Telling time in Telugu is tough, only when there is no watch around. In fact, it is the easiest to learn as a beginner.
Before knowing how to tell time in Telugu, have you ever wondered why clocks or watches are set to 10:10 by default? Is there any reason behind it?
Find out at the end of the article.
The moment we came on to the earth, we started counting time with our age. The moment we wake up daily, we check hours to match our schedules. The precious moments in one’s life journey are dated in history. Anything and everything in our lives can’t be termed without the reference of time. Time is such an important thing in our lives. Without referring to it, it’s impossible to sustain. Maybe that’s why it is the easiest thing to convey in any language.
సమయం ఎంత అయింది samayaṃ ĕṃta ayiṃdi
What’s the time now?
This is how people enquire about time in Telugu. Don’t wait; the time will never be just right. As it never stops, why should you have to stop when you have this article with you? Go through and become a master of telling time in Telugu.
Telling time in Telugu:
Ages back, when there are no clocks available, we have the oldest way to find what time it is. Based on the position of the sun & the shadow. It's the ‘sundial’. In Telugu, it is known as ‘Podhu’, which means the position of the sun. From here the word for the sunflower originated as ‘Podhu tirugudu puvvu’. Coming to the topic, time has been said only in terms of hours those days. And the day completes after sunset, Night time wasn’t measured. Day starts again with a cock crowing. In modern days, how do you tell the time in Telugu? This article will help you. So, let’s check it out.
The native speakers commonly used words for 'time' are samayamu (సమయము), kālaṃ (కాలం) and pŏddu (పొద్దు). But, due to westernization these days everybody is using the English word “Time” rather than using these three words mentioned above. However, if you say these words it will be a shock to them and it is a great way to impress with a simple thing.
These three words convey different meanings of time based on context.
1. Podhu potundi paduko (పొద్దు పోతుంది పడుకో) - ‘it’s getting late. Go to bed’
podhu - the indication of sun position.
Pothundi – Moving away
Paduko – sleep
2. Kaalam marindi (కాలం మారింది)– ‘the times have changed’
Kaalam – Era
Maarindhi – Changed.
3. Samayam yentha (సమయం ఎంత?)– ‘What’s the time’
Samayam – Time; Here Yentha means what. (Not necessarily in all contexts).
The vocabulary needed for telling time in Telugu
Numbers: Though there is a separate Telugu number system. Telugu states also follow Hindu-Arabic numerals. The same shall be used even in Telugu states. Telugu numerals can be found in Telugu calendars and RTC bus number plates.
1) Okati ‘ఒకటి’
2) Rendu ‘రెండు’
3) Mudu ‘మూడు’
4) Nalugu ‘నాలుగు‘
5) AIdhu ‘ఐదు’
6) Aaru ’ఆరు’
7) Yedu ‘ఏడు’
8) Yenimidhi ‘ఏనిమిది’
9) Thommidhi ‘తొమ్మిది’
10) Padhi ‘పది’
11) Padhakondu ‘పదకొండు’
12) Pannendu ‘పన్నెండు’
In Telugu is known as ganta ‘గంట’. The plural form, gantalu ’గంటలు’
O’ Clock – ayyiṃdi ‘అయ్యింది’
Example : if we say 9 O’Clock, Then we have to say Thommidi Ayyindhi. in Telugu There is no need to mention the hours in particular, by default it’s considered as a count of hours.
Parts of the day
Morning – udayaṃ ‘ఉదయం’ ; termed between 4am -11am
Afternoon – madhyāhnaṃ ‘మధ్యాహ్నం’ termed between 12pm - 3pm
Evening – sāyaṃtraṃ ‘సాయంత్రం’ termed between 4 pm- 6pm
Night – rātri ‘రాత్రి ’ termed between 7pm-3am
Note: Mentioning the above is optional.
Let’s start Identifying time in Telugu
For instance: have a look at the following picture.
4 a.m. would be expressed as “Udayam Nalugu Ayyindhi”
5 a.m. would be expressed as “Udayam Aidhu Ayyindhi”
Note:It goes similarly, only numbers need to be changed.
12 p.m. would be expressed as “Madhyannam Pannendu ayyindhi”
1 p.m. would be expressed as “Madhyannam Okati ayyindhi”
Note: It goes similarly, only numbers need to be changed.
4 p.m. would be expressed as “Sayantram Nalugu ayyindhi”
5 p.m. would be expressed as “Sayantram Aidhu ayyindhi”
6 p.m. would be expressed as “Sayantram Aaru ayyindhi”
7 p.m. would be expressed as “Ratri Yedu ayyindhi”
8 p.m. would be expressed as “Ratri Yenimidi ayyindhi”
Note: It goes similarly, only numbers need to be changed.
Telling time in special cases
Half-past – In Telugu, we use the term Ara (అర) for half-past.
For example, if the time is 4.30, we use Nalugunnara (Nalugu+Ara) It’s half past 4.
Quarter to - In Telugu, we use the term Muppavu (ముప్పావు) for the quarter to.
For example, if the time is 4.45, we use Pavu takkuva ayyidhi. (It’s quarter to 5) or Nalugu Muppavu. ( Muppavu means 3/4th).
Quarter past- In Telugu, we use the term Pavu (పావు) for quarter past.
For example, if the time is 4.15, we use Nalugu+Pavu ( Nalugumpavu). (It’s quarter past 4).
Minutes and seconds:
‘Minute’ in Telugu is pronounced as Nimisham (నిమిషం) and ‘Second’ in Telugu is pronounced as Secanu (సెకను).
If you're dealing with the first three quarters of the hour, then the rule is (the hour)
Ghantala + Nimishalu ayyindhi.
6.35, will be 6 gantala 35 nimishalu ayyindhi.
3.8 will be 3 gantala 8 nimishalu (8 minutes past 3).
If you're dealing with the Last Quarter of the hour, then the rule is (the coming hour) avvadaniki (number of minutes remaining until the next hour) undi.
3.56 will be 4 gantalu avvadaniki 4 nimishalu undi (4 minutes to 4).
12.55 wil be 1 ganta avvadaniki 5 nimishalu undi (five minutes to 1)
Hopefully, you are now confident enough for asking and giving time in Telugu.
We never know the time we have, but we can always use it to learn a language. If you want to learn Telugu, try the Language Curry App. With this app learning Telugu is just like a cakewalk. Join our platform if you haven't done yet and get access to the best Telugu lessons without any subscription charges. The 'Time' and 'Numbers & Denomination' tab in the Vocab section will help you gain a better understanding by giving you practice phrases and examples.
The fun fact!
Why are the clocks and watches set to 10:10? Enough of waiting, let’s check out. It’s aesthetic look, sufficient space to showcase the Brand on the dial and moreover, it represents a smiling face, which is attractive to watch at a watch round the clock.