Penn Arts & Sciences Logo


Malayalam is the language of Kerala, the southernmost state in India. Over 35,000,000 people speak this language. Malayalam, one of the Dravidian languages in India, has its own alphabet and grammar. It originally developed from Tamil and uses many Tamil words. It also has adapted many words from Sanskrit, other India languages and English.

Malayalam is extraordinarily rich in every genre of literature. Every year numerous books and publications are produced in Malayalam. In Kerala alone 170 daily papers, 235 weekly and 560 monthly periodicals are published in Malayalam. The most circulated daily paper in India is in Malayalam. This language is presently taught in many Universities outside Kerala including some in the United States.

Course Descriptions

See the current semester roster for times and room numbers

Beginning Malayalam:MLYM-408
Instructor: Dr. James Kurichi
This course is designed to develop skills in reading, writing and speaking Malayalam. The course will focus on the study of the alphabet, basic vocabulary, nouns (case, gender and number), verbs and their basic tenses, numerals, rules of joining words, adjectives, adverbs, and the structure of sentences. Guided conversation will be a part of every class. Students will receive considerable training in speaking and writing their own sentences and paragraphs. 

Intermediate Malayalam:MLYM-428
Instructor: Dr. James Kurichi

The course is designed to enhance and further the language skills learned in Beginning Malayalam. Direct and indirect speach, passive voice, post positions, rules of joining words, etc. will be included in the course. Reading and discussion of texts from current Malayalam literature (essays, narration, short stories, and poems) will be the major portion of the course. Students will be required to use Malayalam dictionaries and present different samples of Malayalam writing.