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Lily de Silva, M.A., Ph.D.
University of Peradeniya, Sri Lanka
|Note: VU-Times font (Viet-Pali Unicode) is used in this document|
Namo Tassa Bhagavato Arahato Sammāsambuddhassa.
Homage to the Blessed One, the Worthy One, The Fully Self-enlightened One.
1) The Alphabet:
Pāli is not known to have a special script of its own. In countries where Pāli is studied, the scripts used in those countries are used to write Pāli: in India the Nāgarī, in Sri Lanka the Sinhalese, in Burma the Burmese and in Thailand the Kamboja script. The Pali Text Society, London, uses the Roman script and now it has gained international currency.
The Pāli alphabet consists of 41 letters - 8 vowels and 33 consonants.
Vowels: a, ā, i, ī, u, ū, e, o
k, kh, g, gh, ṅ
Palatals: c, ch, j, jh, ñ
Cerebrals: ṭ, ṭh, ḍ, ḍh, ṇ
Dentals: t, th, d, dh, n
Labials: p, ph, b, bh, m
Miscellaneous: y, r, l, v, s, h, ḷ, ṃ
The vowels a, i, u are short; ā, ī, ū are long; e, o are of middle
is pronounced like u in cut
ā is pronounced like a in father
i is pronounced like i in mill
ī is pronounced like ee in bee
u is pronounced like u in put
ū is pronounced like oo in cool
k is pronounced like k in kite
g is pronounced like g in good
ṅ is pronounced like ng in singer
c is pronounced like ch in church
j is pronounced like j in jam
ñ is pronounced like gn in signor
ṭ is pronounced like t in hat
ḍ is pronounced like d in good
ṇ is pronounced like n in now
English: 00 |
"The Pāli Primer" is a publication of the Vipassana
Research Institute (http://www.vri.dhamma.org).
It aims to provide an elementary understanding of the Pali language.
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last updated: 06-08-2004