Sunday, June 06, 2010

Learn Tulu Kannada Online : Part 5 - Sentence Formation in Tulu and Kannada

I am overwhelmed by the positive responses from the readers for Learn Tulu Online Series. Knowing few phrases may be a good starting point to learn a new language. But if not taught formal structure/grammar of the language, one will not go beyond those few phrases. As some of you have suggested earlier, in this post there is an attempt to teach the language formally.Do listen to the audio guide below to pick up the pronunciation
Sentence formation in Tulu :
English: I, You, He, She, We, They, This, That
Tulu : yaan, ee, aaye, aal, nama, akl, undu, avu
Kannada : naanu, neenu, avanu, avaLu, naavu, avaru, idu, adu

Apart from the pronouns listed above, one important and common pronoun to use in any Indian languge is the plural form of 'you', to address the person you are talking to.
In Tulu, you use eer.
In Kannada, you can use neevu or taavu.

Some of the common verbs used in day-to-day life
English: go, come, sit, laugh, stop, call, tell, do, write, read
Tulu: pola, bala, kullu, telipu, unt, leppu, pan, manpu, barela, odla
Kannada: hogu, baa, koothko, nagu, nillu, kare, heLu, maaDu, bare, odu

Some more verbs
English: give, take, eat, drink, run, get up, dance, watch/look, wait, talk
Tulu: koru, detonu, tin, par, balipu, lakk, nalipu, toola, kaapu, paater
Kannada: kodu, tegeduko, tinnu, kuDi, oDu, ELu, kuNi, noDu, kaayi, maatanaaDu

Listed above are the singular forms these verbs. It is important to use the plural form of these verbs as otherwise it might be perceived as disrespect while talking to elders or the people you meet for the first time. So, here are the list of plural forms of the above verbs in their respective order. Also, it should be noted that these verb forms are the ones used, when you directly talk to the person and not in 3rd person narration.
Tulu: pole, bale, kullule, telipule, untle, leppule, panle, manpule, barele, odle
Kannada: hogi, banni, koothkoLLi, nagi, nilli, kareyiri, heLi, maaDi, bareyiri, odi

Tulu: korule, detonule, tinle, parle, balipule, lakkle, nalipule, toole, kaapule, paaterle
Kannada: kodi, tegedukoLLi, tinni, kuDiyiri, oDi, ELi, kuNiyiri, noDi, kaayiri, maatanaaDi

By now, you would have realized that in Tulu for the verbs, if you add 'le' at the end you would get the plural form of the same(atleast it is true for the verbs listed here). In Kannada, though the suffix may be different for the words ending in different letters, 'i' at the end is common.

English: lunch/dinner, water, tea, home, work, place
Tulu: vaNas, neer, chaaya, ill, bEle, oor
Kannada: ooTa, neeru, chahaa, mane, kelasa, ooru

Simple Sentence Formation : As it is always better to start off with plural form of verbs while learning any Indian language, I have used the same below. For singular forms refer the list above.

English : You take this route.
Tulu : eer ee route detonle.
Kannada : neevu ee route thegedukoLLi.
(though 'this' is 'undu' in Tulu, in this context for 'this route', 'ee route' is more appropriate. Same in the case of Kannada. Also, usually in Indian languages verbs come last unlike in English, where it comes in the middle of the sentence)

English : You run in the marathon.
Tulu : eer marathan d balipule.
Kannada : neevu marathonnalli ODi.

English : You sit in this chair.
Tulu : eer ee chair d kullule.
Kannada : neevu ee chairnalli koothkoLLi.

I hope you will be able to form more sentence following the examples above. If you require more verbs/sentences/objects please leave a comment in this post. In the next post, more complex sentences to follow.

Happy Learning


  1. Great work....
    I was in Mangalore for a long time and tried to learn Tulu from various means. Its very difficult to figure out the words due to the pace of language. This site has given me a good insight into Tulu.. Thanx alot and waiting for future lessons.

  2. Thanks Sumith. Suggestions for new verbs are welcome.

    1. Bele aathji daytha manthondulla
      Andaa..yedde aavadh
      Panodu nigle mallaglh

      What does this mean

    2. Translation goes like this :

      No work has been done. what are you doing?
      Is it? May the good happen.
      You elders should tell.

  3. Hey reveesh gr8 job !!! really help ful wat u posted....i need ur help....ill be marrying a Tulu gal and want to surprise her by talkin in TULU so can u help me wit learnin TULU....thankx

    Kishor jog

  4. ivaaga kannadadalli bere bere 'tense' galanna upayogstivi...
    example : hogtini
    hogta idini
    idanna tulu nalli hEge heLadu antha tiLisikoDi(bahu vachanagalannu kooDa tiLisikoDi)
    appa(ammer),amma(appe),anna,akka, munthaada sambhandhagaLige tulu padagalanna heLi...

  5. ivaaga kannadadalli naavu bere bere 'tense' galanna upayogistivi
    example : hogtini,hogaaythu(hogibandhe),hogtEne(aamEle hogtini, hogta idini.....ivugaLige tulu padagalanna heLi
    appa(ammer),amma(appe),akka,anna,tamma,tangi heege sambhandhagalige tulu padagalannu heLi....

  6. Hi Raghu/serendipity,

    bere 'tense'gala bagge -

    example :
    hogtini - pope
    hogaaythu - podaanD
    hogta idini - povondulle

    bartini - barpe
    bandaaytu - battaanD
    barta idini - barondulle

    innu sambadhagaLige Tulu padagaLu

    Kannada - Tulu
    akka - pali
    anna - paleye
    tamma - megye
    tangi - megdi

  7. Hi thank you for the post it helping me to start learning. Thanks a lot

  8. Hi thank you for the post it helped me to start learning it. Thanks a lot

  9. Thank you so Sir much for guiding us so much . For beginners it will help a lot. after this session, i would like to know the conversations which takes place between a teacher and a student,between a doctor and a patient. And also like to know direct-indirect speech, active-passive voice, and some famous that it be more easier to use in daily life. shruthi

  10. Thanks Ravesh it is verry much helpful...expecting more from your end.

  11. HI,
    This post is very usefull. I need to learn tulu completely. And its very easy as its very similiar to kannada, tamil and telgu which i am familiar with. So please tell me any book or any documents so that i can buy or download.

  12. Hi Amrita,

    Thanks for visiting my blog. If I come across any book for learning Tulu, I will surely update the info in my blog.

  13. hey hi raveesh !
    tats really a god job.
    i need a lenghty conversation atleat a 2-3 paragraphs describing some places or sharing holiday experience. it will be helpfull if u post that one too. thank u sheena

  14. Thanks Sheena. I will consider your suggestion for my subsequent posts.

  15. Hi.. thanks a lot for this blog.. its really helpful. Can you pls continue with this.. can you explain how do we make sentence usin past, present and future tense?? ..

  16. Hi Rageshwari,

    Sure, I will explain it in my next post on this series. Thanks a lot for visiting and appreciating the efforts.

  17. also... can u pls tell me words in tulu for following English words.


    I m waiting for your next part of this blog. but till then pls tell me..

    I do
    I am doing
    I will
    I did
    he did
    he is doing
    he will do and/or
    he will be doing

    thanks a lot...

  18. Hi Rageshwari, here are the translations you requested

    what - yenchina?
    when - yepa?
    which - vovu?
    how - yencha?
    where - volu?

    The other translations you requested are related to present, past and future tenses. I will cover it in detail in my next post.

  19. It is overwhelming how someone can strive so much to make ppl know more abt the loved language. I just want to know how u use the alphabets like u sometimes use E instead of e, D instead of d, N instead of n and so on... cud u plz give a pronunciation equivalent to these alphabets... (may be u cud use some hindi word for the pronunciation since hindi pronunciation is much easier than english) ... hope u will be able to help Raveesh. If you aren't, still I wud thank u for the posts... i cannot tell how much grateful i m for this.

  20. Hi Kullu,

    Regarding pronunciation, I follow the transliteration as used by Baraha software.

    In case of E or e, there is no difference. Eg. anek(अनॆक)

    In case N or n, there is a difference. n is hindi's न
    N is hindi's ण

  21. Sumith, Please give me your mobile no so that I can meet you. I am Kumar from Hyderabad and I am very much impressed or fascinated I should say, by South Canara culture and its nature. Please give your mobile no. I want to talk to you on many matters relating to Dakshina Kannada culture. Thank you.

  22. hi Raveesh,
    this is an excellent initiative by you, so that our language does not get lost in the future.
    I had created some docs to help my wife to learn tulu. your web is a good source. but the best way to learn a language is by listening, include more of audios.

  23. Thanks VJ for your compliments. I had included audio in Part 1 of this Learn Tulu Online series - check here - Learn Tulu Online : Part 1 - Commonly Used Phrases. I did not get much feedback on this. So, I have not tried after that. After your comments, I think I should include some more audio here.

    Also, I have included some audio-videos in Part 8 -

  24. sir i am a tulu brahmin even if i don't know how to speak tulu fluently .lz help me to study tulu fluenty.give hits to study tulu and how

  25. Hey can uu update some more conversations n sentence formations?? Please !
    regards ,
    tiara :)

  26. Sure, I will put more sentences once I get free time.

  27. In the pronouns list 'nikulu' and 'enkulu' are missing. nikulu = neevu (plural form of 'you'. If there are more than one person, we use 'nikulu'.
    eer = neevu (plural form of 'you' used to give respect to a single person.
    enkulu = naavu (used to say 'We' without including the person we are talking with.)
    nama = naavu (used to say 'we' including the person we are talking with)


  28. Hi Kiran,

    Thanks for adding those pronouns

  29. How to say does water come in you house from well or pipe???

  30. @prianka

    Nikalna illad neer oltu barpini? guveldana nallidana?


  31. I am getting marry to a tulu guy nd i want to surprise him.. is der any words in tulu for I LOVE YOU

  32. Super website for those who dont know tulu, Its from Basic, Thank u so much, Its very helpfull, and very east to understand.

  33. Great I appreciate this blogge ,,,, I loved dis ,,,, I would like to knw more tense lik past present nd further ,,,,, nd as wel grammatical way ,,,,, with particular easier difference

  34. Thanks Deepika,

    Sure, will add sentences in different tenses and grammar

  35. thank you very much.. i love this language... i know only 5 languages yet i love this very much....

  36. It s very helpful for learn tulu

  37. Hai Sir,
    I hail from Kerala Tulu speaking community.While I have noted many small changes in the way tulu is spoken in our community and the common Tulu,I wish to ask whether these Tulu words spoken in our community are spoken in Common Tulu
    1)"inkulu" for respectful you(eer)
    2)endle for stop
    3)soole for see

    Also the "neer dosa" in tulunadu region is referee to as "bajeer-taddi dosa" in our this usage prevalent in common Tulu and what may be the meaning of the words used?

    1. Hi Varun, thanks for noting the differences and bringing them here. Reg your question, in common Tulu these terms are not used. Equivalent terms are
      1)eer(for elders and to give respect to the person)
      2)unthle for stop
      3)toole for see.

      But one more thing I noticed is for river, in common Tulu both TUDE and SUDE are used interchangeably.

      Also I am hearing for the first time an alternative term for Neer Dose that too in Tulu!

    2. Hello Raveesh, Can you please help translating this for me?

      Nikk pudar nenepu unda

      I got some part of it I guess. Please correct me if I'm wrong
      Nikk- you
      Nenepu- remember
      Unda - this

    3. Translation - Do you remember the name?

  38. Thankyou Sir..I m Maharashtrain and trying to learn this language as I want to impress my bf's family who are Mangalorean speak tulu... however now I m falling in love with this language now..thank you sir...

    1. Hi Samruddhi,

      Nice to hear from you. Good to know that my lessons are helping in causes, which I never imagined before!

    2. How to wish all the best or best of luck in tulu ..???

    3. As there is no direct usage of best of luck, you can use the following phrase as the case may be for a friend (singular form)
      - Edde malpu (Do well)
      - Maatha yedde aavad (Let Good happen to you)

    4. I am Santhanakrishnan from Kerala. My mother tongue is Malaylam. I have studied in Tamil Nadu, Ooty. I know little Kannada. When one of my cousin brother married a girl from Tulu community in Kasargod District in Kerala, I got contact with Tulu Speaking people. On hearing I find the Tulu language very melodious similar to our Malayalam. Hence I started studying the language through online from your sound cloud. Since it is a combination of other Dravidian languages it is very easy for me to understand. I appreciate your service through sound cloud in helping others to learn Tulu. Whenever I get time I used to learn Tulu.

    5. Great to know that Santhanakrishnan and Thanks a lot for your compliments on my work!

    6. What does it mean

      Yen mast garva barpund itte....?????

  39. Hi Raveesh,
    Thanks for this nice blog. I often refer to this in need.
    Please do a post in detail related to present, past and future tenses translations.

  40. Hi Raveesh nikla tense post epa barpundu???? Enna tulu encha ittnd???

    1. Haha Good One. Eerena Tulu yedde ittnd. Slight modification in the way you are addressing - nikla does not have meaning - Use niklena(yours) or eerena(yours with respect/plural)

    2. Hello Ravish sir , I have doubt to pronounce
      YeDDe is correct to pronounce or Yedde is the right one?.

      similarly, Is it ittnD or ittnd?

    3. In "yeDDe" D is pronounced as D in Duck, similary in ittnD.
      D - is for ಡ in Kannada OR ड in Hindi

  41. Namaskara Raveesh Anna...
    Do you mind sharing Tulu Learning document or PDF ?

    1. Hi,

      I don't have any other Tulu learning documents apart from these series of lessons

  42. Very great and helpful article.. can you please teach how to use sentences with past tense...lik had,went

    1. That is a good suggestion. Whatever I have covered in this post is all Present tense. Will do.

  43. Hi Raveesh,

    Present am staying in Dubai ,in my workplace there are lot of people from Mangalore. so I am interested in learning in tulu so that I can communicate with them . I can understand tulu words while they are speaking in campus , but am unable to make sentence

  44. Hi, I believe structure of a sentence in any Indian language is similar. So you can try to map the noun/verb/object structure and try to form a sentence. Please follow this blog post for the same.

  45. I haven't received certificate. I haven't received any call from you.

    How to tell in tulu. Please explain

    1. "I haven't received certificate. I haven't received any call from you." => Translated to Tulu => "Yenk certificate thikkiji. Yenk nikulerd(if it is an institution) OR eererd(if it is a person) call baijji"

  46. Him being a Tuluva, It has been really helpful to make efforts to atleast play with him for now.

    Thank you for such good work on this blog on Tulu @Raveesh Kumar

  47. Hi Raveesh, good job! Your efforts of getting people to learn Kannada and Tulu is commendable. Please continue with the excellent work! Could you please help me translate this sentence in Tulu- I’m a self-made woman’

  48. There is no short phrase available for 'self-made woman' in Tulu, for that matter in Kannada as well. However, we can loosely translate that to 'swantha parishramad saadhane maltina mahiLe'



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