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ಕನ್ನಡ kannaḍa
A bilingual sign board in Kannada and English in Bangalore
Spoken in Karnataka, India, significant communities in USA, Australia, Singapore, UK, United Arab Emirates.
Region Karnataka,Kerala, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Goa.
Total speakers 38 million native (2001, only India)[1], 9 million as a second language[2]
Ranking 27[3]
Language family Dravidian
Official status
Official language in  India (Karnataka)
Regulated by Various academies and the Government of Karnataka[4]
Language codes
ISO 639-1 kn
ISO 639-2 kan
ISO 639-3 kan
Distribution of native Kannada speakers in India
Indic script
This page contains Indic text. Without rendering support you may see irregular vowel positioning and a lack of conjuncts. More...

Kannada (ಕನ್ನಡ Kannaḍa) is one of the major Dravidian languages of India, spoken predominantly in the state of Karnataka. Kannada, whose native speakers are called Kannadigas (ಕನ್ನಡಿಗರು Kannadigaru), number roughly 38 million,[1] making it the 27th most spoken language in the world.[3] It is one of the scheduled languages of India and the official and administrative language of the state of Karnataka.[5]

The Kannada language is written using the Kannada script. The other native languages of Karnataka, Tulu, Kodava Takk, Beary bashe and Konkani are also written using the Kannada script.

Kannada is attested epigraphically from the mid-1st millennium CE, and literary Old Kannada flourished in the 9th to 10th century Rashtrakuta Dynasty. Contemporary Kannada literature is the most successful in India, with India's highest literary honor, the Jnanpith awards, having been conferred seven times upon Kannada writers, which is the highest for any language in India.[6] Based on the recommendations of the Committee of Linguistic Experts, appointed by the Ministry of Culture, the Government of India officially recognised Kannada as a classical language.[7][8]



The Halmidi inscription at Halmidi village in old-Kannada dated 450 CE. (Kadamba Dynasty)

The initial development of the Kannada language is similar to that of other Dravidian languages and independent of Sanskrit.[9] During later centuries, Kannada, along with other Dravidian languages like Telugu, Tamil, Malayalam, etc., has been greatly influenced by Sanskrit in terms of vocabulary, grammar and literary styles.[10][11][12] The Sanskrit influence is present in most abstract, religious, scientific and rhetorical terms. Kannada also has several Hindi and Marathi loanwords, chiefly relating to feudalism and militia.[13]

Early epigraphy

old-Kannada inscription dated 578 CE (Badami Chalukya dynasty) at Badami cave temple no.3

Pre-old Kannada (or Purava HaleGannada) was the language of Banavasi in the early Common Era, the Satavahana and Kadamba periods and hence has a history of over 2000 years.[14][15][16][17] The Ashoka rock edict found at Brahmagiri (dated to 230 BC) has been suggested to contain a word in identifiable Kannada.[18]

Written tradition of Kannada begins in the 5th to 6th century CE. The earliest examples of a full-length Kannada language stone inscription (shilashaasana) containing Brahmi characters with characteristics resembling those of Tamil in Hale Kannada (Old Kannada) script can be found in the Halmidi inscription, dated 450 CE, indicating that Kannada had become an administrative language by this time.[19][20][21][22] The 5th century Tamatekallu inscription of Chitradurga and the Chikkamagaluru inscription of 500 CE are further examples.[23][24][25]

Over 30,000 inscriptions written in the Kannada language have been discovered so far.[26] Prior to the Halmidi inscription, there is an abundance of inscriptions containing Kannada words, phrases and sentences, proving its antiquity. The 543 CE Badami cliff inscription of Pulakesi I is an example of a Sanskrit inscription in Hale Kannada script.[27][28]

The earliest full-length Kannada copper plates in Old Kannada script (early eighth century CE) belongs to the Alupa King Aluvarasa II from Belmannu, South Kanara district and displays the double crested fish, his royal emblem.[29] The oldest well-preserved palm leaf manuscript is in Old Kannada and is that of Dhavala, dated to around the ninth century, preserved in the Jain Bhandar, Mudbidri, Dakshina Kannada district.[30] The manuscript contains 1478 leaves written using ink.[30]

Old Kannada (9th – 14th centuries)

Kannada literature begins to flourish under the Rashtrakuta Dynasty (9th to 10th century).

7th century old-Kannada inscription on Chandragiri hill, Shravanabelagola
Badami Chalukya inscription in old-Kannada, Virupaksha Temple, 745 CE Pattadakal
9th century old-Kannada inscription of Rashtrakutas at Navalinga temple in Kuknur, Karnataka

The written Kannada language has come under various religious and social influences in its 1600 years of known existence. Linguists generally divide the written form into four broad phases.

From the ninth to fourteenth centuries CE, Kannada works were classified under Old Kannada (Halegannada). In this period Kannada showed a high level of maturity as a language of original literature.[31] Mostly Jain and Saivite poets produced works in this period. This period saw the growth of Jain puranas and Virashaiva Vachana Sahitya or simply vachana, a unique and native form of literature which was the summary of contributions from all sections of society.[32][33] Early Brahminical works also emerged from the eleventh century.[34] By the tenth century Kannada had seen its greatest poets, such as Pampa, Sri Ponna and Ranna, and its great prose writings such as the Vaddaradhane of Shivakotiacharya, indicating that a considerable volume of classical prose and poetry in Kannada had come into existence a few centuries before Kavirajamarga (c.850).[35] Among existing landmarks in Kannada grammar, Nagavarma II's Karnataka-bhashabhushana (1145) and Kesiraja's Shabdamanidarpana (1260) are the oldest.[36][37]

Middle Kannada (14th – 18th centuries)

In the period between the fourteenth and eighteenth centuries CE, Brahmanical Hinduism had a great influence on Middle Kannada (Nadugannada) language and literature. Non-brahmin Hindu saints like Kanakadasa and Brahminical saints of the Vaishnava sect such as Purandaradasa, Naraharitirtha, Vyasatirtha, Sripadaraya, Vadirajatirtha, Vijaya Dasa, Jagannathadasa, Prasanna Venkatadasa etc., produced devotional poems in this period.[38] Kanakadasa's Ramadhanya Charite is a rare work, concerning itself with the issue of class struggle.[39] This period saw the advent of Haridasa Sahitya which made rich contributions to bhakti literature and sowed the seeds of Carnatic music.

Modern Kannada (1800 – present)

The Kannada works produced by the end of the nineteenth century and later are classified as Hosagannada or Modern Kannada. However, till the beginning of the twentieth century there were Kannada literary works that could still be classified under the heading of Middle Kannada. Most notable among them are the poet Muddana's works. His works may be described as the "Dawn of Modern Kannada". Generally, linguists treat Indira Bai or Saddharma Vijayavu by Gulvadi Venkata Raya as the first literary works in Modern Kannada.


Some early Kadamba Dynasty coins bearing the Kannada inscription Vira and Skandha were found in Satara collectorate.[40] A gold coin bearing three inscriptions of Sri and an abbreviated inscription of king Bhagiratha's name called bhagi (390–420 CE) in old Kannada exists.[41] A Kadamba copper coin dated to the fifth century CE with the inscription Srimanaragi in Kannada script was discovered in Banavasi, Uttara Kannada district.[42] Coins with Kannada legends have been discovered spanning the rule of the Western Ganga Dynasty, the Badami Chalukyas, the Alupas, the Western Chalukyas, the Rashtrakutas, the Hoysalas, the Vijayanagar Empire, the Kadamba Dynasty of Banavasi, the Keladi Nayakas and the Mysore Kingdom, the Badami Chalukya coins being a recent discovery.[43][44][45] The coins of the Kadambas of Goa are unique in that they have alternate inscription of the king's name in Kannada and Devanagari in triplicate,[46] a few coins of the Kadambas of Hangal are also available.[47]

Literature and poetry

old-Kannada inscription at the base of Gomateshwara monolith in Shravanabelagola (981 CE. Western Ganga Dynasty) note the fingertips of the subject, plants, and scrolls surrounding the inscription
Kannada Hoysala inscription of 1220 CE at Ishwara temple Hassan district that shows three deities flanked by adorned animals, a nursing cow to the left and an elephant to the right

The oldest existing record of Kannada poetry in tripadi metre is the Kappe Arabhatta record of 700 CE.[48] Kavirajamarga by King Nripatunga Amoghavarsha I (850 CE) is the earliest existing literary work in Kannada. It is a writing on literary criticism and poetics meant to standardize various written Kannada dialects used in literature in previous centuries. The book makes reference to Kannada works by early writers such as King Durvinita of the sixth century and Ravikirti, the author of the Aihole record of 636 CE.[35][49] Since the earliest available Kannada work is one on grammar and a guide of sorts to unify existing variants of Kannada grammar (ವ್ಯಾಕರಣ) and literary styles, it can be safely assumed that literature in Kannada must have started several centuries earlier.[35][50] An early extant prose work, the Vaddaradhane by Shivakotiacharya of 900 CE provides an elaborate description of the life of Bhadrabahu of Shravanabelagola.[51]

Kannada works from earlier centuries mentioned in the Kavirajamarga are not yet traced. Some ancient texts now considered extinct but referenced in later centuries are Prabhrita (650 CE) by Syamakundacharya, Chudamani (Crest Jewel—650 CE) by Srivaradhadeva, also known as Tumbuluracharya, which is a work of 96,000 verse-measures and a commentary on logic (Tatwartha-mahashastra).[52][53][54] Other sources date Chudamani to the sixth century or earlier.[55][56] The Karnateshwara Katha, a eulogy for King Pulakesi II, is said to have belonged to the seventh century; the Gajastaka, a work on elephant management by King Shivamara II, belonged to the eighth century,[57] and the Chandraprabha-purana by Sri Vijaya, a court poet of King Amoghavarsha I, is ascribed to the early ninth century.[58] Tamil Buddhist commentators of the tenth century CE (in the commentary on Nemrinatham, a Tamil grammatical work) make references that show that Kannada literature must have flourished as early as the fourth century CE.[59]

The Middle Kannada period gave birth to several genres of Kannada literature, with new forms of composition coming into use, including Ragale (a form of blank verse) and meters like Sangatya and Shatpadi. The works of this period are based on Jain and Hindu principles. Two of the early writers of this period are Harihara and Raghavanka, trailblazers in their own right. Harihara established the Ragale form of composition while Raghavanka popularized the Shatpadi(six-lined stanza) meter.[60] A famous Jaina writer of the same period is Janna, who expressed Jain religious teachings through his works.[61]

The Vachana Sahitya tradition of the twelfth century is purely native and unique in world literature, and the sum of contributions by all sections of society. Vachanas were pithy poems on that period's social, religious and economic conditions. More importantly, they held a mirror to the seed of social revolution, which caused a radical re-examination of the ideas of caste, creed and religion. Some of the important writers of Vachana literature include Basavanna, Allama Prabhu and Akka Mahadevi.[33] Kumara Vyasa, who wrote the Karnata Bharata Kathamanjari, has arguably been the most famous and most influential Kannada writer of the fifteenth century. His work, entirely composed in the Bhamini Shatpadi meter, is a sublime adaptation of the first ten chapters of the Mahabharata.[62] The Bhakti movement gave rise to Dasa Sahitya around the fifteenth century which significantly contributed to the evolution of Carnatic music in its present form. This period witnessed great Haridasas like Purandara Dasa who has been aptly called the Pioneer of Carnatic music, Kanaka Dasa, Vyasathirtha and Vijaya Dasa.[63][64][65]

Modern Kannada in the twentieth century has been influenced by many movements, notably Navodaya, Navya, Navyottara, Dalita and Bandaya. Contemporary Kannada literature has been highly successful in reaching people of all classes in society. Works of Kannada literature have received seven Jnanpith awards, which is the highest number awarded for the literature in any Indian language.[66] It has also received forty-seven Sahitya Academy awards.

Theatre art


Yakshagana, a theatre art form from Karnataka, which is also prevalent in north Kerala, is usually staged in Kannada or Tulu. Yakshagana as an art form preserves the finest aspects of the Kannada language. Kannada films and plays usually cater to the modern masses and the Kannada used in them is influenced by modernity. This form of Kannada enjoys relative popularity.


There is also some distinction between the spoken and written forms of the language. Spoken Kannada tends to vary from region to region. The written form is more or less constant throughout Karnataka, however. The Ethnologue reports "about 20 dialects" of Kannada. Among them are Kundagannada (spoken exclusively in Kundapura), Nadavar-Kannada (spoken by Nadavaru), Havigannada (spoken mainly by Havyaka Brahmins), Are Bhashe (spoken mainly in the Sullia region of Dakshina Kannada), Soliga, Gulbarga Kannada, Dharawad Kannada, Chitradurga Kannada, and others. All of these dialects are influenced by their regional and cultural background.

Ethnologue also classifies a group of "Kannada languages" comprising four members, besides Kannada proper including Badaga, Holiya and Urali.

Geographic distribution

Kannada is mainly spoken in Karnataka in India, and to a good extent in the neighbouring states of Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Goa, as well as in sizeable communities in the USA, Europe, Saudi Arabia, UAE, Middle Eastern countries, Canada, Malaysia, Australia, the UK, and Singapore.

Kannada billboards in India.

Official status

Kannada is one of the twenty-two official languages of India and is the sole administrative language of the State of Karnataka. It is also one of the three classical languages of India.

Writing system

The Kannada language edition of Wikipedia.

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: the anusvara and the visarga ), similar to the vowels and consonants of English. The character set is almost identical to that of other Indian languages. The script itself, derived from Brahmi script, is fairly complicated like most other languages of India owing to the occurrence of various combinations of "half-letters" (glyphs), or symbols that attach to various letters in a manner similar to diacritical marks in the Romance languages. The Kannada script is almost perfectly 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 (vattaksharas). Each written symbol in the Kannada script corresponds with one syllable, as opposed to one phoneme in languages like English. The script of Kannada is also used in other languages such as Tulu, Kodava Takk and Konkani. The Kannada script is syllabic.

Extinct Kannada letters

Kannada literary works employed the letters (transliterated '' or 'rh') and (transliterated '', 'lh' or 'zh'), whose manner of articulation most plausibly could be akin to those in present-day Malayalam and Tamil. The letters dropped out of use in the twelfth and eighteenth centuries, respectively. Later Kannada works replaced 'rh' and 'lh' with (ra) and (la) respectively.[67]

Another letter (or unclassified vyanjana (consonant)) that has become extinct is 'nh' or 'inn'. (Likewise, this has its equivalent in Malayalam and Tamil.) The usage of this consonant was observed until the 1980s in Kannada works from the mostly coastal areas of Karnataka (especially the Dakshina Kannada district). Now hardly any mainstream works use this consonant. This letter has been replaced by ನ್ (consonant n).

Kannada script in computing


Several transliteration schemes/tools are used to type Kannada characters using a standard keyboard. These include Baraha[68] (based on ITRANS) and Quillpad[69] (predictive transliterator). Nudi, the government of Karnataka's standard for Kannada Input, is a phonetic layout loosely based on transliteration.


Unicode.org chart (PDF)
  0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 A B C D E F
U+0CBx       ಿ


Kannada is a highly inflected language with three genders (masculine, feminine, and neutral or common) and two numbers (singular and plural). It is inflected for gender, number and tense, among other things. The first authoritative known book on Kannada grammar is Shabdhamanidarpana by Keshiraaja. The first available Kannada book is a tretise on poetry Kaviraja Maarga.


A German priest, the Reverend Ferdinand Kittel, composed the first Kannada-English dictionary, consisting of more than 70,000 words.[70] Ferdinand Kittel also wrote a book on Kannada grammar called "A Grammar of the Kannada Language: Comprising the Three Dialects of the Language".[71]

See also

External links

Kannada language edition of Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


  1. ^ a b Census 2001: Talen per staat
  2. ^ Top 30 languages of the world. Vistawide.
  3. ^ a b Languages Spoken by More Than 10 Million People. Encarta. Archived 2009-10-31.
  4. ^ THE KARNATAKA OFFICIAL LANGUAGE ACT, 1963 – Karnataka Gazette (Extraordinary) Part IV-2A. Government of Karnataka. 1963. pp. 33.  
  5. ^ "The Karnataka Official Language Act" (PDF). Official website of Department of Parliamentary Affairs and Legislation. Government of Karnataka. http://dpal.kar.nic.in/26%20of%201963%20(E).pdf. Retrieved 2007-06-29.  
  6. ^ "Awardees detail for the Jnanpith Award". Official website of Bharatiya Jnanpith. Bharatiya Jnanpith. http://jnanpith.net/laureates/index.html. Retrieved 2008-05-12.  
  7. ^ "Declaration of Telugu and Kannada as classical languages". Press Information Bureau. Ministry of Tourism and Culture, Government of India. http://pib.nic.in/release/release.asp?relid=44340. Retrieved 2008-10-31.  
  8. ^ "Kannada gets classical tag". DH News Service. www.Deccanhearld.com. http://www.deccanherald.com/Content/Nov12008/scroll2008110198257.asp. Retrieved 2008-10-31.  
  9. ^ Kittel (1993), pp 1–2
  10. ^ "Literature in all Dravidian languages owes a great deal to Sanskrit, the magic wand whose touch raised each of the languages from a level of patois to that of a literary idiom". (Sastri 1955, p309)
  11. ^ Takahashi, Takanobu. 1995. Tamil love poetry and poetics. Brill’s Indological library, v. 9. Leiden: E.J. Brill, p16,18
  12. ^ "The author endeavours to demonstrate that the entire Sangam poetic corpus follows the "Kavya" form of Sanskrit poetry"-Tieken, Herman Joseph Hugo. 2001. Kāvya in South India: old Tamil Caṅkam poetry. Groningen: Egbert Forsten
  13. ^ J. Bucher; Ferdinand Kittel (1899), A Kannaḍa-English school-dictionary: chiefly based on the labours of the Rev. Dr. F. Kittel, Basel Mission Book & Tract Depository, http://books.google.com/books?id=fMW5AAAAIAAJ&pg=PP13  
  14. ^ Kamath (2001), p. 5–6
  15. ^ (Wilks in Rice, B.L. (1897), p490)
  16. ^ Pai and Narasimhachar in Bhat (1993), p103
  17. ^ Iravatham Mahadevan. "Early Tamil Epigraphy from the Earliest Times to the Sixth Century AD". Harvard University Press. http://www.hup.harvard.edu/catalog/MAHEAR.html. Retrieved 2007-04-12.  
  18. ^ The word Isila found in the Ashokan inscription (called the Brahmagiri edict from Karnataka) meaning to shoot an arrow is a Kannada word, indicating that Kannada was a spoken language in the third century BCE (Dr. D.L. Narasimhachar in Kamath 2001, p5)
  19. ^ Ramesh (1984), p10
  20. ^ Encyclopaedia of Indian literature vol. 2, Sahitya Akademi (1988), p1717, p 1474
  21. ^ A report on Halmidi inscription, Muralidhara Khajane. "Halmidi village finally on the road to recognition". The Hindu, Monday, November 3, 2003. The Hindu. http://www.hindu.com/2003/11/03/stories/2003110304550500.htm. Retrieved 2006-11-25.  
  22. ^ Kamath (2001), p10
  23. ^ Narasimhacharya (1988), p6
  24. ^ Rice (1921), p13
  25. ^ Govinda Pai in Bhat (1993), p102
  26. ^ Sahitya Akademi (1988), p1717
  27. ^ Kamath (2001), p58
  28. ^ Azmathulla Shariff. "Badami: Chalukyans' magical transformation". Spectrum, Deccan Herald, Tuesday, July 26, 2005. Deccan Herald. http://www.deccanherald.com/deccanherald/jul262005/spectrum1422512005725.asp. Retrieved 2006-11-25.  
  29. ^ Gururaj Bhat in Kamath (2001), p97
  30. ^ a b Mukerjee, Shruba. "Preserving voices from the past". Deccan Herald, Sunday, August 21, 2005. Sunday Herald. http://www.deccanherald.com/deccanherald/aug212005/sundayherald101012005820.asp. Retrieved 2007-04-11.  
  31. ^ The earliest cultivators of Kannada literature were Jain scholars (Narasimhacharya 1988, p17)
  32. ^ More than two hundred contemporary Vachana poets have been recorded (Narasimhacharya 1988, p20)
  33. ^ a b Sastri (1955), p361
  34. ^ Durgasimha, who wrote the Panchatantra, and Chandraraja, who wrote the Madanakatilaka, were early Brahmin writers in the eleventh century under Western Chalukya King Jayasimha II (Narasimhacharya 1988, p19)
  35. ^ a b c Sastri (1955), p355
  36. ^ Sastri (1955), p359
  37. ^ Narasimhacharya (1988), p19
  38. ^ Sastri (1955), pp 364–365
  39. ^ The writing exalts the grain Ragi above all other grains that form the staple foods of much of modern Karnataka (Sastri 1955, p365
  40. ^ The coins are preserved at the Archaeological Section, Prince of Wales Museum of Western India, Mumbai – Kundangar and Moraes in Moraes (1931), p382
  41. ^ The coin is preserved at the Indian Historical Research Institute, St. Xavier's College, Mumbai – Kundangar and Moraes in Moraes (1931), p 382
  42. ^ Dr Gopal, director, Department of Archaeology and Ancient History. "5th century copper coin discovered at Banavasi". Hindu, Monday, February 6, 2006. The Hindu. http://www.hindu.com/2006/02/06/stories/2006020609090400.htm. Retrieved 2007-10-18.  
  43. ^ Kamath (2001), p12, p57
  44. ^ Govindaraya Prabhu, S. "Indian coins-Dynasties of South". Prabhu's Web Page On Indian Coinage, November 1, 2001. http://prabhu.50g.com/. Retrieved 2006-11-27.  
  45. ^ Harihariah Oruganti-Vice-President, Madras Coin Society. "Vijayanagar Coins-Catalogue". http://www.vijayanagaracoins.com/htm/history.htm. Retrieved 2006-11-27.  
  46. ^ This shows that the native vernacular of the Goa Kadambas was Kannada – Moraes (1931), p384
  47. ^ Two coins of the Hangal Kadambas are preserved at the Royal Asiatic Society, Mumbai, one with the Kannada inscription Saarvadhari and other with Nakara. Moraes (1931), p385
  48. ^ Kamath (2001), p67
  49. ^ Kamath (2001), p90
  50. ^ Jyotsna Kamat. "History of the Kannada Literature-I". Kamat's Potpourri, November 4, 2006. Kamat's Potpourri. http://www.kamat.com/kalranga/kar/literature/history1.htm. Retrieved 2006-11-25.  
  51. ^ Sastri (1955), p356
  52. ^ The seventeenth-century Kannada grammarian Bhattakalanka wrote about the Chudamani as a milestone in the literature of the Kannada language (Sastri (1955), p355)
  53. ^ Jyotsna Kamat. "History of the Kannada Literature – I". Kamat's Potpourri, November 4, 2006. Kamat's Potpourri. http://www.kamat.com/kalranga/kar/literature/history1.htm. Retrieved 2006-11-25.  
  54. ^ Narasimhacharya (1988), pp 4–5
  55. ^ Rice, B.L. (1897), p497
  56. ^ 6th century Sanskrit poet Dandin praised Srivaradhadeva's writing as "having produced Saraswati from the tip of his toungue, just as Shiva produced the Ganges from the tip of his top knot (Rice E.P., 1921, p27)
  57. ^ Kamath (2001), p50, p67
  58. ^ The author and his work were praised by the latter-day poet Durgasimha of 1025 CE (Narasimhacharya 1988, p18.)
  59. ^ Sri K. Appadurai. "The place of Kannada and Tamil in Indias national culture". Copyright INTAMM. 1997. Archived from the original on 2007-04-15. http://web.archive.org/web/20070415154722/http://www.intamm.com/journalism/ta-jour3.htm. Retrieved 2006-11-25.  
  60. ^ Sastri (1955), pp 361–2
  61. ^ Narasimhacharya (1988), p20
  62. ^ Sastri (1955), p364
  63. ^ Moorthy, Vijaya (2001). Romance of the Raga. Abinav publications. pp. 67. ISBN 8170173825. http://books.google.com/books?id=2s2xJetsy0wC&pg=PP1&ots=2C265wfJrs&dq=Romance+of+the+Raga&sig=7I4E3woQgDL7Gl8_cx_m18BSQf4#PPA67,M1.  
  64. ^ Iyer (2006), p93
  65. ^ Sastri (1955), p365
  66. ^ "welcome to:Bhartiya Jnanpith". Jnanpith.net. http://jnanpith.net/laureates/index.html. Retrieved 2008-11-07.  
  67. ^ Rice, Edward. P (1921), "A History of Kanarese Literature", Oxford University Press, 1921: 14–15
  68. ^ See http://baraha.com/
  69. ^ "QuillPad – Typing in Kannada has never been easier". Quillpad.in. http://quillpad.in/kannada. Retrieved 2008-11-07.  
  70. ^ Manjulakshi & Bhat. "Kannada Dialect Dictionaries and Dictionaries in Subregional Languages of Karnataka". Language in India, Volume 5 : 9 September 2005. Central Institute of Indian Languages, University of Mysore. http://www.languageinindia.com/sep2005/kannadadictionary1.html. Retrieved 2007-04-11.  
  71. ^ Ferdinand Kittel. A Grammar of the Kannada Language: Comprising the Three Dialects of the Language. 1993. Asian Educational Services. ISBN 8120600568


Redirecting to Kannada language

Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010
(Redirected to Kannada phrasebook article)

From Wikitravel

Kannada (ಕನ್ನಡ kannaḍa), a Dravidian language with some 50 million speakers, is an official language of India and the state language of Karnataka. It is also the language you are likely to encounter in Bangalore, a city you might have heard of quite a bit recently. It is also the language you will encounter if you visit the historically significant cities of Mysore and Hampi, so arming yourself with rudimentary knowledge of Kannada is a good idea if you wish to visit those places.

Kannada is a Dravidian language, which means that it belongs to the same family as the other South Indian languages Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam and Tulu. These languages share many words, sentence structures and even expressions, which means that if you pick up any one, your path to learning the others is considerably eased.

Also, because of Karnataka's proximity to Maharashtra, Kannada is more accepting of Sanskrit loanwords than Tamil68.212.94.60 18:44, 24 December 2009 (EST)KD68.212.94.60 18:44, 24 December 2009 (EST). While it would be a stretch to say that learning Hindi will help you pick up Kannada better, it is true that if you are very good at chaste Sanskritised Hindi (or some other North Indian language) you will find it somewhat easy to communicate with a Kannadiga, as native speakers of Kannada are called.

Pronunciation guide


a aa/A i ii/I u uu/U ru/Ru/Ri e ee/E ai o oo/O ow/ou um/aM aha/aH

Kadamba Transliteration Equivalent
like 'b' in "bed"
like 's' in "supper", 'k' in "kid"
like 'd' in "dog"
like 'ph' in "phone"
like 'g' in "go", 'j' in "jello"
like 'h' in "help" (often silent in the UK and other Commonwealth countries)
like 'dg' in "edge"
like 'c' in "cat"
like 'l' in "love"
like 'm' in "mother"
like 'n' in "nice"
like 'p' in "pig"
like 'q' in "quest" (with "u", almost always)
like 'r' in "row", like 'r' in "feather" (often silent in the UK and other Commonwealth countries at end of word)
like 'ss' in "hiss", like 'z' in "haze"
like 't' in "top"
like 'v' in "victory"
like 'w' in "weight"
like 'cks' in "kicks", like 'z' in "haze" (at beginning of a word)
like 'y' in "yes", like 'ie' in "pie", like 'ee' in "flee"
like 'z' in "haze"
ಕ್=k, ಖ್=K,kh, ಗ್=g, ಘ್=G,gh, ಙ್=~g
ಚ್=c,ch, ಛ್=C,Ch, ಜ್=j, ಝ್=J,jh, ಞ್=~j
ಟ್=T, ಠ್=Th, ಡ್=D, ಢ್=Dh, ಣ್=N
ತ್=t, ಥ್=th, ದ್=d, ಧ್=dh, ನ್=n
ಪ್=p, ಫ್=P,ph, ಬ್=b, ಭ್=B,bh, ಮ್=m
ಯ್=y,Y, ರ್=r,R, ಱ್=rx, ಲ್=l, ವ್=v,w, ಶ್=S,sh, ಷ್=Sh, ಸ್=s, ಹ್=h,~h, ಳ್=L, ೞ್=Lx, ಕ್ಷ=kSha
like 'ay' in "say"
like 'ay' in "say"
like 'awe'
like 'ee' in "see"
like 'ay' in "say"
like 'ay' in "say", like 'ee' in "see"
like 'ee' in "see"
like 'oy' in "boy"
like 'oo' in "food", like 'oo' in "good"
like 'ow' in "cow", like 'oo' in "food", like 'o' in "cot"
like 'ow' in "cow"
like 'oy' in "boy"
like 'ch' in "touch"
like 'sh' in "sheep"
like 'th' in "this", like 'th' in "those"
like 'f' in "fish"
like 'f' in "fish"
Namaskara. (...)
Hello. (informal
How are you? 
Chennaagidira? (formal) Chennagidiya (very informal)
How are you? (formal?
Neevu Chennaagidira?
I am fine. (formal?
Naanu chennagiddene.
Fine, thank you. 
Chennagiddene. Dhanyavaada
Have you eaten? 
Uta aithaa? (...)
Yes, I have. 
Uta aithu (...)
What is your name? 
Nimma hesarenu? (NIM ah HESS er AYNOO?)
My name is ______ . 
Nanna hesaru ______ . (NUN ah HESS ah-ru _____ .)
Nice to meet you. 
nimmannu nodi santhoshavaythu (...)
Dayavit.t.u. (DAI-yuh-WI-too)
Thank you. 
VandenegaLu. (WAN-deh-neh-ga-loo)
You're welcome. 
tamage suswagatha.
Havdu. (HAW-du)
Illa. (ILL ah)
Excuse me. (getting attention
illinoDi (...)
Excuse me. (begging pardon
K-shamisi (...)
I'm sorry. 
nannindha thappaithu (...)
Hogibitt Barthene
Goodbye (informal
I can't speak Kannada [well]. 
Nanage Kannada barodilla. (...)
Do you speak English? 
Nimage English baruththaa? (...)
Is there someone here who speaks English? 
Illi yaarigaadaru english baruththaa? (...)
sahaaya maadi(...)
Look out! 
Good morning. 
Shubha Munjane , shubhodhaya, shubha udhaya (...)
Good evening. 
shubha sanje (...)
Good night. 
Shubha Ratri (...)
Good night (to sleep
I don't understand. 
nanage artha vaguthilla (...)
Where is the toilet? 
Shouchalaya Ellidhe
I am not feeling well. 
Nanage Husharilla
Leave me alone. 
Nanna bittu bidi, Nanna vonti aagi biDu (...)
Don't touch me! 
nanna mutta beda
I'll call the police. 
nanu Arakshakarannu karithini
Stop! Thief! 
Nillu! KaLLa
I need your help. 
Nimma sahaya bekagidhe. (...)
It's an emergency. 
thurthu samaya (THUR-THOO- SUM-IYA)
I'm lost. 
Nanage daari thappide. (...)
I lost my bag. 
Nanna cheela kaLedu hoyithu. (...)
I lost my wallet. 
Nanna wallet(kai cheela) kaLedu hoyithu. (...)
I'm sick. 
Nanage hushaarilla. (...)
I've been injured. 
Nanage pettagide. (...)
I need a doctor. 
Nanage doctor beku. (...)
Can I use your phone? 
Nimma phone upayogisubahudha. (...)
ondhu (...)
yeradu (...)
mooru (...)
naalku (...)
aidhu (...)
aaru (...)
yeLu (...)
yentu (...)
ombattu (...)
hathu (...)
hannondu (...)
hanneradu (...)
hadimooru (...)
hadinalku (...)
hadinaidhu (...)
hadinaru (...)
hadinelu (...)
hadinentu (...)
hathombathu (...)
ippathu (...)
ippatha ondu (...)
ippatha yeradu (...)
ippatha mooru (...)
muvathu (...)
nalavathu (...)
aivathu (...)
arvathu (...)
yapathu (...)
embathu (...)
tombathu (...)
nooru (...)
ennooru (...)
munooru (...)
ondu savira (...)
yeradu savira (...)
hathu laksha (...)
nooru koti
saavira koti
number _____ (train, bus, etc.
ankhi, ankhe (...)
ardha (...)
kammi (...)
jasthi (...)
Iga (...)
AmEle (...)
modalu (...)
beLigge (...)
madhyAna (...)
saMje (...)
rAtri (...)

Clock time

one o'clock AM 
rAtri oNdu ghaNTe (...)
two o'clock AM 
rAtri eraDu ghaNTe (...)
madhyAna hanneraDu (...)
one o'clock PM 
madhyAna oNdu ghaNTe (...)
two o'clock PM 
madhyAna eraDu ghaNTe (...)
madhya rAtri (...)


_____ minute(s) 
_____ nimisha (...)
_____ hour(s) 
_____ gaNTe (...)
_____ day(s) 
_____ dina (...)
_____ week(s) 
_____ vAra (...)
_____ month(s) 
_____ tiNgaLu (...)
_____ year(s) 
_____ varsha (...)


ivattu (...)
ninne (...)
nALe (...)
this week 
ee vAra (...)
last week 
kadE vAra , hodha vAra (...)
next week 
muMdina vAra (...)
ravi-vAra, bhaanu-vAra (...)
sOma-vAra (...)
maMgaLa-vAra (...)
budha-vAra (...)
guru-vAra (...)
shukra-vAra (...)
shani-vAra (...)


If speakers of the language commonly use a calendar other than the Gregorian, explain it here and list its months. See Hebrew phrasebook for an example.

January (...)
February (...)
March (...)
April (...)
May (...)
June (...)
July (...)
August (...)
September (...)
October (...)
November (...)
December (...)

It is a hindu calendar where we follow the moon phases to indicate month, like a full moon day is the start of the month and a no-moon day is the end of the month.

Writing time and date

Give some examples how to write clock times and dates if it differs from English.

kari, kappu, kaage banna(colour of a crow/raven) (...)
bili (...)
gray, bhoodi banna (colour of ashes) (...)
Kempu (...)
Neeli (...)
HaLadi (...)
Hasiru (...)
chandra (kiththaaLe(fruit)) (...)
nEraLe (...)
kandu (...)


Bus and train

How much is a ticket to _____? 
___ge ticket eshtu? (...)
One ticket to _____, please. 
___ge ondu ticket kodi. (...)
Where does this train/bus go? 
Ee train/bus ellige hoguththade? (...)
Where is the train/bus to _____? 
_____ge train/bus ellide? (...)
Does this train/bus stop in _____? 
Ee train/bus ____ alli nilluththaa? (...)
When does the train/bus for _____ leave? 
Yaavaaga ee train/bus _____ ge horaduththade? (...)
When will this train/bus arrive in _____? 
Yaavaaga ee bus baruththe? (...)


How do I get to _____ ? 
_____ge hogo dhaari heege?(...)
...the train station? 
(...)railway stationge hege hoguvudhu?
...the bus station? 
(...) bus stationge hege hoguvudhu?
...the airport? 
(...) airportge hege hoguvudhu?
(...) petege hege hoguvudhu
...the youth hostel? 
...the youth hostel? (...)
...the _____ hotel? 
...the _____ hotel? (...)
...the American/Canadian/Australian/British consulate? 
...the American/Canadian/Australian/British consulate? (...)
Where are there a lot of... 
Where are there a lot of... : ....yelli siguvudhu (...)
...hotels? (...)
...restaurants? (...)
...bars? (...)
...sites to see? 
...sites to see? (...)
Can you show me on the map? 
map alli torustira? (...)
street (...)
Turn left. 
Edakke thirugu. (...)
Turn right. 
Balakke thirugu. (...)
Eda (...)
Bala (...)
straight ahead 
Edurugade , mundhe hogi(...)
towards the _____ 
towards the _____ (...)
past the _____ 
_____ aada nanthara (...)
before the _____ 
_____ gintha modalu (...)
Watch for the _____. 
_____ kaagi nodukoli. (...)
intersection (...)
uththara (...)
dhakshiNa (...)
Poorva (...)
Pashchima (...)
uphill (...)
downhill (...)


Taxi! (...)
Take me to _____, please. 
Take me to _____, please. (...)dayavittu,nannanu _____ karadukondi hogi
How much does it cost to get to _____? 
_____ ge hogalu eshTu haNa bEkAgabahudu?

get to _____? (...)_______ge aesthu charge madthidhra?

Take me there, please. 
nanna allige dayaviTTu karedukonDu hogi.
Do you have any rooms available? 
illi iLidukoLLalu rooms iveya?
How much is a room for one person/two people? 
obbarige/ ibbarige illi iLidukoLLalu Enu dara?
Does the room come with... 
room alli ______ ideya(iveya)?
...a bathroom? 
bachchalu mane??
...a telephone? 
...a TV? 
...a TV?
May I see the room first? 
nAnu modalu room (kONe) annu nODabahudA?
Do you have anything quieter? 
innoo swachcha iruvantahaddu?
swalpa kaDime beledu?
OK, I'll take it. 
Aytu, idanna togoLteeni
I will stay for _____ night(s). 
nAnu ________ divsa irteeni
Can you suggest another hotel? 
bEre hotel bagge salahe koDi
Do you have a safe? 
safe ideya?
Is breakfast/supper included? 
ooTaddu sEri bill maaDteera?
What time is breakfast/supper? 
ooTada samaya hELi (beLagge mattu raatri du)
Please clean my room. 
nanna kONeyannu swachcha mAdisiri
Can you wake me at _____? nannannu ________ ge ebbisalu aaguttadeya?
I want to check out. 
nAnu check out mADabEku
Do you accept American/Australian/Canadian dollars? 
Do you accept American/Australian/Canadian dollars? (...)
Do you accept British pounds? 
Do you accept British pounds? (...)
Do you accept credit cards? 
Do you accept credit cards? (...)
Can you change money for me? 
Can you change money for me? (...)
Where can I get money changed? 
Where can I get money changed? (...)
Can you change a traveler's check for me? 
Can you change a traveler's check for me? (...)
Where can I get a traveler's check changed? 
Where can I get a traveler's check changed? (...)
What is the exchange rate? 
What is the exchange rate? (...)
Where is an automatic teller machine (ATM)? 
Where is an automatic teller machine (ATM)? (...)
A table for one person/two people, please. 
A table for one person/two people, please. (...)
Can I look at the menu, please? 
Can I look at the menu, please? (...)
Can I look in the kitchen? 
Can I look in the kitchen? (...)
Is there a house specialty? 
Is there a house specialty? (...)
Is there a local specialty? 
Is there a local specialty? (...)
I'm a vegetarian. 
Naanu shAKhahAri. (')
I don't eat pork. 
I don't eat pork. (...)
I don't eat beef. 
I don't eat beef. (...)
I only eat kosher food. 
I only eat kosher food. (...)
Can you make it "lite", please? (less oil/butter/lard
Can you make it "lite", please? (...)
fixed-price meal 
fixed-price meal (...)
à la carte 
à la carte (...)
tea (meal
tea (...)
supper (...)
I want _____. 
_____ nanage beku
I want a dish containing _____. 
I want a dish containing _____. (...)
koLi (...)
beef (...)
meenu (...)
ham (...)
sausage (...)
tuptha (tuptha)
moTTe (...)
salad (...)
(fresh) vegetables 
(fresh) vegetables (thaja tarakarigalu...)
(fresh) fruit 
(fresh) hannu (...)
bread (...)
toast (...)
noodles (...)
anna (...)
beans (...)
May I have a glass of _____? 
May I have a glass of _____? (...)
May I have a cup of _____? 
May I have a cup of _____? (...)
May I have a bottle of _____? 
May I have a bottle of _____? (...)
tea (drink
chaha (...)
juice (...)
(bubbly) water 
water (...)
neeru (...)
beer (...)
red/white wine 
red/white wine (...)
May I have some _____? 
May I have some _____? (...)
uppu (...)
black pepper 
kari menasu (...)
Excuse me, waiter? (getting attention of server)
Excuse me, waiter? (...)
I'm finished. 
I'm finished. (...)
It was delicious. 
bahaLa channagithu. (...)
Please clear the plates. 
Please clear the plates. (...)
The check, please. 
The check, please. (...)
Do you serve alcohol? 
Do you serve alcohol? (Neevu Yenne maarthira)
Is there table service? 
Is there table service? (...)
A beer/two beers, please. 
A beer/two beers, please. (...)
A glass of red/white wine, please. 
A glass of red/white wine, please. (...)
A pint, please. 
A pint, please. (...)
A bottle, please. 
A bottle, please. (...)
_____ (hard liquor) and _____ (mixer), please. 
_____ and _____, please. (...)
whiskey (...)
vodka (...)
rum (...)
water (Neeru)
club soda 
club soda (...)
tonic water 
tonic water (...)
orange juice 
orange juice (...)
Coke (soda
Coke (...)
Do you have any bar snacks? 
Do you have any bar snacks? (...)
One more, please. 
One more, please. (...)
Another round, please. 
Another round, please. (...)
When is closing time? 
When is closing time? (...)
Do you have this in my size? 
Nanna aLathe yalli idhiya?? (...)
How much is this? 
idhakke yeshtu (...)
That's too expensive. 
thumba dhubhaari (...)
Would you take _____? 
Would you take _____? (...)
dhubaari (...)
I can't afford it. 
I can't afford it. (...)
I don't want it. 
nanige beDa (...)
You're cheating me. 
mosa maDthidhira.(formal) (...)
I'm not interested. 
nanige asakthi illa (..)
OK, I'll take it. 
Ayithu, naanu tegedu kolluteeni. (...)
Can I have a bag? 
nanagondu cheela beekide? (...)
Do you ship (overseas)? 
Do you ship (overseas)? (...)
I need... 
nanage beeku... (...)
...a toothbrush. 
...a toothbrush. (...)
...tampons. (...)
...shampoo. (...)
...pain reliever. (e.g., aspirin or ibuprofen
noVu nivaraka (...)
...cold medicine. 
negaDi ge oushadhi (...)
...stomach medicine. 
hotte ge oushadhi (...)
...a razor. 
...a razor. (...)
...an umbrella. 
koDe, chathri (...)
...sunblock lotion. 
...sunblock lotion. (...)
...a postcard. 
anche card (...)
...postage stamps. 
anche cheeTi (...)
...writing paper. 
...writing paper. (...)
...a pen. 
ondu lekhani
...English-language books. 
...Angla baasha pusthakagalu. (...)
...English-language magazines. 
...English-language magazines. (...)
...an English-language newspaper. 
...Ondu Angla Baashe vaartapatrike. (...)
...an English-English dictionary. 
...Angla - Angla Shabdhakosha. (...)
I want to rent a car. 
Naanu ondu car baadigege padeyalichchisuthene.
Can I get insurance? 
Naanu insurance padeyabahuda?
stop (on a street sign
one way 
Ekamukha sanchara
no parking 
speed limit 
vega mithi
gas (petrol) station 
Indhana ThaaNa
petrolu. Indhana
dieselu. Indhana
I haven't done anything wrong. 
Naan yenu thapp maadilla. (...)
It was a misunderstanding. 
(...)thappu thilidukoLLuvudu
Where are you taking me? 
(...)nannanu yelli karkundu hoguthidhira?
Am I under arrest? 
(...) nannanu arrest maadtaideera?
I am an American/Australian/British/Canadian citizen. 
(...) naanu America/Australia/Britain/Canada dinda bandiruve
I want to talk to the American/Australian/British/Canadian embassy/consulate. 
(...) nanage America/Australia/Britain/Canada embassy/consulate jotege maathad beku
I want to talk to a lawyer. 
nanage lawyer jotege maathaad beku (...)
Can I just pay a fine now? 
naanu eegle fine katbohuda? (...)
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Up to date as of January 15, 2010

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary

See also kannada




Proper noun

Wikipedia has an article on:





  1. The Dravidian language that is the official language of the state of Karnataka, South India.


See also

External links


Up to date as of January 23, 2010

From Wikibooks, the open-content textbooks collection


Table of Contents


Kannada is spoken in many dialects by about 55 million people. It is one of the most prominent languages of the southern part of India. Kannada is the official language of the state of Karnataka in India. The capital of Karnataka is Bangalore, also known as the software capital of the East. The nearby city of Mysore is as renowned for its beauty as for its rich history.

Origin and Development

Kannada is a Dravidian language, and it enjoys a common ancestry with the neighbouring Tamil, Telugu and Malayalam languages. These languages are very similar both in grammar and vocabulary, The Kannada language has very little in common with the other (non-Dravidian)languages, except for loan-words borrowed from Sanskrit that are also found in other Indian languages.

A language as ancient as Kannada cannot avoid changing over the centuries, and the history of active use of the language in every sphere of life, whether high or mundane, has preserved evidence of such development. Two stages of Kannada are easily discerned -

1. Ancient kannada (haLeGannada): Not in use any more. All old monuments will be inscribed in this language.

2. Middle and Latest (Nadu Kannada followed by Hosa Kannada). All the latest usage of Kannada is in the form of Hosa (new) Kannada.


Several dialects of the Kannada language exist, and their equal usage in literature and theatre enriches the culture of Karnataka vastly. A major reason for the amount of dialectic diversity evident in Kannada is arguably the political fragmentation of the Kannada country in the past.

The speech of the northern areas of Karnataka features a large number of loan words derived from Marathi, Urdu and Telugu. The coastal hill districts (Malnaad) are particularly rich in dialect; Tulu and Konkani abide in this region, and the Kannada spoken in those districts features many typical words and usages native to the area, as also a lyrical accent. The district of Kodagu that adjoins Malnaad is home to Kodava, another beautiful tongue.

"Old Mysore" is the other major region in Karnataka, (apart from northern Karnataka, Malnaad and Kodagu); the speech of this area is standard Kannada. Although the Kannada country was politically fragmented for several hundred years after the decline of the Vijayanagara empire, a substantial portion of southern Karnataka was encompassed by the Kingdom of Mysore, ruled by a Kannada-speaking dynasty, the Wodeyars. Not unnaturally, the speech of this region and court came to be accepted as the standard for the language.

Script (Baraha)

The Kannada script (Kannada Baraha) is a phonetic one, similar in SYSTEM to Sanskrit and all the other languages indigenous to India. However, the letters / characters used in the Kannada script are unique. The Kannada script is amongst the most developed in the world; apart from being phonetic, it is able to uniquely represent the several vowels and consonants mentioned in the section below that even the Devanagari script cannot.

Both the spoken Kannada language and the Kannada script (Kannada Baraha) possess all the syllables, whether consonants or vowels, found in Sanskrit; they also feature some syllables that are NOT found in Sanskrit. Among consonants, the La syllable, as in BeLLi (Silver) or KoLi (Rooster) does not exist in Sanskrit. Kannada also possesses two vowels that are not found in Sanskrit; these are the short 'a' and the short 'o'. Let us use some English words as examples to demonstrate the difference: in the Kannada script, it is possible to uniquely represent the difference in pronounciation between the words Get and Gate or between Met and Mate. This is the difference between the long and short 'a', a difference that the Sanskrit script cannot represent. Similarly, Kannada speakers will be able to understand the long-short difference in ho between horage and hogu in horage hogu (go out).

External links

To learn more about the Kannada language, please visit the Wikipedia page on Kannada.

To learn more about Kannada script (also called as Kannada lipi or Kannada baraha), please visit


Or Kannada wikipedia

Simple English

Kannada (ಕನ್ನಡ) is a language. Most people in the Indian state of Karnataka speak Kannada. Do not confuse it with Canada.

Kannada is a Dravidian language. It is more than 1600 years old. Many words in Kannada are taken from Sanskrit. Kannada has gone through changes several times during the years. Kannada has been adaptive to include many other languages. The flavour of this language changes at North karnataka and South Karnataka. The regional languages marathi, telugu and Hindi are changing this modern kannada language.

refer http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kannada_language

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