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.

  VOWELS  
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


CONSONANTS
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

Christmas

The birthday of Lord Jesus Christ is celebrated as Christmas and it falls on December 25 th every year. The history of Christianity says that about two thousand years ago there lived a young woman called Mary who was engaged to get married to Joseph, a carpenter. One day, an angel appeared before her and said that she would be blessed with a child who would be God’s son and he would be Jesus.

Mary and Joseph got married and soon she was due to deliver a baby. At that juncture, the couple was in a situation to take up a long journey to Bethlehem, as they needed to pay special tax. When they reached the place, Mary was tired out and they needed a place to stay .When they could not find one, a kind inn- keeper allowed them to stay in his stable. A few hours later, she gave birth to her son in that stable and the baby was wrapped with strips of cloth, placed in a manger of hay.

On the other hand, shepherds on the hillside could also find an angel telling them the same news that Jesus would be the ruler, so the shepherds rushed to see the baby. Far away in the east, three wise men (Caspar, Melchior and Balthazar) also found a new star and studied that a great ruler has born in this world hence they set off to visit and offered gifts to the child. This news was an upset to King Herod as he feared that the child might take the throne way from him in the future. So, he attempted to kill the baby but it was not fruitful.

In Christian households, preparations of Christmas begin at least a month in advance. People renovate and white wash their houses to give a fresh, festive look. Christmas tree is erected with beautiful decorations on it. Ladies start their special preparations for the most awaited Christmas cake and other recipes. Shopping activities bustle all over the town to purchase new clothes and gifts for friends and relatives. On the eve of Christmas, people go to Churches, sing carols and participate in the special masses organized. The style of celebrations varies with the traditions followed in different regions of India.

In northwest India, the tribal Christians (Bhil tribe) go out at nights a week ahead, sing carols conveying Christmas stories to all. In the south, Christians light clay lamps in the roof tops and walls of the houses .Christians in the plains decorate mango or banana trees to mark the occasion and sometimes they also decorate their houses with mango leaves. Another Christmas tradition in India is that churches are decorated with poinsettia flower and candles. In the urban regions, we can find artificial potted trees embellished with beads and chains around it. We can also see Santa in some streets and shops entertaining the kids and other customers with chocolates and other goodies. Markets take a festive look beautified with stars, Santa images and balloons. Festival is celebrated with a great pomp in all the metropolitan cities of India. Tradition of depicting the nativity scenes and celebrations prevails in Mumbai which has one of the largest Roman Catholic communities in India and in Hindi this day is called Baḍā Din (Big day). Schools run by Christian missionaries also celebrate Christmas by organizing native plays depicting Christ’s birth.

Most colourful celebrations can be seen in the state of Goa. Both the domestic and international tourists flock to the beaches to watch Goa at its cultural best. Goa music and dance shall entertain one on the occasion. People participate in the midnight mass called Missa de Galo or cock crow as it continues till the early hours of the morning. The carnival is the most important event at Goa. On the whole, this day brings family, friends and relatives together with joy and happiness.

















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