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Language Spoken

In Kerala, the inhabitants speak a wide array of languages. Not only these languages are spoken in Kerala but are also taught here. The most widely spoken languages in this state are Malayalam and English. Since people of this place are highly educated and learned, English language is used predominantly in schools and colleges as teaching communication. Beside these two languages, there are many more languages spoken here. These languages reflect the diverse ethnicities not only in the state but also in the country. The state boasts of contained functioning communities that speak these dialects and languages that are not heard anywhere in the country. About sixteen languages are spoken in Kerala that have been recognized by Kerala State Authorities. The reason behind it is division of this state in terms of religion and culture.

Various Languages

Kerala houses about 225 communities. About 112 communities speak Malayalam language, whereas only one community speaks English language. However, with change, this scenario is also undergoing change and today, English language is majorly used as a means of communication in schools, colleges and other institutions. Other languages that are spoken here are Sanskrit, Talim and Pali that had immense impact on Malayalam language. With some words from Arabic and Urdu, Malayalam language is also spoken by Muslim communities.

Tamil language is also used as a language of conversation by about 39 communities residing in this state. Tamil was the language that was used by Dravidian settlers as a form of expression. The rulers of this place officially recognized Tamil language for communication. Tulu, Telugu and Kannada were the other main languages used in this state. These languages fill the gap of communication.

In comparison to other languages, other languages that are spoken here are Urdu, Marathi, Punjabi, Konkani and Gujarati besides main Keralan communities. Outsiders have introduced these languages in the state that came here and settled here forever. From the communities’ names residing in Kerala, other languages among the sixteen languages that inhabitants speak and practice, the names of these languages are adopted.

Non-tribal languages Tribal languages Other languages and creoles
Malayalam Allar Judeo-Malayalam
Tulu Mannan Cannanore Indo-Portuguese
Tamil Aranadan Tellicherry Indo-Portuguese
Konkani Kadar Cochin Indo-Portuguese
Kannada Malaryan Quilon Indo-Portuguese
Malapandaram Vypin Indo-Portuguese
Betta Kurumba language
Kanikkaran language
Jennu Kurumba
Mullu Kurumba
Wayanad Chetti
Mudu Koraga
Korra Koraga
Mala Malasar
Attapady Kurumba
Kota language
Toda language

Official Language of Kerala

The officially recognized language spoken in the state of Kerala is Malayalam. This is one of the states in India where the state official language is also the country’s official language. Under India’s Dravidian Language Classification, Malayalam language falls. Since the vocabulary has undergone a major change in past years, the dialect that is spoken in Kerala is distinct from the old dialect. Syllabic system of alphabets is followed in the Malayalam language that is spoken today. There are 35 consonants in Malayalam language besides sixteen vowels. There is an alveolar nasal that extends the alphabet count to 52. Quite close to the Tamil script, the language shares a lot of similarities with Malayalam. The main difference is reflected in Malayalam languages’ similarity with Sanskrit. This language is considered to be quite refined language.

Influence of Sanskrit language is felt more in Malayalam in comparison to Tamil. Malayalam language is spoken by more than 24,000,000 inhabitants residing in the state of Kerala. It is one of the oldest languages in Kerala as historians have studies inscriptions that have been written in Malayalam language since nineteenth century.

Tourists coming to this state have to face challenge of speaking a language for communication, though English language is not only understood but also spoken by the residents residing in Kerala. But the problem faced is that most of the inhabitants living here refuse to speak any language besides their own language. They prefer only their mother tongue for communication. The tradition and culture of this state do not encourage use of any other language besides Malayalam. They speak no other language rather than Malayalam with people coming from other parts of the country or the world. As per certain reports, the Malayalam language is used predominantly in educational institutions like schools, colleges and institutes in this state and other state of South India that encompasses Lakshadweep, South Canara, Mahe and Kodagu besides USA or the United States of America. There are several Malayalam language’s dialects that teachers in the state of Kerala try hard to teach their students studying in this state as well as abroad. Three dialects of Malayalam are spoken in Kerala that depended on the traditions that were practiced and the region.

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