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Tahltan Language

Tałtan Alphabet 

The symbols that are used in the Tałtan practical orthography are based on the principles of a phonetic alphabet. In a phonetic alphabet every sound within the language is always represented with the same written symbol.

Although the English writing system is non-phonetically based, the newly introduced Tałtan system utilizes the English alphabet to represent the articulations.

Also the sounds that are present in English, but non-existent in Tałtān are excluded. For example, within the Tałtan language the sounds ‘f’, ‘q’, ‘r’ and ‘v’ are non-existent, thus they are excluded from the Tałtan alphabet.

The sounds that are non-existent in English, but present in Tałtan are added by using modified or combined English symbols. For example, the sounds at the on-set of the Tałtan words for fish (łuwe) and grease (tleyh) are foreign to the English language therefore they are represented by the introduction of the modified ‘l’ (‘ł”) with a line through and/or the combination of ‘t and the ‘l’ (‘tl’).

Overall there are 42 symbols in the Tałtan alphabet, a glottal, five vowels, and thirty-six consonants. 

The first step in the process of learning to speak a new language is to learn the individual articulations that makes up the language. Once that is accomplished, we must begin building a vocabulary.

So let’s begin - go to Lesson 1


Tip: English is a prime example of a non-phonetically based writing system; in English the same sounds can be written in different ways. For instance, the first consonant in ‘cereal’ and ‘serial’ are pronounced exactly the same but are represented by different symbols. Furthermore, the words ‘cereal’ and ‘serial’ are pronounced identically, but are written differently. This non-phonetic system can cause confusion in both pronunciation and spelling, therefore the Tałtan orthography is not based on this type of a system. In Tałtān a word or phrase cannot be writen in two seperate ways̄

Tałtan Language Program
Tahltan Central Government
PO Box 69
Tatl’ah (Dease), BC VOC 1L0
Phone: (250) 771-32274

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