How to Speak Telugu

Three Methods:

There are more than 80 million native speakers of Telugu, most of whom live in the state of Andhra Pradesh in southeast India. There are two forms of Telugu – an ancient, literary form and the colloquial form commonly spoken. You can become conversational in the colloquial form without learning the written script. If you already know how to speak Telugu, the script will be easier for you to pick up.Aṅthaa shubhaṅ kalagaali!(Good luck!)


Making Basic Conversation

  1. Greet people by sayingnamaskārām.This is the formal way to say "hello" in Telugu. The word is essentially the Telugu version of the standard Indian greeting "namaste." Telugu-speakers will also understand you if you simply saynamaste, although this is considered less formal.
    • You can also use greetings that reflect the time of the day. For example, in the morning you might sayshubhodayam, which means "good morning." The afternoon greeting isshubha dhinaṅ.
    • There is no specific evening greeting in Telugu. Usenamaskārāmornamaste.
  2. Continue the conversation by askingMeeru aelaa unnaaru?This question means "how are you?" The standard response typically would benaenu baagunnaanu, meeru aelaa unnaaru?("I'm fine/doing well, how are you?")
    • For a more polite response, sayNaenu baagunnaanu, dhanyavaadhamulu, mari meeru?This means "I'm fine, thanks, and yourself?" The phrasemari meerumeans "and you" or "and yourself," so if the other person asked first, don't include this part of the sentence.
  3. Use the phrasenaa paeruto introduce yourself.Naa paerumeans "my name is." After giving your name, you can askMee paeraemaṅdi?This means "What is your name?" You could also simply saymari meeruafter your name.
    • For example,naa paeru Divya, mari meeru?means "My name is Divya, and you?"
    • Culturally, it is considered more polite to tell the other person your name before asking theirs.
    • After the person tells you their name, you could saymimmalni kalavadaṅ chaalaa saṅthoashaṅgaa uṅdhi, which means "pleased to meet you."
  4. Explain that you don't speak Telugu very well.If you've gotten this far into a conversation with a native-speaker of Telugu, you likely want to let them know that you've just started learning the language.
    • Someone may ask you "Meeru thelugu maatlaadathaaraa?" They are asking "Do you speak Telugu?" You might reply "aunu koṅchaṅ maathraṅgaa," which means "yes, a little."
    • If you don't understand what someone is saying, you can simply say "artam kaadu," which means "I don't understand." You could also say "dhayachaesi mallee cheppaṅdi" ("please say that again") or "dhayachaesi nemmadhigaa matlaadaṅdi" ("please speak more slowly").
  5. Use polite words and phrases to show respect for others.Being polite and courteous is important in any culture. Especially if you're just beginning to learn the language, show people speaking to you that you appreciate them and are grateful for their assistance.
    • Daayacheyseemeans "please."
    • Danyavaadaaloomeans "thank you." If someone says this to you, saymaa saṅthoashaṅin reply.
    • Kshamin tsandeemeans "excuse me."
    • Maa kshamaapanalumeans "I'm sorry."
  6. Close the conversation by sayingveedkolu.When the conversation is over, this is a common, more formal way to say "goodbye" in Telugu. You can also say "vellostaanu" or "ika selavu." If it's late in the evening and you want to say "goodnight," say "shubha raathri."
    • You can also say "mītō māṭlāḍaḍaṁ bāgunnadi," which means "it was nice talking to you."

Understanding Telugu Vocabulary and Grammar

  1. Find a conversation partner locally or online.One of the best ways to improve your language proficiency and expand your grammar is to talk to native speakers. If you can't find someone locally to speak Telugu with, use an online site such as WeSpeke or Busuu to find a conversation partner.
    • In many cases, these partnerships are tandem learning opportunities. For example, if you speak English and want to learn Telugu, you would be matched with a native Telugu speaker who wants to learn English. During your sessions, you would converse part of the time in English, the rest of the time in Telugu.
    • With any conversation exchange, you'll get out of it as much as you put in. Take the process seriously. Write down words or phrases that you don't understand and practice them before your next meeting.
  2. Label items in your home with Telugu words.Get some sticky notes or cards and write Telugu words for furniture, foods, and other objects in your home. Any time you pass a note, say the word out loud. Over time, you'll come to think of that item by its Telugu word.
    • You can download vocabulary lists for common items around the house on the internet for free. TheLearning Teluguwebsite has an extensive vocabulary list. The list includes the transliterated and script version of the word. If you learn Telugu script, you can revisit your labels and add the script if you want.
    • You don't have to stop at the name of the object itself. You can also use these labels to familiarize yourself with the Telugu words for colors, or other descriptive words such as "hard" or "soft."
  3. Conjugate verbs with the appropriate personal ending.As with many other languages, in Telugu you add a suffix to the verb stem to indicate who is doing the action. There are 8 personal endings in Telugu.
    • First person singular:-nu
    • Second person singular:-vu
    • Third person singular (human male):-du
    • Third person singular (other than human male):-di
    • First person plural:-mu
    • Second person plural:-ru
    • Third person plural (human males):-ru
    • Third person plural (other than human males):-yi
  4. Addbefore appropriate personal ending for past tense verbs.Conjugation of verbs in Telugu is fairly simple, especially compared to English and other European languages. The past tense is used for actions that were completed entirely in the past, similar to the preterite tense in Spanish.
    • Infinitives end inu. To conjugate a verb, drop theuand add the appropriate endings. In some cases the closing consonant will be doubled in the transliteration of the word – this does not affect the pronunciation.
    • For example, the first person past tense form of the verbtinu("to eat") would betinnānu.
  5. Use the-tāsuffix before appropriate personal ending for non-past tense verbs.In Telugu, the non-past tense is used to talk about habitual actions, or actions that will take place in the future. As with the past tense, the suffix does not change and all verbs are regular.
    • For example, the first person non-past tense form of the verbtinu("to eat") would betintānu.
  6. Place the object before the verb in sentences.Telugu uses subject-object-verb word order in sentences. Indirect objects come before direct objects. There are no coordinating conjunctions in Telugu, such as "and," you simply lengthen the final vowel.
    • For example, if you wanted to say "I speak English" in Telugu, you would say "Nēnu āṅglaṁ māṭlāḍalēni." The literal translation of this sentence would be "I English speak."

Learning by Immersion

  1. Watch Telugu-language films.The Telugu-language film industry is commonly known asTollywood. While the Hindi-language Bollywood of northern India is more popular, Tollywood is gaining interest. There are hundreds of Telugu-language films produced each year.
    • Some movies may be available for streaming online, or through your favorite video streaming service. You may also be able to check out movies from your local library.
    • Most of these movies have English subtitles. Start with the subtitles on, or leave them off for a more immersive experience.
    • Indian news and entertainment websites, such as the Times of India and The Indian Express, provide lists and reviews of Telugu-language movies. These websites are written in English.
  2. Listen to Telugu-language music.Telugu-language music is just as popular and prevalent as Telugu-language films. Listening to songs will help increase your vocabulary as well as teaching you common turns of phrase.
    • AR Rahman, the Academy-award winning composer of theSlumdog Millionairescore, has many songs in Telugu.
  3. Use an alphabet chart to learn Telugu script.The Telugu language has its own writing system. The alphabet is syllabic, so all consonants have an inherent vowel sound. Vowels are only written as independent letters if they start a syllable.
    • The Digital South Asia Library at Duke University has a digital textbook for learning Telugu characters available for free at .
    • The current writing system was developed in the 20th century, and is based on the modern spoken language. Once you know how to speak Telugu, spelling and writing should come easily to you.
    • After learning the alphabet, turn on Telugu closed-captioning when watching Telugu-language movies. That way you'll be able to see the word written as it is spoken.
  4. Plan a trip to Hyderabad.As the capital of Andhra Predesh, a state in southeast India where the majority of Telugu-speakers live, you can be sure to hear the language spoken in this lively and historic city.
    • Since Microsoft, Google, and other tech giants have opened offices here, the city is booming with hotels, restaurants, and an active nightlife.
    • The city is also home to the University of Hyderabad, one of India's major institutions of higher learning.

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  • The U.S. Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center has audio files with a number of basic words and phrases in Telugu available at . You can listen to these audio files on the website or download them free of charge. These language kits are geared toward military, but some of the general language information may be of use to you.

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Date: 02.12.2018, 04:51 / Views: 93353