Learn Kannada Through English

Kannada language is not tough to learn as some of you may think. It is very simple yet rich language. If you have real interest in learning spoken Kannada language, then this page will help you with free resources and guidelines to learn Kannada through English knowledge.

Kannada is among 30 of the most widely spoken languages of the world. It is spoken predominantly by the people of Karnataka in south western region of India and also by linguistic minorities in the states of Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Telangana, Kerala and Goa, and also by Kannadigas abroad.

Kannada native speakers are called Kannadigas and their number is approximately roughly 40 million. It is the official and administrative language of the state of Karnataka.

If you want to learn Kannada then the most important thing is first trying to speak in a language.

So, how to easily start the conversation, even if it is broken Kannada?

  • First learn common salutations, greetings and expressions such as Namaskara, Hegiddeera, Chennagideera etc.
  • Tip – always use the plural form to address a singular person when we speak politely.
  • Learn question words to properly ask queries – Who, Why, When, Where, Which, How, etc. (Yaaru, Yaake, Yaavaga, Elli, Enu, Hege etc)
  • Learn the important verbs required in everyday conversation.
  • Learn the pronouns. (he, she, it / avanu, avaLu, adu)
  • Expand your vocabulary – Gender, time, numbers, cardinals, colors, names of vegetables, fruits, pulses, etc
  • Then start explore basic grammars:
    • Tenses – Use the verbs in present, past and future tenses
    • Conjunctions – They will help to make complex sentences(and, but, or / mattu, aadare, athava etc).
  • Start making and speaking in simple sentences indicating – Request, Advise, Order, Interrogation, Negation, Assertive, etc

1. Kannada Language Structure and Alphabets

ಅ aಆ āಇ eಈ eeಉ uಊ ūಋ r̥
ಎ iಏ iiಐ aiಒ oಓ ōಔ Au
ಅಂ (am)ಅಃ (aha)
ಕ(ka)ಖ(kha)ಗ(ga)ಘ(gha)ಙ(nga)
ಚ(cha)ಛ (chha)ಜ(ja)ಝ(jha)ಞ(nya)
ಟ (tta)ಠ(ttha)ಡ(dda)ಢ(ddha)ಣ(nna)
ತ(ta)ಥ(tha)ದ(da)ಧ(dha)ನ (na)
ಪ(pa)ಫ(pha)ಬ(ba)ಭ (bha)ಮ(ma)

2. Common Kannada Phrases

Commonly used Kannada phrases are easy to learn and use on a daily basis. Below we included most common phrases with categories. This is an easier way to learn, start with what you need for communication.

Check this wiki page for more such phrases.

Time expressions in Kannada

Monday: ಸೋಮವಾರ  [Sōmavāra] Tuesday: ಮಂಗಳವಾರ  [Maṅgaḷavāra] 
Wednesday: ಬುದವಾರ  [Budavāra] Thursday: ಗುರುವಾರ   [Guruvāra] 
Friday: ಶುಕ್ರವಾರ  [Śukravāra] Saturday: ಶನಿವಾರ  [Śanivāra] 
Sunday: ಭಾನುವಾರ  [Bhānuvāra] Now: ಈಗ  [Īga] 
Yesterday: ನಿನ್ನೆ    [Ninne] Today: ಇಲ್ಲಿ  [Illi] 
Tonight: ಈ ರಾತ್ರಿ  [Ī rātri] Tomorrow: ನಾಳೆ  [Nāḷe] 

Common colors in Kannada

Red: ಕೆಂಪು  [Kempu] Green: ಹಸಿರು  [Hasiru] 
Blue: ನೀಲಿ  [Nīli] White: ಬಿಳಿ  [Biḷi] 
Black: ಕಪ್ಪು  [Kappu] Grey: ತಬೂದು  [Boodu] 

Kannada words about eating

Breakfast: ನಾಷ್ಟ  [Nāṣṭa] Lunch: ಊಟ  [Ūṭa] 
Dinner: ರಾತ್ರಿ ಊಟ  [Rātri ūṭa] Milk: ಹಾಲು  [Hālu] 
Coffee: ಕಾಫಿ  [Kāphi] Bread: ಬ್ರೆಡ್ಡು  [Breḍḍu] 

Weather terms in Kannada

Sunny: ಬಿಸಿಲು ಕವಿದ   [Bisilu kavida] Windy: ಗಾಳಿ   [Gāḷi] 
Rainy: ಮಳೆ ಕವಿದ   [Maḷe kavida] Snowy: ಹಿಮ ಕವಿದ   [Hima kavida] 
Cold: ತಣ್ಣಗೆ/ ತಂಡಿ  [Taṇṇage/ taṇḍi] Hot: ಬಿಸಿ   [Bisi] 

Family and relatives names

Boy: ಹುಡುಗ   [Huḍuga] Girl: ಹುಡುಗಿ   [Huḍugi] 
Son: ಮಗ  [Maga] Daughter: ಮಗಳು  [Magaḷu] 
Brother: ಅಣ್ಣ/ ತಮ್ಮ   [Aṇṇa/ tam’ma] Sister: ಅಕ್ಕ/ ತಂಗಿ  [Akka/ taṅgi] 
Man: ಗಂಡಸು  [Gaṇḍasu] Woman: ಹೆಂಗಸು   [Heṅgasu] 
Father: ಅಪ್ಪ   [Appa] Mother: ಅಮ್ಮ   [Am’ma] 
Grandfather: ತಾತ   [Tāta] Grandmother: ಅಜ್ಜಿ   [Ajji] 

Locations in the house

House: ಮನೆ   [Mane] Toilet: ಶೌಚಾಲಯ   [Śaucālaya] 
Room: ಕೋಣೆ  [Kōṇe] Bedroom: ಕೋಣೆ  [Kōṇe] 
Kitchen: ಅಡಿಗೆ ಮನೆ   [Aḍige mane] Table: ಮೇಜು   [Mēju] 

Clothes we wear

Socks: ಕಾಲ್ಚೀಲ  [Kālcīla] Shoes: ಬೂಟುಗಳು  [Būṭugaḷu] 
Trousers: ಪ್ಯಾಂಟುಗಳು  [Pyāṇṭugaḷu] Shirt: ಅಂಗಿ  [Aṅgi] 
Sweater: ಸ್ವೆಟರ್  [Sveṭar] Coat: ಕೋಟು  [Kōṭu] 

Travel related words

Taxi: ಬಾಡಿಗೆ ಮೋಟಾರು ಕಾರು  [Bāḍige mōṭāru kāru] Bus: ಬಸ್ಸು  [Bas’su] 
Hotel: ಹೋಟೆಲ್  [Hōṭel] Reservation: ಕಾದಿರಿಸುವಿಕೆ  [Kādirisuvike] 
Airport: ವಿಮಾನ ನಿಲ್ದಾಣ  [Vimāna nildāṇa] Passport: ಪರಿಚಯ ಪತ್ರ  [Paricaya patra] 

Word to use in school

Student: ವಿದ್ಯಾರ್ಥಿ  [Vidyārthi] Teacher: ಗುರುಗಳು   [Gurugaḷu] 
Pen: ಲೇಖನಿ  [Lēkhani] Books: ಪುಸ್ತಕಗಳು  [Pustakagaḷu] 
Page: ಪುಟ  [Puṭa] Dictionary: ಪದಕೋಶ  [Padakōśa] 

Emergency vocabulary

Ambulance: ಆಂಬುಲೆನ್ಸ್  [Āmbulens] Doctor: ವೈದ್ಯ   [Vaidya] 
Hospital: ಆಸ್ಪತ್ರೆ  [Āspatre] Pharmacy: ಔಷದಾಲಯ   [Auṣadālaya] 
Police: ಪೊಲೀಸ್  [Polīs] Stomach Ache: ಹೊಟ್ಟೆ ಶೂಲೆ  [Hoṭṭe śūle] 

Basics of Kannada Grammar

For quick and easy leaning of Kannada, you need to understand some of the basics of language grammars. We have collated important grammar rules for easier understanding:

Suggested read: Easy to learn Kannada grammar rules | Opposite words in Kannada

Refer to wiki page for more elaborated grammar details of Kannada language.