Malayalam is the native language spoken by the people of Kerala, the southernmost state of India, bordered by Karnataka and Tamil Nadu.
All Malayalam-speaking people are called Malayalis. Malayalam is a classical language. It evolved from an ancient south Indian language, from which Telugu, Kannada and Tamil also evolved.
Malayalam has a very rich culture. Some of the greatest contributions have been made by Thunchaththu Ramanujan Ezhuthachan. The language uses 56 letters. Spoken language has many colloquial variations between the Southern and Northern versions. The name 'malayalam' is derived from the word 'mala'(hill).
The name 'Malayalam' has a place in the Guinness Book of World Records as the longest name of a language which is a palindrome. As compared to Tamil and Sanskrit, Malayalam is a very young language. This language is built upon the principles of both these languages. Actually it has a more Tamil touch than Sanskrit. Many of the early patrons of Malayalam like Cherushery and Ezhuthachan freed Malayalam of its complete dependence of Sanskrit words.