Translating to Malayalam

Hello dear discourse team,
I have started to translate the discourse to Malayalam in transifex. But, I have came across some barriers, which I would like to discuss here.

Basically, Malayalam is a non adapting language. That means, no new words will be added to the Malayalam language even after years. For example we Malayalees use the the word Computer itself in writing and reading, but the only difference is that we write in our script.

And there is no Malayalam word for mobile, switch, fan etc. If I need to write “switch” in pure Malayalam then I might have to write like this "വൈദ്യുതഗമന നിഗമന യന്ത്രം ". Instead of writing such a long sentence, we just choses to write Switch in malayalam as switch, but in malayalam script as സ്വിച്ച് .

Most malayalees(Like Indians for those who are from India) are well educated. I can assure you that the ones who are using internet is well informed about the internet words such as homepage, login screen, log out, sign up, sign out. So, what should I do?,
Do I need to translate those words into pure malayalam(Which even a Malayalee is not really acquainted with) or write those in malayalam script?

Inputs from @codinghorror and others is expected.

Please forgive my ignorance. Is Malayalam a language unique in and of itself, or is it more like a subset (dialect) of another language?

In other words, would using a more “close enough” general language be an option?

Dravidian languages
Badaga, Brahui, Gondi, Jatapu, Kannada, Kodava, Kolam, Konda, Koya, Kurukh, Malayalam, Mukha Dora, Sankethi, Savara, Sunuwar, Tamil, Telugu, Tulu, Yerukula


I was expecting this brother!

Let me introduce you to the close enoughs of the languages in the dravidan languages!

Let’s take the instance of asking “What is your name” in each of these languages.

உங்கள் பெயர் என்ன (Look at the script) - Which basically reads " Uṅkaḷ peyar eṉṉa?"

എന്താണ് നിന്റെ പേര് ( See the change in the script, it is not even similar. A thousand year difference :stuck_out_tongue: ) and which basically read as “entāṇ ninṟe pēr”

ನಿನ್ನ ಹೆಸರೇನು ( Just ha ha ha! We have got another script here) And which is read as “Ninna hesarēnu”

So, to answer your query, and we cannot use a more “close enough” language under any circumstance. Just because, the script is so different. Only those people whose learned each language can read its scripts.

Kasargod district is one of the rare districts in India which houses as many as 7 different languages (excluding dialects and tribal languages), with each spoken by a substantial number of people.[10]

The Malayalam spoken here has influences from Kannada and Tulu.

You may ask me that how on earth I managed to write and explain all these three languages. It is because I am from a district in Kerala, whose inhabitants can read and speak in 7 languages. :smiley: . I can understand and read Malayalam, Tulu, Beary bashe, Kannada. I could managed to understand a few words from Marathi and Konkani.

Basically I am man who could converse well in English, Malayalam, Kannada, Arabic, Hindi, Urdu, Tulu, Kannada, Beary Bashe and Tamil :wink:

So to conclude, we don’t have an option of close enough language


Coming from Hindi background, I understand what you mean here.

I agree that for words commonly used (like “Mobile”, “Login”) you can just translate that as is in Malayalam script. But for typical words (like “Categories”, “About”) you should try to translate that to pure Malayalam language if possible.

I believe a good starting point will be to look at what other Malayalam sites are doing. (For example: Facebook in Malayalam language.)

I also granted you Reviewer rights for Malayalam language on Transifex.


Off Topic

@techAPJ Can you give Tamil Reviewer rights to me. I will do translations whenever I have time.


Sure, done! :thumbsup:


Thank you @techAPJ . I will translate as much as I can by myself. Thanks


@techAPJ Can you give Persian Reviewer rights to me?

I just checked and you already have Reviewer rights for Persian (Iran) language on Transifex.