The difficulty of learning a languge, or anything for that matter, is somewhat defined by the resources available. After all, a difficult concept explained well can be understood - unlike a simple concept for which there is no explanation. Although spoken by millions of people, Malayalam is not of a popularity which has it catered by the likes of Duolingo, Babbel, Pimsleur and the like. But, the further I’ve dug, the more gems I’ve uncovered. So here’s a curated list of the best Malayalam learning resources I’ve discovered.
MangoLanguages is the resource that convinced me to give this challenge a go - it’s the only real resource on the internet, and a great one at that. Every other resource is a helpful supplement, but none provide real significant value on it’s own to give confidence in the undertaking.
Essentially MangoLanguges has a DuoLingo look and feel and serves to fulfill a similar purpose: a linear course through the language, focussing on teaching words and phrases based around topics such as ‘family’ and ‘directions’. The course provides plenty of material, and really shines in providing both audio for every phrase, literal colour coded translations, cultural notes and a clean, easy to use interface. If you’re in the US, you may luckily have it available for free at a library near you - for the rest of us, it’s avaiable at a monthly subscription costing roughly £15.
Learn Malayalam in Six Weeks
The book Learn Malayalam in Six Weeks has been my main resource in learning the characters of the language, along with the approximate pronounciation.
Malayalam Dictionary and Phrasebook
This Malayalam Dictionary and Phrasebook by Valsala Menon is admittedly yet to provide much value to me, but is one I feel would grow in use over time. It’s a well produced reference, and the best I’ve come across as far as a bilingual dictionary goes.
Learn101.org - Malayalam
Anki is THE language learning tool - simple as an idea, but invaluable in practice and the best known method of memorising information. In learning a language, there’s an expected amount of grunt work, where there’s no avoiding needing to learn a mass of vocabularly, and regularly practice phrases you’ve learnt.
This article was last updated: 1st March 2016. Aware of a resource that you feel should be included here? Comment below!