but followed by a glottal stop č'ó
k unaspirated like k in skip, but not like k in kip or g in gig kimímela
kh aspirated [kʰ] like k in kiss khéya
[kx] no equivalent in English; connect k and ȟ kȟáŋta
k' [kʔ] like k, but followed by a glottal stop k'á
p unaspirated like p in spin or in happy, not like p in pin or b in bin pispíza
ph aspirated [pʰ] like p in pin pheží
[px] no equivalent in English; connect p and ȟ pȟahíŋ
p' [pʔ] like p, but followed by a glottal stop p'ó
t unaspirated like t in still, but not like t in till or like d in dill tópa
th aspirated [tʰ] like t in tip pheží
[tx] no equivalent in English; connect t and ȟ tȟatȟaŋka
t' [tʔ] like t, but followed by a glottal stop t'á
s like s in so
š [ʃ] like sh in shop šúŋka
z [z] like z in zero zíča
ž [ʒ] like s in pleasure žó
b like b in boy bébela
l like l in lamp lowáŋ
m like m in map mathó
n like n in nap napé
w like w in was wičhíŋčala
y like y in yes yámni
'  [ʔ] catch in the throat, like the pause in uh-oh --

After Ullrich, ed. (2011: 747-748)