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Cawyaŋ Zarma Sanni

map of the river Niger
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Pronunciation guide


Zarma is a tonal language, that is, in Zarma you have words that are differentiated solely by tone, and each syllable in a multisyllabic word often carries its own tone. But do not be afraid, in many cases the context may help you to understand the meaning.

In the dictionary and the vocabulary lists in each of the lessons of the Zarma course, not only the meaning of the words is given, but the words are marked for tone, for accent, and for length of vowels as well. The notation is explained in the guide (see upper menu: words - tone / accent / vowel length).

Marking the building location for a straw hut 

This guide also provides information about the pronunciation of the vowels (a, e, ..), the consonants (b, c, ..) and the combinations of letters, such as diphthongs (e.g., ay and oy).

Audio examples are derived from several sources, amongst others, the Peace Corps' introduction to Zarma (Lesson 1 till Lesson 21), bible readings (e.g. Lucas 1-3 and others), recordings by Plan, and recordings by Sandra Bornand.

You have easy acces to all the pronuciation topics via the menu on the top of this page.

You have direct acces to the other items of the Zarma language course via the icons on the right.


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      Dico Fraters, the Netherlands © 2004-2016      
Last updated: 20 Januari, 2016