Sankethi (ಸಂಕೇತಿ)

Sankethi is spoken in the Indian state of Karnataka by the descendants of people who immigrated from Madurai and Sengottai in Tamil Nadu in the 15th century. Its vocabulary includes many words borrowed from Kannada and Malayalam, as well as from Telugu and Sanskrit. Many consider Sankethi to be a distinct language, while others classify if as a dialect of Madurai Tamil.

There are two main dialects of Sankethi: Kaushika and Bettadpura, which are named after the places where most Sankethi speakers live. These dialects differ mainly in pronunciation and vocabulary, and are mutually intelligible.

Sankethi is written with a version of the Kannada script, and songs, prose and poetry has been written in the Sankethi, however it is mainly an oral language.

Sankethi alphabet

Sankethi consonants

Download a speadsheet of the Sankethi alphabet (Excel)

Sample text in Sankethi

Ellā manuśyangaḷū svatantramayiṭe huṭṭanḍā. Avhāḷukkume āntahkaraṇū ghanate hakku renḍū unḍū. Vivēkū antaḥkaraṇū ikartaṇṇū avhālūme vattarū kottarū tamayūṃ tambyānyu pōle naḍandhgaṇū.


All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.
(Article 1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights)

Details Sankethi provided by Shashank Rao and Biswajit Mandal (biswajitmandal[dot]bm90[at]gmail[dot]com)


Information about Sankethi

Dravidian languages

Badaga, Brahui, Dhundari, Gondi, Irula, Jatapu, Kannada, Kodava, Kolam, Konda, Koya, Kurukh, Malayalam, Malto, Mukha Dora, Ravula, Sankethi, Savara, Sunuwar, Suriyani Malayalam, Tamil, Telugu, Toda, Tulu, Yerukula

Languages written with the Kannada alphabet

Kannada, Kodava, Konkani, Lambadi, Sankethi, Tulu

Page last modified: 23.08.21


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