This is a term in linguistics which means – speakers of one language can understand another . Sometimes, even different languages can be mutually intelligible. Mutual intelligibility is a continuum (that is, a gradient concept), marked by degrees of intelligibility, not by sharp divisions.
Spirit of mutual intelligiblity is undermined due to various political/social/historical reasons, many people may loathe their neighbors and not wish to admit they have any connection with them, and don’t wish to try to understand each other.
Linguistic distance is the name for the concept of calculating a measurement for how different languages are from one another. The higher the linguistic distance, the lower the mutual intelligibility
> Ligusitic distance between Malayalam and Tamil is definitley lower than that between Malayalam and Hindi.
> Hindi and Urudu are mutually intelligible languages.