Compiled by the UNGEGN Working Group on Romanization Systems
Version 4.0, March 2016


The United Nations recommended system was approved in 1972 (II/11) and amended in 1977 (III/12), based on a report prepared by D. N. Sharma. The tables and their corrections were published in volume II of the conference reports1,2.

There is no evidence of the use of the system either in India or in international cartographic products.

Telugu uses an alphasyllabic script whereby each character represents a syllable rather than one sound. Vowels and diphthongs are marked in two ways: as independent characters (used syllable-initially) and in an abbreviated form, to denote vowels after consonants. The romanization table is unambiguous. The system is mostly reversible but there may exist some ambiguities in the romanization of vowels (independent vs. abbreviated characters) and consonants (combinations with subscript consonants vs. character sequences).


In the romanization system below the table for subscript consonant characters has been added.

I. Independent vowel characters

1 a
2 ā
3 i
4 ī
5 u
6 ū
9 ĕ
10 e
11 ai
12 ŏ
13 o
14 au

II. Abbreviated vowel characters and other symbols (క stands for any consonant character)

1 a
2 కా ā
3 కి iA
4 కీ ī
5 కు uB
6 కూ ū
7 కృ
8 కె ĕ
9 కే e
10 కై ai
11 కొ ŏC
12 కో oD
13 కౌ au
14 కం
15 కఁ E
16 కః
17 క్ (F)

III. Consonant characters

1 ka
2 kha
3 ga
4 gha
5 ṅa
6 cha
7 chha
8 ja
9 jha
10 ña
11 ṭa
12 ṭha
13 ḍa
14 ḍha
15 ṇa
16 ta
17 tha
18 da
19 dha
20 na
21 pa
22 pha
23 ba
24 bha
25 ma
26 ya
27 raA
28 la
29 va
30 sha
31 ṣha
32 sa
33 ha
34 ḷa

IV. Subscript consonant characters (క stands for any base character)

1 క్క k
2 క్త t
3 క్న n
4 క్మ m
5 క్య y
6 క్ర r
7 క్ల l
8 క్వ v

Most other subscript consonant characters are recognizable modifications of the main character, e.g. చ్చ chcha, ట్ట ṭṭa, ప్ప ppa.

Other systems of romanization

For differences between the UN system and the ISO transliteration standard ISO 15919: 2001 see the section on the romanization of Hindi.


  1. Second United Nations Conference on the Standardization of Geographical Names. London, 10–31 May 1972. Vol. II. Technical papers. United Nations. New York 1974, pp. 145–146.
  2. Third United Nations Conference on the Standardization of Geographical Names. Athens, 17 August – 7 September 1977. Vol. II, Technical papers, pp. 393 etc.