Malayalam is the language of Kerala, the southwest-most state in India. It is spoken by almost 40 million people, which is approximately the population of Spain, and is larger than the population of Canada.
Malayalam has both Dravidian and Sanskrit roots - it closest living-language relative is Tamil (a Dravidian language), but many words have both Dravidian-derived and Sanskrit-derived versions. The repertoire of sounds includes those from both language groups.
Why learn Malayalam?
There are a lot of different reasons someone might want to learn Malayalam. Perhaps your parents or grandparents are from Kerala, and didn't grow up speaking the language but would like to. Perhaps you are a student of South Indian history. Perhaps you are are thinking of living there for a time. Perhaps you really like Malayalam movies!
In my case, I have just married a Malayali man, and I want to be able to communicate with his family. I also want to be able to understand the language well enough that when we have children, he will be able to speak to them in Malayalam without my being excluded - so that they can grow up knowing both Malayalam and English.
Why blog about learning Malayalam?
While this seemed like a noble sentiment, it has proven harder than I had expected - not the least because of the incredible dearth of materials available for English speakers who want to learn Malayalam (without learning Hindi first...!). There are some... but they can be hard to find, and hard to cobble together into a coherent strategy.
Thus, the purpose of this blog:
- Collect the resources I have found useful for learning Malayalam, in the order in which I found them the most useful.
- Add some additional materials for learning Malayalam to the public domain. In particular, I am finding computer-based flashcards which contain an audio file (kindly recorded by my husband) to be an invaluable tool; I would like to make these available for others to use.
- Keep myself motivated!
Leave a comment! Send me a message!
If you happen to stumble across this blog and learning Malayalam is something you are interested (or working on) trying, please feel free to contact me! If nothing else, I'd love some company on this journey. I'm also happy to provide any materials and advice I have that might be useful. Also, any and all suggestions for new materials or learning strategies are of course welcome, as well!