No matter where you are in the world, a Malayali’s mother tongue, the Malayalam language, will always be at the epicentre of their universe. It’s such a beautiful language, but a bit complicated for an outsider. Yet, it conveys feelings and emotions perfectly. Here are a few things you should ideally know about the Malayalam language. So, take note.
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The word ‘Malayalam’ is a palindrome. That is, the word reads the same from the right and left. It’s the only language that is a palindrome. Not only Malayalees, but our language is also unique too!
It is acquitted as one of the oldest languages in the world. It’s been there since 830 AD. Initially, spoken in the west coasts of Tamil Nadu, its roots go back to dialects which were combined to make a language.
Wordy (Quite Literally!)
Also known as Kairali script, Malayalam is a Brahmic script with has 16 vowel letters and 37 constants, bringing it to a total of 53 characters. Phew! It’s almost twice the number of English Alphabets.
An Artistic Language
The language is no stranger to the poets and authors who’ve excelled in this language. You can write any letter in Malayalam without lifting your pen in between. In simpler words, all letters in Malayalam are connected by a series of continuous curves. Quite the artistic language!
Even today, people of each district speak different dialects of Malayalam, hence introducing us to three main dialects and almost 14 sub ones. The notable difference includes pronunciation, accent, words distinctive to each dialect as well as the speaking style.
It’s a combination of two words – ‘mala’ meaning mountain and ‘alam’ meaning place. This makes it simpler to understand the typography of the place where the language originated as well as the first native speakers.
With the arrival of the Portuguese and Dutch traders in Calicut, Malayalam has an everlasting influence from these languages. Thus, it has many words borrowed from Portuguese like Almirah meaning cupboard and chaaya, well… meaning chaaya. Malayalam sure has made its way around the world before Malayalees had.