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Kovalam Beach in Kerala
Learn Malayalam Words Through English for Travel
Malayalam is the official language of Kerala, a state located on the southwest tip of India. Nicknamed “God’s Own Country,” Kerala is known for its geographic scenery. With its lush greenery, sandy beaches, and serene waters, Kerala is ranked to be a popular destination in India among tourists. National Geographic Traveler’s magazine even named Kerala as one of the “Ten Paradises of the World.” If you are looking to visit Kerala, learning Malayalam would be in your best interest.

Malayalam is part of the Dravidian language family, languages spoken mainly in southern India and parts of eastern and central India. Malayalam has over 38 million speakers around the globe. In addition to Kerala, Malayalam is spoken in neighboring Indian states of Karnataka and Tamil Nadu. Malayalam speaking communities can also be found in Malaysia, the Laccadive Islands, Bahrain, Fiji, Israel, Qatar, Singapore, the UAE, and the UK. Whether you are looking to travel to Kerala, Malaysia, or another place where Malayalam is commonly spoken, here are the top English to Malayalam translations you need to know.

  • Hello
    The standard Malayalam greeting is “Namaste” or “Namaskaram.”

  • Good morning/Good afternoon/Good night
    To greet someone at a certain part of the day use the phrases “Suprabhatham,” “Subh sandhya” or “Subha rathri.”

  • How are you? I’m good.
    To ask someone how they are doing say, “Engnganuntu ninakku?” and respond with “nannayirikkunnu.”

  • Pleased to meet you.
    This courteous phrase translates to “Kantathil santhosham.”

  • What’s your name? My name is…
    To ask someone their name say “Ninte perentha?” and to introduce yourself say “Ente peru…”

  • Please and Thank you
    These etiquette words in Malayalam are “Dayavai” and “Nanni.”

  • Yes/No/Okay
    These simple phrases are pronounced as “athe,” “ila,” and “shay-ree.”

  • Where is the toilet?
    To ask the whereabouts of the restroom use the phrase “Kakkoos evideyanu?”

  • Where is the nearest…? How do I get to…?
    When looking for a place, use the phrases “Aduththa bank evideyannu…?” or “Engene enikku … etham?”

  • How much is this?
    When shopping and curious about a price say “Ithinu enthu vila?”

  • Do you accept American dollars? Do you accept credit cards?
    To ask these questions say “Ningal American dollars edukumo?” or “Credit card swekarikumo?”

  • I am hungry.
    When expressing hunger say “Enikku vishakunnu.”

  • A table for one person/two people, please
    At a restaurant, use the phrase “Enniku/Njangalkku or meesha vennam.”

  • Do you have any rooms available? How much is a room for one person/two people?
    These questions translate to “Ivide muri ozhivindo?” and “Onno/rendo perkkulla muri vaddeka ethra aanu?”

  • Can you show me on the map? Can you show me the way?
    If you need to ask these questions say “Enikku map-il onnu kaanichu tharaamo?” or “Enikku vazhi kaanichu tharaamo?”
  • Good-bye
    A farewell greeting in Malayalam is pronounced as “Pineedu kaananam.”

To hear and practice the pronunciation of these phrases visit http://www.pravasimalayalam.com/ and http://www.omniglot.com/language/phrases/malayalam.php. For even more useful English to Malayalam translations visit the Wikitravel Malayalam phrasebook here http://wikitravel.org/en/Malayalam_phrasebook.


Photo Credit: Mehul Antani
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