Malayalam Radios app. Malayalam is a language spoken in India predominantly in the state of Kerala. It is one of the 22 scheduled languages of India with official language status in the state of Kerala and the union territories of Lakshadweep and Pondicherry. It belongs to the Dravidian family of languages, and is spoken by 50 million people. Malayalam is also spoken in the Nilgiris district, Kanyakumari district and Coimbatore of Tamil Nadu, Dakshina Kannada, Mangalore and Kodagu districts of Karnataka. Overseas it is also used by a small population of Indian expatriates living around the globe.
Malayalam most likely originated from Middle Tamil (Sen-Tamil-Malayalam) in the 6th century. An alternative theory proposes a split in even more ancient times. In either case, Malayalam incorporated many elements from Sanskrit through the ages and today over eighty percent of the vocabulary of Malayalam in scholarly usage is from Sanskrit. Before Malayalam came into being, Old Tamil was used in literature and courts of a region called Tamilakam, including present day Kerala state, a famous example being Silappatikaram.Silappatikaram was written by Chera prince Ilango Adigal from Cochin is considered a classic among Sangam literature. Modern Malayalam still preserves many words from the ancient Tamil vocabulary of Sangam literature. The earliest script used to write Malayalam was the Vattezhuttu script, and later the Kolezhuttu, which derived from it. As Malayalam began to freely borrow words as well as the rules of grammar from Sanskrit, Grantha script was adopted for writing and came to be known as Arya Ezhuttu. This developed into the modern Malayalam script. Many medieval liturgical texts were written in an admixture of Sanskrit and early Malayalam, termed as Manipravalam. The oldest literary work in Malayalam, distinct from the Tamil tradition, is dated between the 9th and 11th century.