The Sounds /Bb/ and /Gg/

      This is the old version! Pls click this link for the updated one (the one with videos!) :

    Bismillah. This is the 2nd lesson on “Tausug 101: Learning Bahasa Sug” by Anak Iluh. For lists of lessons, please go to: Lists of Lessons.

          Among the 17 commonly used consonants we have in Bahasa Sug, two letters are notable of having a “special ruling” on articulating their sounds. These are the letters B and G. Both letters can be pronounced with (1) their regular sounds and (2) their special “spirant” sounds. The following rules must be learnt by anyone who wants to learn to speak Bahasa Sug fluently.
          The rules are simple: look where the letters (B and G) are placed.
          When the letters B and G are placed in the beginning or in the end of a word, they would usually have the regular ‘solid’ /B/ as in /boy/ and /G/ as in /good/. Examples of these Tausug words are:
          Basi’ (Iron/metal)                                            Gadja (Elephant)
          Same rule applies when the letters are placed in the middle of a word AND then follows or is followed by another consonant or a glottal stop such as in:    
          Sagnat (to cling, “sabit” in Tagalog)          Lambung (Shadow)        Si’gub (Burp, n.)

          The special rule (the spirant sound), applies when the two letters are in between two vowel sounds. When this happens, the two letters will take their “spirant” form or sound; meaning they will have a bit of “softer” sound and should not have a “stopping” sound. The letter /G/ would sound like the Huruf Ghain (Gh)  in Arabic; and the letter /B/ would have the sound /V/ as in LEVITATE, but not /V/ in VIOLET. Very good examples of these are the words: 

Labay (Pass by, v.)
Bagay (Friend)
Lubid (Rope)
Tagad (Wait, v.)
Tabang (Help, v.)
Higad (Side)
Habay-Habay (Amulet)
Tagaynup (Dream)
Sabun (Soap)
Agap (Parrot)
(Please download the audio copy of these examples. See the links at the end of this post.)
         The special sounds of /B/ and /G/ are found to be unique in Bahasa Sug (and perhaps in other sister dialects as Sinama and Yakan). But there is indeed a great difference in pronouncing these sounds in Bahasa Sug compared to that in Tagalog, where the sounds are more pronounced. Comparisons are seen in the following examples:

(The sounds /B/ and /G/ are more pronounced)
Bahasa Sug
(The sounds are spirantized; soften)
Bagay (Things)
Bagay (Friends)
Agap (To hasten, v.)
Agap (Parrot)
Libutan (to encircle)
Libutan (to encircle)
          A little confused now? Hehe. It is really hard to understand this if we will stick with the written examples only. We have to listen to their actual pronunciations to better understand them. And so, to easily understand this special ruling, please listen to the audio file I have prepared for this lesson. You can download them in this link: DOWNLOADS
          Most non-Tausug and non-Arabic speakers would have a hard time learning this ‘technique’. Yet nevertheless, it would only take a little patience and a lot of practice to master their correct sounds. It’s really fun if you will only put your heart in it.
This ends our second lesson.
I hope we have achieved something today. Our next topic will be on the other special letters: “The Letters D and R”, which will be posted hopefully next Thursday. We have at least one week to practice what we have learned today, the special sounds of /B/ and /G/. You can always ask questions in our page Tausug 1010 FB or email me at
For Download link: (feel free to share it with others)
 The file includes:
  • Sinug word samples for regular /B/ and /G/–Audio file
  • Sinug word samples for special /B/ and /G/–Audio file
  • Comparisons between Tagalog and Sinug samples—Audio file
  • New Sinug words for Lesson 2 and Proper way of writing the special letters /B/ and /G/–pdf file
(Audio files are in MP3 format, so you can always listen to them in your MP3s, ipods or iphones 🙂

Til next Thursday, 
Salam Kasilasa!

One thought on “The Sounds /Bb/ and /Gg/

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s