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

Sankhya Viśhiṣhṭa 3

Significance of Number Three

Numeral 3 References Brief explanation
Kāyā Vāchā Manasā
  • Kāyaha – The body,
  • Vāk – Speech and
  • Manas – the Mind.
The given phrase means - By body, speech and mind  
  • It is generally understood that actions done by these three organs effect the direction of the individuals’ lives.
  • One needs to be good in Body, Speech and Mind to lead a virtuous life. If otherwise, the results are also negative.
  • Prāthaha, Aparāhnaha , Sāyankālaha
  •  Bhūtha, Varthamāna, Bhaviṣhyath
  •  Grīṣhma, Varṣha, Hemantha
  • Morning, Afternoon, Evening
  • Past, Present, Future
  • Summer, Winter, Rain
  • These three sets are indicative of the changing periods during the day, time frames and seasons.
  • Śhrīdhevi, Bhūdhevi, Durgā
  • Garuḍa, Śheṣha, Rudhra
  • The first set is indicative of three forms of female powers – the goddess of wealth, the earth goddess and the goddess of strength respectively.
  • In the Vaishnavite tradition, the second set is considered to be the sons of Brahma. Garuḍa, Śheṣha and Rudra are in the next class of souls in the hierarchy here, to the God of wind.
Thrimatha Matha – view; Thri – Three
  • Three points of view 
  • Dhvaitha: Dualism
  • Adhvaita: Monism
  • Vishishtadhvaitha:
Qualified monism   These form the three main schools of later Indian philosophy.
  • These three schools of philosophy and also some more rule the philosophical thought of the Hindhus as well as govern their religious practices till date.
  • Though all lead to the knowledge of the Self, they differ in basic perspectives about the path.
Thripithru           The three manes are Pithru, Pithamaha, Prapithamaha denoting the father, grandfather and great grandfather respectively.
  • Every orthodox Hindhu believes that oblation to the manes (deceased forefathers) will relieve them from sin.
  • So on a monthly, annually or once in a while basis they offer oblations to three generations of ancestors.
  • In case of the parent or the older ones being alive, they offer them to the deceased elder ancestors.
Thridhevi     Lakṣhmi, Saraswathi, Pārvathi - The Hindhu divine female Thrinity.
  • These goddesses govern the aspects of wealth, knowledge and strength respectively.
  • They are the consorts of Viṣhṇu, Brahmā and Śhiva and are equal divinities in the Hindhu divine pantheon.
Thrijīva     Jiva – Life
  • Dheva - God
  • Manava – Human
  • Dhaithya - Demon
This classification is of beings in the universe.
Thrikarma Karma – Action
  • Dhaihika - physical
  • Dhaiśhika - directional
  • Kālika - timely
  • People in relation to different aspects of life perform these three actions.
  • One works with the body and in relation to time and place (here, direction means place)
Thriliṅga       Here the word liṅga means ‘gender’ 
  • Sthrīliṅgaha - female
  • Pulliṅgaha - male
  • Napumsakaliṅgaha - neuter
The three species amongst humans are mentioned here.
Thriveṇi  Here the word veṇi means ‘river, water’ 
  • Gaṅgā
  • Yamunā
  • Saraswathi
  • These are the three holy rivers, which are held in reverence by all followers of Hindhuism.
  • They are believed to be of divine origin and sanctify all humans and absolve their sins.
  • They meet at one point in the place called Thriveṇi Saṅgama (named after their meeting point) in the city, currently known as Ilahābādh in the state of Utthar Pradheśh , India .
Thriloka     Loka – World The three worlds:
  • Swarga - Heaven
  • Marthya - Earth
  • Pāthāla - Hell
  • The Gods, humans and demons respectively are said to inhabit these three worlds.
  • It is firmly believed that the soul after death moves on to heaven or hell based on the merits and demerits of its action on earth.
Thristhhāyi         Sthhāyi  - Octave
  • Mandhra - Lower
  • Madhyam - Middle
  • Thāra - Higher
  • An Octave is defined in the dictionaries as “A tone that is eight diatonic degrees above or below another given tone.”
  • These three octaves are exclusive to Karnātic music and students are expected to be proficient in singing in all the three to be either good performers or teachers.
Thrithāḷa                Thāḷa - beats
  • Dhrutha - fast
  • Madhya - medium
  • Vilamba – slow
  • A beat is “To mark or count (time or rhythm), especially with the hands” 
  • These three types of beats are important in Karnātic music and the learner sings to the three distinct beats known as Thāḷas.


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