Pronunciation and Phonetics

Learning proper pronunciation can be done without much knowledge of phonetics, actually. A basic knowledge, however, helps to make pronunciation clearer and thus facilitates the process of learning how to speak a foreign language properly.

eAmbalam introduces a phonetic chart which is based on Dhevanagari script. The sounds of vowels and consonants and other speech sounds in Sanskrit and the languages which have completely or mostly borrowed from it can be covered with the help of the chart. A few other sounds common to some languages in this group and outside are also put in. Unique sounds of some languages are specified too.

Diacritical marks are used to aid perfect pronunciation. World over, these marks have been created and propagated by scholars to make understanding of the differences in speech sounds in different languages better. Team eAmbalam also has created a phonetic chart which helps even first timers to pronounce words accurately.

Our Phonetic chart is unique, comprehensive, learner friendly and is divided into four columns wherein:
  • In the first column, the letter is written with the associated diacritical mark.
  • In the second column, an example is given in Dhevanagari language containing the letter.
  • In the third column, an example is given in English, which contains the sound closes to the letter or instructions in few cases, to facilitate better understanding.
  • In the fourth column, an audio button is placed with the help of which you can hear the actual pronunciation of the letter.
An open minded approach with the above introduction and guidelines will definitely enable the user to understand the speech sounds of any language and pronounce it like a native, which is eAmbalam’s aim in this exercise.

Syllable Usage in Sanskrit Usage in English
A or a Aḍavu Arise
Ā or ā Ānanda Vast
I or i Indhira Sing
Ī or ī Īśha Meal
U or u U ṣhā Good
Ū or ū Ū rdhhva Boost
R or r Riṣh i Try
Ṛ or ṛ Ni ṛ uti Grr!
Lr or lr   Pronounce L and R together.
E or e Eka Ate
AI or ai Aikya Sight
O or o Ojas Robe
AU or au Audh ā rya Now
A M or am Śhiva m Drum
A HA or aha R ā ma ha Aha!
Syllable Usage in Sanskrit Usage in English

Syllable Usage in Sanskrit Usage in English
KA or ka Kavi Car
KHA or kha Khalu Mark -Him
GA or ga Gamana Gut
GHA or gha Ghata Ugh!
Ṅ A or ṅa Tura ṅ ga Ring
CHA or ca Chakra Chart
CHHA or cha Chhandas Branch
JA or ja Jagath Jug
JHA or jha Jhallari Fudge
NYA or nya Gnyana Knew
Ṭ A or ṭ Ṭ anka Top
ṬHA or ṭha Pāṭha Pothole
ḌA or da Ḍ amaruka Dog
Ḍ HA or ḍ ha Mūḍ ha Madhouse
Ṇ A or ṇ a Ga ṇ a Wander
THA or tha Thanu Health
THHA or thha Athha Theater
DHA or dha Dha śha This
DHHA or dhha Dhhana m Dha with an additional H sound
NA or na Namask ā raha Nut
PA or pa   Path ā ka Past
PHA or pha Phala m P with a H sound
BA or ba Bandhhu Ball
BHA or bha Bhadra Abhor
MA or ma Manas Money
YA or ya Yama Yummy
RA or ra Rajas Rub
LA or la Lath ā Lust
VA or WA, va /wa A śh va or A śhwa Water/Valour
ŚHA or śha Śhakthi Shutter
ṢHA or ṣ ha Ṣh a ṇ mukha Shunt
SA or sa Sarasvatī Sun
HA or ha Hari Hum
Ḷ A or ḷ a Ar āḷ a Bold
KṢHA or k ṣ ha Ak ṣh i Try to pronounce Ka, Sa & Ha – all at one time.
Extra Vowels in Tamil, Telugu, Kannada & Malayalam Scripts    
É or é Éṇi Angel
Ō or ō Ō m Ō M
ZHA Exclusive to Tamil & Malayalam Fold the tip of your tongue backwards and try to pronounce it with the aid of the audio button.
Syllable Usage in Sanskrit Usage in English

Krishna Janmashtami

Kriṣhṇa Janmāṣhṭamimarks the birthday celebration of Lord Kriṣhṇa and it falls on the eighth day of the dark half (Kriṣhṇa Pakṣha) of the month of Bhhādhrapadha in the Hindhu calendar (August or September), when the Rohiṇi Nakṣhathra (birth star of Lord Kriṣhṇa ) is the ascendant. Celebrations are made on different days in different regions based on their family traditions.

The festival is begun with fasting on the Sapthami (seventh day) to mark the occasion on Aṣhṭami (eighth day). Devotees keep awake the entire night to commemorate the birth of Lord Kriṣhṇa, who was born in the mid night and was later taken to a foster home by his father to keep him safe. At the mid night, idol of infant Kriṣhṇa is bathed, put in a cradle & worshipped .On the occasion, ladies make the impression of children’s feet in the houses with the rice flour paste symbolizing of the entry of infant Kriṣhṇa in their houses. Prayers are offered to God and then Prasādha is taken to break their fast. This is followed by a sumptuous feast among the family members & the relatives .Sweets made of milk, ghee and butter are exclusively prepared for the festival.

The festival has got its own fragrance in North India. Temples in Vrindhāvan and Mathhurā wear a festive look, devotional songs and dances form a part of the celebrations lasting for several days. Rāslīlā is a famous art form marking the occasion which portrays youthful Kriṣhṇa ’s association with the milk maids (Gopis) of his native land .Similarly, Dhhahi-Haṇḍi tradition of Maharashtra, depicts Lord Kriṣhṇa ’s childhood pranks wherein Kriṣhṇa and his young buddies helped themselves to butter and other goodies in the houses of their neighbours. Commemorating this event, people tie clay pots with curd and butter (Dhhahi-Haṇḍi) high above the ground and teams of young men compete to hit the pot with enthusiasm and joy.


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