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Learn Malayalam in a Month: Script & Roman Paperback – 31 Dec 2000

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Product details

  • Paperback: 175 pages
  • Publisher: Read Well Publications (31 Dec. 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 8187782064
  • ISBN-13: 978-8187782063
  • Product Dimensions: 17.3 x 11.9 x 0.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 1.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 643,038 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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23 of 24 people found the following review helpful By S. McEvoy on 16 Sept. 2006
This book will not teach you Malayalam in a month. Indeed, if you rely on it alone without the aid of any other resources, it will not teach you Malayalam at all.

To start with, the information given about pronunciation is often unhelpful, misleading or simply absent. It is not very useful to someone who knows no Tamil or Sanskrit to be glibly informed that certain letters are pronounced exactly like their counterparts in these two languages. In one place, the retroflex n is called "alveolar n", and the pronunciation is said to be the same as that in the English word "no", although standard English does not contain any retroflex consonants. In fact there is nothing at all to explain how to pronounce the retroflex consonants in Malayalam, nor even some of those which are less exotic from a European perspective.

A sizeable chunk of the book is devoted to vocabulary lists, with inflections treated in separate chapters. The way these inflections are dealt with is sketchy, to say the very least. The chapter on plurals, for instance, merely provides an apparently random list of nouns and their plurals, followed by the brief observation: "From these examples it is plain that plurals are formed in Malayalam by adding -ir, -kal or -mar to the singular." However, since in the general vocabulary lists the nouns are given only in the singular, the reader is left to guess which of these three forms applies in any particular case, and the fact that the first noun in the list of examples has an apparently irregular plural is simply ignored. Other inflections are dealt with in a similarly cavalier and incomplete manner.

Another thing that is extremely bad about this book is the absence of exercises along the way to test the reader's understanding so far.
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the book is useless - it would be easier to use if it listed day to day phrases & their English translation
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 2 reviews
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
Impossible 18 Feb. 2010
By Wanderer - Published on Amazon.com
This book is impossible to learn from. It is not organized in a way that leads to learning building on itself, but rather presents disjoint lessons in a rapid fire manner. One chapter covered the inactive voice and then said it wouldn't be used in Malayalam but was included because English used it. Why would anyone want to learn something that wasn't correct in the target language? At any rate, since Malayalam and English sounds are so different a cd is essential. The book makes the alphabet seem so difficult that it seems a miracle that Kerala is the most literate state in India. Other explanations are equally unclear. I barely made it to page 2 before giving up and I generally love learning languages.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Pretty good 7 May 2013
By Gina Moceri - Published on Amazon.com
I have to note that I have already had online experience learning the language of Malayalam, but I like books, so I decided to buy this.

This book gives step by step drawn diagrams for each main Malayalam letter. Unfortunately it gets confusing sometimes. My prior knowledge helps a lot. Compound letters are gotten into, and there is clarification for something I didn't know about the compound letters, certain compound letters, so that was helpful. There is lot of vocabulary, which is useful, and sentences and paragraphs at the back to be used.

Unfortunately the grammar is kind of bad, the letters are too small and smudged sometimes, and the arrows can be confusing, so I couldn't give this book a 5. Also one of the pages was creased. But it has a very nice cover, came in it's wrapping. It has a lot (a lot) of useful vocabulary. Upon checking the book again, it's about half vocabulary, not quite as much as I said before.

A good book. Very professional in nature, but a little on the weak side.
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