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മലയാളം malayāḷam
A bilingual Malayalam and English sign board
A bilingual Malayalam and English sign board
Spoken in India
Region Kerala, Lakshadweep, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Mahé, Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Persian Gulf.
Total speakers 35,893,990.[1]
33,015,420 in India (2001),[2]
1,847,902 in other countries (2007):[3]
• 773,624 in UAE
• 447,440 in Saudi Arabia
• 134,728 in Kuwait
• 134,019 in Oman
• 105,655 in USA
•  94,310 in Qatar
•  58,146 in Bahrain
•  26,237 in UK
•  15,600 in other Europe
•  11,346 in Canada
•  10,636 in Malaysia
•   7,800 in Singapore
Ranking 29
Language family
  • Malayalam
Language codes
ISO 639-1 ml
ISO 639-2 mal
ISO 639-3 mal
Distribution of native Malayalam speakers in India
Indic script
This page contains Indic text. Without rendering support you may see irregular vowel positioning and a lack of conjuncts. More...
Malayalam is written in a non-Latin script. Malayalam text used in this article is transliterated into the Latin script according to the ISO 15919 standard.

Malayalam (മലയാളം malayāḷam, pronounced [mɐləjaːɭɐm]( listen)) is one of the four major Dravidian languages of southern India. It is one of the 22 scheduled languages of India with official language status in the state of Kerala and the union territories of Lakshadweep and Mahé. It is spoken by 35.9 million people.[1] Malayalam is also spoken in the Nilgiris district, Kanyakumari district and Coimbatore of Tamil Nadu, Dakshina Kannada, Banglore and Kodagu districts of Karnataka.[1][4][5][6] Overseas it is also used by a large population of Indian expatriates living around the globe in the Persian Gulf, United States, Singapore, Australia, and Europe.

Malayalam was derived from ancient Tamil in the 6th century, of which Modern Tamil was also derived.[7] An alternative theory proposes a split in more ancient times.[7] Nevertheless, around eighty percentage of Malayalam words are taken from Sanskrit.[8]Before Malayalam came into being, Old Tamil was used in literature and courts of a region called Tamilakam, a famous example being Silappatikaram. While Dravidian Tamil used to be the ruling language of the Chera Dynasty[9] Ai and Pandyan kingdoms[10]. Sanskrit/Prakrit derived Buddhist Pali Language and the Jain Kalpasutra were know to Keralites from 500 BC. The Grantha Bhasha or Sanskrit mixed Tamil which was written in Grantha Script (Arya Ezhuthu) was used by Aryan Brahmins residing in Tamil areas.[11].The Dravidian component of Malayalam-Tamil has words similar to ancient Sangam Literature. During the Later Chera dynasty the inscriptions included some lines from Grantha Bhasha in Grantha Script along with Malayalam-Tamil written in Vattezhuttu. A form of Grantha Bhasha, a Sanskrit mixed Tamil closely resembling laterday Malayalam was used to write books by Brahmins from Tulunadu residing in Kerala in the second Millenium.[12] The oldest literature works in Malayalam, distinct from the Tamil tradition, is dated certainly to the 11th century, perhaps to the 9th century.[7] . For cultural purposes Malayalam and Sanskrit formed a language known as Manipravalam, where both languages were used in an alternating style. Malayalam is the only among the major Dravidian languages without diglossia. This means, that the Malayalam which is spoken doesn't differ from the written variant, while the Kannada and Tamil languages use a classical type for the latter.

The word "Malayalam" is spelled as a palindrome in English. However, it is not a palindrome in its own script, for three reasons: the third a is long and should properly be transliterated aa or ā (an a with a macron) while the other a’s are short; the two l consonants represent different sounds, the first l being dental ([l̪], Malayalam , Roman l) (although the consonant chart below lists that sound as [alveolar]) and the second retroflex ([ɭ], Malayalam , Roman ); and the final m is written as an anusvara, which denotes the same phoneme /m/ as in the initial m in this case, but the two m’s are spelled differently (the first m is a normal ma with an inherent vowel a, while the last m  ം is a pure consonant).



The mixture of Aryan and Naga languages,the Sanskrit and Prakrit with the Dravidian Tamil produced the Grantha Bhasha. The Aryan Naga migration to Karnataka, from Ahichatram[13] in Uttarpradesh occurred during the rule of Kadamba king Mayuravarma in 345 AD[14].Tulunadu had Tulu script a derivative of Grantha script used by Tulu Brahmins from 8th century.After the Malik Kafur s invasion in 1310 most of the Patriarchal Tamil dynasties of Kerala were replaced by Matriarchal dynasties who had surnames closely resembling that of Bunt (community) of Tulunadu.Tulu Lipi with some modifications appeared in Kerala as Malayalam Script after 1310[15].Tulu-Malayalam Script gradually replaced the archaic Tamil Script and Vatteluttu. When Portuguese arrived in 1498 the Malayalam-Tamul, an archaic Tamil script was used to print books by Portuguese.[16].Doctrina Christam written by Henrique in Lingua Malabar Tamul with transliteration and translation in Malayalam(Grantha Bhasha)and printed by Portuguese from Cochin in 1556 was the first Malayalam printed book in Kerala.Flos Sanctorum written by Henrique in Malayalam Tamul in 1578[17].In the 17th century Thunchaththu Ramanujan Ezhuthachan was the first to substitute the Tamil Vatteluttu with Grantha Script#Tulu-Malayalam Script. With the discovery that Sanskrit belonged to the group of Indo-European languages prompted the Christian missionaries with German roots to support Sanskrit rich Grantha Bhasha in the 1700s.Johann Ernst Hanxleden wrote Poems,Grammar books in Sanskrit.

CMS(Church Mission Society) at Kottayam started printing books in Malayalam when Benjamin Bailey a Anglican priest in 1821 made the first Malayalam types.Benjamin Bailey, an essayist, standardised Malayalam prose.[18] .Hermann Gundert from Stuttgart in Germany started the first Malayalam newspaper, Rajya Samacharam in 1847 at Thalassery printed at Basel Mission.[19]

The language belongs to the family of Dravidian languages. Robert Caldwell, in his book A Comparative Grammar of the Dravidian or South-Indian Languages states that Malayalam branched from classical Tamil that over time gained a large amount of Sanskrit vocabulary and lost the personal terminations of verbs.[20]

Together with Tamil, Toda, Kannada and Tulu, Malayalam belongs to the southern group of Dravidian languages. Some believe Proto-Tamil, the common stock of ancient Tamil and Malayalam, apparently diverged over a period of four or five centuries from the ninth century on, resulting in the emergence of Malayalam as a language distinct from Proto-Tamil. As the language of scholarship and administration, Proto-Tamil which was written in Tamil-Brahmi script and Vatteluttu later, greatly influenced the early development of Malayalam. Later the irresistible inroads the Namboothiris made into the cultural life of Kerala, the Namboothiri-Nair dominated social and political setup, the trade relationships with Arabs, and the invasion of Kerala by the Portuguese, establishing vassal states accelerated the assimilation of many Roman, Semitic and Indo-Aryan features into Malayalam at different levels spoken by religious communities like Muslims, Christians, Jews and Jainas.

T.K. Krishna Menon, in his book A Primer of Malayalam Literature describes four distinct epochs concerning the evolution of the language:[21]

  • Karintamil (3100 BCE - 100 BCE): Malayalam from this period is represented by the works of Kulashekara Alvar and Pakkanar. There is a strong Tamil element, and Sanskrit has not yet made an influence on the language. Kulasekhara Alwar who wrote Perumal Thirumozhi, a Tamil Alwar saint, founder of the Later Chera Dynasty lived at 800 AD.[22]
  • Old Malayalam (100 BCE - 325 CE): Malayalam seems to have been influenced by Sanskrit as there are numerous Sanskrit words in the language. There are personal terminations for verbs that were conjugated according to gender and number.Tamil Sangams produced Tamil Sangam literature in the same era.Tamil-Brahmiscript was used to write inscriptions in that era.
  • Middle Malayalam (325 CE - 1425 CE): Malayalam from this time period is represented by works such as Ramacharitram. Traces of the adjuncts of verbs have disappeared by this period. The Jains also seemed to have encouraged the study of the language. Kulasekhara Alwar wrote Perumal Thirumozhi in Tamil while writing Mukundamala in Sanskrit.[23]
  • Modern Malayalam (1425 CE onwards): Malayalam seems to have established itself as a language separate from classical Tamil and Sanskrit by this point in time. This period can be divided into two categories: from 1425 CE to 1795 CE, and from 1795 CE, onwards. 1795 CE is the year the British gained complete control over Kerala.

Development of literature

The earliest written record resembling Malayalam is the Vazhappalli inscription (ca. 830 CE). The early literature of Malayalam comprised three types of composition: Malayalam Nada, Tamil Nada and Sanskrit Nada.

  • Classical songs known as Naadan Paattu
  • Manipravalam of the Sanskrit tradition, which permitted a generous interspersing of Sanskrit with Malayalam.Niranam poets Manipravalam Madhava Panikkar, Sankara Panikkar and Rama Panikkar wrote Manipravalam poetry in the 14th century. The changed political situation in the 14th century after the invasion of Malik Kafur in 1310 led to the decline of Tamil dynasties leading to the dominance of people with Prakrit and Sanskrit heritage, the languages of Ahichatra in Uttarkhand, the original home town of Aryans and Nagavanshi people.
  • The folk song rich in native elements

Malayalam poetry to the late twentieth century betrays varying degrees of the fusion of the three different strands. The oldest examples of Pattu and Manipravalam, respectively, are Ramacharitam and Vaishikatantram, both of the twelfth century.

The earliest extant prose work in the language is a commentary in simple Malayalam, Bhashakautaliyam (12th century) on Chanakya’s Arthasastra. Adhyathmaramayanam by Thunchaththu Ramanujan Ezhuthachan (known as the father of the Malayalam language) who was born in Tirur, one of the most important works in Malayalam literature.

By the end of 18th century some of the Christian missionaries from Kerala started writing in Malayalam but mostly travelogues, Dictionaries and Religious books. Varthamana Pusthakam (1778), written by Parammekkal Thoma Kathanar a travelogue. Church Mission Society which started a seminary at Kottayam in 1819 also started a press which printed Malayalam books in 19th century.Malayalam and Sanskrit were increasingly studied by Christians of Kottayam and pathanamthitta by the end of 19th century Malayalam replaced Syriac as language of Liturgy in the church.


For the consonants and vowels, the IPA is given, followed by the Malayalam character and the ISO 15919 transliteration.



The first letter in Malayalam
  Short Long
Front Central Back Front Central Back
Close /i/ ഇ i /ɨ̆/ * ŭ /u/ ഉ u /iː/ ഈ ī   /uː/ ഊ ū
Mid /e/ എ e /ə/ * a /o/ ഒ o /eː/ ഏ ē   /oː/ ഓ ō
Open   /a/ അ a     /aː/ ആ ā  
  • */ɨ̆/ is the saṁvr̥tōkāram, an epenthentic vowel in Malayalam. Therefore, it has no independent vowel letter (because it never occurs at the beginning of words) but, when it comes after a consonant, there are various ways of representing it. In medieval times, it was just represented with the symbol for /u/, but later on it was just completely omitted (that is, written as an inherent vowel). In modern times, it is written in two different ways - the Northern style, in which a chandrakkala is used, and the Southern or Travancore style, in which the diacritic for a /u/ is attached to the preceding consonant and a chandrakkala is written above.
  • */a/ (phonetically central: [ä]) and /ə/ are both represented as basic or "default" vowels in the abugida script (although /ə/ never occurs word-initially and therefore does not make use of the letter അ), but they are distinct vowels.

Malayalam has also borrowed the Sanskrit diphthongs of /äu/ (represented in Malayalam as ഔ, au) and /ai/ (represented in Malayalam as ഐ, ai), although these mostly occur only in Sanskrit loanwords. Traditionally (as in Sanskrit), four vocalic consonants (usually pronounced in Malayalam as consonants followed by the saṁvr̥tōkāram, which is not officially a vowel, and not as actual vocalic consonants) have been classified as vowels: vocalic r (ഋ, /rɨ̆/, ), long vocalic r (ൠ, /rɨː/, r̥̄), vocalic l (ഌ, /lɨ̆/, ) and long vocalic l (ൡ, /lɨː/, l̥̄). Except for the first, the other three have been omitted from the current script used in Kerala as there are no words in current Malayalam that use them.


Bilabial Labiodental Dental Alveolar Retroflex Palatal Velar Glottal
Stop Unaspirated /p/ പ p /b/ ബ b /t̪/ ത t /d̪/ ദ d /t/ * t /ʈ/ /ɖ/ /t͡ʃ/ ച c /d͡ʒ/ ജ j /k/ ക k /ɡ/ ഗ g
Aspirated /pʰ/ ഫ ph /bʱ/ ഭ bh /t̪ʰ/ ഥ th /d̪ʱ/ ധ dh /ʈʰ/ṭh /ɖʱ/ḍh /t͡ʃʰ/ ഛ ch /d͡ʒʱ/ ഝ jh /kʰ/ ഖ kh /ɡʱ/ ഘ gh
Nasal /m/ മ m /n̪/ ന n /n/ ന * n /ɳ/ /ɲ/ ഞ ñ /ŋ/
Approximant /ʋ/ വ v /ɻ/l /j/ യ y
Liquid /r/r
Fricative /f/ ഫ* f /s̪/ സ s /ʂ/ /ɕ/ ശ ś /ɦ/ ഹ h
Tap /ɾ/ ര r
Lateral approximant /l/ ല l /ɭ/
  • The unaspirated alveolar plosive stop used to have a separate character but it has become obsolete because it only occurs in geminate form (when geminated it is written with a റ below another റ) or immediately following other consonants (in these cases, റ or ററ is usually written in small size underneath the first consonant). To see how the archaic letter looked, find the Malayalam letter in the row for t here.
  • The alveolar nasal used to have a separate character but this is now obsolete (to see how it looked, find the Malayalam letter in the row for n here) and the sound is now almost always represented by the symbol that was originally used only for the dental nasal. However, both sounds are extensively used in current colloquial and official Malayalam, and there is no distinction made in the spelling.
  • The letter ഫ represents both /pʰ/, a native phoneme, and /f/, which only occurs in adopted words.

Writing system

A public notice board in Malayalam written using Malayalam script. Malayalam language possesses official recognition in the state of Kerala, Lakshadweep and Puducherry

Historically, several scripts were used to write Malayalam. Among these scripts were Vattezhuthu, Kolezhuthu and Malayanma scripts. But it was the Grantha script, another Southern Brahmi variation, which gave rise to the modern Malayalam script. It is syllabic in the sense that the sequence of graphic elements means that syllables have to be read as units, though in this system the elements representing individual vowels and consonants are for the most part readily identifiable. In the 1960s Malayalam dispensed with many special letters representing less frequent conjunct consonants and combinations of the vowel /u/ with different consonants.

Malayalam language script consists of 53 letters including 16 vowels and 37 consonants.[24] The earlier style of writing is now substituted with a new style from 1981. This new script reduces the different letters for typeset from 900 to fewer than 90. This was mainly done to include Malayalam in the keyboards of typewriters and computers.

In 1999 a group called Rachana Akshara Vedi, led by Chitrajakumar, and K.H. Hussein, produced a set of free fonts containing the entire character repertoire of more than 900 glyphs. This was announced and released along with an editor in the same year at Thiruvananthapuram, the capital of Kerala. In 2004, the fonts were released under the GNU GPL license by Richard Stallman of the Free Software Foundation at the Cochin University of Science and Technology in Kochi, Kerala.

Dialects and external influences

Variations in intonation patterns, vocabulary, and distribution of grammatical and phonological elements are observable along the parameters of region, religion, community, occupation, social stratum, style and register. Influence of Sanskrit is very prominent in formal Malayalam used in literature. Malayalam has a substantially high amount of Sanskrit loan words.[25] Loan words and influences also from Hebrew, Syriac and Ladino abound in the Jewish Malayalam dialects, as well as English, Portuguese, Syriac and Greek in the Christian dialects, while Arabic and Persian elements predominate in the Muslim dialects. This Muslim dialect known as Mappila Malayalam is used in the Malabar region of Kerala. Another Muslim dialect called Beary bashe is used in the extreme northern part of Kerala.

The regional dialects of Malayalam can be divided into thirteen dialect areas.[26] They are as follows:

South Travancore Central Travancore West Vempanad
North Travancore Kochi (Cochin) South Malabar
South Eastern Palghat North Western Palghat Central Malabar
Wayanad North Malabar Kasaragod

Words adopted from Sanskrit

When words are adopted from Sanskrit, their endings are usually changed to conform to Malayalam norms:


  1. Masculine Sanskrit nouns ending in a short "a" in the nominative singular change their ending to "an". For example, Kr̥ṣṇa -> Kr̥ṣṇan. The "an" reverts to an "a" before masculine surnames, honorifics, or titles ending in "an" and beginning with a consonant other than "n" - e.g. Krishna Menon, Krishna Kaniyaan etc., but Krishnan Ezhutthachan. Surnames ending with "ar" or "aL" (where these are plural forms of "an" denoting respect) are treated similarly - Krishna Pothuval, Krishna Chakyar, but Krishnan Nair, Krishnan Nambiar. "an" also reverts to "a" before Sanskrit surnames like "Varma(n)", "Sarma(n)", or "Gupta(n)" (rare) - e.g. Krishna Varma, Krishna Sharman.[citation needed] If a name is a compound of multiple names, only the last name in the compound undergoes this transformation - e.g. Krishnadevan.
  2. Feminine words ending in a long "ā" or "ī" are changed so that they now end in a short "a" or "i", for example Sītā -> Sīta and Lakṣmī -> Lakṣmi. However, the long vowel still appears in compound words like Sītādēvi or Lakṣmīdēvi. Some vocative case forms of both Sanskrit and native Malayalam words end in ā or ī, and there are also a small number of nominative ī endings that have not been shortened - a prominent example being the word Śrī,
  3. Masculine words ending in a long "ā" in the nominative singular have a "vŭ" added to them, for example Brahmā -> Brahmāvŭ. This is again omitted when forming compounds.[citation needed]
  4. Words whose roots are different from their nominative singular forms - for example, the Sanskrit root of "Karma" is actually "Karman"- are also changed. The original root is ignored and "Karma" (the form in Malayalam being "Karmam" because it ends in a short "a") is taken as the basic form of the noun when declining.[27]
  5. Sanskrit words describing things or animals rather than people which end in a short "a" take an additional "m" in Malayalam. For example, Rāmāyaṇa -> Rāmāyaṇam. "Things and animals" and "people" are not always differentiated based on whether or not they are sentient beings - for example Narasimha becomes Narasimham and not Narasimhan whilst Ananta becomes Anantan even though both are sentient. This can be explained by saying that "Ananta" can also be a man's name and does not necessarily have to refer to the Hindu serpent-god, whereas "Simha" actually means lion and therefore must be of the neuter gender.[citation needed]
  6. Nouns ending in short vowels like "Viṣṇu", "Prajāpati" etc stay the same.[citation needed]
  7. Along with these tatsama borrowings, there are also many tadbhava words in common use. These were borrowed into Malayalam before it became distinct from Tamil. As the language did not then accommodate Sanskrit phonology as it now does, words were changed to conform to the Old Tamil phonological system. For example: Kr̥ṣṇa -> Kaṇṇan.[28]

Malayalam also has been influenced by Portuguese, as is evident from the use of words like mesa for a small table, janala for window, varaanda for an open porch, and alamaara for cupboard.[29]

For a comprehensive list of loan words, see Loan words in Malayalam.


Ezhuthachan is considered the father of Malayalam literature. He was born at Tirur in the Malabar area of Kerala, where there is now a monument to him. A.R. Rajarajavarma is the man who gave grammatical rules to Malayalam. His monument and burial place is at Mavelikkara in the Central Travancore area of Kerala.

See also


  1. ^ a b c "Malayalam". Ethnologue. Retrieved 2007-05-28. 
  2. ^ "Census of India - Statement 1". Registrar General & Census Commissioner, India. Retrieved 2009-12-21.  33,066,392 if the number of the speakers of Yerava (Ravula) and other minority languages closely related to Malayalam is included.
  3. ^ Zachariah, K. C. & Rajan, S. Irudaya (2008), Kerala Migration Survey 2007 (PDF), Department of Non-resident Keralite Affairs, Government of Kerala, p. 48. This is the number of emigrants from Kerala, which is closely related to but different from the actual number of Malayalam speakers.
  4. ^
  5. ^
  6. ^
  7. ^ a b c Malayalam, R. E. Asher, T. C. Kumari, Routledge, ISBN 0-415-02242-8, 1997
  8. ^ Malayalam literary survey, 1993Published by Kērala Sāhitya Akkādami (Academy for Malayalam literature)
  9. ^ [1]
  10. ^ The Pandyan of Purakkadu Ambalapuzha
  11. ^ [2]# Arya Ezhuthu or Grandha Script
  12. ^ Branches Shivalli Brahmin who brought Tulu to Kerala
  13. ^ Keralolpathi first chapter
  14. ^ Aryans and Nagas of Tulunadu
  15. ^ Tulu origins of Malayalam Script
  16. ^ Malayalam-Tamul
  17. ^ Flos Sanctorum in Tamil and Malaylam in 1578
  18. ^ Banjamin Bailey
  19. ^ Rajya Samacharam 1847 first News paper in Malayalam
  20. ^ Caldwell, Robert (1875). A Comparative Grammar of the Dravidian or South-Indian Languages. London. pp. 23.,M1. 
  21. ^ Menon, T.K. Krishna (1990). A Primer of Malayalam Literature. Asian Educational Services. ISBN 8120606035. 
  22. ^ Kulasekhara Alwar
  23. ^ Kulasekhara Azhwar the founder of Later Chera Dynasty
  24. ^ "Language". Retrieved 2007-05-28. 
  25. ^ "Dravidian languages." Encyclopædia Britannica. Ultimate Reference Suite. Chicago: Encyclopædia Britannica, 2008.
  26. ^ Subramoniam, V. I. (1997). Dravidian encyclopaedia. vol. 3, Language and literature. Thiruvananthapuram: International School of Dravidian Linguistics. Cit-P-487.Dravidian Encyclopedia
  27. ^ Varma, A.R. Rajaraja (2005). Keralapanineeyam. Kottayam: D C Books. pp. 303. ISBN 81-713-0672-1. 
  28. ^ Varma, A.R. Rajaraja (2005). Keralapanineeyam. Kottayam: D C Books. pp. 301–302. ISBN 81-713-0672-1. 
  29. ^ Dalgado, Sebastião Rodolfo; Soares, Anthony Xavier (1998). Portuguese Vocables in Asiatic Languages: From the Portuguese Original of Monsignor Sebastião Rodolfo Dalgado. Asian Educational Services. pp. 489. ISBN 9788120604131. 

Pillai.A.D (2010) Singaporean Malayalam: The Presence of a Hybrid Language. Saarbrucken:VDM Verlag

External links

Malayalam edition of Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010
(Redirected to Malayalam phrasebook article)

From Wikitravel

Language spoken in the Southern Indian state of Kerala.

Hello. (informal
How are you? 
sughamaano? (Literal meaning: Are you fine?)
Yes, thank you. 
Ssherri/Athe. Nanni.
I am fine. 
Enikku sukhamaanu.
What is your name? 
Ningalude paeru enthaanu? / Peru enta?
My name is ______ . 
Ente paeru ______ aanu.
Nice to meet you. 
Parichayappettathil valare santhosham. (Literal meaning: Extremely delighted for you acquaintance)
Dayavu cheythu (Dayavayi)
Thank you. 
Nanni (pronounced: naan-ní)
You're welcome. 
Athey, Ssherri (Literal Meaning: Correct)
Excuse me. (getting attention
Excuse me. (kshamiku)
Excuse me. (begging pardon
I'm sorry. 
Ennodu Kshamikkoo.
Pinneedu kannanam (Vidah) / Pinne kaanam. (Literal meaning: I will see you again later)
Goodbye (informal
Veendum kaanaam.
I can't speak Malayalam. 
Enikku 'Malayalam' samsaarikkan ariyilla.
Do you speak English? 
Ningal English Samsaarikkumo ? / English arriyamo?
Is there someone here who speaks English? 
Ivide English samsaarikkan ariyunnavar aarenkilum undo ? / English ariyunnavar aarenkilum undo?
Help (Save) 
Look out! 
Good morning. 
Good evening. 
Good evening. (guhd EEV-ning)
Good night. 
Shubha raathri.
Good night (to sleep
Good night. (good NIGHT)
I did not understand. 
Enikku manassilaayilla.
I like sweets 
eniku mathuram eshtamaanu
Poocha(POO in poor)
Spicy (hot)
Spicy food 
erivulla bhakshanam
Where are you going? 
Ningal evideya pokunnathu?
Where is the toilet? 
Kakkoos Evideyaanu? (Kakkoos means toilet)
Get lost 
Wake up  
eneekku (the first 'e' pronounced as 'A' in english
Do you like me? 
enne ishtamaano?
I love you 
Njan ninne premikkunnu. ( Njan means 'I') OR enniku ninne ishtam annu
I hate you 
Njan ninne verukkunnu. OR enniku ninne verripu annu
Can you show me the way? 
Enikku vazhi kaanichu taraamo? ( vazhi means 'way')
How old are you? 
Ninaketra vayassayi?
I am hungry 
Enikku vishakunnu
Where can I get some water? 
Enikku alpam vellam evide kittum? (alpam corresponds to some, little etc) OR korucho vellam tharuvo?
Can we go for a movie? 
Namukku oru cinemekku pokaamo?
Leave me alone. 
Enne veruthe vidoooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo.
Don't touch me! 
Enne thodaruthu.
I'll call the police. 
Njaan policine vilikkum.
Police! (Police)
Stop! Thief!
Nirthoo! Kallan!
I need your help. 
Enikku ningalude sahaayam venam.
It's an emergency. 
Ithu athhyaavashyamaanu.
I'm lost. 
Enikku vazhithetti.
I lost my bag. 
Ente bag nashtappettu.
I lost my wallet. 
Ente purse nashtappettu.
I'm sick. 
Enikku sukhamilla.
I've been injured. 
Enikku murivu patti.
I need a doctor. 
Enikku doctorude sahaayam venam.
Can I use your phone? 
Njaan ningalude phone upayogichotte.
Can you give me your phone number? 
Enikku ningalude phone number tharamo?
I'll kill you 
Njan ninne kollum
Why are you fighting with me? 
Ningal enthina ennodu vazhakkidunnathu?
Don't you understand what I am saying? 
Ningalkku njan paranjathu manasilakunnille?
Tie him up 
Avane kettiyidu. (Avane means 'Him')
one (onnu)
two (randu)
three (moonnu MOO in moon)
four (naalu)
five (anchu)
six (aaru)
seven (eezhu)
eight (ettu E of eight)
nine (onpathu)
ten (pathu)
eleven (pathinonnuh' )
twelve (panthranduh')
thirteen (pathimoonnuh)
fourteen (pathinaaluh)
fifteen (pathinanchuh)
sixteen (pathinaaruh)
seventeen (pathinezhuh)
eighteen (pathinettuh)
nineteen (pathombathuh)
twenty (irupathuh)
twenty one (irupathonnuh)
twenty two (irupathiranduh)
twenty three (irupathimoonuh)
thirty (muppathuh)
forty (nalpathuh)
: fifty (anpathuh)
sixty (arupathuh)
seventy (ezhupathuh)
eighty (enpathuh)
ninety (thonnooru)
one hundred (nooru)
two hundred (Irunnooru)
three hundred (Munnooru)
one thousand (aayiram)
two thousand (randayiram)
one million (pathu-laksham)
one thousand million in UK, one billion in USA--Nooru Kodi
one billion in UK, one trillion in USA----Laksham Kodi
number _____ (train, bus, etc.
number _____ ( Number)eg:-#10 ( Pathh-am Number)
half (arai or paadhi or pakuthi)
less (kurachu or kuranja)
more (kooduthal or koodiya)
ഇപ്പോള് Ippol
പിന്നെ Pinne
മു൯പെ Munpey.
പ്രഭാതം, രാവിലെ Prabhatham, Raavile.
(...) Uchha.
സന്ധ്യ Vyikunneram.
രാത്രി, രാവ് Raathri.

Clock time

one o'clock AM 
oru mani
two o'clock AM 
randu mani
one o'clock PM 
one o'clock PM (...)
two o'clock PM 
two o'clock PM (...)
paathi rathri


_____ minute(s) 
_____ minute(s) (nimisham)
_____ hour(s) 
_____ hour(s) (mani)
_____ day(s) 
_____ day(s) (naal, "divasam")
_____ week(s) 
_____ week(s) (vaaram "azhcha")
_____ month(s) 
_____ month(s) (maasam)
_____ year(s) 
_____ year(s) (varsham)


ഇന്ന് (innu)
ഇന്നലെ (innale)
tomorrow (naale)
this week 
this week (iyazhcha)
last week 
last week (kazhinhayazhcha)
next week 
next week (adutha azhcha)
ഞായറാഴ്ച (nhayarazcha)
തിങ്കളാഴ്ച (thingalazhcha)
ചൊവ്വാഴ്ച (chovvazhcha)
ബുധനാഴ്ച (budhanazhcha)
വ്യാഴാഴ്ച (vyazhazhcha)
വെള്ളിയാഴ്ച (velliyazhcha)
ശനിയാഴ്ച (shaniyazhcha)


If speakers of the language commonly use a calendar other than the Gregorian, explain it here and list its months. See Hebrew phrasebook for an example.

January (...)
February (...)
March (...)
April (...)
May (...)
June (...)
July (...)
August (...)
September (...)
October (...)
November (...)
December (...)

Writing time and date

Give some examples how to write clock times and dates if it differs from English.

Date-Month-Year July 5th 2006 would be 5 July 2006 or 5-7-06

Vella (VE of very)
chara niram


Bus and train

How much is a ticket to _Kottayam____? 
How much is a ticket to _____? (Ethra rupayanu Kottayathekku ticket ? )
One ticket to _Kottayam____, please. 
One ticket to _____, please. (Kottayathekku oru ticket venam)
Where does this train/bus go? 
Where does this train/bus go? (Engottanu ee bus/train pokunnathu?)
Where is the train/bus to _____? 
Where is the train/bus to _____? (Aayvide anne Kottayathekkula buseh ? )
Does this train/bus stop in __Kottayam___? 
Does this train/bus stop in _____? (ee bus/train kottayathu nirutthumo? )
When does the train/bus for _kottayam____ leave? 
When does the train/bus for _____ leave? (eppolaanu Kottayathekkulla ee bus/train povuka? )
When will this train/bus arrive in _kottayam____? 
When will this bus arrive in _____? (eppolaanu ee bus/train kottayathu etthuka? )


How do I get to _____ ? 
How do I get to _____ ? (engine enikku )
...the train station? 
...the train station? (Engine enikku railway stationanil ettham? )
...the bus station? 
...the bus station? (Engine enikku busstandil ettham? )
...the airport? 
...the airport? (Engine enikku vimanathaavalathil ettham? )
...downtown? (...)
...the youth hostel? 
...the youth hostel? (engine enikku youth hostelil ettham? )
...the _____ hotel? 
...the _____ hotel? (engine enikku hotlil ettham? )
...the American/Canadian/Australian/British consulate? 
...the American/Canadian/Australian/British consulate? (...)
Where are there a lot of... 
Where are there a lot of... (evideyaanu dhaaralam ...) (Evideyaanu dhaaralam hotelukal ullathu? )
...restaurants? (evideyaanu dhaaralam bhojanashalakal ullathu? )
...bars? (evideyanu dhaaralam BARukal ullathu? )
...sites to see? 
...sites to see? (Evideyaanu dhaaralam sthalangal kaanuvan ullathu? )
Can you show me on the map? 
Can you show me on the map? (Enikku mappil onnu kaanichu tharaamo? )
street (theruvu)
Turn left. 
Turn left. (idatthekku thiriyuka)
Turn right. 
Turn right. (valatthekku thiriyuka)
left (idathu)
right (valathu)
straight ahead 
straight ahead (nere povuka)
towards the _____ 
towards the _bridge____ (palathinu aduthekku)
past the _____ 
past the _____ (kazhinhu)
before the _____ 
before the _____ (munpu)
Watch for the _____. 
Watch for the _____. (nokkuka)
intersection (koodicherunna sthalathu)
north (vadakku)
south (thekku)
east (kizhakku)
west (padinjaru)
uphill (kayattathil)
downhill (irakkathil)


Taxi! (...)
Take me to _____, please. 
Take me to _____, please. (Enne _____ vare kondu pokoo. / ______ vare pokaam / pokumo ? ( will u go ?) )
How much does it cost to get to _____? 
How much does it cost to

get to _____? (_________ vare pokaan ethra roopa(money) aavum ? )

Take me there, please. 
Take me there, please. (Dayavaayi(please) enne ______ vare kondu pokoo)
Do you have any rooms available? 
Do you have any rooms available? (Ivide oru muri ozhivindo?)
How much is a room for one person/two people? 
How much is a room for one person/two people? (Onno/rendo perkkulla muri vaadeka ethra aanu?)
Does the room come with... 
Does the room come with... (Ee muriyil ... kittumo?)
...bedsheets? (virippe)
...a bathroom? 
...a bathroom? (kuli muri)
...a telephone? 
...a telephone? (')
...a TV? 
...a TV? (')
May I see the room first? 
May I see the room first? (Aathyam muri kandote?)
Do you have anything quieter? 
Do you have anything quieter? (...)
...bigger? (valiyathu)
...cleaner? (vrithiyullathu)
...cheaper? (vila koranjathu)
OK, I'll take it. 
OK, I'll take it. (Njan Edukam)
That's enough. 
That's enough. (Ithu madthi)
I will stay for _____ night(s). 
I will stay for _____ night(s). (Njan ... raatri thamassikkam)
Can you suggest another hotel? 
Can you suggest another hotel? (Vere oru hotel parayamo?)
Do you have a safe? 
Do you have a safe? (Ningalkku safe undo?)
...lockers? (...)
Is breakfast/supper included? 
Is breakfast/supper included? (prabhatha/rathri bhakshanam ulpedumo?)
What time is breakfast/supper? 
What time is breakfast/supper? (prabhatha/rathri bhakshanam eppozhanu?)
Please clean my room. 
Please clean my room. (ente muri onu vrithiyakkanam)
Can you wake me at _____? | Can you wake me at _____? (enne __ manikku ezhunnelpikkamo?)
I want to check out. 
I want to check out. (enikku check-out cheyyanam)
Do you accept American/Australian/Canadian dollars? 
Do you accept American/Australian/Canadian dollars? (ningal american dollars edukumo?)
Do you accept British pounds? 
Do you accept British pounds? (ningal british pound swekarikumo)
Do you accept credit cards? 
Do you accept credit cards? (credit card swekarikumo)
Can you change money for me? 
Can you change money for me? (eniku vendi panam matti tharumo?)
Where can I get money changed? 
Where can I get money changed? (...)
Can you change a traveler's check for me? 
Can you change a traveler's check for me? (Enikku oru traveller's check matti tharamo?)
Where can I get a traveler's check changed? 
Where can I get a traveler's check changed? (Evideyanu enikku traveller's check matti kittuka?)
What is the exchange rate? 
What is the exchange rate? (...)
Where is an automatic teller machine (ATM)? 
Where is an automatic teller machine (ATM)? (ATM evideyanu?)
A table for one person/two people, please. 
A table for one person/two people, please. (Enniku oru table please OR Randu verku oru table please)
Can I look at the menu, please? 
Enikku menu kanamo? (')
Can I look in the kitchen? 
Enikku adukala kanamo? (Adukkala Onnu kandotte..?)
Is there a house specialty? 
Is there a house specialty? (...)
Is there a local specialty? 
Is there a local specialty? (Nadan Bhakshanam vallathum undo)
I'm a vegetarian. 
I'm a vegetarian. (Njan Sasyabhojiyaa)
I don't eat pork. 
I don't eat pork. (njyaan panni kazhikilla)
I don't eat beef. 
I don't eat beef. (Njan pothirachi thinnilla/kazhikkilla)
I only eat kosher food. 
I only eat kosher food. (...)
Can you make it "lite", please? (less oil/butter/lard
Can you make it "lite", please? (...)
fixed-price meal 
fixed-price meal (...)
à la carte 
à la carte (...)
breakfast (Prathal)
lunch (Ooonu)
tea (meal
tea (chaaya)
supper (Athazham)
I want _____. 
I want _____. (Enikk oru......venam)
I want a dish containing _____. 
I want a dish containing _____. (......Kondundakkiya enthengilum mathi)
chicken (kozhi)
beef (Pothirachi)
fish (Meen)
ham (Panni)
sausage (...)
cheese (Palkkatty)
eggs (Motta)
salad (...)
(fresh) vegetables 
(fresh) vegetables (fresh Pachakkary)
(fresh) fruit 
(fresh) fruit (...)
bread (...)
toast (...)
noodles (...)
rice (Ari)
beans (...)
May I have a glass of _____? 
May I have a glass of _____? (Oru Glass..... Tharamo..?)
May I have a cup of _____? 
May I have a cup of _____? (Oru Kappu.....Tharamo)
May I have a bottle of _____? 
May I have a bottle of _____? (Oru Bottle.....Tharamo)
coffee (Kaappy)
tea (drink
tea (Chaaya)
juice (juice)
(bubbly) water 
water (Soda)
water (Vellam)
beer (beer)
red/white wine 
red/white wine (chuvanna/Velutha Veenjhu)
May I have some _____? 
May I have some _____? (Kurachu....Tharamo?)
salt (uppu)
black pepper 
black pepper (Kurumulaku)
butter (venna)
Excuse me, waiter? (getting attention of server)
Excuse me, waiter? (hello/Chetta..)
I'm finished. 
I'm finished. (Njan Mathiyakkuvaa)
It was delicious. 
It was delicious. (Gambeeram...)
Please clear the plates. 
Please clear the plates. (Paathrangal Edutholooo..)
The check, please. 
The check, please. (Check thannalum)
Do you serve alcohol? 
Do you serve alcohol? (ningal madhyam kodukkumo?)
Is there table service? 
Is there table service? (evide table service undo)
A beer/two beers, please. 
A beer/two beers, please. (randu beer tharoo)
A glass of red/white wine, please. 
A glass of red/white wine, please. (Oru glass chuvanna/Velutha veenjhu tharaamo...)
A pint, please. 
A pint, please. (Oru pint tharamo)
A bottle, please. 
A bottle, please. (Oru Kuppy tharamo)
_____ (hard liquor) and _____ (mixer), please. 
_____ and _____, please. (...)
whiskey (Whiskey)
vodka (vodka)
rum (rum)
water (Vellam)
club soda 
club soda (...)
tonic water 
tonic water (...)
orange juice 
orange juice (...)
Coke (soda
Coke (...)
Do you have any bar snacks? 
Do you have any bar snacks? (Thottu-koottan enthengilum undo)
One more, please. 
One more, please. (onnum koodi please)
Another round, please. 
Another round, please. (Orennam koodi)
When is closing time? 
When is closing time? (eppozha adakkunnathu)
Do you have this in my size? 
Do you have this in my size? (ethu ente pakathil undo)
How much is this? 
How much is this? (ithinu entha villa)
That's too expensive. 
That's too expensive. (athu orupadu kooduthalaanu)
Would you take _____? 
Would you take _____? (ningal edukkumo?)
expensive (vila kooduthal aanu)
cheap (vila kuranjathu)
I can't afford it. 
I can't afford it. (ennikku ethu thangillya)
I don't want it. 
I don't want it. (enikku athu venda)
You're cheating me. 
You're cheating me. (ningal enne chadikukkayanu)
I'm not interested. 
I'm not interested. (enikyu thalpariyam illa)
OK, I'll take it. 
OK, I'll take it. (sari. njan itheduthollam)
Can I have a bag? 
Can I have a bag? (Oru sanchi/cover kittumo)
Do you ship (overseas)? 
Do you ship (overseas)? (Ningal videsathekku ayachu tharumo)
I need... 
I need... (Enikku oru.......venam)
...toothpaste. (paste)
...a toothbrush. 
...a toothbrush. (brush)
...tampons. (tampon)
...soap. (soap)
...shampoo. (shampoo)
...pain reliever. (e.g., aspirin or ibuprofen
...pain reliever. (pain killer,veedana samhari)
...cold medicine. 
...cold medicine. (jala dooshathinulla marunnu)
...stomach medicine. 
...stomach medicine. (vayaru veedanakkulla marunnu)
...a razor. 
...a razor. (shaving razor) umbrella. umbrella. (kuda)
...sunblock lotion. 
...sunblock lotion. (sunscreen lotion)
...a postcard. 
...a postcard. (post card)
...postage stamps. 
...postage stamps. (stamp)
...batteries. (battery)
...writing paper. 
...writing paper. (ezhuthanulla kadalasu)
...a pen. 
...a pen. (peena)
...English-language books. 
...English-language books. (english pusthakangal)
...English-language magazines. 
...English-language magazines. (english varikakal/mazikakal) English-language newspaper. English-language newspaper. (english pathram) English-English dictionary. English-English dictionary. (english nighandu)
I want to rent a car. 
I want to rent a car. (Eniku oru CAR vadakakku edukkanam)
Can I get insurance? 
Can I get insurance? (Enikku oru insurance policy edukkanam)
stop (on a street sign
stop (Nirthoo)
one way 
one way (...)
yield (...)
no parking 
no parking (evide niruthan paadilla)
speed limit 
speed limit (vega paridhi)
gas (petrol) station 
gas station (petrol bunk)
petrol (petrol)
diesel (diesel)


I haven't done anything wrong. 
I haven't done anything wrong. (Njan thettonnum cheythittilla)
It was a misunderstanding. 
It was a misunderstanding. (Athoru thetti-dharana ayirunnu)
Where are you taking me? 
Where are you taking me? (Ningal enne engottanu kondu-pokunnathu)
Am I under arrest? 
Am I under arrest? (Njan arrestil ano)
I am an American/Australian/British/Canadian citizen. 
I am an American/Australian/British/Canadian citizen. (Njan oru.....Powran aanu)
I want to talk to the American/Australian/British/Canadian embassy/consulate. 
I need to talk to the American/Australian/British/Canadian embassy/consulate. (Enikku .....Embassyyil bandhappedanam)
I want to talk to a lawyer. 
I want to talk to a lawyer. (Enikku Oru vakkeeline kananam)
Can I just pay a fine now? 
Can I just pay a fine now? (Oru pizha/Fine adachal mathiyo ?)
Light switch. 
Light switch. (Light Switch)
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1911 encyclopedia

Up to date as of January 14, 2010
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From LoveToKnow 1911

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Up to date as of January 15, 2010

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary

Wikipedia has an article on:


See also malayalam




From Malayalam മല (Mala or Malai), mountain) and അളം (alam), place).


Proper noun




  1. A Dravidian language spoken in the states of Kerala and Lakshadweep, India.


See also

External links



From Malayalam.


Proper noun

Malayalam n.

  1. Malayalam



From Malayalam.

Proper noun

Malayalam n.

  1. Malayalam


Up to date as of January 23, 2010

From Wikibooks, the open-content textbooks collection

Malayalam is the native language spoken by the people of Kerala, the southernmost state of India, bordered by Karnataka and Tamil Nadu.

All Malayalam-speaking people are called Malayalis. Malayalam is one of the latest of the Dravidian languages to be developed, only 800 years ago. Malayalam evolved from another ancient south Indian language, Tamil, but borrows heavily from Sanskrit as well.

Malayalam has a very rich culture. Some of the greatest contributions have been made by Thunchaththu Ramanujan Ezhuthachan. The language uses 52 letters. Spoken language has many colloquial variations between the Southern and Northern versions.

The name 'Malayalam' has took a place in guinness book of world record as the longest name of a language which is a palindrome.

Common phrases

Simple English

Malayalam is a language. Most people that speak Malayalam live in Kerala, in India. A speaker of Malayalam is called a Malayali.

Malayalam (/malayALam/) is the principal language of the South Indian state of Kerala and also of the Lakshadweep Islands (Laccadives) of the west coast of India.

Malayalis (speakers of Malayalam), who - males and females alike - are almost totally literate, constitute 4 percent of the population of India and 96 percent of the population of Kerala (29.01 million in 1991).

In terms of the number of speakers, Malayalam ranks eighth among the 18 major languages of India.

Malyalam language has 52 phonemes. A few of the phonemes are unique for Malayalam.

The word /malayALam/ originally meant mountainous country (/mala/- mountain + /aLam/-place). Tamil Nadu is its neighbour on the south and east and Karnataka on the north and east.

Malayalam is the only Indian Language which is a palindrome.

bjn:Bahasa Malayalam


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