Kerala is one first Indian state with a literacy level of 100%. Both Malayalam and English are widely taught Language in the state. Malayalam is, however, the regional and official Language of the state. Malayalam is also one of the official Language of India. It is essentially a Dravidian Language but historical events have influenced the growth and vocabulary of Malayalam.
Current day Malayalam has about 53 letters of which 20 are long/short vowels and the rest are consonants. Since 1981, the script was modified to adapt Malayalam to the use of keyboard and hence there are currently only 90 letters for a typeset.
Variations in the Language can be seen across the length and breadth of the state depending on social structure, geography and community. The Syriac Christians’ vocabulary is influenced by English, Syriac, Latin and Portuguese while the Muslim population talks Malayali with additions from Urdu, Arabic. Sanskrit influences the Brahmin lingo the most. Pali is another Language that has influenced the native tongue.
Since the 19th century, Malayalam literature has undergone tremendous growth. Original novels, poetry, play, prose and lyrics have truly flourished. T. M. Appu Netunnati’s Kundalata (1887) and Chantu Menon’s Indulekha (1889) were among the first novels in the Language. Other famous novelists are Vennayil Kunniraman Nayanar, Appan Tampuran, V. K. Kunnan Menon, Ambati Narayana Potuval and C. P. Achyuta Menon. Vaikkom Mohammad Bashir is a famous dignitary in the Malayalam Literary scenario. Some famous Malayali poets are Kumaran Ashan, G. Sankara Kurup, K. K. Raja, Channampuzha Krishna Pilla and N. Balamaniyamma. So we see, the Malayalam Language has truly come of age.
Last Updated on 2 January 2013