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Nov 9

Written by: Jennifer Kumar, Cultural Adjustment Coach
Monday, November 09, 2009

Cultural survival and a mother tongue are in jeopardy in Kerala. In Kerala, the mother tongue is Malayalam. Malayalam is a most beautiful language and according to this article, is becoming extinct.

In today's culture, it seems students study in English Medium and also talk more in Manglish (Malayalam peppered with English or English peppered with Malayalam), hence loosing touch with their native tongue. I find this intriguing because when I have visited Kerala the last four years, I do not hear much Manglish at all. Of course, I don't have much of an opportunity to talk to many youngsters. But, those I have talked with can't seem to understand my English- and no, no Manglish for me, yet. I also understand there are other problems with people understanding my English- such as accent, tone, speed, word choices, and other complications. However, this not withstanding, it's sad to see any culture loose touch with elements so essential as language- every language has some unique ways of communicating about the world that another just can not- even in translation. If this was true, my husband's favorite show, Akkara Kazhchakal, would be able to have English subtitles, with jokes remaining in tact. In fact, for those who want to appreciate the cross-cultural challenges, beauties and humor of Indians, specifically, Keralites/Malayalees settled in US, do watch Akkara Kazhchakal on YouTube (or Kairali TV, if you have that).

That being said, within are a list of different kinds of resources you can tap into to learn Malayalam at any age and in different world locations! I hope this is useful and you can find something useful to you.


Malayalam Lessons- Books, CDs, DVDs, VCDs

Alphabet In Song: Malayalam Language - Rangasami Parthasarathy (Conductor), M.G. Sreekumar (Performer) This is a creatively made CD introducing learners to the language, sounds of alphabets, through song and repetitions.

Talk Now! Learn Malayalam - Beginning Level This is also a nice CD for older and adult learners. I liked this CD but felt some words they teach in Malayalam are not really used in daily speech. (This was also told to me by some native speakers.) Overall, this is a good one to try, none the less.

Vidhyarmbham CD - This CD is more focussed toward child learners, but can be fun for any age if you are open to learning with animated teachers, songs and pictures.
**This site seems to have pop-up ads.


Malayalam Lessons- Online Websites and References

Balmitra - Learn Malayalam and other Indian langauges

Learn Malayalam Online  - A straight-forward, easy to follow site.

Malayalam for Kids - This site seems to have a lot of lessons, but I think they are all in Malayalam script.

Synonyms, Antonyms, Gender exercises in Hindi, Malayalam, English 


You Tube videos - below

Please e-mail me any thoughts on this category.


Malayalam Classes - In India

Please e-mail me any thoughts on this category.


Malayalam Classes in USA (Through Malayalam/ Kerala Associations, Malayalam Churches)

Please e-mail me any thoughts on this category.
(I had tried a search on this topic and found out of date resources, please e-mail me current or ongoing class information. Thank you.)


Malayalam Taught in American College Programs- US Based Classes

U Texas Austin- First and Second Year College Malayalam Classes  

U Penn - Philiadelphia - Malayalam Classes  (and other South Asian Langauges)


Malayalam Taught in American College Programs- Study Abroad to India/Kerala Programs

University of Wisconsin, Madison Summer in Kerala (Trivandrum/Thiruvananthapuram) 

*I have personally met the tutor that teaches Malayalam in Kerala through this program- a top choice!

Malayalam WorldWide Cultural Classes
I am wondering - does anything exist in Canada, Dubai or Middle East? Please e-mail me any thoughts on this category.


Malayalam Lessons- Online Videos- YouTube


Thank you bharatyaatra for the great effort in creating and posting these lessons!
Lesson 1
Lesson 2
Lesson 3




Tutorial on reading and wishing Happy Onam in Malayalam

Kerala is the southwestern state in India where people speak Malayalam and celebrate Onam.




Related Links/Posts:

Kerala Calendar Tutorial- A brief introduction on the fine art of reading a Malayalam Calendar. Learning to read a Malayalam calendar, however, is a much deeper pursuit of learning than simply learning Malayalam- one must understand Indian astrology as well!

Reading Malayalam is Easy! Reading and Wishing Happy Onam in Malayalam - Video Tutorial (video above)

Vidhyarmbam: Conclusion of Navarathri in Kerala- Introducing babies into the world of educaiton and reading via ritual and religious ceremony in Kerala.

See also:  Want to Learn Tamil? See my page on Tamil Studies.



Are you a Malayalee parent raising your child abroad? Finding it hard to encourage your child to learn Malayalam? Are you loosing touch with your mother tongue?

Are you a non-Malayalee or non-Indian married to a Malayalee and want to learn Malayalam for communicating with your spouse and in-laws?

I am making an attempt to collect some resources you can tap into to maintain a link with your native culture and language or to inspire you to learn about new cultures and languages.



Thank you for reading and spending your time on Alaivani.com.



Copyright ©2009 Jennifer Jayanthi Kumar


2 comments so far...

Re: Malayalam Studies in USA

South Asia Summer Language Institute, University of Wisconsin-Madison has a course on Malayalam evry summer

By Erika on   Friday, January 08, 2010

Re: Malayalam Studies in India, USA and Internationally

Thank you, Erika. The program seems really interesting. Have you participated in it! Thanks for sharing your resources with us.

SASLI - South Asia Summer Language Institute @ UW-M Website

By admin on   Friday, January 08, 2010

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