Thu. Sep 29th, 2022

Kannada is the pride of Bengaluru city. This language is said to have originated in India between 500 and 700 A.D. The Kannada script came to be known around 1500 A.D. At present, Kannada, a primarily Dravidian language, is the official language of Karnataka.
Being a metropolitan city, a lot of the people in the city have a problem when it comes to conversing with the localities here. A main barrier is language. As a language, Kannada is quite simple to pick up and learn. Here is a short tutorial that will help you converse in the language and blend in in this city better.

To start off with, let’s start with simple things. How do you greet a person in Kannada?

‘Hello’ is ‘Namaskara’.

Moving on, we’ll take up a simple commonplace conversation.

I am Bhoomika Naanu Bhoomika
What is your name? Nimma hesaru yenu?
He is Ramu, my friend Avaru Ramu , nanna sneehitra
How are you? Hege iddira
I am doing well/I am fine Chennage Iddini


As you want to sound polite and nice, it is always best to keep some soft words in your bag.

Please Dayavittu
Thank You Dhanyavadu
Sorry Kshamisi
Welcome Susvaagatha
Congratulations Shubhasheyagalu


To answer simple questions with a yes or a no,

Yes                  Howdhu

No                   Illa


Pronouns form an integral part of all sentences. However, in Kannada, unlike English, you have a respectful form and a colloquial form of most pronouns. So, here is how you refer to different people in different manners.

I Naanu
My Nanna
You Neenu
You (respect) Neevu
He Avanu
She Avalu
Your Ninna
He/She(respect), they Avaru
His Avana
Her Avala
His/her(respect), their Avara
We, I(respect) Naavu
Our Namma
It/This Idu
That Adu
Mother Taayi
Father Tande
Friend Sneehitru
Younger sister Tangi
Elder sister Akka
Younger brother Tamma
Elder brother Anna
Child Maga


Now that we’ve got the main parts of sentences in place, let’s move on into some sentence structure and verbs. These verbs are generally added as suffixes to other words to give them a tense.

Is Ide
Was Ittu
I Will Ini
He Will/She will Ane/-Ale
They will -Are


These were the suffixes for tenses. Now, here are some frequently used verbs

Come Baa
Go Hogu
Sit Kulithuko
Walk Nadee
Eat Thinnu
Drink Kudee
Run Odu
Do Madu
Take Thogo
Give Kogu
Listen Kelu
Tell Helu
Stop Nillu
Wait Iru
Easy Sarala
Hard Kathina


You can combine the two to give you verbs of different tenses.


The questioning words are:

What Yenu
Why Yaake
When Yevag
Where Yelli
Who Yaaru
How Hege


Some of the other commonly used words that will come in handy are

Book Pustakaa
Money Kaasu
Food Ootaa
House Mane
Good Chennaga/Olle
Bad Ketta
Breakfast Tindi
Big Dodda
Small Chikka
Today Ivattu
Tomorrow Naale
Yesterday Nenne
Much Tumba
Fast Bega
Don’t know Gothilla
Now Eega
Read Odu
Girl Hudugi
Boy Huduga

To end with, here are some sentences translated from English to Kannada to give you a better idea

I don’t know Kannada Nannige Kannada gothilla
What is your name? Ninna hesaru yenu?
This is a book Idu Pustakaa
Where is the food? Oota yelli?
When are you going? Yevag hogtira?
I don’t want it Idu Nannige Beda
I am from Bengaluru Nanna ooru Bengaluru
I am a good girl Naanu olle hudugi


Additionally, the numbers in Kannada are

One Ondu
Two Yeradu
Three Mooru
Four Naalku
Five Aidhu
Six Aaru
Seven Aylu
Eight Entu
Nine Ombattu
Ten Hattu
Twenty Ipattu
Thirty Moovattu
Forty Nalvattu
Fifty Aivattu
Sixty Arvattu
Seventy Epattu
Eighty Embattu
Ninety Thombattu
Hundred Nooru


You can form the rest of the numbers from this. For example,

Twenty two is ipattyerdu, forty nine is nalvattombattu and so on.



If you keep the above in mind, you should be able to survive in almost any part of this state and converse with everyone in their native language. Of course, fluency comes only with practice. Keep this in mind and catch hold of a person who knows Kannada well and begin conversing. This will help you blend in with the culture of the place.

Feel free to post any queries for any sort of help that you happen to need while learning the language. But, I will say this for sure- Kannada is a language worth learning, although it may take some time and effort.

By Prithviraj Singh Chauhan

Part time journalist, full-time observer. Editor-in-Chief at The Indian Wire. I cover updates related to business and startups.

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