some basic words in Malayalam...???

#1 Nov 7th, 2007, 20:06
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  • kiela is offline
#1
Can anybody help me with some basic words in Malayalam for my trip in Kerala?
Only the spoken language, because I can't read the Malayalam alphabet...
- thank you
- good morning, afternoon, evening, night
- what's the price pleace
- do you have...
- can you help me
- my name is
- what's your name
- I'm from Belgium
- beer, wine, water, cola, fish, sigarettes

Thank you very much,
Kiela
#2 Nov 7th, 2007, 21:46
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#2
You'll find most people speak goog enough English for you to get by.

Hello - Namaste
Thank You - Nane (not sure of spelling)
#3 Nov 7th, 2007, 22:09
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#3
Namaste is really for Hindus, and, especially in Kerala, there will be a pretty good chance that the person you just met will be Muslim, Christian or even something else! But, unless they are really oversensitive, I don't think they'll take offence at the effort.

Oh. it's also N. Indian. I think it should be Namaskaram? It is in Tamil; I'm not 100% sure about Malayalam.
#4 Nov 7th, 2007, 22:17
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#4
- thank you--'nandhi' though i would say majority of them understand thankyou
- good morning, afternoon, evening, night- no need to change that.
- what's the price pleace---> enthavanu ithintae vila
- do you have...--> i couldnt find anything for this
- can you help me- ennae onnu sahayikamo
- my name is-- ente peru _ _ _
- what's your name--> enthavanu thangaludae peru
- I'm from Belgium--> gan belgiuthil ninnanu
- beer(same), wine(i would say its the same but specify if you need whisky,brandy etc), water(vellam), cola(pepsi or coca cola would do), fish(meen), sigarettes(its the same-the common brands are wills and kings)

Hope this helps
#5 Nov 7th, 2007, 22:18
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#5
This is a bit obscure, but what is the standard greeting for an Indian Christian, of any denomination? I know there are separate ones for Muslims (Salaam Aleikum) and Sikhs (Sat Sri Akal, right?). I'm mainly just curious, as I'm a bit of a social-linguistics nerd.

Though I have to say my most bizarre introduction to ANYONE, ever, was when I worked on a Bollywood film crew and introduced myself to one of the hairdressers, who was, I think, a Goan Christian. Upon hearing my full name, she didn't say "nice to meet you" or "how's it going?" or anything polite like that, she said "Oh, so, are you a Protestant?" Weird.
#6 Nov 7th, 2007, 22:29
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#6
No [there is no such standard greeting].

I just asked Mrs N --- she's an Indian Christian.
#7 Nov 7th, 2007, 22:37
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#7
Wait, so the Indian Christian greeting is "No."

Hm, they have more in common with the American Protestants than I figured...
#8 Nov 7th, 2007, 22:46
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#8


Woops... I was inferring an Is there a in your post!

I edited the post
#9 Nov 8th, 2007, 18:30
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#9
Quote:
Originally Posted by kiela View Post Can anybody help me with some basic words in Malayalam for my trip in Kerala?
Only the spoken language, because I can't read the Malayalam alphabet...
- thank you
- good morning, afternoon, evening, night
- what's the price pleace
- do you have...
- can you help me
- my name is
- what's your name
- I'm from Belgium
- beer, wine, water, cola, fish, sigarettes

Thank you very much,
Kiela
In theory it sounds like a good idea to learn some Malayalam words and phrases. In practice however, I fear it is a waste of time. We have been in Kerala for 6 months, and have learnt all the vowels, consonants and symbols used in Malayam (60+ when you count in different variations). Consequently, we can read and pronounce Malayalam words relatively precisely. However, native Malayalam speakers are still clueless as to what we are saying; even when the pronunciation is fairly accurate. In short, you are unlikely to benefit from knowing these phrases.

If you are staying for any length of time I would recommend getting a Malayalam teacher. Also, prioritise learning the Malayalam letters; it will make learning the language much easier; Manglish (Malayalam written in English) is an inferior substitute.
#10 Nov 8th, 2007, 19:54
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#10

Post

I am malayalee and I agree with pundabee and others. You can get away with basic questions in English. There's a good chance that the person who you are speaking to in Kerala can read and write in English, but still find it difficult to understand you. And that would be due to the difference in pronunciation, slang and sentence structure than anything else. For instance, I was speaking to a well qualified Malaysian gentleman of Indian origin yesterday, and while his English is better than a lot of the native English speakers here, he was totally lost when I asked him, "Have you been here long?"!

I think the trick is to emphasis certain words than relying on full sentences - "Name?" is probably better than asking "Whats your name?".

To greet someone in Kerala, IMHO 'Namaskaram' is probably better than 'Namaste', 'Aslamu Alaikum' etc. 'Good morning' would do the job just as well. I would avoid 'Aslaamu Alaikum' unless I am greeting a Muslim priest, or if someone tells you 'Aslaamu Alaikum', you can respond saying 'Alaikum Wa Aslaam'. In Malayalam movies, I have noticed characters talking to a Christian priest would start with 'Eassomisihayakku Sthuthiaayirikkatte' (I think translates to 'Praise the Lord'). Anyhoo, I can't think of a situation where 'Namaskaram' is inappropriate.

regards,
Ashok.

PS: Can I just add, muteflower's malayalam, 'Enthavanu' took a few extra seconds to process in my Palakkad Malayalam speaking brain! Its 'Enthanu' for us. Just goes to show how different the language is within 'Gods Own Country'!
#11 Nov 25th, 2007, 15:03
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#11

let me add

while agreeing with what muteflower and others said let me add my views here..
As some one said stressing the key word or using just the key word alone like 'name' or 'price' would be the best idea.
Most of keralites understand english. Kerala has the most literate population in india..But make sure you speak real real slow.. this way the pronounciation will not stand as a barrier.. And trust me This way you would not even have to speak a single malayalam word through out your stay here..
And be our guest.. Im sure you will have a very pleasant stay here in our small all green state..
#12 Nov 25th, 2007, 15:13
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#12
I think that, in Tamil, vanakam is less 'religious' than namaskaram.

If I'm right, is the same word in Malayalam? Or equivalent?



Here I am asking this ---- with a wife who is fluent in both languages! .

She's out .
#13 Nov 25th, 2007, 15:16
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#13
and.. Between 'enthavanu' and 'enthanu' i think the latter is more appropriate. The former is only used at the southern most tip of the state.. Even there the latter is used and understood..
#14 Nov 25th, 2007, 15:24
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#14
no.. Vanakkam is used only at tamilnadu. Not here in kerala.. Namaskaram is the proper word. But 'hello' works fine if the area is not too rural
#15 Sep 30th, 2009, 03:16
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#15
I am delighted to see, that the possibilities to learn Malayalam online for free have increased notably during the last year. Quite easy links to find with Google.

Someone has also put a little bit of effort for vocabulary in ml.wiktionary.org .. Hope still more! I'm still learning alphabet with those compound letters - so every link could be useful for me, especially with explaing the more complex letters

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