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

Sharad Purnima

Śharad Pūrṇimā is also known as Kojāgari Pūnam which is celebrated on Aso sud –Pūrṇimā. The belief is that Lakṣhmi, the goddess of wealth moves around in the sky at night asking “Ko Jāgarthi” (Who is awake?) searching for people who are awake and gives them wealth. There are some stories associated with this festival. In ancient times, there lived a poor Brahmin named Valitha lived in Magadhha dheśha(Bengal). He was an educated, virtuous man whereas his wife was very mean and she quarreled with him all the time acting against his wishes. Once, when he was performing his father’s Śhrāddha, she threw the piṇḍa (ball of wheat flour) into a sewage pit which has to be actually dipped in the sacred Gaṅgā as a part of the ritual. This annoyed Valitha that he decided to renounce his home and went in search of wealth to satisfy his wife. In the forests he met Nāgakanyās (girls of Kāliya Nāga’s ancestry). These Nāgakanyās had performed the Kojāgari Vratha that day and set to gamble with Valitha. He lost everything and at that moment Goddess Lakṣhmi happened to pass by. Since, Valitha had stayed awake that night incidentally coinciding the Vratha, Goddess blessed him with the handsome look as similar to Kāmadheva (deity of love).This attracted the Nāgakanyās and they married him, gifting all their wealth. He returned home with his riches and he was welcomed warmly by his wife and they lived happily. It is also said that on this night, Lord Kriṣhṇa invited Gopis of Vrundhāvan to play the Mahā Rās (traditional folk dance) with him. They had earned his grace by overlooking society’s disdain on them to offer him unalloyed devotion. When they left their homes and came to visit Lord Krishna, he wanted to test their love for him hence he said ‘Women of character such as you, should not leave home to meet another man in the middle of the night!' Grieved by this statement women replied 'Our feet will not budge the slightest from your lotus- feet. So how can we return to Vraj?' Pleased with their devotion, Lord took so many physical forms to accompany the Gopis. At that point, Gopis felt that no one else could excel their devotion failing to accept Mahā Rās as the Lord’s grace. Their ego marred their devotion thus Lord Krishna immediately vanished from the place. The festival symbolizes that just as night sky of Śharadh Pūnam is clear with the bright moon, aspirant must purify his anthahkaraṇa .On this day, Dhūdh –Pauva (rice soaked in milk) is offered to God. Later this Prasādha, is distributed to the devotees. The health attribute of this Prasādha is that it corrects any disturbance in pittha.


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