The Sango Orthography

The Sango orthography is as follows:

a     da

b     bi

d     doli

e     te

f     fa

g    gozo

gb  gbe

h    hara

i     li

k    kate

l     leke

m   mandako

mb mbeto

mv mvene

n    neka

nd  ndeke

ng  nginza

ngb ngbanga

ny   nyama

nz   nzara

o     ngo

p     papa

r     huru

s     sango

t     ta

u    susu

v    vi

w   wanganga

y    yeke

z    ze

Some explanations:

"e" is used for both [e] and [ɛ], and "o" is used for both [o] and [ɔ]. Certain words have dialectal variations, often influenced by a speaker's mother tongue. Thus "h" is sometimes aspirated, sometimes not; "r" is sometimes realized as "l" and vice-versa; "nz" is pronounced [nz] by some and [ndʒ] by others; "z" is pronounced [z], [ʒ] and [dʒ].

The nasalisation of vowels is written as vowel + "n", but whether certain vowels are nasalised depends on individual speaker preference.

High tone is marked with a circumflex over the vowel (ex. fû kâsa "serve up a sauce"). Mid tone is noted with diareses (ex. fü bongo "sew clothes"). The absence of diacritics indicates low tone.