Video courtesy UBC linguistics department, used with permission
The Halq’eméylem “sh” sound is easy to say: it’s the same as the “sh” sound in English words like ship or shape.
You make the sound like this:
- Tongue touches the top front of the mouth (near the little fleshy bump behind your upper teeth, but a bit back from there).
- The airflow is heavy, with lots of friction.
The “sh” sound occurs in many Halq’eméylem words, but you may notice that it is always before one other particular sound: “xw” (the rounded soft-x).
- shxwyémtel – belt
- shxwpí:pewels – freezer
- shxwemlí:kw – uncle, aunt (includes parent’s cousins)
Surprisingly, there are no native Halq’eméylem words with “sh” before any other sound—though there is one borrowing, shúkwe; – sugar.