Kannada is a Dravidian language spoken predominantly by the people of Karnataka in the southwestern region of India. The language is also spoken by linguistic minorities in the states of Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Telangana, Kerala, and Goa; and also by Kannadigas abroad. The language had roughly 43 million native speakers by 2011. Kannada is also spoken as a second and third language by over 12.9 million non-native speakers in Karnataka, which adds up to 56.9 million speakers. It is one of the scheduled languages of India and the official and administrative language of the state of Karnataka. Kannada was the court language of some of the most powerful empires of South and Central India, such as the Chalukya dynasty, the Rashtrakuta dynasty, the Vijayanagara Empire, and the Hoysala Empire.
The language uses forty-nine phonemic letters, divided into three groups: swaragalu (vowels – thirteen letters); vyanjanagalu (consonants – thirty-four letters); and yogavaahakagalu (neither vowel nor consonant – two letters: anusvara ಂ and visarga ಃ). The character set is almost identical to that of other Indian languages. The Kannada script is almost entirely phonetic, but for the sound of a “half n” (which becomes a half m). The number of written symbols, however, is far more than the forty-nine characters in the alphabet, because different characters can be combined to form compound characters (ottakshara). Each written symbol in the Kannada script corresponds with one syllable, as opposed to one phoneme in languages like English. The Kannada script is syllabic.
A few helpful tips to learn Kannada alphabets quickly:
- Get the alphabet chart, and spend about 30 minutes per day on a single letter or a maximum of two letters. This will help you to master the alphabet in less than a month.
- Study how the letters change their form depending on where they appear in a word. Study the correct tongue and mouth position for each letter.
- Listen to the pronunciation of the letters carefully. It helps you to properly distinguish each letter and not to confuse them.
- Try to memorize the actual pronunciation of the letters by listening to how native speakers speak. Because listening helps you a lot to grab the pronunciation. After listening try to read aloud the pronunciation and record it and match it with the original pronunciation. You can find numerous videos regarding this on the internet.
- Read the letters aloud, as this helps you to get used to these letters faster.
- Practice writing the letters as writing Kannada requires a smooth connection from one letter to the next, and that means a smooth and fluid writing style. You just need to keep moving from one letter to the next without interruption.
- To write the alphabets in proper form, hold the pen at your fingertips for better control. It helps you to improve your control for the finer details of each letter. Use the proper stroke order, trying not to lift your pen while writing.
- Practice making words using each letter in different positions in different words to get used to using each form.
To master the alphabets you need to keep on practicing. Here your dedication matters the most. Regular practice will help you to master the letters within a short span of time, as you know that proficiency comes from repetition. You have to invest your time in practicing the shapes of each letter over and over again. This will develop the necessary muscle memory to write each letter without having to think about it. Kannada alphabet will be easy to learn with a dedicated teacher right there to help you out through this complete process. Enroll with online Kannada lessons and start learning with detailed, interactive courses. You just need to remember these above-mentioned points. So cheers! Stop thinking further and start learning the beautiful Kannada language!