Tulu (ತುಳು‎)

Tulu is a Southern Dravidian language spoken in southern India, mainly in the Dakshina Kannada and Udupi districts in the southwest of Karnataka State, and in the Kasargod district in northern Kerala State. There are also some Tulu speakers in Maharashtra State and in the Gulf countries. The 2011 India census reported 1.85 million Tulu speakers, though according to a 2009 estimate, the total number of speakers is between 3 and 5 million.

Tulu is also known as Tal, Tallu, Thalu, Thulu, Tilu, Tullu or Tuluva Bhasa. Dialects include Northwest Tulu, Northeast Tulu, Southwest Tulu, South Central Tulu, Southeast Tulu, Brahmin Tulu and Common Tulu.

Tulu was first written with the Tigalari alphabet, which developed from the Grantha alphabet in the 12th century. The oldest known inscriptions in Tulu in the Tigalari alphabet date from the 15th century. The Tigalari alphabet was used mainly for for religious writings, and is still used to some extent in parts of Kanara region of Karnataka. For other purposes Tulu speakers use the Kannada alphabet.

Tulu is used in literature and periodicals, and on the radio. It is recognised as a minority language in Karnataka and Kerala.

Kannada alphabet for Tulu

Kannada alphabets for Tulu

Download an alphabet chart for Tulu (Excel)

Information about Tulu | Numbers | Tower of Babel


Information about Tulu

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: 23.04.21


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