Is it not better to have common alphabet for Malayalam and Tamil so that the two languages can enrich themselves by making them mutually readable?

Answer by Raakhee V. Menon:

I don’t think that would be possible. Although there are many similarities in the scripts, Malayalam script has more alphabets because the words are pronounced exactly as they are written, much like languages that have Devanagari scripts. We have alphabets corresponding to all alphabets of the Devanagari script, plus some more.

Tamil does not have this. When I started to learn Tamil by myself, this is the reason I found it to be easy. There was just one alphabet for the next four alphabets that followed ‘Ka’, ‘Pa’ and ‘Ta’. I used to wonder how people would be able to know whether a name is to be read as ‘Peter’ and not ‘Beater’ even though both ‘pa’ and ‘ba’ are symbolized by the same alphabet ப . In Malayalam, if a name is written as ‘Beater’, it is pronounced as ‘Beater’. If it has to be read as Peter, it has to be specifically written that way. Tamil people are used to this system and they are auto-tuned to read the words as they are meant to be read.

So all said and done, Malayalam has a much more detailed script than Tamil does. And it is much easier for a Malayalee to learn the Tamil script than the other way round. Because Tamil script has far less alphabets than Malayalam.

Tamil is a very old language and much older than Malayalam. It would be improper to impose another script on it just to make it mutually readable with Malayalam. Both languages can be transliterated almost to precision. And there are plenty of people (like me 😛 ) who can read both scripts easily. So it’s very easy to have Tamil works translated/transliterated into Malayalam, and vice versa. Both are equally beautiful languages with suitable scripts. We have much in common but it’s the differences that ought to be preserved and cherished, IMHO.

Is it not better to have common alphabet for Malayalam and Tamil so that the two languages can enrich themselves by making them mutually …

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