Detailed Overview of the Orthographical Varieties
 
 
The Venetan language incorporates various dialects that have distinct characteristics. In order to accomodate all variations, the following alphabet was developed. Not all letters are pronounced everywhere and there is still some debate over certain symbols. Some proposed symbols are not present in ASCII code (please download the appropriate fonts (Venetica 1.0) and visit Venetano Arkìvio for a complete version), and this alphabet uses diagraphs (two letters toghether) to depict certain pronunciations.

PRELIMINARY NOTE: Many vocables used as examples, are not necessarily present in all dialectical variations, and there may be different words with the same meaning.
 

A
a
[ as a in English park ]
ava (honeybee)
alocón (owl)
anguàna (witch)
àspexe (water snake)

NOTE: In the Ladino-Venetan dialects, this vowel has also a second distinctive variation (â). Please refer to the Venetano Arkìvio for a detailed description and for the appropriate graphical representation.

B
b
[ as b in English boy ]
bólpe (fox)
brèspa (wasp)
brincavóxe (microphone)
bago£ón (joker, extrovert)
barukè£o (young peasant)
baxùo (mortified)
baùco (stupid person)
béco (goat)
bèco (beak)
bisabòbo£e (curves on a road)
bòcia (kid)
brìncare(catch)
brónsa (charcoal)
brónba (plum)

NOTE: In Venetan, the letter B is always preceded by the nasal consonant N instead of M. This is not only the case of all contemporary Venetan dialects, but also of all historical documents. For example, inbatunìo (stunned, dazed), or inbaosà (drooling).

C
c
[ as ch in English church ]
ciòdo (nail)
cìcara (tea cup)
ciauscàre (to speak gibberish)
céngio (rock)
ciò (exclamation)
ciòpa (loaf)
ciupascóndare (hide and seek)
ciupegàre  (chew with the mouth open)

NOTE: The letter C is often also used to pronounce the letter K [as c in English cake]. However, a distinction needs to be made when the letter C is at the end of a word (frequent in Northern dialects). For example, pec (fir-tree) is pronounced as church, while pek (baker) is pronounced as cake. In the official version of the alphabet, addditional symbols are available to distinguish these pronounciations (see Venetano Arkìvio).

Ç
ç
[ as tz in English Ritz ]
çéola (onion)

NOTE:This sound is disappearing in Veneto, and it is predominantly substituted by the letter S. However, it was historically present in documents since the twelve-hundred, and it is still pronounced in certain dialects.

D
d
[ as d in English dear ]
diéxe (ten)
déo finger)
desavìo (insipid)
dexgrafàre (to untie)
dexmentegàre (to forget)
dixdòto (eighteen)
drénto (inside)
drugo (stupid person)
drìo (behind)

NOTE:  Some words are pronounced differently in different Venetan dialects, and D may be pronounced instead of the most frequent interdental DH (see below) or instead of X. For example, danòcio instead of the more frequent dhanòcio or xanòcio (knee).

E
e
[ as e in English bed ]
endegàro or endeghèr (index)
èlira (ivy)

NOTE: It is very important when writing in Venetan to distinguish whenever possible between the two variations of this vowel: è (open) and é (close). For example: véro (glass, window) and vèro (truth), or béco (goat) and bèco (beak).

F
f
[ as f in English farm ]
finfotàre (to whimper)
fracàre (to press)
frégo£a  (crum)
franfrìgo£a (type of berry)
frìxa (arrow)
frìto£a (whimp)

NOTE:  In certain dialects the letter F followed by a vowel  is often pronounced in a substantially different manner. See the FH diagraph below.

G
g
[ as g in English go ]
gajòfha (pocket)
galón (hip)
gatàro (gate)
gatarìso£e or gatè£e (the tickles)
gavàso (bush)
gardéna (type of bird)
gunbio (elbow)
gòmito (vomit)
górna (gutter or rain-pipe)
gòto (glass, cup)
gréspe (wrinkles)
gufo (hunchbacked)

NOTE: The letter G may also take the sound as g in English gem. For example, giósa (drop). In order to distinguish between the two sounds, the G is pronounced as gem when followed by an I or an E, and to assure the sound of go, the diagraph GH is used.

Some prefer the alternative of assigning to G only the sound of go, and to assign to J the sound of gem or joy. The letter J, however, is also pronounced as y in English yellow, and it is conveniently used in words that use J either as yellow or joy depending on the dialect. For example, fhaméja (family) and mèjo (better).

A third alternative is made possible by using special characters, which need Venetica fonts. Please see Venetano Arkìvio for this third approach.
 

H
h
This letter has no actual pronunciation in Venetan, and it is only used for diagraphs such as:
DH, FH, NH,  TH (see below).
I
i
[ as ee in English meet ]
istà (summer)
infolponarse (to muffle oneself)
insìda (the exit)
ìndese (fake egg to put on hen's nest)
indormài (by now, at this point)
inxamò (already)
indomè (barely, just)
inbolxemàre  (to get covered with mud)
infhià (swollen)
ingrisàrse (to be ashamed)
ingrumare (to accumulate)
inmagarse (enchanted)
inoriàrse (to be disoriented, confused))
inpasà  (to be filled, to slow down)
inpisàre (to turn on, to light)
intorco£à (twisted around)
intrà  (besides)
ìspio  (moss)
instéso (still, anyway)
J
j
[ as y in English yellow ]
jakéta (jacket)
jóvene (young fellow)
jera(was)
jeri(yestarday)
judàre(to help)
judìsio (judgement, opinion)
Jèxo£o (beach town)

NOTE: The letter J is predominantly and preferably used in words pronounced differently according to the dialect spoken. Therefore, in all the above cases, J can be pronounced as y in English yellow or as j in English joy. Notice also that in several Venetan dialects many words use and pronounce the letter X instead of J. For example, jénte or xénte (people), and jornà£e or xornà£e (newspaper).

K
k
[ as k in English kite ]
kéca (magpie)
kèba (cage)
kièto (quiet)
kipàre (to bend)
kefàro (cockroach)
kèserle (type of cheese)
kive (here)
kisa (spoiled kid, snugly)
kistìnkene (dried chestnut)
kitàra (tool used to whip milk, also musical instrument)

NOTE: The letter K is predominantly used (instead of C) in front of I and E, to distinguish it from the sound of ch as in English church. The use of the letter K is not only historically present in various documents, but it also helps avoiding CH (used only in Italian), which may create confusion among Venetans immigrated in English, Spanish, French and Portugese speaking countries. In all other cases it is not clearly determined when to use the letter K instead of C (for example, karéga or caréga (chair), and kustión or custión (issue)), and some writers advocate always using K for c as in English cat, and only using C for ch as in English chat. In the Venetano Arkìvio, an alternative approach is illustrated using special characters.

L
l
[ as l in English leg ]
lista (list)
làrexe (tyoe of tree)
lòxa (loggia)
lòsa (mud, sand)
luàme (manure, dung)
ludro (filthy)
ludrón (asfalt)
luja (female pig, also the pool after a dam)
lujo (July)
luna (moon)

NOTE: The letter L is pronounced over the whole Venetan territory especially when at the end of a word or when next to another consonant. For example, moltón (ram, sheepskin, mutton), xlandrón (procrastinator), xlaparón (voracious), balbo (studderer), baldrésca (scaffolding), el (the - masculine singular). Instead, when in between two vowels, or at the beginning of a word, it is frequently substituted by an £ (see next), depending on the dialect spoken. For example, lu or £u (him), lóngo or £óngo (long), stèla or stè£a (splinter). In these cases, the L is usually preferred in montaneous areas.

£
£
[ a loose, muffled, partially dull, partially vocalized sound, similar to ll  in French mouillé ]
£aca (leg)
£agùia (eagle)
£aìn  (quick, lean)
£atón (brass)
£avaóro (washbasin)
£ekési (sweets, candies)
£énsa (hooligan)
£evaró£a (pig foot - the tool)
£igaóro (salamander, green lizard)
£ispo (slippery)
£ive (there)
£òtara (ladder)

NOTE: The letter £ (see Venetano Arkìvio for appropriate symbol), known as the "Venetan L", or as the "vanishing L", represents a pronunciation unique to the Venetan territory. It is not only distinct from the regular L, but it has in itself slight dialectical variations. For example, in the Venician area it becomes almost an E, while in the inland it becomes closer to an L, and, as mentioned above, in some mountaneous areas it is rarely present at all. Aside from its slight variations, the usefulness of this letter for the Venetan language is to allow words to be written the same in different dialects, and to let the reader pronounce it according to its customs, regardless of the writer's origin. For example, góndo£a instead of góndola, gódoea or góndoa. It even helps not confusing words (for example if instead of scó£a (school), we write scóa, it will be confused with scóa (broom)).

M
m
[ as m in English man ]
mare (mother, sea)
marcà (market)
madhégo (type of hay)
magàña (pain, desease)
maja (sweater)
màntexa (bellows)
mara (nightmare, boogie man)
marangón (carpenter)
marè£a (unbrella's ray)
marè£o (pile)
marinè£e (type of cherries)
maròñe (rock slide)
marón (chestnut, also a scam)
marxemìn (slick, wise)
marte£àro (police man)
maruè£e (hemorroids)
masìn (butcher - specialized in pigs)
masjéra (wall made of stones)
mèdho (half, in between)
melórde (tails of long tuxedo)
mojére (wife)
morécia (mouse)
muxìna (piggy bank, savings)
muso (donkey)
musolìn (gnat, small fly)

NOTE: The letter M usually does NOT precede the letter B and the letter P in the Venetan language. For example, exénpio (example), inprèstiti (borrowings) and anbra (amber).

N
n
[ as n in English name ]
nanarè£a (gerbil, farm mouse)
nasòpia (big nose)
nevódo(nephew or grandchild)
ninàre (singing a lullaby)
ninte (nothing)
nodàro (notary)
nóxa (nut)

NOTE: The letter N is used to precede the letter B and the letter P. For example, anpómo£a (raspberry), bonbaxón (cotton), canpigo£àre (to wag, to swarm, to teem), ciónpo (lame).

Ñ
ñ
[ as ñ in Spanish mañana ]
ñaro (nest)
ñanca (not even)
ñaér (to become)
ñàñara (light fever)
ñaño (silly)
ñòco (type of food, stupid person)
ñèl (lamb)

NOTE: It is not universally agreed how to represent graphically this sound in Venetan. In fact, the following diagraphs are often preferred to the letter Ñ: GN, NH or NJ. There are no dialectical differences that might justify different rappresentations of this sound. The debate over the appropriate symbol is still lively, but it is mostly based on personal preferences.

O
o
[ as ó in English old, or as ò in English oil ]
òbito (funeral)
òcio (eye, watch out)
òfhio (flabby)
òjo (oil)
ónbrìa (shadow)
onfegàre (stain with grease)
óngia (finger nail)
ónsa (ounce)
ónxare (to grease)
óngaro (Hungarian)
òrbo (blind)

NOTE: As with the letter E, it is very important to specify, whenever possible, the appropriate accent over this letter. For example, tò£e (tables) and tó£e ([she] takes), or ròso (flock, bunch) and róso (red) or tòco (piece) and tóco (the touch)..

P
p
[ as p in English pen ]
pañùgo£o (wad)
pàndare (to reveal, to divulgate)
pandò£o (biscuit, slow person - derogative)
panpalùgo (type of bird)
pantasón (fat person)
pào (turkey)
papìna (slap)
papòta (cheek)
pare (father)
pareciàre (to prepare)
parmédo (precocious)
parsìmo£o (parsley)
pasto (a lot)
pate£ón (zipper)
patòfhia (weak)
patùgo (bottom of bottle)
pèca (footprint)
pèdho (worse)
pelandrón (lazy)
peñàta (pan)
peretàre (to scrutinize, to count, to measure)
pèrla (wild berry)
pèrsego (peach)
petàre (to glue, or to fall)
petenè£a (annoying person )
petotàre (to walk quickly)
petufhàrse (to fight)
pévare (pepper)
piànperi (matches)
piato£àre (to waste time)
pirón (fork)
peocióxo (stingy)
pipión (pigeon)
pisacàn (dandelion)
pólde (flea)
po£ìto (OK)
popà (dad)
prèsia (hurry)
puìna (ricotta cheese)
puliéro (colt)
puòto (puppet)
putè£o (child)

NOTE: Again, as encountered in numerous documents (ancient and more recent ones) the letter P is preceded by the letter N instead of the letter M. For example, ranpìn (hook) and sanpòto£e (slippers).

R
r
[ a rolled r as in Spanish rico ]
raìxa (root)
ragañò£o (nuisance)
ramenón (a bad fall)
ranpegàre (to climb)
rasaóro (razor)
rénte (close)
rigolàre (to tumble)
ronkexàre (to snore)

NOTE:  The letter R is pronounced the same in all Venetan dialects except the Venetian one where it is pronounced as r in English more. There is no real need to represent it with a different symbol, since it always substitues the rolled r, and therefore there is no need to make the distinction. However, a few writers have experimented with the diagraph RH, to highlight their different pronunciation. 

S
s
[ as s in English sun ]
sacañón (clumsy)
salbanè£o (goblin)
sanbè£o (hyperactive kid)
sangiùto (hiccup)
sànto£o (godfather, father in law)
saràda (the Fall)
saràre (to close)
sata (paw)
scaño (stool)
scavesàre (to break)
scékenàre (to strike)
skèi (money)
sciànta (a little)
sciàpo ( a bunch, a group)
scope£òto (slap)
scoraiàre (to knock down)
scorlàre (to shake)
sculiéro (spoon)
senpioldo (dumb)
sfharesón (nosy)
sórxe (rat)
sparagàñe (pigs ribs)
spesegàre (to get busy, to get to work)
spithigàre (to pinch)
sora£ake (the laptop)
stèrke£e (ski)
stofegàre (to choke, to smother)

NOTE: The letter S is always pronounced as s in English sun. Some prefér to also use it as z in English zone, and to use the double S to distinguish the two sounds. This method, however, encounters a couple of problems. First the Venetan language in general does not have double consonant sounds. Second, and most important, the Venetan language is rich of vocabs that use both sounds (s as sun and z as zone), and a distinction in symbols needs to be made. For example, the word sixì£a (swallow - type of bird) cannot be written sisìla, ssisìla, because to confusing and not true to the actual pronunciation. A number of authors choose to use the letter Z to represent z as in English zone. However, the letter Z is already used to represent another sound present in some dialects, and the use of such letter, to represent the sound of z as in zone would not be appropriate for the whole territory, and may consequently create further confusion (see letter X for more).
The letter S is also used for the diagraph SH ( as sh in english shell ). This pronunciation is ONLY present in the ladino-Venetan dialèct, and it is not present in the rest of the territory. For example, shénta (seat). The Venetano Arkìvio illustrates the appropriate symbol used for this sound. For the alphabet of the Venetan language, SH is chosen instead of SC, because the latter is already too common in many Venetan words (for example: sciào (slave), sciòpo (gun), scéto (autentic), scéve (hedge), sciàsaro (very dirty), sciavìna (harrow -farm utensile), sciocàre (to click, to clap), sciona (ring)).Some, to avoid confusion with the Italian diagraph SC (same pronunciation as SH), use S-C for the above words.

T
t
[ as t in English time ]
taconàre (to mend)
tanbràre (to thunder)
téndare (to look after)
tibiàre (to cool down)
trapè£o (useless object)

NOTE: The letter T is also used to form the diagraph TH (see below).

U
u
[ as oo in English book ]
ùa (grapes)
urtàre (to push)
ùxo (used to)
ùso (doorstep)
V
v
[ as v in English vivid ]
varnìxa (varnish)
végro (not cultivated)
vènare (Friday)
vèrta (the Spring)
X
x
 [as z in English zone ]
xbarlucàre (to flash - a light)
xbéso£a (chin)
xbétega (gossiper)
xbiansàre (to water - a plant)
xbitaràre (to spray)
xbramoxà (tired)
xbrindo£ón (wanderer, loafer, lounger)
xbrisjàre (to slip)
xgàparo (spit)
xgiantìso (lightning)
xgiónfo (full)
xñaròco (snot )
xgrànfho (cramp)
xgrìxo£e (shivers)
xlamegón (grungy)
xlangorìo (empty stomach)
xlépa (big piece, slap)
xmarìo (faded)
xmorsàre (turn off)
xòbia (Thursday)
xvanpolàrse (to move around stretching)

NOTE: It is universally accepted that the Venetan language needs distinct symbols for the sound of the letter S (as s in English sun) and the sound of the letter X (as z in English zone). There are too many words that require this distinction. For example, rusàre (to rash,  to get rashed) and ruxàre (to prowl), sa (if, or short for what) and xa (already), sìxo£a (type of gardening scythe) and xìxo£a (stinging cold, or hard strike), sugàre (to dry up) and xugàre (to play), sarà (closed) and xara (pitcher). However, not everyone  adopts the letter X to represent this sound (mostly because it is used for a different sound in other languages: "ks"), and quite a few writers opt to use the letter Z instead. The letter X is anyhow the preferred graphical representation, not only because the letter Z is already used for another sound, and therefore to avoid confusion. But also because this is the letter historically used to represent this sound. Although it was not used all the times (even by the same authors) it has been constantly present for centuries.
    It has also been suggested to substitute the letter X with the letter S, when before another consonant. The reason being that it is widely known what to pronounce (X in front of B, D, G, L, M, N, Ñ, R, V; and S in front of C, F, P. T). There are some exception, however: slòsa (transportation vehicle) and xlòso (rotten, broken). For simplicity and clarity, it is recomended to always distinguish between X and S.
The letter X is also used in the diagraph XH (as J in French Jardin ). As with SH, this pronunciation is ONLY present in the ladino-Venetan dialect. See the Venetano Arkìvio for the appropriate graphical representation. For example, xhal (rooster).

Z
z
[ as z in Italian zanzara ]

NOTE: The sound of the letter Z is present in spoken Venetan throughout the territory, mostly because of italanized words. However, in the urban dialect of Vittorio Venetano and in some other dialects this sound appears to be native, and to date prior to the annexation to Italy. To preserve the cultural peculiarities of each Venetan dialect, this letter is included in the standard alphabet of the Venetan language. Z usually substitutes the letter X (or the diagraph DH) as in zenòcio = xenòcio = dhenòcio (knee), but it needs to be distinguished, because in some dialects both sounds are pronounced.

DIGRAPHS
 

    DH
[ similar to th in English the ]
dhàlo (yellow)
dhermàn (german)
dhó (down)
dhandhìvi (gums)
Dhòrdhi (George)

NOTE: This sound used to be present in the whole Venetan territory, but it has slowly being disappearing. The diagraph DH was present in Venetan written texts since the twelve hundreds, and it is still being pronounced in numerous dialects (especially in alpine and foothills areas). In other areas it has been often substituted by the X (lèdhare = lèxare (to read), and mèdho = mèxo (between)), and sometimes by the letter D (frédha = freda (cold)).
See also Venetano Arkìvio for alternative symbol.

  FH
[ between Greek phi and German ph, somehow aspirated as h in Spanish humera ]
fhabiòco (stupid)
fhalìva (snow flake)
fhémena (wife)
fhià (a little)
fhìnfarli (type of mushroom)
fhòdha (trend)
fhòja (leaf)
fhóra (out)
fhorèsto (stranger, from the  outside)
fhormàjo (cheese)
fhursi (maybe)

NOTE: As with DH, this pronunciation is slowly being replaced by the letter F. It is still present in many  Venetan dialects, and it is reported here because it alternates with the regular F, and therefore needs to be distinguished for this cases. This pronunciation has also been written simply with an H.

  GH
[ as g in English go ]

NOTE: This is not actually a diagraph, because it is solely used in front of the letter E and I to pronounce g as in English go (as opposed to  g as in English gem). (An example, ghèto (ghetto), and since it was rarely present in historical texts, some suggest eliminating it entirely. For those who opt to assign to the letter G the sound of g as in go only, and to the letter J the sound of g as in gem, this problem does not arise. See the Venetano Arkìvio for other graphical solutions.

 GN
or NH
or NJ
These are alternative graphical representations for the letter Ñ.
   TH
[ similar to th in English thin ]
thanca (left)
thìcoe (five)

NOTE:  As with DH, this sound used to be widely used in Venetano (as documented in some historical documents) but it is now present only in some Venetan dialects. In the rest of the territory it is predominantly substituted by the letter S. It has also been suggested to use the diagraph ZH instead. See Venetano Arkìvio for another graphical representation.

This alphabet has been developed after considerable research on every spoken dialects of the Venetan language. It is based on Grafia Veneta Unitaria published by the Venetan regional government, and it has been adapted to avoid linguistic terminology and symbols, and to simplify the use of Venetan over the Internet.

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