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The charts below show the way in which the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) represents Malayalam pronunciations.

IPA Malayalam English approximation
k sky
g go
ɡʱ Ghana
t͡ʃ church
t͡ʃʰ which hand
ɟ junior
ɟʱ hedgehog
ɖ dog but retroflex[note 1].
ɖʱ bond her hair but retroflex[note 2].
p pain
f/ Has two pronunciations, either as football or pan
b big
ŋ sing
ɲ piñata
m mall
j yes
ɾ Spanish tres
ʋ curve
ʃ sugar
ʂ shun
s so
h head
ɭ Swedish sorl
ɻ run [note 3]
r Spanish rojo
n not
IPA Malayalam English approximation
ə about
ɑː ാ, ആ British RP of cart
ɪ ി, ഇ sit
ീ, ഈ seat
ʊ ു, ഉ full
ൂ, ഊ fool
ൃ, ഋ better
e െ, എ eight
േ, ഏ eight but longer
o ൊ, ഒ Worn [note 4]
ോ, ഓ Irish pronunciation of coat
əɪ ൈ, ഐ mile
əʊ ൗ, ൌ, ഔ British RP of fold


  1. ^ With the tongue curled backwards.
  2. ^ With the tongue curled backwards.
  3. ^ Only in some dialects of English.
  4. ^ In dialects without the horse-hoarse merger.