Malayalam is the official regional language of God’s own country Kerala. There are so many people out there who are not residing in Kerala but still want to be fluent in the language due to its beauty and versatility. People are also convinced that Malayalam should be the official language of India. The reason being is that the Malayalam language is spoken all over the globe by few people and secondly it is the only language that has the same spelling from left to right and right to left and that is known as a palindrome.
Malayalam is used in mass communication in the state of Kerala. The use of the Malayalam language has contributed to the growth of language in terms of vocabulary.
● Regional- There are so many dialects of the Malayalam language identified by ethnology and they are, Kasargod, Kayavar, Central Kerala, Malayalam, Nasrani, Malabar, North Kerala, Pulaya, Nayar, and South Kerala. All these dialects are characterized by differences in pronunciation and vocabulary.
● Formal and informal- the Malayalam language has two main styles and they are formal and informal. Formal style is used when there are serious situations and the person we are talking to is not familiar with us. The formal language is mostly used in writing in TV programs and radio channels of Kerala as well as public speaking.
● Social- Malayalam language also has a number of social varieties that are depending on caste and religion. The speech in higher caste that is Brahmins differs from Nairs and those are middle-high caste. The middle-high class differs from that of Ezhava who are lower caste society. The language in the higher caste is influenced by the Sanskrit language more than that of the lower caste.
In Kerala, Malayalam is becoming more popular and rapidly standardized than other languages such as Urdu, English, Hindi, etc. Due to its influence and impact by a mass education, and also growing the impact of mass media.
Here are some of the interesting points to be kept in mind even if you are not from Kerala that states how the Malayalam language stands out from the other languages.
1) Palindrome words- almost all of the words used in the Malayalam language are in the form of palindrome that means the spellings are exactly the same from left to right and right to left. The word Malayalam is a palindrome word and thus it made it very interesting to learn this language due to its uniqueness. There are no other languages that are similar to Malayalam language or our in the form of palindrome.
2) Extensive use of Nasal sounds- There is an extensive use of nasal sounds in the Malayalam language. This is one of the key points for all the non native endeavouring the spoken Malayalam language.
3) Numerous dialects- as we have already discussed above and our featured some of the dialects of the Malayalam language. There are too many dialects within a small area and this is also a thing in other languages too but they are not completely intelligible with each other.
4) More chillus- A chillaksharam or chillu is considered to be that special consonant in the Malayalam language that represents an independently pure consonant without the help of virama. This consonant is never using any inherent vowel to follow unlike other consonants that are represented by an ordinary consonant letter.
There are in total six independent chillus used in the Malayalam language.
5) Half “U” Sound- in the Malayalam language the virama is also known as Chandrakala. It has two main functions and they are as follows-
● As virama, it is used to suppress the inherent vowel
● As samvruthokaram, it represents the half “u” sound.
Chandrakala is mainly a diacritic attached to a consonant letter that mainly depicts that the consonant is not followed by any inherent vowel. In Sanskrit, we use virama and halant in Hindi.
6) Grammar in simplified form- the basic grammar of the Malayalam language is generally simplified than any other language. In this language, there is no verb conjugation used with respect to nouns. It is said that the Malayalam language has been retained, unlike other languages.
These were some of the important points that one should be aware of even if they are not from Kerala. Malayalam language is definitely a beautiful and creative language that depicts uniqueness and explains why the language Malayalam stands out from any other language in India and even outside India.
Other than this, Malayalam is the most difficult language to learn and to master with a native proficiency in India.
The Malayalam language is spoken by 38 million people mainly in the state of Kerala as well as in Laccadive islands in the southern part of India. It has also been spoken in other countries such as Israel, Malaysia, Bahrain, Fiji, United Kingdom, United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Singapore, etc.