In this lesson, we will learn the pronunciation of the alphabet in Marathi.
Friends, In the beginning, we will write Marathi in the English script. So as to enable you to read it, we will decide some conventions for it.
Note that in some cases there is some difference in pronunciation when the capital letter is used instead of a small letter. e.g n/N ; t/T ; d/D
Go through it once. You may not remember all pronunciation now. But as and when you will use it in the sentence, come back to these rules and check it. After a few days, you will remember it automatically.
Also, I have mentioned Devanagari symbols. So later when we will start using Devanagari. you can refer this chart to get the sound for each symbol.
Let’s start studying Marathi vowels. In Marathi, vowels are added to consonants. Most of them are easy to pronounce, ऋ is slightly challenging. Marathi vowels retain much of their original Sanskrit pronunciation making some of them different from their Hindi counterparts. A notable example is औ (au), pronounced as an owl in Marathi but as Oxford in Hindi. ऑ (Ao) is a special vowel used for loan English words and is pronounced as in doctor.
|Devanagari||Transliteration used here||Examples|
|अ||a||as in allow|
|आ||A||as in hard
|इ||i||as in hit
|ई||I||as in mean|
|उ||u||as in put|
|ऊ||U||as in hoot
|ए||e||as in main
|ऐ||ai||as in fight|
|ओ||o||as in Oh my God
|औ||au||as in owl
|अं||aM||as sound of "um" in number, sound of "um" as in jum
|अः||aH||as “uh” in huh?
|अॅ||~a||as in “bat”
|ऑ||~o||as in O in Oxford|
|ऋ||Ru||as “ru” in ruby;“roo” in “roof”|
Listen pronunciation of vowels online at
Pronunciation of ऋ(Ru) is different in Hindi and Marathi.
In Hindi ऋ(Ru) is pronounced as रि(ri). Whereas in Marathi sound is similar to रु (ru).
Listen pronunciation of ऋ Ru
Now lets us learn consonants in Marathi. Many Marathi consonants come in three different forms: aspirated, unaspirated and retroflex.
Aspiration means with a puff of air and is the difference between the sound of the letter p in English pin (aspirated) and spit (unaspirated). Retroflex consonants, on the other hand, are not really found in English. They should be pronounced with the tongue tip curled back. Practice with a native speaker, or just pronounce as usual — you’ll usually still get the message across.
|Devanagari||Transliteration used here||Equivalent/Comments|
|क||k||as in skip.|
|ख||kh||as in sinkhole.
|ग||g||as in go.|
|घ||gh||as in doghouse.|
|ङ||G||as in sing. Used only in Sanskrit loan words, does not occur independently.
|च||ch||as in church.|
|छ||Ch||as in pinchhit.
|ज||j||as in jump.|
|झ||jh||as in dodge her.|
|ञ||nY||as in canyon. Used only in Sanskrit loan words, does not occur independently.|
|ट||T||as in tick. Retroflex, but still a hard t sound similar to English.|
|ठ||Th||as in lighthouse. Retroflex|
|ड||D||as in doom. Retroflex|
|ढ||Dh||as in mudhut. Retroflex|
|ण||N||retroflex n, as in grand.|
|त||t||does not exist in English. more dental t, with a bit of a th sound. Softer than an English t.|
|थ||th||aspirated version of the previous letter, not as in thanks or the.|
|ध||dh||aspirated version of the above d.
|न||n||n in man, pan
|प||p||as in spin.
|फ||ph||as in uphill.
|ब||b||as in be.|
|भ||bh||as in abhor.|
|म||m||as in mere.
|य||y||as in yet.|
|र||r||r in rat|
|ल||l||as in lean.|
|व||v||as in Spanish vaca, between English v and w, but without the lip rounding of an English w.|
|श||sh||as in shoot.
|ष||Sh||almost indistinguishable retroflex of the above. slightly more aspirated.
|स||s||as in see.
|ह||h||as in him.
|ळ||L||as in Norwegian farlig. Retroflex lateral approximent
|क्ष||kSh||As in k + sh
|ज्ञ||dny||Pronounced as d + n + y|