Learning the Kannada Alphabet…Vowels

Yesterday I finally had the opportunity to start using the ICC Kannada online course.  The first lesson was 15 vowels…Wow!  My ears are going to have to adjust to the subtle differences between letters. 

The lesson introduced the letter, showed a word with a picture with the vowel, and then showed how to write the vowel.  Writing was fun-the letters are beautiful and intricate.  A lot of the letters involve the same written motions (loops and curliques), so I think by the end I was starting to get the hang of it.  I will definitely need to stock up on index cards to make flash cards!

The last two vowels were confusing for me…the “ahm” and the “ahuh” (or something like that).  The example for “ahm” was “angi” (shirt) and the other was the word for sorrow.  I was confused because in the written word I couldn’t find the vowels written exactly like the alphabet letter…they morphed somehow.  Satya explained that the word for sorrow has the same hiccup sound people make when they are sobbing…it will be easier to remember now with that explanation.

I’m looking forward to learning actual phrases and sentences.

This weekend I am definitely going to get some index cards!

4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Birgit
    Aug 11, 2008 @ 20:47:40


    I am also looking for a Kannada language course. My motivation is the same like yours. I want to be able to communicate with my boy-friends family.
    Since you have started your course already could you give some recommendation how difficult it is to learn Kannada and if you can recommend the websites given on this blog?
    I am not very keen on learning how to read or write, my main focus is how to talk and understand.
    I am living in Germany 🙂 greetings from there,


  2. minnesotameetskarnataka
    Aug 11, 2008 @ 22:14:35

    Hi Birgit,

    Great to hear from you! Welcome.

    I haven’t tried both of them, so I can only comment on the ICC course.

    I’d say learning Kannada is difficult because the sounds are very different. For me, it is hard to pick up on the subtle differences. Also, it is trickier because it isn’t an Indo-European language…I’ve studied French, Greek, and Latin and those all have some similarities to build off of each other. Kannada is totally different.

    I started with the ICC course because it had the convenience of accepting credit cards. The Kannada-Online course does not. The emphasis on the ICC course is speaking. It does not give lengthy explanations of why the language is the way it is.

    The Kannada Online course from Mysore University seems like it is more intense and if you complete the exams, you’ll get a certificate. This one seems to include more cultural history too, which could be interesting.

    Other than that, my advice would be to listen to Kannada music and watch some movies…I’ve picked up some Hindi by watching Bollywood movies (still haven’t tracked down any Kannada movies yet sadly).

    Is your boyfriend from Southern Karnataka? If so, you’ll be in luck because both courses emphasize the Southern way of speaking (longer words, more polite) vs the Northern way (words combined, more straightforward).

    Please let me know if you find any other resources and your experience with them.

    Is your boyfriend open to teaching you some?



  3. tukaram
    Aug 26, 2008 @ 15:01:24

    hi you searching for kannada tutor online


  4. minnesotameetskarnataka
    Aug 27, 2008 @ 20:26:48


    No, I’m not searching for a personal Kannada online tutor.

    I’m thinking between Satya, his family, the two online programs, books, dvds, and music, some Kannada should stick.


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