Malayalam/Alphabet

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Malayalam script is a Brahmic script used commonly to write the Malayalam language, which is the principal language of Kerala, India, spoken by 45 million people in the world. Malayalam script is also widely used for writing Sanskrit texts in Kerala. Like many other Indic scripts, it is an alphasyllabary, a writing system that is partially “alphabetic” and partially syllable-based. The Malayalam Alphabet has 15 vowels, 37 consonants, 5 chillus, and some more conjunct consonants and ligatures.

Vowels (സ്വരങ്ങൾ) (svaram)[edit | edit source]

Malayalam IPA ISO 15919 English approximation
a a cart
ā father
ɪ i sit
ī seat
ʊ u full
ū fool
better
e e eight
ē eight (but longer)
əɪ ai mile
o o sole
ō coat
əʊ au owl
അം am - - -
അഃ ah - - -

Consonants (വ്യഞ്ജനങ്ങൾ) (vyanjanam)[edit | edit source]

Malayalam IPA ISO 15919 English approximation
k k sky
kh khan
ɡ g go
ɡʱ gh Ghana
ŋ sing
t͡ʃ c church
t͡ʃʰ ch which hand
ɟ j junior
ɟʱ jh hedgehog
ɲ ñ cognac
ʈ tide (but retroflex)
ʈʰ ṭh got the but retroflex
ɖ dog but retroflex
ɖʱ ḍh bond her hair but retroflex
ɳ Hindi Varuna
t t earthed
th get down
d d dad
dh had done
n month
p p pain
f/pʰ ph Has two pronunciations, either as football or pan
b b big
bh bhangra
m m mall
j y yes
ɾ r Spanish tres
l l listen
ʋ v curve
ʃ ś sugar
ʂ shun
s s so
h h head
ɭ Swedish sorl
ɻ run
r Spanish rojo
n not

Special Consonants (ചില്ലക്ഷരം) (chillaksharam)[edit | edit source]

Malayalam IPA
il
N
RR
NN
LL