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Somali phrasebook

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Somali is the official language of the Eastern African country Somalia.

Pronunciation Guide

Vowels

as in pat if short (a) but as in father if long (aa)
as in pet if short (e) but as in paid if long (ee)
as in sit if short (i) but as in seat if long (ii)
as in cot if short (o) but as in coat if long (oo)
as in put if short (u) but as in shoot if long (uu)


Note that the general difference in lenght of vowels is important because otherwise words could get mixed up and it could end up in great confusion.

Consonants

as in box
as in dog
as in get
as in hat
as in jet
as in kick
as in let
as in mat
as in net
rolled as in the French rouge
as in sit
sh 
as in shut
as in ten
as in well
as in yet

Note that the 'doubling' of consonants is also very important not to get confused. A doubled consonant is pronounced in both syllables whereas a single consonant is pronounced in one syllable.

Also note the following complicated pronunciations.

dh 
Can be viewed as flapped d or r depending on the speaker - either way you'll get it right. Set your mouth to pronounce as normal d or r, but then curl your tongue right up so that the bottom touches the top part of your mouth. As you try you'll fell your tongue flapping forward.
It's more of an emphantic version of h. Take the exhaling sound you make when you've just burnt your mouth after taking a sip of boiling hot soup, push it right back into the very back of your mouth, making sure your tongue also goes back and that should be a good approximation.

Variants

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