Pronunciation Guide for Telugu Alphabet

Pronunciation Guide for Telugu Alphabet

Telugu is one of the official languages of India and is quite popular language. It is spoken mainly in Andhra Pradesh state of India and in some parts of the neighboring states of South India.

Microsoft Windows allow the usage of this language and support the font for Telugu. Below is the list of alphabets used in Telugu with the guide to pronounce it as the sounds are present in the English language.

Vowels of Telugu Alphabet

అ As ‘a’ in mal

ఆ Stressed అ

ఇ As ‘I’ in ill

ఈ As ‘e’ in eke

ఉ As ‘u’ in Ubuntu

ఊ As ‘ou’ in you

ఋ As ‘rough’ in through

ౠ Double sound of ‘rough’ in through

ఎ As ‘e’ in par se

ఏ As ‘a’ in as

ఐ combined sound of “ai”

ఒ As ‘o’ in go

ఓ Stressed and long sound of ‘o’

ఔcombined sound of “au”

Consonants of Telugu Alphabet

క As ‘k’ in kite

ఖ Coupled sound of ‘k’, ‘h’= ‘kh’

గ As ‘g’ in gun

ఘ Coupled sound of ‘g’, ‘h’= ‘gh’

ఙ As ‘gn’ in gnome. Does not produce a particular sound: Just used for articulation of tongue while pronouncing the next word

చ As ‘ch’ in chair

ఛ This sound is not available in English. The tongue touches a bit away (to the inner side) from the teeth while pronouncing ‘ch’ as in chair.

జ As ‘j’ in jug

ఝ This sound is not available in English. This is produced using the naval sounds while the tongue touches the upper part of mouth cavity.

ఞ Just like ‘gn’ of gnome with a slight up movement of tongue. No particular sound just articulation while speaking.

ట     As ‘t’ in top

ఠ Hard sound of ‘t’. Not available in English.

డ As ‘d’ in dark

ఢ Coupled sound of ‘d’ and ‘h’= ‘dh’. Not available in English but as ‘dh’ in Indian musical instrument ‘dhol’.

ణ Nasal sound when the tongue touches a bit away from teeth. In ନ, the tongue touches the roots of the teeth.

త Soft sound of ‘t’ as used in the name of country Bharat

థ As ‘th’ in thermo

ద As ‘th’ in the

ధ Not available in English. Again, naval sound produced by coupling soft ‘d’ and ‘h’= ‘dh’.

న As ‘n’ in man

ప     As ‘p’ in push

ఫ     Sound of ‘f’ if pronounced with closed lips. ‘f’ of German language.

బ As ‘b’ in ban

భ Not available in English. Coupled sound of ‘b’ and ‘h’= ‘bh’.

మ As ‘m’ in mass

య As ‘y’ in yacht

ర As ‘r’ in run

ల As ‘l’ in love

వ As ‘v’ in vowel

శ    As ‘sh’ in shot

ష Sound of ‘sh’ when the tongue touches the roots of the teeth. In శ, the tongue touches the upper part of mouth cavity.

స As ‘s’ in sound

హ As ‘h’ in has

జ్ఞ Coupled sound of ‘j’ and ‘n’= ‘jn’

త్ర Coupled sound of soft ‘t’ and ‘r’—‘tr’.

క్ష Coupled sound of ‘k’, ‘s’, ‘h’= ‘ksh’. A bit similar to ‘x’

శ్ర Coupled sound of ‘s’, ‘h’, ‘r’=’shr’. As ‘shr’ in shroud

Special sounds in Telugu Language

ళ Variations of consonants in Oriya

Symbols used in Telugu Alphabet

ఁ Sound of ‘n’ with the previous consonant along with some other symbols used for that consonant

ం Sound of ‘m’ and ‘n’ with the previous consonant

ః Sound of ‘h’ with the previous consonant

ా Sound of stressed ‘a’ with the previous consonant

ి Sound of ‘i’ as in ill with the previous consonant

ీ Sound of ‘e’ as in eke with the previous consonant

ు Sound of ‘u’ as in Ubuntu with the previous consonant

ూ Sound of ‘ou’ as in you with the previous consonant

ృ Sound of ‘rhy’ as in rhythm with the previous consonant

ౄ Double sound of ‘rhy’ as in rhythm with the previous consonant

ే Sound of ‘ai’ as in aim with the previous consonant

ె Sound of ‘a’ as in as with the previous consonant

ై Sound of ‘ai’ as in quail with the previous consonant

ొ Stressed sound of ‘o’

ో Sound of ‘o’ as in go with the previous consonant

ౌ Sign for sound of ‘ou’

్ Sign of Full Stop

Numeric symbols of Telugu Language (0-9)

Apart from these symbols, there are two types of half-sound of ‘r’ that is used in Telugu. One after the bearing consonant and one before the bearing consonant. The symbol is not present as such in the Gautami Font but can be made by pressing the Shift+3 keys. This symbol will put the half-sound of ‘r’ in the foot of the consonant and its sound would come after the consonant. Typing ర and then using the key ‘d’ to make it half and then pressing the next consonant would make the symbol of ‘r’ that is sounded before the bearing consonant. This symbol will be placed above the consonant.

Microsoft uses Gautami font for the use of Telugu language.

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2 thoughts on “Pronunciation Guide for Telugu Alphabet”

  1. The article is full of errors. I’m quoting a few of them here.

    ఋ As ‘rough’ in through
    ౠ Double sound of ‘rough’ in through
    ఏ As ‘a’ in as
    జ్ఞ Coupled sound of ‘j’ and ‘n’= ‘jn’
    శ As ‘sh’ in shot (This one is extremely annoying. The pronunciation of శ is not the same as श in Hindi.)

    And there are many more.

    T, k, p in English are generally aspirated, meaning they most often correspond to ఠ, ఖ, ఫ (old pronunciation of ఫ, not the current-day “f” sound).
    E.g. “top” in English is pronounced ఠాప్ and not టాప్.

    Using words like mal, par se, eke, Ubuntu as examples is not helpful. Three of the above four words are not even English.

    And, by the way, it’s Telugu not Telegu.

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