Since 5AD, Arabic script was used to write Malayalam. This was called "Arabimalayalam" and is still used in Kerala. The 28 Arabic letters couldn't render 53 phonemes of Malayalam, so new letters were created for it !

"Muhyadheen Mala" is the first book written in Arabimalayalam

In the internet age, Latin script is used to write Malayalam (aka Manglish). English can't render all the phonemes of Malayalam, so letters are pronounced differently according to context. "enna" can be both എന്നാ and എണ്ണ.

There are christian prayer books written in Manglish !

Similar to Arabimalayalam, there is also "Suriyani Malayalam" which uses Syriac script to write Malayalam. It originated among Saint Thomas Christians of Kerala, but is not widely used nowadays. Like Arabimalayalam, new letters to accomodate Malayalam phonemes were created.

I just realized now that even the words I use to call my father and mother has Syriac origin :

Aba => Appa => Father
Emma => Amma => Mother
Malakha => Angel
Mamoditha => Mamodisa => Baptism

More on :


@subins2000 Don't think Appa and Amma can have Syriac origins

@amithm7 Yeah, it might not be. But the term Abba would have solidified the usage of Appa here.

Or maybe Tamil got the word Appa from Syriac too ? or vice-versa.

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