The dictionary of four South Indian languages includes Malayalam word meanings in Tamil, Telugu, and Kannada.

To unite South India with a common thread of language, a Malyalam to Tamil, Telugu, and Kannada dictionary has been designed. The credit goes to an 83-year-old from Kerala, who has created a dictionary to comprehend four South Indian languages.


Njattyela Sreedharan, who is a class 4 drop out, worked on the dictionary for 25 years. It was released on November 1, 2020, by the Senior Citizens Forum. The dictionary has 16,500 words of Malayalam along with its meaning in Tamil, Telugu, and Kannada. The 856-page dictionary is getting sold for Rs 1,500.

The unique dictionary creator, who took retirement in 1994, believes that the dictionary will help people understand the meaning of words, especially during the age when people start forgetting them.

Njattyela Sreedharan is a resident of Thalassery, who, after dropping off school, worked in a beedi factory. However, he took his eighth standard exam in the meantime and also learned Tamil. Gradually, he was equipped in his studies and also started teaching for literacy programs. As time passed by, he also developed an interest in grammar and word usage.

The journey

When Njattyela was working in the Public Works Department as a blueprinter, he once met T.P. Sukumaran, a professor at Nirmalagiri College, Kannur. The professor suggested a dictionary of dialects in Malayalam. After that, Njattyela made his mind to learn Kannada and Telugu to create a common dictionary.


In Kerala, he learned Telugu from Eashwaraprasad Rao, an officer at the District Agricultural Farm, Taliparamba, and his wife Seethamma. Since he already knew Tamil, he went on learning Kannada from his colleague Govinda Naik and writer C. Raghavan. Later, he visited Nellore in Andhra Pradesh and interacted with the local people. He went there several times to master the language.

Njattyela has already worked on the Malayalam-Tamil dictionary. It was published by The State Institute of Languages, Kerala, in 2012.

Also Read: Kerala Govt ran a special bus for a tribal girl, She scored 95% in 10th boards

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