Transliteration — ട്രാൻസ്‌ലിറ്ററേഷൻ — ṭrānsliṭārēṣan

It’s been a long while that I have put out a standard dictionary of transliterating বাংলা (bāŋlā) to Latin alphabets. This time, I turn to മലയാളം (malayāḷaṃ)! I have worked on this together with a native speaker of the language, my dear friend, without whom this task would always remain a figment of my imagination.

Since it is not my native tongue, there might be exceptions that have been missed. Anyone who feels so, can contact me with a brief written explanation, and I will be most happy to add them. You can refer to the বাংলা (bāŋlā) post for help in framing the explanation.

Without further ado, here goes!

  • Vowels
    • അ | a
    • ആ | ā
    • ഇ | i
    • ഈ | ī
    • ഉ | u
    • ഊ | ū
    • ഋ | r̥
    • എ | e
    • ഏ | ē
    • ഐ | āi
    • ഒ | o
    • ഓ | ō
    • ഔ | au
    •  ം | ṃ
    • : | ḥ
  • Consonants
    • ക | k
    • ഖ | kʰ
    • ഗ | g
    • ഘ | gʰ
    • ങ | ŋ
    • ച | c
    • ഛ | cʰ
    • ജ | j
    • ഝ | jʰ
    • ഞ | ñ
    • ട | ṭ
    • ഠ | ṭʰ
    • ഡ | đ
    • ഢ | đʰ
    • ണ | ṇ
    • ത | t
    • ഥ | tʰ
    • ദ | d
    • ധ | đʰ
    • ന | n
    • പ | p
    • ഫ | pʰ
    • ബ | b
    • ഭ | bʰ
    • മ | m
    • യ | y
    • ര | r
    • ല | l
    • വ | v
    • ശ | ś
    • ഷ | ṣ
    • സ | s
    • ഹ | h
    • ള | ḷ
    • ഴ | ḻ
    • റ | ṟ
  • Special character
    • ്‌ | eliminate <അ | a> sound at end of whichever consonant it appears.*

There are some distinctive features to keep in mind.

  1. /a is much more pronounced, and closer to the /ā sound, than the saṃskr̥t /a sound.
  2. The / sound is much more softer than the मराठी (marāṭʰī) /sound.

[* The specific cases where its appearance in text explicitly changes the appearance of the accompanying consonant, are given below.
ല + ്‌ = ൽ
ന + ്‌ = ൻ
റ + ്‌ = ർ
ള + ്‌ = ൾ
ണ + ്‌ = ൺ ]


Examples of standard words that I use quite often are given below.

  • kēraḷaṃ
  • malayāḷaṃ
  • mūnnār
  • vayanāṭ
  • kōḻikkōṭ
  • eṭakkal
  • saṟbatt
  • biriyāṇi
  • taḷi śiva
  • tiruvanantapuraṃ
  • jaṭāyu
  • ponmuṭi
  • caṭayamaṃgalaṃ
  • koṭṭārakkara
  • varkkala
  • kōvaḷaṃ
  • ālappuḻa
  • ayyō!

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