Romanized Malayalam Alphabets

Vowels

Romanized Script Malayalam Script Diacritic Description

a

 

sun

father

i

sing

deal

u

put

moon

R

No equivalent. Roughly like r

e

bet

Roughly like a in name,  French

ai

kite

o

No English equivalent. Pure form of o in no.

more

au

owl

am

 

hum (not a vowel; included to show diacritic)

ah

a followed by h (not a vowel; included to show diacritic)

 

about. Represents a short puff of air

   

Exists only in speech. Shorter form of a in cat

Listen                 

Consonants

Romanized Script Malayalam Script Description

k

cat

q

 

kk pronounced with the tongue pressed against the palate

kh

k + h

g

gate

gh

g+h

ŋ

sing

c

child 

ch

c+h

j

jam

jh

j+h

French gn. Spanish  . Roughly like ny in English canyon

τ

cat

t

Retroflex * counterpart of English t 

th

t+h

d

Retroflex counterpart of English d

dh

d+h

ņ

Retroflex counterpart of English n

θ

 thought. When between vowels this assumes a sound 

θh

θ+h

then

h

+h

ň

 No  equivalent. Roughly like n pronounced with tip of the tongue pressed against the upper set of teeth.

n

nest

p

pat

ph

p+h

f

fan. Occurs usually in borrowed words. e.g.:- fn (fan)

b

bat

bh

b+h

m

man

y

yell

r

Spanish r in para, Hindi raat

rr

Spanish rr in carrera, r in Hindi kranti 

l

lap

ļ

Retroflex counterpart of English l

v

van

ś

No equivalent. Roughly like s pronounced with the tongue touching the lower part of  palate and  lips stretched

sh

shop

s

sell

h

hat

ŗ

No equivalent. Roughly like r pronounced with the back of the tongue touching the roof of the palate **

*Retroflex consonants are pronounced with the tip of the tongue curled back, touching the palate. d in Hindi daaku is a retroflex consonant.

**This sound exists only in Malayalam

              

Listen                     

Using Diacritics

Diacritics are used when the vowel does not occur in the beginning of a word.

Here is a chart showing diacritics with 'k'


 

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