Marathi is the main language of Maharashtra, India. Marathi is written in the Devanagari script, like Hindi and some other Indian languages. It is the 4th most widely-spoken language in India, after Hindi, Bengali and Telugu. Regional literature in Marathi dates back to around 1000 AD.
Marathi grammar is largely based on Sanskrit and Pali. Unlike Hindi and similar to Sanskrit, Marathi has not 2, but 3 genders, masculine, feminine and neutral. Figuring out the gender of a word is very easy as it can be distinguished by the word's last vowel. This is not the case in many other Indian languages, such as Hindi or Urdu, where gender is probably the most difficult aspect of grammar.
Goa was a Portuguese colony from the 16th to the 18th century, as a result of which Marathi has had influence from the Portuguese language. बटाटा (ba-tA-tA, potato) is a common example used in everyday speech.
See Learning Devanagari for detailed information on the subject. Marathi is nearly 100% phonetic, so pronunciation is not as much of a problem as it may seem at first glance. Anglophones tend to pronounce आ as in cat or bat. This sound is non-existent in Marathi, and you will not be easily understood if you pronounce it this way. Vowels are added to consonants, similar to other Devanagari languages, but picking up the Devanagari script is not that essential. You will manage fine with the romanization used in this phrasebook.
In Marathi, vowels are added to consonants. Most of them are easy to pronounce, ऋ and ॠ are slightly challenging. Marathi vowels retain much of their original Sanskrit pronunciation making some of them different from their Hindi counterparts. A notable example is औ (au), pronounced as owl in Marathi but as Oxford in Hindi. ऑ (Ao) is a special vowel used for loan English words, and is pronounced as in doctor.
Tranileration used here
as in allow
as in hard
as in hit
as in mean
as in put
as in hoot
as in Brr! It's cold + a small u sound
similar to ऋ, slightly longer
as in life + ऋ
as in main
as in fight
as in Oh my God
as in owl
as in huh?
Many Marathi consonants come in three different forms: aspirated, unaspirated and retroflex.
Aspiration means with a puff of air, and is the difference between the sound of the letter p in English pin (aspirated) and spit (unaspirated). Retroflex consonants, on the other hand, are not really found in English. They should be pronounced with the tongue tip curled back. Practice with a native speaker, or just pronounce as usual — you'll usually still get the message across.
as in skip.
as in sinkhole.
as in go.
as in doghouse.
as in sing. Used only in Sanskrit loan words, does not occur independently.
as in church.
as in pinchhit.
as in jump.
as in dodge her.
as in canyon. Used only in Sanskrit loan words, does not occur independently.
as in tick. Retroflex, but still a hard t sound similar to English.
as in lighthouse. Retroflex
as in doom. Retroflex
as in mudhut. Retroflex
retroflex n, as in grand.
does not exist in English. more dental t, with a bit of a th sound. Softer than an English t.
aspirated version of the previous letter, not as in thanks or the.
aspirated version of the above.
as in spin.
as in uphill.
as in be.
as in abhor.
as in mere.
as in yet.
as in Spanish pero, a tongue trip. Don't roll as in Spanish rr, German or Scottish English.
as in ready. slightly different from the above.
as in lean.
as in Norwegian farlig. Retroflex lateral approximent
as in Spanish vaca, between English v and w, but without the lip rounding of an English w.
as in shoot.
almost indistinguishable retroflex of the above. slightly more aspirated.
as in see.
as in him.
नमस्कार ( na-ma-skA-r )
How are you? (to a male)
तू कसा आहेस? ( thU ka-sA A-he-s )
How are you? (to a female)
तू कशी आहेस? ( thU ka-shI A-he-s )
How are you? (formal)
आपण कसे आहात? ( A-pa-N ka-she A-hA-th )
Fine, thank you.
मी ठीक आहे ( mI TI-k A-he )
What is your name?
तुझं नाव काय आहे? ( thu-jha nA-v kA-y A-he )
What is your name? (formal)
आपले नाव काय आहे? ( A-pa-le nA-v kA-y A-he )
My name is XYZ.
माझं नाव XYZ आहे ( mA-zha nA-v XYZ A-he )
Nice to meet you.
तुम्हाला भेटून आनंद झाला ( thu-mhA-lA bhe-tU-n A-na-ndha jhA-lA )
कृपया ( ktR-pa-yA )
धन्यवाद ( Dha-nya-vA-dh )
आपले स्वागत आहे ( A-pa-le svA-ga-tha A-he )--it is a literal welcome and not something you would say in response to "thank you"
हो ( ho )
नाही ( nA-hI )
Excuse me. (begging pardon)
मला माफ करा ( ma-lA mA-f ka-rA )
("we'll meet again") पुन्हा भेटू ( pU-nhA bhe-tU )
I can't speak Marathi
मला मराठी बोलता येत नाही ( ma-lA ma-rA-TI bo-la-thA ye-th nA-hI )
Do you speak English?
तुम्हाला इंग्रजी येते का? ( thu-mhA-lA I-ngra-jI ye-the kA? )
Is there someone here who speaks English?
इथे कुणाला इंग्रजी येते का? ( i-The ku-NA-lA I-ngra-jI ye-the kA )