Malayalam script scheme: overview of characters

Vowels

brackets indicate vowel as diacritic
Malayalam Unicode IPA Pronunciation (?)
a /a/ father
ആ ( ാ) ā /a:/ day
ഇ ( ി) i /i/ pit
ഈ ( ീ) ī /i:/ treat
ഉ ( ു) u /u/ bull
ഊ ( ൂ) ū /u:/ tool
ഋ ( ൃ) r̥ or ṛ /rɨ/ or /ɻ̩/ river (usually not rolled)
ൠ ( ൄ) r̥̄ or ṝ /rɨː/ or /ɻ̩:/ reed
/lɨ/ or /l̩/ liver (approximation)
l̥̄ /lɨ/ or /l̩:/ leed (approximation)
എ ( െ) e /e/ best
ഏ ( േ) ē /e:/ pager
ഒ ( ൊ) o /o/ poll
ഓ ( ോ) ō /o:/ cool

Vowels, diphthongs

brackets indicate vowel as diacritic
Malayalam Unicode IPA Pronunciation (?)
ഐ ( ൈ) ai /ai̯/ aisle
ഔ ( ൗ or ൌ) au /au̯/ cow

Anusvara

represents any nasal consonant
Malayalam Unicode IPA Description
അം aṃ or aṁ /am/ Vowel example
ṃ or ṁ /m/ Standalone diacritic

Visarga

represents the consonant 'h' after a vowel
Malayalam Unicode IPA Description
അഃ aḥ /aɦ/ Vowel example
/ɦ/ Standalone diacritic

Chandrakkala

supresses the inherent vowel of a consonant
Malayalam Extra information
called virama in Sanskrit, halant in Hindi

Consonants

vowel 'a' is the default vowel
Malayalam Unicode IPA Pronunciation (?) Extra information
ka /ka/ kiss Unaspirated, Unvoiced
kha /kʰa/ stockholm Aspirated, Unvoiced
ga /ga/ or /ɠa/ goal Unaspirated, Voiced
gha /gʱa/ or /ɡʱa/ ghost Aspirated, Voiced
ca /t͡ʃa/ church Unaspirated, Unvoiced
cha /t͡ʃʰa/ which-hand Aspirated, Unvoiced
ja /d͡ʒa/ junior Unaspirated, Voiced
jha /d͡ʒʱa/ fridge-hanging Aspirated, Voiced
ṭa /ʈa/ art Unaspirated, Unvoiced
ṭha /ʈʰa/ art-historian Aspirated, Unvoiced
ḍa /ɖa/ guard Unaspirated, Voiced
ḍha /ɖʱa/ guardhouse Aspirated, Voiced
ta /t̪a/ stable Unaspirated, Unvoiced
tha /t̪ʰa/ table Aspirated, Unvoiced
da /d̪a/ ditch Unaspirated, Voiced
dha /d̪ʱa/ adhere Aspirated, Voiced
pa /pa/ span Unaspirated, Unvoiced
pha /pʰa/ pole Aspirated, Unvoiced
ba /ba/ big Unaspirated, Voiced
bha /bʱa/ abhor Aspirated, Voiced

Consonants, nasal

vowel 'a' is the default vowel
Malayalam Unicode IPA Pronunciation (?) Extra information
ṅa /ŋa/ sing Unaspirated, Voiced
ña /ɲa/ canyon Unaspirated, Voiced
ṇa /ɳa/ burner Unaspirated, Voiced
na /n̪a/ or /na/ nose Unaspirated, Voiced
ma /ma/ moose Unaspirated, Voiced

Consonants, other

vowel 'a' is the default vowel
Malayalam Unicode IPA Pronunciation (?) Extra information
ya /ja/ yak Unaspirated, Voiced
ra /ɾa/ three Unaspirated, Voiced
la /la/ leaf Unaspirated, Voiced
va /ʋa/ curve Unaspirated, Voiced
śa /ɕa/ sugar Aspirated, Unvoiced
ṣa /ʂa/ shun Aspirated, Unvoiced
ṣa /ʂa/ worship Aspirated, Unvoiced
sa /sa/ sorry Aspirated, Unvoiced
ha /ɦa/ or /h/ head Aspirated, Voiced
ḷa /ɭa/ barley (?)
ḻa /ɻa/ run (?)
ṟa /ra/ trill
ṉa /na/ nose (?)
ṯa /ta/ task (?)

Consonants, chillu

special consonant that represents an independant consonant
vowel 'a' is the default vowel
Malayalam Unicode IPA Pronunciation (?) Extra information
/ɳ/ burner
n /n̪a/ or /na/ nose
r /ɾa/ three Historically from ra, not from ṟa
l /la/ leaf Historically from ta
/ɭa/ barley (?) Historically from śa
ൿ k /ka/ kiss