But yeah, I'd go with Tamil. It's spoken in Sri Lanka, Singapore and Malaysia as well, gives you a decent understanding of Malayalam (I'm not sure how intelligible Telugu and Kannada are), and its speakers are the least likely to know Hindi (a much higher proportion of Telugus know it, especially since there is a large Urdu-speaker national minority in Andhra Pradesh).
TeneReef wrote:Malayalam does have a lot of Sanskrit words, but most concepts come in pairs,
so MOON can be both tingal (Dravidian) and chandran (Sanskrit), and so on.
Verbs in old Dravidian languages did not have any person marking. Person endings of verbs observed in modern Dravidian languages are later innovations. Malayalam is the only Dravidian language that does not show any verbal person suffixes, so Malayalam verbs can be said to represent the original stage of Dravidian verbs. Person suffixes in Beary bashe closely resemble those of Tulu, although the past tense in this dialect agrees with that of standard Malayalam in shape as well as in the distribution of allomorphs
vijayjohn wrote:It split off from Middle Tamil, not Old Tamil. That was still almost a thousand years ago, though. It's not as if there wasn't enough time for Malayalam to be used as a court language. It just doesn't seem that it ever was, in which case perhaps it didn't actually achieve any official status until after independence.
rmanoj wrote:What do you mean? The various small kingdoms in Kerala didn't use Malayalam at court?
Hent wrote:The only sentence I remember is నా కడుపు నిండింది (My stomach is full) . however I still haven't gotten the chance to use it...
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