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Some letters that are used in Shiyeyi are not used in Setswana.

J, j

The letter j in Shiyeyi is only used along with other letters to make a single sound. The exception to this rule is for borrowed names from the Bible, such as Jiso or Jywahani. This has been done to keep the names similar to Bible versions in related languages. The chart below shows how the Shiyeyi letters are used for sounds that are also in Setswana, though with different letters:

Shiyeyi

Shiyeyi Examples

Setswana

Setswana Examples

dj

djuwa, paddle; ndjena, enter

j

jang, how; jesa, feed

tj

lditjatja, reed mat; ldatja, (future)

ntša, dog

tjh

itjhipi, metal; -tjhatjha, tasty

tšh

ntšha, new; tšhipa, cheap


E, e and O, o

The letters e and o can make more than one sound in Setswana; this is not the case in Shiyeyi. The Setswana sounds for e are covered by the Shiyeyi letters e and i. The Setswana o sounds are written in Shiyeyi with o and u. Which Shiyeyi letter to use – e or i, o or u – is not a matter of personal choice; it is determined by the sound used in the word. Sounds and letters that match between Shiyeyi and Setswana are shown below:

Shiyeyi

Shiyeyi Examples

Setswana

Setswana Examples

e

yenda, go; sheka, laugh

e

sebete, liver; lešekere, famine

i

tishira, believe, agree; miti, trees

i

dintsi, flies; dikhihiri, cartilages

o

iworo, yesterday

o

mokoro, boat

u

itjutu, thing; -kuru, big

u

phuduhudu, animal


G, g

The letter g in Shiyeyi does not make the same sound as in Setswana, when it comes between two vowels without an n in front of it (ng). Instead, it sounds like an English g, as in the words good, dog, and great. The way that g is used differently between Shiyeyi and Setswana is shown below:

Shiyeyi

Shiyeyi Examples

Setswana

Setswana Examples

g

ugu, sheep; gyupa, be angry

-

This sound is not in Setswana.

-

This sound is not in Shiyeyi.

g

go, to; gana, refuse, reject


Sh, sh

The letter combination sh in Shiyeyi matches the š sound in Setswana, as shown below:

Shiyeyi

Shiyeyi Examples

Setswana

Setswana Examples

sh

Shiyeyi, Yeyi language

š

sešeng, recently; ša, new


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