Elderly Kerala man complies unique dictionary | Fusion - WeRIndia

Elderly Kerala man complies unique dictionary

Elderly Kerala man complies unique dictionary

Where there is a will, there is a way. This elderly-man from Kerala proved it. Njattyela Sreedharan, an 83-year-old man compiled a unique dictionary of four south Indian languages. Surprisingly, he is a school dropout. Yet, his zeal for language made him work on the compilation of this unique dictionary.

He spent 25 years to compile the words in four south Indian languages, Malayalam, Kannada, Tamil, and Telugu. He published this multilingual Dravidian dictionary in November 2020.

Being a dropout of school, he worked in a beedi making company. After grownup, he found a job with the Public Works Department.

As an avid traveller and language lover, Sreedharan learned different words in various languages. While some of his colleagues and acquaintances helped him learning the languages, Sreedharan did not stop with that. He had been to many places across these states to speak with different people. Thus, he knew more by personal experience. While he learned grammatical words from various dictionaries, he learned colloquial words from people and newspapers.


He used to read horoscopes and recipes to learn the most commonly used in different places. The motive behind the compilation of the dictionary is to help people who travel across various regions know day-to-day words.

For every Malayalam word, a corresponding word in the other three languages, Kannada, Tamil, and Telugu is given. If a word has more than one meaning, then all those are compiled in the dictionary. Thus, the dictionary has around 1.25 million words.

Sreedharan worked hard for around 14 hours daily to compile the dictionary. He employed a woman to do the DTP work for the dictionary, for which she was paid ₹1 lakh. The Kerala Senior Citizens Forum printed the dictionary.

Sreedharan says that he cannot believe that he got succeeded at this age. His efforts are brought as a documentary ‘Dreaming of Words’ by a Bengaluru based filmmaker, Nandan.

Image Credit: Dreaming of Words on Twitter


Image Reference: https://twitter.com/words_dreaming

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *