Sunday, November 18, 2007

Why learn Malayalam? Why blog about it if you do?

What is Malayalam?

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:

  1. Collect the resources I have found useful for learning Malayalam, in the order in which I found them the most useful.

  2. 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.

  3. 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!

24 comments:

ബാജി ഓടംവേലി said...

Good Service
Please go ahead

മുരളീധരന്‍ വി പി said...

നല്ല സംരംഭം.
നന്നായി ചെയ്തിരിക്കുന്നു.
പ്രവാസികള്‍ക്ക് മലയാളം പഠിക്കുവാനായി ശ്രീമതി ജി. പി രാധാമണി തയ്യാറാക്കിയ ഒരു പഠാവലി ഇവിടെ ലഭ്യമാണ്.
www.pisharodysamajam.com/yuvachaithanyam

Kishor said...

Nice attempt. Wish you all the best..

Vowel ഋ (‘rue‘) and constant റ്റ (‘ta‘) are missing!

പ്രവീണ്‍|Praveen aka j4v4m4n said...

Good to see this. Best wishes for the lessons.

Anonymous said...

Hi, I just found your blog from your 43 things profile. I'm a white American chick trying to learn Malayalam so I can get closer to my boyfriend's family, understand Mohan Lal and Mammootty, and teach our future children some Malayalam. My boyfriend only understands Malayalam, he doesn't speak or write it. I'm impressed with the progress you've made! I'll definitely be reading your blog in the future.

Regards,
CJ

Jennifer said...

nice idea.. i should do the same in my attempt to learn this challenging tongue.. but i have learned most of the alphabets and can read a majority of things, understanding must come and speaking yet another...!!!

Anonymous said...

I am trying to teach my 13 year old malayalam. I am having a hard time finding a good curriculum. Please email me at nishapeters@yahoo.com if you have any suggestions. Thanks

sam said...

I want to say basic things like good morning,good night,thank you or even you are beautyful in malayali.Where to get all this words online?

perilisk said...

Hi ! I live in Edinburgh but Im not a native speaker. I'm French-Canadian and am going to Kerala in October 2009. I want to learn Malayalam and would be willing to blog about it with you, if you don't mind. Are you still learning ? I'll start from scratch in February. I'd really love to get in touch. Please contact me !

Anirudh said...

how are things going? hope you're doing well with learning Malayalam. Good luck :)

Selah said...

how cool... i live in oman and i've been learning arabic, and i'm tempted to try to learn some malaylam too because there are so many people from kerala here... u are inspiring me furthur. good luck too u !

Anonymous said...

You have told everything but there is nothing about e-learning of English/Hindi to Malyalam.....

yasho said...

Hi

I suppose being a native speaker of Malayalam, I am useless to you in terms of empathy, but if you think I can help you in anyway, please do write to me at yashovathi at gmail...

Suneetha

Cris said...

I dont know if you check this blog anymore but it would be nice to know about the progress you have made. Maybe you could even have an audio clipping of how you speak it now :-)

jacobnj said...

Really glad to know malayalam is being learnt by many, me being a native, i can only speak and i cannot read or write fluently, i am trying to learn to write and read, I found your blog very useful, please continue.

marian said...

Thankyou for this great blog. I,m a Brit grandmother with an adopted Keralite family and am ashamed to rely on them to speak english all the time.You,ve given me courage to start, only hope my brain is receptive to the challenge.
all good wishes to you and your family.

AAG said...

i was looking for some malayalam spaking teaching site when i came across your blog.... why cant we start adding sentences whihc we can surely start with some daily using words, in which i would surly like to help you out that too free no charges... actually i am willng to do this cause i and my frnds haldly find time to talk but he is mosly on net so.. i think this could rellly help us up...and also many other who relly wish to learn can serve themselv from this.... please feel free to contact me at vini416@gmail.com if you think it is possible i would reallyy like to work on it....

Anonymous said...

Hi,

I am going to marry a mallu guy in about a month. My requirement is similar as yours, I want to be able to understand and speak malayalam. So please help me for the same!!
thanks

Anonymous said...

hi there,

Just happen to chance upon your blog. Well, i just want to pick up another language and since malayalam is closest to tamil, i would love to pick up the language. If you would know any useful websites, do let me know :)

e-mail: afrodiziac86@yahoo.com.sg

Anonymous said...

Hi,

Im keenly intrested to learn malalam can u help me. I want to know weather u have any soft copy like pdf where i can learn malyalam, or any book available in the market

Anonymous said...

hi
I eagerly want to learn malayalam. please if u have any soft copy which helps me mail to chittil90@gmail.com
Awaiting for ur reply..

kennady said...

The Tamil letters differs from alternative Brahmi-derived scripts in an exceedingly variety of how. not like each alternative Indic script, it uses identical character to represent each an unvoiced stop and its voiced equivalent

Joe said...

I been trying to learn Malayalam from quite some time..mostly the drive lasts for a week or two then dies off...this is the Nth time I'am redoing this ...oooh its quite agonizing but i simply love this language and i want to master it..help!! I am at ease with English and Hindi...my mail id is computer_bazzar@yahoo.com

I am varghese..I am sure how it hurts when u keep trying something which u want and not been able to get mastery over ..I feel we are going through the same snail pace..phew how near but how burdensome..hope this time its done with!

cheers
varghese

J.T. said...

I have to create a blog about learning something for my spanish class and I chose Malayalam because Im from Kerala. I like how you have created a blog about this. Its very interesting and helpful for me! Thanks :)