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

Brief of Suthras 1 - 11

In the first chapter of the Yogasūthras, the first 11 Sūthras form one string of thought and in brief, their understanding is as follows:

Sūthra 1 i.e. Athha Yogānuśhāsanam’ is the ‘prathignyā’ Sūthra which broadly translates as “Now (herewith), an exposition of Yoga”!

The 2nd Sūthra ‘Yogah Chitthavrutthinirodhaha’ is the ‘lakṣhaṇa’ Sūthra or a definitive Sūthra. Broadly interpreted it means that yoga is the inhibitions of the modifications of the mind or canalizing of the mind toward a particular object.

The 3rd Sūthra ‘Thada Dhraṣtuhu Svarūpe Avasthānam’ is the ‘phalam’ Sūthra or the benefits Sūthra. It means that when there isChitthavrutthinirodhaha, the self is established in its own essential and fundamental nature.

The 4th Sūthra Vrutthi Sārūpyam Itharathra’ describes the situation when the mind is distracted.

The 5th Sūthra Vrutthayaha Panchathayaha Kliṣṭākliṣṭāha’ means the workings of the mind can be classified fivefold as painful or unhappy or not-painful or ‘not-unhappy’ states.

The 6th Sūthra ‘Pramāṇa Viparyaya Vikalpa Nidhrā Smruthayaha’ defines the fivefold states or working of the mind as correct understanding, wrong understanding, imagination or fanciful, sleep and memory.

The 7th Sūthra ‘Pratyakṣhānumānāgamaha Pramāṇāni’ states that pramāṇa or right knowledge is based on direct cognition by the senses, inference and testimony (of another).

The 8th Sūthra ‘Viparyayo Mithhyā Gnyānam Athad Rūpa Prathiṣṭham’ states that wrong knowledge arises from false conceptualization or the perception of a form where the form is not of its own.

The 9th Sūthra is ‘Śhabdha Gnyananupathi Vasthu Śhunyo Vikalpaha’ meaning that words (or an image conjured up by words) without underlying substance is fancy.

The 10th Sūthra “Abhāva Prathyayālambana Vrutthir Nidhrā’ translates that nidhrā is that state of modification of the mind (or vrutthi) when there is no content to support the vrutthi.

The 11th Sūthra is ‘Anubhūtha Viṣhayasampramoṣhaha Smruthihiandmeans memory is ‘not letting escape what the mind has experienced’.


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