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Learn Malayalam Through English Online

It is believed that the word for the Indian language, "Malayalam", is derived from "mala" meaning mountain and "alam" meaning place or land combining to form "mountain land." The meaning of Malayalam is fitting since it is predominantly spoken in what is known as "God’s own country," Kerala. This Indian state is located on the most southern tip of India by the Malabar Coast. Kerala is famous for its wildlife, scenic waterfalls, long shoreline, and serene beaches making it a popular destination in India for tourists. If you are planning to visit or live in Kerala, it would be in your best interest to learn Kerala’s official language, Malayalam.

Malayalam has 38 million speakers world-wide. Besides Kerala, Malayalam is also spoken in certain areas of neighboring states, including Karnataka and Tamil Nadu, the Laccadive Islands, Bahrain, Fiji, Israel, Malaysia, Qatar, Singapore, UAE, and the UK. Malayalam is known to be a Dravidian language which is a family of languages spoken mainly in southern India and parts of eastern and central India. Malayalam script is a Brahmic script and an abugida, a segmental writing system that is alphabetical and syllable-based. The Malayalam script derived from the Vattezhuttu script and was later influenced by the Grantha script.

If you are interested in learning how to read, write, and speak Malayalam, here are the top free online websites.

  1. Omniglot – Malayalam &

  2. Omniglot is a great site for learning about new languages like Malayalam. The first link provides a list of useful English to Malayalam phrases. The Malayalam translations are written in Malayalam script and show how the word or phrase is pronounced. By clicking on certain scripted phrases, you can also hear how that phrase is pronounced through an audio file. The second Omniglot link provides information about Malayalam’s writing system and alphabet. The page shows how vowels and consonants are written in this unique script.

  3. Languages Home – Learn Malayalam

  4. This link provides a simple and efficient list of common words and phrases translated from English to Malayalam. The translations are written how the word or phrase would be pronounced in Malayalam.

  5. Learning Malayalam YouTube channel
    This YouTube channel provides a variety of videos teaching Malayalam. Some topics covered include common words and phrases, greetings, numbers, and phrases related to shopping, family, and eating. These videos are ideal learning tools because you can see how the words and phrases are written and also hear how they are pronounced.

  6. My Languages – Malayalam

  7. My Languages offers many seemingly endless lists of English to Malayalam translations. This site is ideal for learning how to write certain words and phrases in Malayalam script. Some of the topics covered include colors, numbers, body, time, days, food, animals, places, nature, weather, etc. The site also provides a quiz to test your knowledge and a sample Malayalam reading to help you practice your reading skills.

  8. iLanguages – Learn Malayalam

  9. This link provides lessons teaching Malayalam vocabulary, phrases, and grammar. The lessons show lists of translations in script and pronunciation with helpful audio files. iLanguages also offers flashcards and a quiz to help you practice and apply what you have learned.

  10. Learn-Malayalam

  11. This link provides the basics of conversational Malayalam and a comprehensive list of Malayalam vocabulary. Each page conveniently offers written and audio translations for each word and phrase. This site also provides a variety of pages about Malayalam culture such as Malayali food, Malayalam Movies, Kerala Travel, and much more.

  12. Pravasi Malayalam

This website offers a number of lessons teaching Malayalam. Topics covered include spoken Malayalam, Malayalam Alphabets & Easy Words, Numbers, and Simple Sentences with Two or Three Words. Each lesson is detailed and well-explained and helpfully provides translations, pronunciations, and audio files.

Photo Credit: Jean-Pierre Dalbéra
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