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Tulu phrasebook

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Tulu is a regional language spoken in coastal districts of Karnataka i.e. Dakshina Kannada and Udupi. It is the 24th most populous Indian language according to the 2001 census of India. It is often mistakenly claimed as a dialect of Kannada. In reality, it is an independently derived descendent of the proto-Dravidian language. Tulu does not have a widely used script, though efforts are on to discover or construct one. Currently, most writing in the language is in the Kannada script. A lack of a script, however, has not prevented it from developing a vibrant literature of its own, most notably poems and plays.

One remarkable feature of Tulu is the number of dialects that you will find in the small geographical area. Not only are there regional differences, there are also caste-based dialects. Different sub-castes of Brahmins speak different dialects of Tulu, all of them different from the "standard" dialect described here.

Pronounciation guide[edit]



Common diphthongs[edit]

Phrase list[edit]

Some phrases in this phrasebook still need to be translated. If you know anything about this language, you can help by plunging forward and translating a phrase.


Hello.  NamaskAra. ( ) Hello. (informal)  Namaskara . ( ) How are you?  Encha uller? ( ?) I am doing great  HushAr ulle. ( ) What is your name?  Eerena pudar daytha/ena/enchina/dada?( ?) My name is ______ .  yenna pudar . ( <name>.) Nice to meet you.  Thikene santosha aandu . ( ) Come here.  enchi(here) balle (come) Go there.   anchi (there) polle (go) Please.  daya maltudu. ( ) Thank you.  danya vaada . ( ) You're welcome.  Swagaata . ( ) Yes.  andu. ( ) No.  attu. (or ijji) ( ) Excuse me. (getting attention)  . ( ) Excuse me. (begging pardon)  . ( ) I'm sorry.  thapu aandu . ( ) Goodbye  thikkuga . (also means lets meet again ) Goodbye (informal)  Barpe . (also means I will be back ) I can't speak name of language [well].  Enku TULU patere gotuji [ ]. ( [ ]) Do you speak English?  Eereg English pateriyera gottunda? ( ?) Is there someone here who speaks English?  English gottitthinaaglu yeranda ullera? ( ?) Help!  saaya! ( !) help me : saaya malpule ( ! ) Look out!  jaagrathe! ( !) Early morning.  . (Pulya Kaande ) Evening.  . (Baiyyadu ) Night.  (Raathre ) Jeppunu (to sleep)  I don't understand.  enk gottu aapujji/ enku artha aapuji. ( ) Where is the toilet?  Thandaas or Sandaas Vondu ?/ Thandaas or Sandaas Volundu Ye? ( ?) tender coconut  Bonda ( !) tender coconut water  Bonda da neeru coconut  thaarai ( !) I am not feeling well  yenk soukya ijji. I don't want yenk boduchi. Give Me yenk korule. God Devere She is not feeling well (While mentioning to someone younger than You) Aleg soukya ijji. He is not feeling well (While mentioning to someone younger than You) Ayag soukya ijjji. He/she is not feeling well (While mentioning to an elderly person both male/ female)  Areg sokya ijji. Look there (as in "look at that thing")  Thoole Look here  Thoope I like it very much  Yane muste laikape He/She/It is gone  Poondu Hurts  bene, for example, "my stomach hurts" would be yanna bungee benapundu Very (can also mean "too much")  muste Car  gaadi Foot  khare Confuse  Gondala Living Room  Chavadi Guest  Bin-ner Bride  Madhmalu Bridegroom  Madhmaye




1  onji (...) 2  raddu (...) 3  mooji (...) 4  naalu (...) 5  ainu (...) 6  aaji (...) 7  yeLu (...) 8  yenma (...) 9  ormba (...) 10  pattu (...) 11  patt-onji (...) 12  pad-radu (...) 13  padi-mooji (...) 14  padi-naalu (...) 15  padi-nainu (...) 16  padi-naaji (...) 17  padi-nelu (...) 18  padi-nenamma (...) 19  padi-noramba (...) 20  iruva (...) 21  iruvatha onji (...) 22  iruvatha radu (...) 23  iruvatha mooji (...) 30  muppa (...) 40  nalpa (...) 50  aiva (...) 60  ajippa (...) 70  elpa (...) 80  enpa (...) 90  sonpa (...) 100  noodu (...) 200  irnoodu (...) 300  munnoodu (...) 1000  onji sara (...) 2000  raddu sara (...) 1,000,000  pattu laksha (...) 1,000,000,000  noodu koti 1,000,000,000,000  pattu sara koti number _____ (train, bus, etc.)  number _____ (...) half  ardha (...) 1/4th  kaal 3/4th  mukkal less  kammi (...) more  jasthi (...)



Clock time[edit]

ganthe yeth aand?


yeth portuddu inchi


ini va dina



Writing time and date[edit]


red = kempu blue = nili green = pacche white = boldu black = kappu yellow = manjal


Bus and train[edit] Directions[edit]

mithu=up, thirthu=down, dhumbu=front, pira=back, inchidu-from here, unchiddu-from there, kaithal -near, doora -far, padai-west, moodai-east, balatha kai - right hand, yedatha kai - left hand,



badai the illu or badigeda illu


duddu/kaas - money chillarey - change


Thinre- to eat, purrre -to drink, ahtil -kitchen/cook, cheepe- sweet, khaara- spicy, uppu- salt, vanthe- little, balasle- serve, kajipu- curry, ale- butter milk, puli- sour/tamrind, nuppu- rice, tethi- egg, kori- chicken, meen- fish, masa- meat, boothayi- sardine, maanji- pomfret, bangude- mackerel, thaateh- shark, koyollu- shell fish, yetti- prawns, bareh the parndu- bannana, kukku- mango, kereng- sweet potato, parndh- fruit or banana or ripe, neer- water, badavu- hunger, onas- meal, uppad- pickle, lote- glass, tarkaari- vegitables, narthe- snail


gangasara(Some slangs: Bajel, Kuppi, Teertha, watis) - alchohol

vanas - meals

jeppu - sleep

perade - hen

pettha - cow

appe - mother

ammer - father

ishta - wish

dever - God

moke, mamathe - love

porlu - beauty

kule - ghost

Breakfast - thindi

baajal - cool drink

bonda - tender coconut

amal - drunkenness


santhe (Market) paintae - something like malls but smaller


For Hire -- Baadige barpara


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