Malayalam News Literature Website

Sankshepavedartham- The First ever book to be printed in Malayalam

First book printed in malayalam
The First ever book to be printed in Malayalam

The influence of the west on Kerala began with the arrival of the Portuguese. Christian missionaries had a
crucial role to play in the development and evolution of the Malayalam language. The missionaries, who arrived by sea from Europe were mostly Portuguese, they studied Malayalam, Sanskrit, Tamil and contributed towards the creation of dictionaries. Members of the Jesuit and Carmelite monasteries from Europe, were mostly interested in learning the language. Most of these foreign missionaries were based in Varapuzha and were called Varappuzha priests. Unfortunately, these researchers have not been given a significant place in the history of the Malayalam language. Among these, Malayalee linguists are especially indebted to Clement Pianos for taking the Malayalam book, Sankshepavedartham to Rome and printing it.

As part of his missionary work, Clement Pianos took the initiative to establish a theological study center in Varapuzha. This institution later grew into Aluva Mangalapuzha Pontifical Seminary. It was during his tenure there that he delved deeply into the study of the Malayalam language. The first ever book published in Malayalam, Sankshepavedartham was printed in Rome in 1772. A catechism book written in the question answer form. According to some linguists, Clement Pianos, who was well versed in Sanskrit, wrote another Malayalam book and dedicated it to the Maharaja of Travancore. His unpublished works are kept in the Archives of Propaganda in Rome.

The second edition of the book was published in 1980 in Thiruvananthapuram, abbreviations was published by DC Books and Carmel Publishing Center.

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