Coloured Syllable Phonetic Learning System

MLRC developed the ©2019 Coloured Syllable Phonetic Learning System (CSPLS) which we have observed accelerates the learning process of language acquisition.  Individuals that use our CSPLS will begin with identifying and speaking common words and phrases.  Individuals will be able to utilize, and MLRC’s resources at their own pace to improve proficiency.  The combined use of the online and hardcopy formats, accommodates Visual and Auditory learners.


How the system works

Syllables are indicated by different colours. For example, Michif has two syllables.

Long vowels say their name and are indicated by a macron above the vowel. It looks like this, ē. All other vowels are short. If two long or short vowels are side-by-side, the sound is sustained. 

Short Vowels
a apple
e egg
i iguana
o octopus 
u umbrella 
Long Vowels
ā apron
ē easel
ī ice cream
ō overalls
ū unicorn


CSPLS does not follow the International Phonetic Alphabet rules, and is not intended to replace the two current English spellings of Michif. The system is only intended for use as a learning tool. However, throughout our website we have included the 1983 Michif spellings.

All resource materials are designed to be easily adapted to other dialects of Michif and Cree and other languages.

History of how CSPLS was developed

In 2018 we identified a clear need for an easier way to identify the individual sounds and syllables within the Michif language.

Attendance at a Maori led workshop at the 2019 International Indigenous Language Conference led our team members to the perfect solution - a colour coded phonetic system. After much collaboration and testing of different colour combinations,  the Coloured Syllable Phonetic Learning System (CSPLS) was created.

The Michif Language Revitalization Circle was founded to revitalize the Michif Language and Culture, and to facilitate the continued development of the CSPLS. The system has since been further adjusted to increase accessibility and ease of use. MLRC hopes other communities and organizations will adapt our CSPLS to suit their own Language programs needs; however, MLRC would recommend that the colour order not be changed.