Are MALAYALAM KA & TAMIL KA confusable? Only if you think "all those Dravidians look alike" !

by Michael S. Kaplan, published on 2010/05/05 07:01 -04:00, original URI:

I remember growing up in Ohio, with several friends heading to Miami University (for college), who would have the shirt that said "Miami of Ohio, Dammit" on the back for those who assumed a Florida connection.

I had a similar one for the University of Pennsylvania that said Penn on the front and "Not Penn State, dammit!" on the back.

You can think of the alternate title of today's blog you are reading (It's Malayalam, which is not the language in Malaysia, darn it!) as a softer version of that same sentiment for the language of the day today!

That particular "mistake" is common enough to be mentioned in the language's Wikipedia page, for what it is worth.

Anyway, here we go....the Malayalam Language Interface Pack for Windows 7 is now available!

It can be installed on any 32-bit Windows 7 system with English resources....

You can download it right here. :-)

And now some background info on Malayalam:

NUMBER OF SPEAKERS:  35 million. Not to be confused with Malay (which is spoken in Malaysia), Malayalam is spoken by approximately 35 million people in the state of Kerala in southern India. It is that state's official language and one of India's official languages.




Malayalam belongs to the Southern branch of the Dravidian languages and is most closely related to Tamil. The Dravidian languages are not related to the Indo-European languages spoken in the north of India (so that the term "Indic languages" is referring to a geographical, not a linguistic group).


Malayalam has a script of its own, an abugida of the Brahmic family. Like in all abugidas, or alphasyllabaries, characters for consonants have embedded vowels (or an extra diacritic showing that there is no vowel).

You can find out more about the Malayalam language here.


# John Cowan on 5 May 2010 9:46 AM:

In the town of Indiana, PA there is a university, not unnaturally (but confusingly) known as "Indiana University of Pennsylvania".

Hi, ho, Matruthalem / Daughter of Jeruthalem ...

(For sure Malayalam doesn't rhyme with Yerushalayim.)

# Ambarish Sridharanarayanan on 5 May 2010 11:11 AM:

Thanks for all your educative posts about Indic languages! Just wanted to point out that in Dravidian languages, 'la' is indeed alveolar and not dental. Proto-Dravidian had both dental and alveolar plosives - Tamil still has both nasal varieties. And 'la' is an alveolar fluid, not a dental one. One illustration is from Sandhi (; the correspondence between the retroflex plosive and ḷa is the same as the one between the alveolar plosive and la. [It's a different matter that IPA can't seem to distinguish alveolar from dental - ah, well.]

# Pavanaja U B on 5 May 2010 10:08 PM:

I am sick of writing this. But have to repeat for the sake of it. Why there is no 64-bit version of the LIP? I need it badly for Kannada. Just for the sake of LIP I can't uninstall 64-bit version and install 32-bit version. Nowadays almost all PCs have 64-bit CPUs. If we use 32-bit OS on that, we will be underutilizing the power of the system. No one in India buys OS off-the-shelf. Mostly they are pre-loaded with new PCs. New PCs are invariably 64-bit. Such a simple logic is missed out by MS is most surprising to me.



# Pavanaja U B on 5 May 2010 10:19 PM:

Where can I post my opinion/suggestion/feedback about LIPs? I did not find any forum related to that. I did not find in either



# Michael S. Kaplan on 6 May 2010 12:57 AM:

If you have details proving the configuration stuff you mention, please post it here with links, and I will make sure people see it. If they are working from bad information then the important thing is to get them the right information!

# Pavanaja U B on 6 May 2010 4:08 AM:

MS India theselves should have all the data like how many OEM and retail copies of Win7 sold, out of which, what is the percentage of 64 bit and 32 bit versions.

# Michael S. Kaplan on 6 May 2010 6:33 AM:

All I can tell you is that that a different tale is being told.

Look, you do not have to do anything. But please don't be surprised nothing is done if the only action taken is to dog each LIP blog here....

Benny Francis on 4 Jun 2010 4:47 AM:

I am surprised to see Kartika (Malayalam Unicode font) bundled with XP is not latest compatible with latest Unicode standard (regarding Chils). One more thing, many publishing software companies (including Adobe) still think that 'Arial Unicode MS' has all the support for Indian language. Who will educate them?

Michael S. Kaplan on 4 Jun 2010 6:10 AM:

The XP font was developed and shipped long before that issue was even being debated, let alone solved!

pratishtha on 7 May 2011 6:42 AM:

give another language  which can read both backward and forward

then i"ll comment

referenced by

2010/05/09 I can't actually see Chennai (or any other city in Tamil Nadu) from *my* let's talk LIPs!

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