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The Alphabet and Sounds of Modern Borelian

Modern Borelian has five vowels:

A E I O U

These vowels make seven sounds:

A = father
Ả = cat

E = pet

I = kit

O = poke

U = coop
Ủ = cut

These diacritics are used only for beginners to distinguish vowel sounds and are not found in any common texts.

Consonants

Modern Borelian also has sixteen consonants, which all make the same sounds as their English counterparts:

B C/K* D N R T TH** L W X J Z M S V

* So there's a story to the C/K.

The letters are written differently in the Borelian script, and pronunciation varies.  North Borlex pronounced "c" as a hard "g" (go), and "k" was the "k" sound, but even this was not consistent among the speakers.  So "Ancrath" might instead be pronounced "Angrath."  However, West Borla and East Bral did not have this.  They only had the "k" sound.  Because Ancrath was controlled by the East Bral, they kept the "k" pronunciation but the "c" spelling.

In Modern Borelian, the "g" sound is not officially recognized, though many North Borlex Borelians still pronounce "c" as a "g" and it is not considered incorrect to do so.

** Generally speaking, "th" is pronounced “thin” at the end of a word, such as “Ancrath,” or following another consonant, such as in “Isthim.” Otherwise, “this” is the common pronunciation.

The "IA" Cluster

It is believed that West Borla may have had a distinct “y” sound, but because Modern Borelian does not have a “y” sound, “ia” is commonly used to approximate this sound when transliterating foreign words and names. Any words containing the “ia” cluster, if not foreign or a proper noun, comes directly from West Borla, though they are few and far between.

Tones

Modern Borelian no longer uses tones, so many distinct words now sound the same, and context is key.  However, the tonal markers in written Borelian are still found in many legal documents and sometimes in art.

Written Borelian

Written Borelian will not be covered just yet as it is considered very complex.  At the very least, it should not be learned until a person has a working knowledge of Borelian lenition (covered in the next post) and a decent handle on conversational skills.

First Words

To practice becoming familiar with the sound and feel of the language, here are some Borelian proper nouns with their translations and meaning:

Places

Brelix = Borelian home world
Ảncrảth = Capital city of Brelix
Vảxảlu = city on the western continent
Stinabrid = small city north of Vaxalu

Organizations

Ul Ik Zol = Holy Men of War ("priests of war")
Ta Jorla Ảncrảth = Council of Ancrath ("five overseers of Ancrath")
Ujerozikowixol = Great Admirals of the Fleet ("they who cause great victory in war")

People

House names are always dynamic; they always have a meaning.  Given names may be simple (just something to be called) or dynamic.

Name

Typical Gender/House

Type

Meaning

Isthim

Female

Simple

 

Jetindar

House

 

“one who instructs”

Mảkijor

House

 

“death bringer”

Mảzistejor

House

 

“honor bringer”

Medik

Female

Dynamic

“love”

Misik

House

 

“thought”

Morjảk

Male

Dynamic

“worships the one who is death”

Nici

Male

Simple

 

Nolrem

Male

Dynamic

“advice”

Ridik

Male

Dynamic

“causes fear”

Selith

Male

Simple

 

Simi

Female

Simple

 

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