Published February 26, 2019
This video was recorded by Daniel Bögre Udell in Cape Town, South Africa, where he and Netha met at the 2018 Wikimania Gathering. Malayalam is spoken by as many as 35 million people, primarily in the Indian state of Kerala and the nearby Union Territories of Lakshadweep and Puducherry. Though the earliest written record of the language's current name dates back to the 16th century CE, Malayalam literature emerged at least five centuries earlier. There is a debate among linguists around Malayalam's origins: some believe the language diverged from Tamil just over a thousand years ago, while others argue the split occurred millennia ago, which would make Malayalam an extant language of the ancient world.