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Tulu Language: Its Script and Dialects
by Dr. Neria H. Hebbar Bookmark and Share

Tulu language is one of the five Dravidian languages of South India (Pancha- Bhasha, others are Tamil, Telugu, Kannada and Malayalam). The four major languages spoken today are dominantly spoken in their respective states (Tamilnadu, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Kerala), whereas Tulu is spoken in a small niche, mainly in coastal Karnataka and Northern Karala (Kasaragod district). About 2.5 million people speak Tulu and call it their mother tongue. Tulu nadu is a region where many languages are spoken. While Kannada is the official state language, different ethnic communities in Tulu Nadu speak different languages. Tulu, derived from proto-Dravidian is the predominant language spoken by Hindus of various castes and by the Jains of Tulu Nadu. Konkanasthas and Catholics speak two variants of Konkani. Muslims speak a language of their own that is derived from Tulu as well as Malayalam.

There are about 24 Dravidian languages recognized by linguists. Of these the five languages in the South developed into major languages. Tulu is the only developed language that has not received the recognition it is due. However, Tulu language with its near extinct script has been generating much enthusiasm amongst the linguists, as it is now believed to be one of the oldest Dravidian languages.

The Script

The Tulu language has lost its prominence as a major language. Lack of serious literature in Tulu language has also hampered its claim as a language to be taught in educational institutes. Though it is certain that most of the literature has been lost because of difficulties in preserving palm leaf scrolls, the earliest literature available is from the 15th century. This indeed is a much later work than the language itself, which is thousands of years old. There was also some confusion regarding the script of Tulu language, which closely resembles Malayalam. It was thought that priests from Tulu Nadu went south to Kerala to perform and learn Agama Sastra rituals, where they jotted notes borrowing the Malayalam alphabets. This was the prevailing thought of many researches although now there is a consensus that Tulu language possessed its own script before Malayalam script existed. Perhaps the reciprocal is true that the Malayalam script developed from Tulu script as the language predates Malayalam by more than a thousand years. The priests who went south are now credited with carrying mantras written in Tulu script to Kerala. Like Tamil and Malayalam, Tulu script is derived from the Grantha* script. 

Sample of the basic Grantha Script

Tulu Alphabets

The earliest piece of literature, Tulu Mahabharata is from the 15th century written in Tulu script. Another manuscript that was discovered Tulu Devimahatme, a prose work like the Mahabharata, is also from the 15th century. Two epic poems written in 17th century namely Sri Bhagavata and Kaveri have also been found. Madhvacharya’s eight matts established in Udupi in the 13th century were centers of Tulu literature during his lifetime and thereafter. However, very little of this has survived. So it is not inconceivable (as it is claimed) that Madhvacharya himself did all his writings in the Tulu script. Other inscriptions discovered are Sanskrit mantras transliterated in Tulu script. It appears as though the Brahmins used the script mainly for this purpose.

In the first half of 19th century the German missionaries undertook a renaissance of the language. Unfortunately, they published Tulu literature and materials related to Christianity in the Kannada script as they had established printing presses in that language in Mangalore. In addition the German missionaries also produced Tulu lexicon and Tulu-English dictionary. They are also credited with transcription of Tulu folklore, Tulu proverbs and works on spirit worship in Tulu Nadu. Printing material in the Kannada script led to further disuse of the original Tulu script. By late 19th century Tulu script became remote and was endangered. Today there are no books or literature in the Tulu script and there are only a handful of Tuluvas who can read the script.

All the classic literatures discovered thus far are written only in one of the four dialects of the language, namely the Brahmin dialect. The dialect spoken by Brahmins in the southern part of Tulu Nadu is used in these manuscripts. The priests belonged to a sect of Tuluva Brahmins called the Shivalli Brahmins. (Only the Shivalli and the Sthanika sects in Tulu Nadu spoke the Brahmin dialect.) Tulu script was used by these Brahmins

to write mantras. The Brahmin dialect also has imported many Sanskrit words into its dialect and lexicon. The Common dialect, which is spoken by the non-Brahmin class, was not used in writings of Tulu. However, the Common dialect is used in many of the folk songs, proverbs and riddles. The folk songs called the Paaddanas are treasures reflective of the rich culture of Tulu Nadu. They also allow a glimpse into the society of Tuluva people. These were never written down and have been passed on through generations as oral traditional songs.

The Language and its Dialects

Research in Tulu language and script has been sorely lacking. In 1856 Robert Caldwell undertook a systematic study of the Tulu language with his monumental work, “A Comparative Grammar of Dravidian or South Indian Family of Languages.” Caldwell called Tulu one of the most developed Dravidian languages. In 1872 J. Bigel wrote, “Grammar of The Tulu Language.” Then in the 20th century S. U. Panniyadi and L.V. Ramaswamy Iyer published more books about its grammar. These authors contended that the language was well developed, and was one of the earliest off-shoots of proto-South Dravidian language, with many dialectal variations. (Tamil, Malayalam and Kannada also were derived from it, whereas Telugu was derived from proto-Central Dravidian). There is renewed interest in the language as evidenced by the fact that many universities both in India and abroad are promoting more research of Tulu language.  Rashtrakavi Govinda Pai Research Center in Udupi has encouraged such research. Dr. D.N. Shankar Bhat and Dr. Padmanabha Kekunnaya have been doing commendable, ongoing research in the field.

From Encyclopedia Britannica

Different regions within Tulu Nadu developed its own dialect of the language. The language developed with various dialects and peculiarities, unimpeded by the proximity of the regions. Five main such geographical divisions with dialectal variations can be seen.

1. Southwest: comprising of Kasargod District of Kerala
2. Southeast: Includes Sullia and Kodagu
3. South Central: comprising of Puttur, Belthangady and Bantwal
4. Northwest: area including Mangalore and Udupi
5. Northeast: includes Karkala.

Other languages have influenced some of the dialects in these regions. Thus Malayalam may have influenced Tulu in the Southwest (Kasargod), whereas in other areas Kannada has influenced it. The differences in the society also influenced the dialects. Brahmins developed their own dialect influenced by Sanskrit that they were proficient in. Four main social dialects have developed.

1. Brahmin Dialect
2. Jain Dialect
3. Common Dialect and
4. Harijan/Tribal Dialect

Brahmin Dialect - spoken by Shivalli and Sthanika Brahmins - is the language used in writing the few classical literature discovered thus far. They also borrowed Sanskrit words and pronunciation of words. Even the local Dravidian words were enunciated with retroflex words (unusual in Dravidian languages, where non-retroflex sounds are used).

Jain Dialect spoken by the Jains in the northern part of Tulu nadu. They have a distinct dialect where the initial t and s have been replaced by letter h. As an example the word tare (head) is pronounced as hare. Saadi (path) is haadi.

Common Dialect is spoken by the majority of people (non-Brahmins) of Tulu Nadu, and is the dialect of commerce, entertainment and art. It is the language of the Paaddana. It is subdivided into more than five groups as spoken by Bunts, Billavas, Mogaveeras, Gowdas and Kumabaras etc. Due to the similarity in these dialects, they are grouped under the common heading of Common Dialect or Common Tulu. The borrowed Sanskrit words in this dialect are invariably altered to a non-retroflex sound unlike in the Brahmin dialect where the words are pronounced just as in Sanskrit.

Harijan and Tribal Dialect is spoken by the Mera, Mansa, Harijan and Tribal classes. They closely resemble the Common dialect though in the South they still have maintained their distinction. The sound c replaces the sounds t, s, and c of other dialects. Hence tare is care and saadi is caadi. Onasu (meal) is pronounced onacu. Non-retroflex words are pronounced with retroflex in this dialect. New words like baanaaru (Brahmin), jeerklu/jeerlu (children), dekke/meere/korage (husband) and dikkalu/meerti/korappolu (wife) are also found in this dialect.

There is a common perception that there are only two kinds of Tulu dialects, namely Brahmin and Common. Dr. P Kekunnaya suggests studying the language in four different dialects by combining both geographical variations in the dialects and the different social dialects. Hence the divisions studied are:

1. Sb: Brahmin dialect of Southwest, Southeast and South Central region.
2. Sc: Common dialects of the same regions in the South
3. Nb: Brahmin dialects of Northwest and Northeast.
4. Nc: Common dialects of the same regions in the North.

Some of the differences in the words and sounds used by the Brahmin dialect and the Common dialect in the Northern regions have disappeared or are nearly imperceptible now. However, in the Southern regions, the differences are more commonly maintained and are more apparent.

Some examples of different dialects are cited here.

Sb Sc Nb Nc  
Iklegu niklegu niinklegu nigalegu to you (pl.)
eradu raddu eradu raddu two
mekle mekle mokle mogule of these persons
ubipna ubipune ubipuna ubbiyuni spitting
olette lette olete lette I called
barepri barepujji barepri barepuji does not write


In conclusion, it is fair to say that Tulu is one of the five major Dravidian languages, the script of which has not received the attention it is due. The Tulu script was mainly used to write Sanskrit mantras by the priestly class. Lack of serious literature before 15th century hampered its claim as one of the legitimate South Indian languages. Some literary works have been unearthed recently. The German missionaries in the early 19th century, perhaps, did much disservice to the Tulu script as they opted to transliterate Christian literature into Tulu language but used Kannada script to do so. But they are also credited with introducing print medium to the language, though in the Kannada script, thus helping in preserving many of the dying stories and folk songs.  The dominance of Kannada print medium led to further disuse of the script. Currently there are no attempts at resurrecting Tulu language or the scripts in the universities and other institutions in the Tulu Nadu. The language and the script had remained a curiosity for researchers until recently but now there seems to be renewed interest in this ancient language. There seems to be some hope for a Tulu renaissance mainly because of works done by Padmanabha Kekunnaya, Drs. U.P and Susheela P Upadhyaya and the diligent work in the Rashtrakavi Govinda Pai Samshodhana Kendra in Udupi.

There are many households in Tulu Nadu with many Tulu manuscripts and inscriptions, especially in the Brahmin homes. Many have been lost because of lack of interest in attempts to preserving them. Though most of these are Sanskrit mantras written in the Tulu script their numbers must be significantly high.  Much effort and resources need to be spent towards research of the language of Tulu Nadu and its unique script.

References: A major source of reference for this article is Dr. Padmanabha Kekunnaya’s thesis, “A Comparative Study of Tulu Dialects.” Other referral sources are “Renaissance in Tulu literature” and “Tulu Lexicon:A New Experiment in Dictionary Making” both by Dr. U. P. Upadhyaya.

*Grantha script: emerged from the Gupta script that in turn was derived from Brahmi script. Grantha script developed in the 5th and 6th century C.E. Veda Vyasa was said to have written the Vedas in the Grantha script. This led to the postulation that the Vedas were written down much later than their origins as oral traditions. This also suggests that the Tulu script developed much later than the language itself. All the Dravidian literature developed from Grantha script after the 5th century C.E. However, there is literature in Tamil dating back to 3rd century B.C.E. to 3rd century C.E. (Sangam literature). Currently Sanskrit language is written in Nagari script that developed in the 7th century C.E. 

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More by :  Dr. Neria H. Hebbar
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Comments on this Article

Comment Krishna Deva Raya
10/02/2013 08:35 AM
Ivanobba hucha
Tulunadu become suplerate state

09/19/2021 21:34 PM

Comment Malayalam Kerala language had kol Ezhuthanikara and much later they used vattezhuthu which are similar to Tamil letters. It had some thirty letters only.
When all over India favoured Devanagari lipi structure Kerala chose Thulu lipi which was not being used under Kannada kingdoms.
Kerala chose only thulu lipi and not thulu words as is implied in Sankara story of Ambika.
Thulu was taken by Purohits to Kerala to all villages.
Thulu letters were trimmed and rounded to the present form.

Krishna rao
04/20/2020 21:51 PM

Comment You can now learn Tulu on Tribalingual, the world's first online platform for learning rare & endangered languages!

08/18/2016 08:39 AM

Comment Sir,

Plz mail me tulu language numbers (tulu lipi) because i want to learn

01/05/2015 05:24 AM

Comment i want to learn tulu language from basics

12/21/2014 05:40 AM

Comment Help me to find tulu tutor! I wanna learn it

12/15/2014 01:16 AM

Comment Hi All, I am basically from Tamil Nadu & Tamil is my mother tongue. Yes, I did get a chance to live in Mangalore for around 3 months. The nature of the people & language (also ice cream) has made me go mad about the place. People are really good.

I am interested in learning TULU language. Anybody can help me please by giving up some good suggestions and references to learn this beautiful language. Please mail me to aabhinash@hotmail.com.

Thanks, Sree

Sree Charan
07/31/2014 03:10 AM

I agree this word tamil is main language then come's other languages.

gunashekara murthy
07/23/2014 13:06 PM

Comment ??????

Very nice to read the article.

Hari Narayana Bhat
03/27/2014 04:47 AM










Raghuveer Kamath
02/17/2014 10:37 AM

Comment Tulu is our (dravidan) language. So, save that language.

02/10/2014 12:44 PM

Comment Dear Sir

I am basically a sourashtra speaking person - who have settled in Tamil Nadu centuries back (atleast since 1600 AD) who face the similar issues of Tulu speakers. Our language also faces the same situation as of Tulu today but for the only difference that our community (and its speakers) are not concentrated as in Tulu speakers (who are concentrated around Mangalore).

I live in Bangalore and frequently visit Mangalore & adjoining areas on business purpose and have picked up basic Tulu (commonly spoken Tulu). I find more commonality with primitive Tamil (possibly Tulu may be the original - uncorrupted Tamil language! ( like Sourashtra language of Tamil nadu is closest to primitive uncorrupted Gujarati.

I have a passion for languages and I am fluent in Tamil, (Telugu, Hindi, Urdu, sanskrit & kannada (apat from my mother tongue and english of course). I personally feel the best way to promote a language is to encourage people to learn easily - current online resources teach only short cuts and do not enable a learner to think and start speaking.

I have a humble suggestion (based on my experience of picking up at least three languages on my own) which you can consider. A small online startup guide consisting of :

a) Basic grammer (tenses, nouns / pronouns, adjectives) - which will help in sentence formation
b) Simple nouns & verbs (like house, street, work, person, do etc.)
c) Numbers
d) relations etc.

I always feel that learning language has two components - viz. sentence formation & building vocabulary. While one can start speaking with the first activity (which can be completed generally within a month or so with dedicated efforts) second one is a continous one (at 46 even today I am adding my english vocabulary!).

Can you publish a resource like this for Tulu please? I am attempting a similar one for my own mother tongue..

Ravi CSK
01/14/2014 08:30 AM

Comment My grandson want to sing a small Tulu song(Brahmin's) in his school. He is studying in third standard in a reputed English medium school in Bangalore and speak in Tulu with mother and Kannada with father.Can anybody help?

Ramadas Acharya
01/07/2014 00:48 AM

Comment Continued from the comments dated 13.4.2012 by JAYAKAR DEJAPP OOJARY
I am JAYAKAR DEJAPPA POOJARY who wrote how to learn to read and write THULU LIPI ( as I spell in my book with reasons ) and published several articles continuously for 12 months in a leading magazine in Mumbai and also published through JP Prakaashan Mumbai my FIRST BOOK “ THULU LIPI THERILE “ which was released at Devadiga Sangha Dadar in Mumbai on 28.1.2012 by the then President of The Karnataka Tulu Sahitya Academy, Mangalore in the presence of many dignitaries as guests of honor.
The book is of 125 pages and priced Rs.150 and got good popularity as it has abt 65 pages about literature part of THULU Language and abt 70 pages about THULU LIPI covering vowels ( SWARAS and VISARGAAS ) , Consonants ( Classified ) Vargeeya vyanjanas and Consonants ( nonclassified ) Avargeeya Vyanjanas and also numbers in Thulu Lipi. It is in THREE languages viz. THULU, KANNADA and ENGLISH especially the LIPI part. It was an unique book of that kind and it did got its popularity through felicitations and honors. The book is not available in the market but found in famous institutions like Shree Dharmasthala Kshetra, Karnataka Tulu Sahitya Academy, Mangalore, Govinda Pai Sanshodhana Keendra Udupi, Mangalore Vishva Vidyalaya Konaje, Durgaparameshwari Junior College Kateelu and Alvas Educational Moodbidri.
After publishing the first book I received good response and also request to write book to teach how to read and write Thulu Lipi. In response to their request I wrote and published through JP Prakaashana ,Mumbai my SECOND Book titled “ THULU LIPI BARELE- BARAVUGU NIREL<” and released in Mumbai at Samarasa Bhavana of Vishveshvarayya Auditorium on 22.6.2013. The book is written in FOUR version using THREE languages. It clearly guides how to write Thulu scripts and how to frame words using allograph. The book is of 125 pages and priced at Rs.130. Both the books are complementary to each other so that one can easily read and write THULU LIPI . It also explains how thulu language is spoiled due to bad method of writing using other scripts like English. Hence , the book clearly gives examples as to how to write THULU using English script so that one can clearly read and understand the very meaning of the word. According to me one has to follow the strict rule of transliteration so that one can read or write thulu words and sentences the way it is pronounced by using English Script. It is interesting as well as important for the perfect growth, progress and use of thulu lipi.
Hence, the thulu language can be easily brought into the 8th. Schedule as it has its own and original script. The Thulu lipi can be written very easily. As the saying that it is the daughter who resembles her mother, so the saying that it is Malayalam Lipi that resembles the Thulu Lipi . Rest is history.
I have written my three more book viz “ THULU LIPI OODULE –BARAVUDA BUURU “, THULU LIPIT:< SANKELU” and…………..
The books are yet to be published since seeking some sponsors and financial supporters . There may be delay but it is certain that THULU LIPI WILL COME BACK TO ITS USE and APPLICATION. I have already started teaching how to write and read THULU LIPI since I can fluently write thulu lipi,
For more details and copies of the books against payment of price
Pl. contact 09869524573 or < jayakar27@gmail.com>

10/28/2013 13:18 PM

Comment Not only Tulu is losing its language prominence but in Karnataka Kannada is also losing its language prominence because we people of karnataka from Mangalore to Bangalore are soft natured & we are not so aggressive like other south indian states & other states they are so much united that if 1 mallu joins a company then entire office is full of mallus but if a mangalorean or bangalorean joins a office then it will have mixed people of different culture.

even in above comments by many people shows people from Tamil, malayalam are commenting on a karnataka language.

We karnataka people should be aggressive in actions & not in words or lines please be united.

Kerala person told in above statement that tulu people are inclined towards kannada even if they are in kasargod & tulu culture has resemblance of kerala

No where tulu is resembling malayalam " taste the food in udipi & taste the food in kerala" I have never heard somebody telling kerala food is good
But in entire bangalore & rest karnataka - sambar is prepared as per Udipi style & even all hotels in bangalore is maintained by Managaloreans

So Entire People of Karnataka be united & drive those immigrants away & retain our share of presence in our state.

Krishna Deva Raya
10/02/2013 08:35 AM

Comment I want to learn tulu language as my husband is tulu. Please mail me from where I can learn fluent language.

08/12/2013 05:41 AM

Comment Congrats Dr. Hebber, I was of the impression that Tulu and Konkani does not have alphabets. In fact, it is the complicated Aphabets that are different from each other Dravidian languages are preventing people to learn another Dravidian language. Why should we have separate alphabets to write Kannada, Telugu, Malayalam, Hindi, Oriya etc? Why not we have just one unified aphabet that are easy to memorise and learn?

Many european languages are witten in English alphabets, with some minor add-ons to match with the specific pronunciation.

I have developed such a script which will bring people together and communication will become easy. even a person with autism and mental retardation could learn this script faster. Therefore it is obvious that linguists and literary experts of all languages could learn much easier. If anybody wants to know more about it, contact me through e-mail.

08/05/2013 03:36 AM

Comment Great work.. M a proud tuluva n learning lipi...
All you tuluvas if you are all interested in learning,speaking and saving tulu, join us on facebook by joining the group tulu patherga tulu oripaga.... :)

Mansa Shetty
07/29/2013 05:30 AM

Comment sir iam a tulu brahmin and even if i don't know how to speak fluently in tulu could you plz help me to speak in tulu fluently.plz sir

07/20/2013 03:04 AM

Comment tulu is very similar to malayalam. not kannada. tuluva's cultue bhootha kola(theyyam), yakshganam(kathakali), kalari etc.. are related to kerala culture. even the script. and now tulunadu is part of the karnataka. its very funny. and people in kasargod district still studies kannada. they are not ready to study malayalam language.. So funny...

06/19/2013 13:34 PM

Comment sir,
i am from marathi family but my husband from tulu family i want speak in tulu langage with my husband and in laws but i dont now how to strat any dictionary avaible in tulu language please tell me

sakshi sunil salian
03/02/2013 07:48 AM

Comment I am feeling very happy that Tulu language has his own script... I am interested to learn this script......

Pls provide me the details that where can I get this tulu dictionary or tulu language book..

Puneeth Shetty
02/27/2013 05:18 AM

Comment hi,i am from bangalore ,i am very much interested to learn this language ,please send me the details . i will be waiting for your replay. thanking you

sowmya sudhakar
01/28/2013 06:50 AM

Comment Can anybody help me writing a famous quote in tulu. Am hail from tulu nadu. Tulu is my mother toungue. AM happy that now tulu scripts are out. But am finding difficulty in framing sentence from ther alphabets. Can some one help me.

the phrase is "Sathyod bathunda thigaled sadhi korpa. nithyod bathunda suriyod sadhi thojava" -- koti Channaya.

Can some body please provide me the Tulu script of above lines.

Thanks in advance

01/26/2013 13:26 PM

Comment Dear Sir,

I want to learn TULU language. But how to start it I don't now. Basically I am Gujarati. So would you like to help me. Pleaseeeeee

12/14/2012 02:37 AM

Comment Hai,

Please keep up your good work; This is really informative.I am fluent in languages like Malayalam, Tamil, Kannada and English. I am very much interested in learning new languages and i love Brahmin Tulu so much... If you could mail me the verbal communication script of Brahmin Tulu i would be so thankful to you.

Srilekha Menon B

Srilekha Menon
12/08/2012 00:06 AM

Comment Dear all....

i reside in Bangalore.

i wanted to learn Brahmin Tulu language.
Will u please mail me the same or tell me where will that be available.

dinakar hirgan
11/27/2012 06:30 AM

Comment My mother who is 70 is has her own handwritten tulu proverbs. Over the years she has collected around 1000 proverbs. She is very passionate about them Anyone interested in publishing them? please contact me: jasmine_d25@hotmail.com

J Fernandes
11/09/2012 15:55 PM

Comment thank u very much...im very greatful to u.......im from mangalore...i luv mangalore,my friends use to tease me always that....wat language it is without any lipi....i was feeling very bad...& even i was also nt knowing this...that even tulu has its own lipi...really im very happy...i started learning to write in tulu....& i will....& i will also teach this to my relations....Thank u Thank u Thank u Thank u Thank u Thank u Thank u Thank u Thank u..so much......:-)

09/26/2012 06:56 AM

Comment I am very happy to know about Tulu. My colleague is basically from Mangalore and her mother tongue is Tulu. But mostly she speaks Kannada as she don't know much about Tulu. I told her that, if she will speak Tulu in her home, her next generation will speak Tulu. So the language will develop. Famous Singer S.P.Balasubramaniam's sister Playback singer S.P.Sailaja told in her interview that, in Singapore, in a Tamil family, if the children will speak in Tamil, then, their parents will respond them. Otherwise they will not respond them. Hence, the children have to speak in Tamil. That is the reason, Tamilians in Singapore never forget the Tamil Language. Like them, Children of Tulu also should respect their Mother tongue Tulu while speaking at their homes. Though the birth place of Tulu is Karnataka , since the State official language is Kannada, the people of Karnataka are giving importance to Kannada. Hence, Tulu is not spoken to even its own people.

Though Tulu is one of 5 Dravidian languages, As per Encyclopedia Britannica, it is originally from Tamil. Of course, Malayalam is a part of Tamil language (Mixed with Tamil and Sanskrit).

09/12/2012 14:43 PM

Comment @Amitha Prithvi: You certainly have my full permission to quote from the article for your article in the upcoming souvenir. After all, the article was written for the purpose of information and I am happy to see the interest people have about Tulu language and its script.


09/09/2012 23:45 PM

Comment hi i am a tuluva , there is proposal to introduce tulu lipi in schools . nambodaris copied tulu script to write malayalam and they made sure tulu people dnt learn the script . According to me people in tuluandu dnt have any interest in learning the script and I am least bothered to learn the script and even let no people also about it.
Best of luck to people who are interested in it.

yathi raj
09/03/2012 02:02 AM

Comment Greetings to everyone. I am very much happy with you all people for promoting my mother tongue, 'Tulu language'.

Wish you a great success.


Jeevan Karkera
09/02/2012 02:24 AM

Comment Dear friends,

I am cheching if it is possible to find a general book on Tulu language describing the language?
Your help would be appreciated.
Thanks in advance and best greetings to all of you,

Wergifosse Jacques
08/31/2012 17:34 PM

Comment In chennai I am a member of South Kanara Dravida Brahmin's (SKDB) Association. This year the association is celebrating its Centenary year. As part of the celebrations a Souvenir is being released. I am contributing an article on Tulu Script for the Souvenir. I was delighted and grateful to find a lot of information in your website. With your permissioni I would like to quote some of your sentences in this article. Thanking you.
Amitha Prithvi

Amitha Prithvi
08/15/2012 23:23 PM

Comment hi,

Plz mail me tulu language phase book because i want to learn.

akshay shet
08/06/2012 07:15 AM

Comment http://www.tuluacademy.org/en/category/tulu-alphabets/
Guys, i am from Thiruvananthapuram. i found this due to my high interest in Tulu and i believe this will be useful to many.

Arun Das P.Y
07/30/2012 03:29 AM

Comment Good Initiative to promote Tulu Language..
Also Promote the identiy of Tulunadu


Ravi K.B.
07/04/2012 02:20 AM

Comment Hi..

I just went through the article, though late, i am now interested in learning TULU. I am from Kasaragod District of Kerala, now settled in Bangalore. Being a Shivalli Brahmin with TULU as my mother tongue, i would love to read and write TULU. Anyone here who could suggest me where i can find books or any papers which would help me learn my mother tongue.

Please mail me the details to: mailashwin007@gmail.com


Warm wishes,

Ashwin K
06/18/2012 09:06 AM

Comment Im really appricte people are showing interest to learning south canara language like tulu. so more script and learners academy has to be opne every district , even my mother tonuge language is tulu by birth we have settled in mysore. unable to speak and pronounce it , so kindly guide us any learning books are available to speak. plz those who know very well brahmin shivalli tulu plz help us to sending daily sms to learners even me also my mobile no 9945810062, our language as spread every where it`s my ambition . intersted tulu nadu people can make friends us .every one south canara peoples. by Sundar raju bhat

Sundar raju bhat
05/10/2012 01:02 AM

Comment to altaf
can you keep quite...........

sameer sony
05/04/2012 05:14 AM

Comment hey itz tulu language, not malayalam. you people are simply creating confusion here...... i love tulu language.............

sameer sony
05/04/2012 05:10 AM

Comment I am glad read such an article about tulunadu. it really makes me feel proud to read about my mother tongue

Sachin Ramesh Poojari
04/15/2012 21:54 PM


I AM BASICALLY from Sampige near Moodbidri ,D.K. but domiciled in Mumbai. During my present retired life , I have been seriously studying to write tulu lipi since 2005 .There are a number of articles written by me and published regularly in a leading monthly magazine in Mumbai from March 2010 till April 2011. Through those articles I also published few basic lessons to teach how to learn reading and writing Tulu lipi. After that I was requested by the readers to bring out a book. I also received appreciation letters from some Universities, from Dharmasthala Dr Veerendra Heggade, from Karnataka Tulu Saahithya Academy Mangalore , Hence I wrote a book titled " TULU LIPI THERILE " ( means Know Tulu Lipi ) . The First part of the book is covering literature part related to Tulu Language and Tulu Lipi and written in Tulu language using Kannada Script. The second part of the book is unique in the sense it comprises Tulu Lipi itself written using tulu lipi and written in such a way that it could be learnt by three class of people knowing only Kannada or English and Tulu It begins from the vovels ( Swaras) and then Consonents (Vyanjanas ) and then the allegories and combinations. There are yet to know more about the basic may in next books. However It is the FIRST of that kind released in Mumbai. It was released on 28.1.2012 in Mumbai .The function was graced as Chief Guest by Shri Umanath Kotian the President of Karnataka Tulu Sahithya Academy Mangalore. There were other Guests of Honor holding PhD viz. Dr Suneeta Shetty who wrote preface to the book ,Dr.Ishwar Alevuru who wrote back cover page Bennudi for the book, Dr Vishvanath Karnad, Dr.U Dhananjaya Kumar,Shri Babu Shiva Poojary, Shri Ashok Suvarna , Shri Shimanthuru Chandrahasa Suvarna . The book is priced Rs 150 so as to reach maximum tuluvaas at cheap rate.,The book fetched sereis of local recognitions and awards in Mumbai for being the unique one.There are three more books ready for printing but facing financial constraint to proceed. The firts book is published by JP PRAKAASHANA MUMBAI. Please note that I can fluently write in tulu lipi . My desire is to see trhat within a few years most6 of the Tuluvaas will know how to read and write tulu lipi . Many say it is late. But better late tah never. I solicit full co operation and support so that the tulu lipi can be brought into use within a short period of time.
JAYAKAR D. POOJARY Mumbai. 14.4.2012
for SMS =09833723472 for email < mail4jayakar@rediffmail.com>

04/13/2012 14:06 PM

Comment Sir i m nagabushan i am learning tulu language from my frnd through sms he gave 3 sentences
1. nikk daye...thorthu pidayi padare undu ninan marla...
2. nikk gotthad dala avare ijji
3. atta ninada marlada yer pathernu.
Sir will u pls translate this 3 sentences in kannada and pls send me through mail.
Sir i m waiting 4 ur replay.

03/19/2012 09:50 AM

Comment halo sirI

i reside in Bangalore.

i wanted to learn Brahmin Tulu language.
Will u please mail me the same or tell me where will that be available.


03/17/2012 02:56 AM

Comment i want to learn tulu language from basics i am from hyderabad my qualification is ma(telugu) litt persuing

12/27/2011 00:56 AM

Comment I am Padmanabhan Potti Tulu Brahmin residing in Suchindrum,Kanyakumari District Tamilnadu. My mother Tongue is Tulu and my poorvika is Tulu and my nation is Tulu and my world is Tulu and my Life is Tulu and my Tulu is Linguistic Minorities and I will always speak in Tulu and I will develop my
Tulu and I will get reconition for Tulu by the Government under the 8th Schedule of the Constitution India as an Indian.and I will die for my TULU.

Suchindrum Padmanabhan Potti.L
12/24/2011 20:38 PM

Comment That is a wonderful discussin of Malayalam and the history of its script, Dravidan. Could you please provide me with references that I could pursue regarding this particular topic? It would make interesting reading, indeed. Even an article or book written in Malayalam (or any other language) pertaining to this subject would be worth investigating further, as long as it is authentic.

Neria Hebbar

Neria Hebbar
12/20/2011 19:51 PM

Comment Tulu Script evolved in Tulunadu but still survive in Kerala as Malayalam script. Tulu Script appeared in Kerala in the 14th century after the invasion of Delhi. All the Tamil Kingdoms which descended from the Chera and Ai Kingdoms came to an end at the 14th century. Many subgroups of Tulunadus Bunt community might have established the Matriarchal kingdoms in Kerala as Tulu sir names such as Nayara Menava and Samantha became common in Kerala after the 14th century. Prior to 14th century the ruling Tamil dynasties of Kerala never practised Matriarchy. Nambudiris who might have been more related to Tulu Brahmins such as Shivally Brahmins before their migration to Kerala in the 8th to 14th century period started using Tulu script from the 17th century onwards in Kerala to write Malayalam. But the native language of Kerala, the Malayanma (Malayalam-Tamil or Lingua Malabar Tamul) written with Tamil Script remained the language of Kerala till the beginning of 19th century. In the 17th century onwards Nambudiris rewrote many Tulu works in their Tulu-Sanskrit language in Kerala. Thus Mandara Ramayana became Adatmiya Ramayana in Kerala. Tulu Devimahatme was rewritten in Kerala as Devi Mahatimiyam. The Tulu-Grantha Bhasa language of Nambudiris were untelligible to Malayalees as they could not read Tulu then. A German Dutch missionary called Arnos Padiri was the first European to study the Tulu-Sankrit language of Nambudiris in the late 17th century. Arnos Padiri alias Johann Ernst Hanxleden wrote the first grammar book for the Nambudiri languagewhich he called Grantha Bhasayude Vyagaranam. The British as in other parts of India used language as a weapon against the indigenous people to confuse them. In Kerala they started teaching the Christians the Tulu Grantha-Bhasa of Nambudiris and started promoting it as Malayalam. The original native Malaynma or Malayalam-Tamil language was banned in Kerala by the British in the early 19th century. This move effectively destroyed all the native books of Malayalees and Keralas history itself. After the introduction of Tulu Script in Kerala Malyalaees could not read their own ancient books written with Tamil Script. Benjamin Bailey a British missionary made the first Malayalam Type using Tulu script at 1919. British not only introduced Tulu Script to write Malyalam but the British christian missionaries such as Herman Gundert who liked Sankrit and hated Dravidian languages Sankritised Malayalam. Till the British left India Malayalam was written using heavy Sankrit. After Independence Malayalam recovered and using Dravidian vocabulary instead of Sanksrit. Similarly at Tulunadu the missionaries pretending to be printing books in Tulu language actually promoted Kannada writing system and Kannada language in Tulunadu. This not only halted the progress of Tulu language in Tulunadu as Kannada was increasingly used to write Tulu. In a similar manner British started teaching Tamil to people with Telugu roots in Tamilnadu. By depriving of their mothertongue the British could confuse the Dravidian people and establish their rule over them. Tulu language books should be recovered and published using Tulu Script not Kannada.

12/20/2011 14:29 PM

Comment Good Initiative to promote Tulu Language..
Also Promote the identiy of Tulunadu

12/20/2011 10:39 AM

We are Linguistic Minorities--Always we must speak in TULU Language--
We have to develop Tulu Language for the sake of our future Generation.

Suchindrum Padmanabhan Potti.L
12/19/2011 07:34 AM

Comment am literally interestd to know about our tulu script,and want to know to write.. update more about tulu.

neetha salian
12/15/2011 08:08 AM

Comment Mr. Hussain

If you read the article you'll see why the script resembles Malayalam

Neria Hebbar

Neria Hebbar
12/03/2011 22:50 PM

Comment above mentioned tulu alphabets are not tulu.those letters are malayalam.plz confirm.

altaf husain
12/03/2011 00:03 AM

Comment I like the tulu language script

11/29/2011 22:26 PM

Comment matheregla solmelu
thanks to everyne for giving this information....
I think we need separate state for us so that we can improve our language.....
I wanted to learn to write tulu....unfrotunately i couldn't even its too tough to learn suddenly if i had tulu in ma school n colg i wld hav nt had this prblm today.
I hav 1 dream i don knw whetr it going to hppn or not 'i wana see evry tuluva writing in tulu ...with out the help of kannada or any other languages..'
Hope every1 wil learn!
Thank you

11/06/2011 10:20 AM

Comment I am from keral kochi and speak write and read tulu.We speak tulu well.
Base is kerala language malayalam.We have tulu short stories,poems,titbits regularly appearing in monthly magazine called madhwa kalyan.with nearly 5000 circulation.16th year is running now without break.KJK potty is our leader in this respect.We have three books published related to tulu but all in Malayalam lipi.
latest story title is krishna devaru olu pothitheru? third andlast part in dec ember 2011.
In print media only now.
With regards,
Krishna rao

11/04/2011 08:36 AM

Comment I am thrilled to read the details which I was not knowing all these days. I really apprecite the effort of all concerned in promoting tulu language.I am also tulu speaking person born and brought up in tulunadu and currently staying in Bangalore.Thanks to all those who trying to bring up the language.

Sanaguly Murari
10/30/2011 11:57 AM

Comment AS I am a student of linguistics,I was always interested in languages.About 35 years ago,I accidently,found that,the words for mother and father in TULU ,are totally different from INDO-EUROPEAN / INDO-ARYAN or DRAVIDIAN languages.THAT,DEVELOPED in me,a lot of interest,in TULU.I also discovered that TULU had its own SCRIPT and because of the influence of Kannada every where around,and also because of the 19th century,missionaries,who started using Kannada script for both Kannada and Tulu,the TULU script was neglected and soon forgotten,so much so,that,the latter generations,did not know that their mother tongue had a SCRIPT. My discovery,that TULU had a script ,was well before,the advent of INTERNET.this was in, around 1975.I sincerely,wish,all the readers ,and scolars,who are working for TULU,for its studies ,a very warm Deepaavalee best wishes.Belgaum/ Pune.25-10-2011.

Mangesh N. Sir Deshpande
10/26/2011 04:56 AM

Comment i appriciate every ones work to up grade the tulu language. i am interested to write "geetheda Saralu" .is it possible to provide tulu kannada dictionary.or guide me whom to contact regarding in thi matter.you will be appriciated regarding this matter .
thanking you.
Govardhan Rao.Deputy incharge of Anesthesia Technician
King Khalid University Hospital
Saudi Arabia.

K.Govardhan Rao
10/08/2011 08:13 AM

Comment It is very good job done .Thanks to Dr.Hebbar.I think it need to reach each & everyone who are in tulunad so that Tulu script will come to use .

Vishwanath Balnad
10/03/2011 06:58 AM

Comment You can refer to books that may help you - like the Kannada-Tulu dictionary and Tulu grammar books. The oldest dictionary in Tulu-English dictionary was written by Basel missionaries as early as 1886 (by A Manner). Some of the more recent works have been done by P Padmanabha Kekkunnaya, U Padmanabha Upadhyaya and N. Shankara Bhat.

You can also contact Rashtrakavi Govinda Pai Institute at MGM College in Udupi if you need guidance. However, your best bet to learn the language fast is to associate with people who speak Tulu and learn from them.

Wish you success,


10/02/2011 19:32 PM

Comment Wow...! great.

I just read it now. I wanted to read nd learn Tulu language.
Will u please mail me the same or tell me where will that be available.

I reside in Bangalore.

With warm wishes.


Panduranga Acharya
10/02/2011 08:18 AM

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