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Malayalam

Mala-y-alam – (mala – (mountain) + alam – (place) meaning mountainous country) is one of the 23 official languages of India and the principal language of the South Indian state of Kerala and also of the Union Territory of Lakshadweep Islands on the west coast of India. Malayalam is the only name of a language that is spelt and read alike forwards and backwards – i.e., is a  Malayalam, besides being spoken predominantly in Kerala, “Malayalis” (people speaking Malyalam) living in Mahé (Mayyazhii), Union Territories of Andaman Islands, Nicobar Islands and Puducherry in southern India also speak it. In all, it is spoken by around 37 million native (who account for only 4 percent of the Indian population; they constitute 96 percent of the population of Kerala) and 10 million else where. Kerala boasts of bringing out nearly 170 daily newspapers, 235 weeklies and over 565 monthly periodicals – good enough to whet the appetite of almost totally literate Malayali population. Malayalam writing round writing or vattezhuthu system has evolved in the early 9th century from Tamil script, adopted from the brahmi script. Many are of the opinion that as the grammar and vocabulary of the two languages are common, and therefore Malayalam is more of an offspring of Tamil than an original language.

 

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