3 ways to learn Telugu

Table of contents:

3 ways to learn Telugu
3 ways to learn Telugu

The Telugu language is mostly spoken by people who are natives of the Andhra Pradesh region of India. With a wide variety of pronunciations, vowels, and consonants, this language can seem intimidating. However, if you set clear goals for learning it, dedicate time to a daily learning program, and find useful resources, you can learn to talk or write Telugu.


Method 1 of 3: Practice Common Telugu Words

Learn Telugu Step 1
Learn Telugu Step 1

Step 1. Practice some common nouns

If you master some essential everyday terms like "food" and "water", you will begin to identify the topic of a conversation or written in Telugu. Use Telugu workbooks or websites to build a list of common nouns, such as the following:

  • he: అతడు (athadu)
  • she: ఆమె (aame)
  • boy: అబ్బయి (abbayi)
  • girl: అమ్మయి (ammayi)
  • house: ఇల్లు (illu)
  • water: నీరు and నీళ్ళు (neeru and neelu)
  • food: తిండి, కూడు and అన్నం (tindi, koodu and annam)
Learn Telugu Step 2
Learn Telugu Step 2

Step 2. Add some common verbs to your vocabulary

Learning some commonly used verbs will help you identify the action that is described in the sentences. Combine them with the list of common nouns. In this way, you will be on your way to understanding the basics of this language. Some verbs can be the following:

  • go: వెళ్ళు (vellu)
  • speak: మాట్లాడు (maatlaadu)
  • know: తెలుసు (telusu)
  • give or answer: ఇవ్వు (ivvu)
  • take: తీసుకో (teesuko)
  • eat: తినడానికి (tinadaniki)
  • drink: పానీయం (paniyam)
Learn Telugu Step 3
Learn Telugu Step 3

Step 3. Keep adding basic words to communicate in Telugu

For example, the following words can help you recognize or form questions:

  • where: ఎక్కడ (ekkada)
  • why: ఎందుకు (enduku)
  • what: ఏంటి (enti)
  • how: ఎలా (ela)
  • when: ఎప్పుడు (eppudu)
  • which: ఇది (idi)
Learn Telugu Step 4
Learn Telugu Step 4

Step 4. Practice some common phrases

Just like recognizing certain Telugu words, practice some common phrases as well. Start with phrases that will help you ask basic questions and start simple conversations in Telugu. For example, you can practice the following:

  • hello: నమస్కారం (namaskārām)
  • How are you ?: మీరు ఏలా ఉన్నారు? (meeru aelaa unnaaru?)
  • my name is: నా పేరు… (naa paeru…)
  • goodbye: వెళ్ళొస్తాను (vellostaanu)
  • I don't understand: నాకు అర్ధం కాలేదు (naaku ardhaṅ kaalaedhu)
  • Do you speak English ?: మీరు (నువ్వు) ఆంగ్లం (ఆంగ్ల భాష) మాట్లాడగలరా (వా)? (meeru (nuvvu) aanglam (aangla bhasha) matladagalara (goes)?)
  • thank you: ధన్యవాదములు (dhanyavaadhamulu)

Method 2 of 3: Practice Writing and Grammar

Learn Telugu Step 5
Learn Telugu Step 5

Step 1. Practice writing vowels and consonants in Telugu

The Telugu alphabet (వర్ణమాల or varnamaala) is syllabic. All consonants have an inherent vowel. Vowels are written independently only when they start a syllable. Start learning how to write Telugu by focusing on the individual letters first.

  • The individual vowels (అచ్చులు or acchulu) are అ ఆ ఇ ఈ ఉ ఊ ఋ ౠ ఎ ఏ ఐ ఒ ఓ ఔ అం అః, which are pronounced respectively as a, aa, i (forming the lips to pronounce an “e”, but pronouncing an “i”), ii, u, uu (forming the lips to pronounce an “e”, but pronouncing an “o”), ru, ruu (as a stronger “ru”), e (forming the lips to pronounce an "e", but pronouncing an "a"), ae (like an "ei"), ai, o (open), O (more closed), ou, am and aha.
  • The individual consonants (హల్లులు or hallulu) are: క, ఖ, గ, ఘ, ఙ (ka, kha, ga, gha); చ, ఛ, జ, ఝ, ఞ (cha, chha, ja, jha, nya); ట ఠ డ ఢ ణ (Ta, Tha, Da, Dha, Na); త థ ద ధ న (tha, thha, da, dhha, na); ప ఫ బ భ మ (pa, pha, ba, bha, ma); య, ర, ల, వ, శ, ష (ya, ra, la, va, Sa, sha); స హ ళ క్ష, ఱ (sa, ha La, ksha, Ra).
Learn Telugu Step 6
Learn Telugu Step 6

Step 2. Practice writing the joint consonants and diacritical vowels

Joint consonants are special symbols used when certain consonants are combined. There are 34 joint consonants in Telugu. In addition, there are 14 diacritical vowels (these symbols appear below, above or after a consonant to change the inherent vowel of the consonant).

You can find a list of these symbols at

Learn Telugu Step 7
Learn Telugu Step 7

Step 3. Set aside time to write in this language on a daily basis

If you are used to writing in the Latin alphabet, the Telugu letters may seem impossible or difficult. However, if you practice daily, you will master the letter formations faster than you think. The important thing is to dedicate yourself to learning while having your ultimate goal in mind.

Find a book in this language or copy the writing. Over time, put yourself to the test and translate the texts from the Latin alphabet into Telugu

Learn Telugu Step 8
Learn Telugu Step 8

Step 4. Identify the parts of a speech according to grammar

To master grammar (వ్యాకరణ or vyaakarana), you may need the help of a tutor or take a Telugu writing class. However, you can start by identifying the speech parts (భాషాభాగాలు or bhaashaabhaagaalu) of the Telugu words. The parts of the speech are as follows:

  • నామవాచకం: noun (naamavaachakam)
  • సర్వనామం: pronoun (sarvanaamam)
  • క్రియ: verb (kriya)
  • విశేషణం: adjective (visaeshanam)
  • అవ్యయం: adverb (avyayam)
Learn Telugu Step 9
Learn Telugu Step 9

Step 5. Practice the rules of grammar for prepositions, negations, and questions

Once you feel comfortable writing Telugu and identifying the parts of speech (nouns, verbs, etc.), continue with a more challenging grammar practice. For example, make an effort to identify and place prepositions, negations, and questions in writing.

  • Some examples of prepositions are as follows: “he came with a small dog” (తన చిన్న కుక్క వచ్చిన or tana cinna kukka vaccina) and “I ate without a knife” (నేను కత్తి లేకుండా తినడానికి or nēnu katti lēkuṇḍā tinaḍāniki).
  • You can compare the following examples in the case of negation: “I understand you” (నేను మీరు అర్థం or nēnu mīru arthaṁ) and “I don't understand” (నేను మీరు అర్ధం కాదు or nēnu mīru ardhaṁ kādu).
  • Some sample questions are: "What is your name?" (మీ పేరు ఏమిటి? Or Mī pēru ēmiṭi?) And “How much does this cost? (ఈ ఎంత ఉంది? Or Ī enta undi?).

Method 3 of 3: Learn Telugu Through Daily Immersion

Learn Telugu Step 10
Learn Telugu Step 10

Step 1. Set a specific goal for learning Telugu

Start by asking yourself why you want to learn this language. Is it to learn about your ancestors, prepare for a trip, impress someone, or just to expand your horizons? Once you've set your goal, build a plan to achieve it.

For example, if you are traveling to Andhra Pradesh in 3 months and want to be able to handle basic communication in Telugu, focus on learning the most conversational words and phrases

Learn Telugu Step 11
Learn Telugu Step 11

Step 2. Memorize 30 common words a day

The idea is, after 90 days, to have learned the 2700 most common words in Telugu. As in most languages, knowing the 2,700 most common words will familiarize you with 80% of the words that are used in Telugu in both written and spoken form.

This 90-day plan may not be ideal in all situations, depending on your specific goals for learning it. However, it is a widely used way to learn the basics of a language in a short period of time

Learn Telugu Step 12
Learn Telugu Step 12

Step 3. Schedule 30 to 60 minutes a day to learn a list of 30 Telugu words

It is important to create a plan and stick to it. To create a list, get vocabulary from books or websites to learn the language. You can also create a list of the most common words in Spanish (or your native language) and use an online tool like Google Translate.

While it may seem old-fashioned, using flashcards is a classic way to learn words in a new language

Learn Telugu Step 13
Learn Telugu Step 13

Step 4. Work with a tutor or use a language program

You will be able to learn 30 words a day on your own. However, several people find it helpful to work with a tutor or invest in a language learning program.

  • There are several telugu learning programs available online. Explore the different options and choose one that suits your goals to learn it.
  • Hiring a tutor may be the most expensive and difficult option, depending on where you live. However, some people learn more quickly through individual interactions.
Learn Telugu Step 14
Learn Telugu Step 14

Step 5. Integrate this language into your life and your daily activities

Use it during your daily activities once your vocabulary starts to grow. For example, label things around the house with their Telugu names, listen to Telugu music while preparing dinner, or read Telugu children's books.

Over time, you will be able to test yourself by changing your phone's language to Telugu

Learn Telugu Step 15
Learn Telugu Step 15

Step 6. Immerse yourself even more in this language after 60 days

If you are learning 30 words a day, you will have a vocabulary of 1800 words after 2 months. At this point, you will be able to "dive" into Telugu conversations and know at least some of what they are talking about.

  • If you have friends who speak Telugu, ask them to chat while you watch (and even join in).
  • Alternatively, watch online videos on telugu and turn off subtitles when you're ready to put yourself to the test.
Learn Telugu Step 16
Learn Telugu Step 16

Step 7. Listen and see how native people use Telugu

When watching others speak Telugu, focus not only on the words they use, but also on inflections, hand or facial gestures, body language, and so on. This kind of observation and understanding will help you become familiar with everyday Telugu.

Learn Telugu Step 17
Learn Telugu Step 17

Step 8. Get over your mistakes and keep practicing

People generally believe that children are better at learning a new language because their brains are different. However, the real reason may be because they tend to be less self-conscious about trying new things, making mistakes, and trying again. Therefore, release your inner child while learning Telugu!

If you mispronounce a word or ask a pointless question, laugh and try again. Most Telugu speakers, like native speakers of any language in the world, are happy when non-natives try to speak their language. Instead of being insulted for making a mistake, they are likely to be willing to help you


  • Watch Telugu movies to learn the slang words of various places. Movies in this language are available on YouTube.
  • Check out some books to master writing. There are several books in Telugu that are very inexpensive.
  • Read poems and books written by people from a past generation to understand Telugu “గ్రాంధిక” (graandhika), a formal form of Telugu.
  • Learn the గుణిన్తాలు (guNintaalu), created by adding each vowel to a consonant, and practice it; for example, క్ + అ = క, క్ + అ = క. Unless you add vowels to consonants, there is no proper pronunciation for consonants that do not have vowels, such as mm and nnn, without any sound.

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