Malayalam 101

Learn Malayalam With Me!

India is a country of twenty-seven official languages, most of which can be separated into two main groups: Indo-Aryan and Dravidian. Most of the former languages are spoken in the northern part of the country while most of the latter is spoken in the south. I would go as far as to say the majority of Indians are at least bilingual (if not trilingual) with most educated folks knowing English and some amount of Hindi along with their own regional/ethnic languages.

Naveen knows four languages: English, Malayalam, Hindi and Tamil (ordered from most to least proficient).  His regional/ethnic dialect is Malayalam, the official language of Kerala, which falls under the Dravidian category and is one of the hardest Indian languages to learn thanks to its origins as a Sanskrit/Tamil hybrid.

I personally speak only English and a little school mandated French at the moment, but since having met my boyfriend I have found myself intrigued by his native tongue and as things have grown more serious so has my desire to learn it for a variety of reasons. However, while I have found a lot of resources when it comes to learning Hindi, I have found a distinct lack of material of which to learn Malayalam from. Scratch that, there is almost nothing of use out there other than a few phrases put up by native speakers here and there on the internet.

Hence, I decided that as I seek to fulfil my own new year’s resolution to learn Malayalam that I would give back to people out there like me who are in a relationship with a Mallu by giving them the tools to learn the language as I do, too.

So please, if you are interested, kindly return here every week for another lesson and participate in our little online classroom!


8 thoughts on “Learn Malayalam With Me!

  1. Hi Anne! I’m also dating a Malayali and find myself trying to learn the langauge. I’m currently working with two teachers on iTalki and we have classes through Skype. I also have a couple books.
    Living in Dubai helps, as ten percent of the population here is from Kerala. I’m so excited to stumble upon your blog. I just returned from meeting the family in Kochi and it’s been quite an experience.
    I’m super intrigued and happy to meet another couple like us. Please feel free to contact me. And good luck!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Eliza! Always great to meet another person in a White/South Asian relationship. It’s not every day I meet couples like us (and even rarer when the South Asian half of the couple is actually *from* India).

      Dubai, eh? I’m so jealous! Naveen has lived and worked there in the past but I have yet to go further east than France. I hear it’s really beautiful there!

      Wow, meeting the family. You guys are getting pretty serious! Naveen’s parents don’t know I exist yet but his friends know me well and his extended family is starting to become aware of the relationship. So we’re still a long way off from heading to Kerala for a family reunion. Congratulations to the both of you! I know this is usually a big step when it comes to Indian families 🙂

      I am happy you found us, too! Please check back here soon. I’m hoping to have a small lesson up by the weekend and eventually a whole phrase book’s worth.


      Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi Anne! I got to know about you through Eliza, whom I also met on WordPress, and I too, happen to be in a relationship with a Malayali whereas I am a Singaporean Malay. We’re in our third year of relationship and I am also trying to learn Malayalam. I speak enough Malayalam to have a simple conversation but I do sing in Malayalam pretty well(according to the Mister). Like Naveen, Mister also speaks Malayalam, English, Hindi and Tamil. He’s from Malappuram but we met while we were working in the airport in Singapore. Words go around that the Malayalis who are from Northern Kerala are more conservative and strict, I’m wondering if you’re having similar issues since Naveen is from Calicut?

    We’re currently in a long distance relationship since his work visa ended and I’ve visited him once in Kerala and he’s currently on a holiday here in Singapore. The Misters’ parents are not too keen on having a “foreigner” as their daughter in law, but as a couple, we’re pretty much still as strong as day 1!

    With that being said, I would so much love to keep in touch with you guys as well! Who knows, perhaps one day we could all meet up in Kerala!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hi Shalina, I’m glad you found us! Hopefully I do all this some justice.

      Wow, Singapore! Y’know my friends from India often say if there were a tea stand on the moon the person operating it would be a Mallu and so far I can believe it having met so many far and wide.

      You’re definitely ahead of me in terms of speaking it there but hopefully I will catch up soon! 🙂

      I should probably do a post about this some time but not really because although he has lived a good amount of time in India, my boyfriend actually spent most of his impressionable years in the U.A.E and his father is apparently quite the rebel (or so I’m told). Which has made Naveen a very liberal person even by Western standards, sometimes even more so than me!

      I’m sorry that Mister’s parents aren’t more accepting, this seems to be a common problem among mixed couples, but I’m glad to hear that you guys have not let it stop you. I’ve always thought that love was worth fighting for and it’s so nice to see other people feel the same.

      Thanks for stopping by! Please do come by and comment again. I am always happy to meet other couples like us! Who knows, right?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Oh UAE! Same as Mister! He’s spent a great deal of time growing up there too, namely in Dubai! I guess that’s why he’s quite open minded. The problem lies back home in India :/

        Well, let’s work together on brushing up on our Malayalam!

        Liked by 1 person

  3. I’m not in relationship with a Malayali, but I fell in love with the language last year thanks to movies and music and I thought I could try to learn a little. I love malayalam script. I still confuse some simbols, but I don’t give up. Hope you’ll continue with your lessons 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Language lovers are welcome here too, Anna! Well, if it helps, you’re way ahead of me if you can read any of the script. I personally cannot and expect I will end up being functionally illiterate in Malayalam but who knows? Thanks for stopping by!


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