October 29, 2004

Malayalish, Malglish, Minglish

What's a good name for a hybrid of Malayalam and English? Some people use Malglish, but that's too awkward a name for such a mallufluous tongue. Minglish is too confusing, it's used for hybrids of Marathi and Malay as well. Malayalish is better:

Character of the Year is Zeenat Aman, as the wildly improbable, Mallu-speaking Dr Babylona Menon, in Rajeev Nath’s Moksham. She’s descended from a Malayali grandfather and Spanish grandmother, and lives in Almaty, Kazakhstan, if you please. She asks someone in chaste Malayalish, "What is your belief about after death?"

(IFFI Diary by Meenakshi Shedde, Outlook, 18 Oct 2004)
But then again, is that too much Malayalam, too little English? If you're looking for a true half-and-half, the correct word would be Mallish. Though it does suggest a Kerala massage, an extra whiff of coconut oil you may or may not count as a bonus.

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