Breton/Breton pronunciation

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Introduction to Breton

Breton pronunciation


Introduction: this is an introductory lesson.
It should teach students how to pronounce Breton and how to write Breton.
Near the end of this lecture, you will find a dictionary and place for global discussions.

Universal keyboard[edit]

This link allows to type all accentuated letters.

Pronunciation[edit]

Listen first ![edit]

  • Gerioù kentañ e Brezhoneg (First words in Breton)
  • Some stories told by Breton native speakers


Pronunciation rules[edit]

The Breton alphabet

A simplified notation of the International Phonetic Alphabet is used, accordingly to the one chosen in « Grammaire bretonne » from Roparz Hemon (Al Liamm - 1984).

Breton pronunciation
Simplified IPA Breton spelling English spelling Other
[a] a (karr = car) a (car)
[b] b (bara = bread) b (bold)
[d] d (dor = door) d (door)
[e] e (goude = after) e (red)
[f] f (fur = wise) f (foot)
[g] g (ger = word) g (gear)
[h] h (hir = long) h (house)
[i] i (listri = ships) i (engine)
[j] y (yar = hen) y (yatagan)
[k] k (kein = back) k (keel)
[l] l (laer = thief) l (long)
[l’] lh (dilhad = clothes) (none) ll (Spanish : llano)
[m] m (mab = son) m (more)
[n] n (naon = hunger) n (night)
[n’] gn (pign = climb) None gn (French: gagne)
[n~] n (sanket = sunk) ng (sing)
[o] o (tost = close) o (pot)
[o’] eu (nebeut = few) (none) eu (French: seul)
[p] p (park = field) p (park)
[r] r (rann = part) (none) r (French: rire)
[s] s (samm = load) s (son)
[s’] ch (chom = stay) sh (shark)
[t] t (ti = house) t (tea)
[u] ou (poull = pool) oo (pool) ou (French: tout)
[u’] u (rust = rude) (none) u (French: cru)
[v] v (voulouz = velours) v (victory)
[w] w (gwan = weak) w (twin)
[w’] u (mui = more) (none) u (French: nuit)
[x] c’h (sac’h = bag) (none) ch (German: Nacht)
[z] z (ezel = member) z (zone)
[z’] j (nijal = to fly) s (pleasure) j (French: joli)
 
[ã] añ (skv = ill) (none) an (French: cran)
[ẽ] eñ (kreñv = strong) (none) in (French: fin)
[ĩ] iñ (biñs = bolt) (none) in (Portuguese: importância)
[õ] oñ (skaoñ = bench) (none) on (French: mon)
[õ’] euñ (bleuñv = flower) (none) un (French: brun)
[ũ] ou (pounner = heavy) (none) um (Portuguese: comum)
[ũ’] uñ (ps = pit) (none)
[ei] ei (Breizh Brittany) ey (Hey) eil (French: pareil)
[ai] ai (a raio = will do) (none) ahi (French: trahi)

Note : the letter “v” in final is pronounced “o” or “u” ; this may also be the case within a word. For instance:

  • « war-sav » (stand up) is pronounced “war-sao”
  • « levr » (book) is pronounced “leor”.

Here write down your own explanation of the pronunciation if you feel it different from that one up:

"gn" /n´/ as: ñ (Spanish: "español")

Different spelling systems[edit]

Peurunvan Skolveurieg Etrerannyezhel English translation
GLAV GLAO GLAW rain
PIV PIOU PIW who
LEVR LEOR LEVR book
UR EUR UR one
EVIT EVID EWID for
GANT GAND GAND with
ANEZHI ANEZI ANEZHI to her
OUZHPENN OUSPENN OUZHPENN more, on top of something
BRAVAÑ BRAVA BRAVAÑ nicest
ASANTIÑ ASANTI ASANTIÑ to accept
PELEC’H PELEH PELEC’H where
AR C’HI AR HI AR C’HI the dog
BLOAVEZH BLOAVEZ BLOAWEZH year

Basic dictionary[edit]

(br) (en) IPA notation
karr car kar
bara bread bara
dor door dor
goude after gude
fur wise fu’r
ger word ger
hir long hir
listri ships listri
yar hen jar
kein back kein
laer thief laer
dilhad clothes dil’ad
mab son mab
naon hunger naon
unan one unan
ti
ker
House
Town
ti
ker
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