herman gundert
Hermann Gundert Statue near Thalassery Stadium in Kannur, KeralaWiki Commons

Malayalam's stature is all set to rise globally, with the Tübingen University in Germany deciding to introduce the language on 9 October, along with dedicating a chair to teach and research in the South Indian language.

The chair will be named after German missionary Hermann Gundert, who had compiled a Malayalam grammar book in 1859 and the first Malayalam-English dictionary in 1872 during the time he spent in northern Kerala. Gundert is the grandfather of Nobel laureate Hermann Hesse.

A guest lecturer from Thunchath Ezhuthachan Malayalam University in Kerala will be appointed to the Gundert chair to offer Malayalam courses at Tübingen. Scholars from the Malayalam varsity will also have access to Gundert's works.

"Our university has a responsibility to propagate Malayalam," The Times of India quoted Malayalam University vice-chancellor K Jayakumar as saying.

The project will receive financial backing from the University Grants Commission (UGC).