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Malayalam (മലയാളം)
Malayalam is a Dravidian language with about 38 million speakers spoken mainly in the south west of India,
particularly in Kerala, the Laccadive Islands and neighboring states, and also in Bahrain, Fiji, Israel, Malaysia,
Qatar, Singapore, UAE and the UK.

Malayalam was first written with the Vatteluttu alphabet (വെ ഴു ് Vaṭṭeḻuttŭ), which means 'round writing' and
developed from the Brahmi script. The oldest known written text in Malayalam is known as the Vazhappalli or
Vazhappally inscription, is in the Vatteluttu alphabet and dates from about 830 AD.

A version of the Grantha alphabet originally used in the Chola kingdom was brought to the southwest of India in
the 8th or 9th century and was adapted to write the Malayalam and Tulu languages. By the early 13th century it is
thought that a systemised Malayalam alphabet had emerged. Some changes were made to the alphabet over the
following centuries, and by the middle of the 19th century the Malayalam alphabet had attained its current form.

As a result of the difficulties of printing Malayalam, a simplified or reformed version of the script was introduced
during the 1970s and 1980s. The main change involved writing consonants and diacritics separately rather than
as complex characters. These changes are not applied consistently so the modern script is often a mixture of
traditional and simplified letters.

Malayalam is also regularly written with a version of the Arabic script by Muslims in Singapore and Malaysia, and
occasionally by Muslims in Kerala. Christians in Kerala used to write Malayalam with the Syriac script and use a
variety of Malayalam known as Suriyani Malayalam in their liturgy.

Notable features
Type of writing system: syllabic alphabet in which all consonants have an inherent vowel. Diacritics, which can
appear above, below, before or after a consonant, are used to change the inherent vowel.

When they appear at the beginning of a syllable, vowels are written as independent letters.

When certain consonants occur together, special conjunct symbols are used which combine the essential parts
of each letter.

Direction of writing: left to right in horizontal lines.

Used to write: Malayalam (മലയാളം), a Dravidian language with about 38 million speakers spoken mainly in the
south west of India.

Malayalam alphabet (മലയാളലിപി)


Vowels (സ ര ൾ svaram)
Vowel diacritics with ka

Consonants (വ ന ൾ vyanjanam)

RBP
RBP

A chillu or chillaksharam represents pure consonants independently, without help of a virama. Unlike a consonant
represented by an ordinary consonant letter, these consonants are never followed by an inherent vowel.

A selection of conjunct consonants


Notes
When combined with vowel diacritics some consonants change shape. This doesn't happen in the simplified
version of the script (in blue on the right)
ഋ, ൠ, ഌ, ൡ are only used in Sanskrit loanwords
ഫ can be prononunced [f] in loanwords.

Numerals (അ ൾ akkan̄n̄alla)

Arabic script for Malayalam


‫ح‬, ‫خ‬, ‫ذ‬, ‫ز‬, ‫ص‬, ‫ض‬, ‫ط‬, ‫ظ‬, ‫ع‬, ‫غ‬, ‫ ق‬are only used in Arabic loanwords.

Download alphabet charts for Malayalam (Excel)


Some information provided by Michael Peter Füstumum

Sample text

Arabic alphabet
ُ ‫ ﺮُ َﻣ‬ٝ‫ﮅ ﭘ‬ٝ ‫َﺎو ّٗﺗ‬
.‫وﯾﻜ َ ُﺒﺪّ ِﻫ ُﯿﻢ َﻣ َﻨ ﺎﻛ ِ ُﯿﻢ ِﺳﺪّ ﻫ ََﻤ ِﺎﯾ ِﺮﻛﻨﺖ‬ٝ ‫ﺎژ َوا َﻧﺎڹَ َﻣ ُﻨ َﯿﻦ ِو‬ َ ‫ﺑﻬﺮاﺗﺮُ ﺑ‬
َ ‫ﻮﻧﯿﻢ‬ ُ ‫ﻮڌم َاﻧﺘَ ّٗﺴ‬
َ ‫ َا ٗﻧﯿ‬.‫ﻮڌم ﺳﻮَ ا َﺗﻨﺘﺮﯾَ ّٗﺘﻮ ُﺗﻤﻜُﻮڌِ ﺟﻨِﭽﻮَ َراڹ‬ ُ ٗ ‫ﺎﺷ‬ َ ‫ﺮﻻ َورُ م ُﺗ َﻠﯿ‬ٝ ‫َﻣ ُﻨ َﯿ‬
َ َ ‫ﺎوﻛ‬

Transliteration
Manuṣyarellāvarum tulyāvakāśan̄na
̄ ḷōṭum antassōṭum svātantryattōtumkūṭi janiccavarāṇ. Anyōnyam
bhrātrubāvattoṭe perumāṛuvānāṇa manuṣyannu vivēkabuddhiyum manaṣṣākṣiyum siddhamāyirikkunnat.

A recording of this text by Vijay Prabhu

0:00

Translation
All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience
and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.
(Article 1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights)

Sample video in Malayalam

WIKITONGUES: Vineet speaking Malayalam


Information about Malayalam | Suriyani Malayalam | Phrases | Numbers | Tower of Babel | Learning materials

Links
Information Malayalam
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Malayalam
http://www.cs.cmu.edu/afs/cs/usr/vipin/www/mal.html
http://www.malayalamresourcecentre.org

Online Malayalam lessons


http://www.learn-malayalam.com
http://websitefor.info/learn/malayalam/
http://www.entemalayalam.org
http://www.kpmalayalam.com
http://malayalamteacher.com
http://polymath.org/malayalam.php

Malayalam phrases
http://www.jaimalayalam.com/vegam_vegam_malayalam.htm
http://www.languageshome.com/English-Malayalam.htm

Online Malayalam dictionaries


http://www.prokerala.com/general/dictionary/
http://www.mashithantu.com/dictionary/
http://www.dictionary.tamilcube.com/malayalam-dictionary.aspx
http://malayalam.changathi.com/Dictionary.aspx
http://dsal.uchicago.edu/dictionaries/gundert/
http://www.shabdkosh.com/ml/
http://olam.in

Malayalam fonts
http://www.wazu.jp/gallery/Fonts_Malayalam.html
http://www.prokerala.com/downloads/fonts.php
https://sites.google.com/site/fontpacksite/malayalam-fonts
https://sites.google.com/site/cibu/
http://www.clickeralam.org/product.html
http://www.horomatching.com/KattaFont.aspx

The Bible in Malayalam (Unicode)


http://216.156.35.218/Default.asp

Online Malayalam news


http://www.mathrubhumi.com
http://www.malayalamanorama.com
http://tvnew.in/

Online Malayalam transliterator


http://www.writeka.com

Dravidian languages
Badaga, Brahui, Gondi, Jatapu, Kannada, Kodava, Kolam, Konda, Koya, Kurukh, Malayalam, Mukha Dora, Sankethi,
Savara, Sunuwar, Suriyani Malayalam, Tamil, Telugu, Tulu, Yerukula

Syllabic alphabets / abugidas


Ahom, Badaga, Balinese, Batak, Baybayin (Tagalog), Bengali, Bilang-bilang, Bima, Blackfoot, Brahmi, Buhid,
Burmese, Carrier, Chakma, Cham, Cree, Dehong Dai, Devanagari, Dives Akuru, Ethiopic, Evēla Akuru, Fraser, Gondi,
Grantha, Gujarati, Gupta, Gurmukhi, Rohingya, Hanuno'o, Inuktitut, Javanese, Jenticha, Kaithi, Kannada, Kawi,
Kerinci, Kharosthi, Khmer, Khojki, Kulitan, Lampung, Lanna, Lao, Lepcha, Limbu, Lontara/Makasar, Lota Ende,
Malayalam, Manpuri, Modi, Mon, Mongolian Horizontal Square Script, Mro, New Tai Lue, Ojibwe, Odia, Pahawh
Hmong, Pallava, Phags-pa, Ranjana, Redjang, Sasak, Satera Jontal, Shan, Sharda, Siddham, Sindhi, Sinhala,
Sorang Sompeng, Sourashtra, Soyombo, Sundanese, Syloti Nagri, Tagbanwa, Takri, Tamil, Telugu, Thai, Tibetan,
Tigalari (Tulu), Tikamuli, Tocharian, Tolong Siki, Varang Kshiti

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