Beary dialect

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Beary Language or Beary Basse (ಬ್ಯಾರಿ ಬಾಸೆ Byāri Bāsě) is a variant of malayalam language mainly spoken by the Muslim communities mainly of "Karnataka (Dakshina Kannada and Udupi districts)" and some parts of Kerala. (Byaris).[1] Bearys speak a language made of Malayalam idioms with Tulu & Kannada phonology and grammar.[1] This dialect was traditionally known as Mappila Bashe because of Bearys' close contact with Mappilas.[1] Due to the intensive influence of Tulu for centuries, it is today considered as a language close to both Tulu and Malayalam.


The language uses the Kannada alphabet for writing. Being a distant cousin of other dialects of Malayalam and surrounded by other linguistic groups for centuries, mainly Tulu and Kannada, the dialect exhibits ancient features as well as modern innovations not seen in other well-known dialects of Malayalam.[2] Surrounded by Tulu speaking community, the impact of Tulu on the phonological, morphological and syntactical structure of the dialect is evident.[3]

Distinction of , , [edit]

Sounds peculiar to Malayalam such as 'ḻ', 'ṇ', 'ṟ' are not found in this dialect.[4] 'ḷ' and 'ṇ' are merged with l and n, respectively.[4] 'ṟ' is merged with r and tt, 'tt' to t.[5] This resembles Tulu.[5]

Beary Bashe Kannada Malayalam English
Sante Sante Chanta Market
Ēni Ēni Ēṇi Ladder
Puli Hunasi(Huli) Puḷi Tamarind
Kāth Gaali ttu Wind
chor anna chorru rice

Distinction of ‘v’ and ‘b’[edit]

The initial ‘v’ of standard Malayalam corresponds to an initial ‘b’ of Beary Bashe.[5] The same change has taken place in Tulu, too.

Beary Bashe Malayalam Tulu Kannada English
Bēli Vēli Bēli Bēli Fence
Bittu Vithu Bitte Beeja ('Bittu' in Kannada = 'sow' in English) Seed
Bādege Vāṭaka* Bādai Bādege Rent

'*'This orthographic representation is phonemic. On a phonetic level, it often becomes [ˈʋaːɖəɡə], which is closer to the Tulu and Beary Bashe forms. This occurs because of a rule whereby voiced plosive consonants are intervocalic allophones of their unvoiced counterparts. However, this only applies to native Dravidian words, and as "vāṭaka" is a Sanskrit loanword, the prescriptively correct pronunciation is indeed [ˈʋaːʈəkə].

Distinction of ‘a’ and ‘e’[edit]

The final ‘a’ of standard Malayalam corresponds to the final ‘e’ in Beary Bashe.[5]

Beary Bashe Kannada Malayalam English
Āme Āme Āma Tortoise
Cēre Kere Havu Chēra Rat Snake
Mūle Mūle Mūla Corner

Distinction of ‘n’ and ‘m’[edit]

The word final ‘n’ and ‘m’ of standard Malayalam are dropped in Beary Bashe.[5]

Beary Bashe Malayalam English Kannada
suroog Ādyam First Modalu
ille illam Family Samsaara
Kalla Kaḷḷan Thief kalla
Chatte Kuppāyam Cloth Batte

Degeminated consonants[edit]

Geminated consonants occurring after a long vowel and also after a second short vowel of a word in standard Malayalam get degeminated in Beary Bashe.[6]

Beary Bashe Malayalam Tulu English
Pūce Pūcha Puche Cat
Māṅe Māṅga Kukku Mango

Lexical relations[edit]

Almost all lexical items in Beary Bashe can be related to corresponding lexical items in Malayalam, Tulu or Perso-Arabic origin.[7] However, some equivalents can only be found in Mappila dialects of Malayalam in Kerala.[7]

Person endings[edit]

Verbs in old Dravidian languages did not have any person marking.[8] Person endings of verbs observed in modern Dravidian languages are later innovations.[8] Malayalam is the only Dravidian language that does not show any verbal person suffixes,[8] so Malayalam verbs can be said to represent the original stage of Dravidian verbs.[8] Person suffixes in Beary Bashe closely resemble those of Tulu,[8] although the past tense in this dialect agrees with that of standard Malayalam in shape as well as in the distribution of allomorphs.[8]

Arabic influence[edit]

Beary Bashe is strongly influenced by the Arabic language.[9] Most of the Bearys especially in coastal area still use a lot of bearified Arabic words during their daily transaction. Saan, Pinhana, Gubboosu, Dabboosu, Pattir, Rakkasi, Seintaan, Kayeen, are the few words used in Beary Bashe that have their roots in Arabic. Beary Bashe also has words related to Tamil and Malayalam. Tamil and Malayalam Speakers can understand Beary up to an extent of 75%.

Quick reference table

Beary Arabic العربية English
Saan Sahan صحن Plate
Pinjhana Finjan فنجان Bowl/cup
Kayeen Nikah نكاح Nuptials
Seintaan Shaitan شيطان Evil spirit
Pattre Fateerah فطيرة Bread
Kalbu Qalb قلب Heart
Rabbe Rab رب God
Supra Sufra سفرة Dining Mat
Gubboosu Khubz خبز Bread


The Bearys of the coast have produced rich literary work using both Beary Bashe and Kannada language. The literature comprises Beary poetry, research articles on Bearys, historical analysis of Dakshina Kannada Muslims, essays, stories and other fields of literature. "English-Kannada-Beary" dictionary is also available in the market produced by Dr. A. Wahhab Doddamane. A number of notable Beary littérateurs have contributed to enrich the Beary literature. Dr. Susheela P. Upadhyaya, an eminent scholar has made a comprehensive study in finding the roots of Beary literature. Dr. A. Wahhab Doddamane has produced a book entitled The Muslims of Dakshina Kannada, which is an informative documentary work.

The Bearys have also produced a number of magazines and periodicals from Mangalore and other cities of the district. Some periodicals have become popular and a few of them have become a part of Beary history. Generally Kannada script is used to produce Beary literature. More than a 100 books, 400 audio cassettes and 2 video albums have been brought out so far.[10]


Bearys have brought out numerous lyrics and songs in Beary Bashe. Beary songwriters and music composers have published a number of Beary albums, thousands of copies in electronic format have already been sold.[11]

Folk songs[edit]

The Beary Bashe has its own songs and 'ghazals'. Although it is unique in its nature the songs bore resemblance to Moplah Patts (Mappila Songs). The Beary folk songs were rendered during marriage (Mangila) parties, and for many other occasions. Kolkkali patt is a song sung during a cultural play called Kolata which uses short sticks in both the hands while playing, Unjal patt is sung by the girls during the occasion of putting the child to cradle, Moyilanji patt is sung during marriage ceremonies.

Unfortunately modern day Bearys do not know the folk songs sung by their ancestors. Several Beary folk games have also vanished.

One of the famous folk songs sung by Beary women to tease the bride during her wedding celebrations is "appa chudu chudu patima". Elderly ladies of the neighbourhood gather around the bride on the day of Mangila (wedding) to sing those melodious teasing lines. The first few lines are: Nallo baasye baava beary, cheh...!!

appa chudu chudu patima,
ippa baru baru mapule;
chutte appa karinhi poyi,
banne mapule madangi poyi ....

List of the books published in Beary Bashe[edit]

No. Title Author
1 Muthu Maale (Islamudo Nadavadi) Abul Hasan Muhammad Moulavi
2 Mallige Balli (A collection of Poetry) Abdul Raheem Teekay
3 Kammane* (A collection of poetry) Mohammed Baddur
4 Tanal (A collection of poetry) Ibrahim Tanniru Bawi
5 Ponchiri* (Proverbs) M.B. Abdul Rahman
6 Choltonnu Chelonnu (A collection of stories) U.A. Qasim Ullala
7 Video Casstte (A collection of stories) U.A. Qasim Ullala
8 Niskaaratho Krama, Adl Chelred Piine Adre Artha U.A. Qasim Ullala
9 Beary Cassette-re Paatnga (A collection of songs) Hussain Katipalla
10 Beary Cassette-re Paatnga (A collection of songs) Basheer Ahmed Kinya
11 Paalum Ten (Folk tales) Hamza Malar
12 Oru Pannre Kinaavu* (Short Novel) Hamza Malar
13 Pernal* (A collection of stories) Mohammed Kulai
14 Kinaavu* (A collection of stories) Beary writers
15 Duniyaavy (A collection of songs) Beary poets
16 Meltiri (A collection of songs) Beary poets

Beary language films[edit]

The first Beary language feature film Byari shared the award for the best feature film at the 59th Indian National Film Awards.[12]

The inaugural ceremony of first Beary language video movie, Mami Marmolu was held in Mangalore on October 22, 2008. The film is being produced by Sony Enterprises, B.S. Gangadhara is the producer of the film. The film will focus on social and family problems being faced by the Beary families. Rahim Uchil has written the story, screen play, dialogue of the film. The director of this first Beary movie is Rahim Uchil while Prakash Padubidri is the assistant director. Rajesh Haleangady will be the cinematographer and music is being provided by Ravindra Prabhu.

The movie stars Vaibhavi (Gulsha Fawzia Begum), Rahim Uchil, Veena Mangalore, Roopashri Varkady, Riyana, K. K. Gatti, Ashok Bikernakatte, Ibrahim Thanneerbhavi, Riyaz, Sujnesh and Imtiyaz. Retired Police officer G. A. Bava will also have a role. Film will be shot in and around Mangalore city including Maripalla and Pilikula.[13][14]

Beary Sahitya Sammelana (Literary Summit of Bearys)[edit]

The banner of Sammelana seen at Banakal

There are four Beary Sahitya Sammelanas (The Beary Literature Summit) have been taken place so far. Cultural activities, exhibition related to Beary culture and society, talks on Beary society by Beary scholars, publications and Beary literature stalls are the centre of attraction during any Beary Sahitya Sammelana.

  • The first Beary Sahitya Sammelana was presided by B.M. Iddinabba, Member of Legislative Assembly, Ullal constituency, Karnataka State.
  • The second Beary Sahitya Sammelana was presided by Golthamajalu Abdul Khader Haji.
  • The third Beary Sahitya Sammelana was presided by Beary research scholar Prof. B.M. Ichlangod.
  • The Fourth Beary Sahitya Sammelana was presided by novelist Fakir Mohammed Katpady.

Fourth Beary Sahitya Sammelana[edit]

The Fourth Beary Sahitya Sammelana (The Fourth Beary Literary Summit), held in Vokkaligara Samaja Bhavana in the city of Chikmagalur on 27 February 2007 which demanded that the state government establish a Beary Sahitya Academy. The Sammelana was jointly organized by Kendra Beary Sahitya Parishat, Mangalore, and Chickmagalur Bearygala Okkoota. Chikmagalur is the district that harbors the second largest Beary population, next to Dakshina Kannada.

The theme of the Sammelana was Prosperity through Literature, Development through Education and Integrity for Security. [15]

The sammelana also took up issues such as official recognition to the Beary Bashe by the State Government, setting up of Beary Sahitya Academy, and recognition to the community as linguistic minority. It is said that Beary Bashe is as old as Tulu and spoken by more than 1,500,000 people around the world. The history of this dialect is at least 1200 years old.[10]

See also[edit]



  • Upadhyaya, U. Padmanabha (1996). "Coastal Karnataka: Studies in Folkloristic and Linguistic Traditions of Dakshina Kannada Region of the Western Coast of India". First All India Conference of Dravidian Linguistics, Thiruvananthapuram, 1973. Udupi: Rashtrakavi Govind Pai Samshodhana Kendra. ISBN 81-86668-06-3