(Last Updated on : 19/01/2010)
Telugu language is India`s native Dravidian language. The government of India has given it the status of a popular Classical language as well. Moreover, it is one of the 22 scheduled languages of India. It is spoken in several states of India but it is the mother tongue of Andhra Pradesh and here the majority of people use it. Apart from Andhra Pradesh, it is also spoken in neighbouring states like Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Chattisgarh, Maharashtra and Orissa. It is the principal language of Andhra Pradesh. In cities like Chennai and Bengaluru, it is widely used. According to 2001 census report, more than 74 million people speak this language. It is the third most used verbal language of India. In the Ethnologue list of the most used languages of the world, Telugu ranks in the top 14. The language Telugu is a highly developed language and the word `telugu` comes from the phrase `trilinga`. It represents three temples at Kaleshwaram, Drakasharamam and Srisailam. It has a close association with Kannada alphabet. Telugu language forms India`s largest linguistic unit.
History of Telugu Language
Telugu alphabet is closely connected with Kannada alphabets and it is a successor of ancient India`s Brahmi script
. Telugu language`s early inscriptions date back to 6th century AD. In the 11th century the Telugu poetry appeared. The Telugu language was written in an archaic style until the 20th century, which was very different from the language used today. It was during 20th century`s second half, the new written standard of Telugu emerged and it was completely based upon today`s modern spoken language. This language experienced huge changes just like the other languages of India in between the medieval and modern era. Telugu inscriptions containing some words were found on coins in Andhra Pradesh. It dates back to almost 400 BC and was actually discovered in Guntur district of Andhra Pradesh. In the present decade, with the introduction of mass media the literary form of Telugu language has spread in the society.
Geographic Distribution of Telugu Language
Telugu language is mostly spoken in Andhra Pradesh
. Yanam district of Puducherry
too largely uses this language. It is also used in neighbouring states of Karnataka, Tamil Nadu
, Chattisgarh, Puducherry, Orissa
. In some parts of Kharagpur, West Bengal and Jharkhand
too, this language is spoken. Telugu language is also spoken in countries like Canada, New Zealand, Australia, Singapore, Malaysia, Bahrain, South Africa, United States, United Kingdom, Fiji, United Arab Emirates and Ireland. In India, Telugu is the third most used language after the languages Hindi and Bengali.
Official status of Telugu Language
One of the 22 official languages of India is Telugu. In the year 1953, Telugu was affirmed as the official language of Andhra Pradesh, after the formation of the state. It was declared completely on linguistic basis. In Puducherry`s Yanam district also, Telugu has the status of official language.
Dialects of Telugu Language
The several dialects of Telugu language have been -
This Dravidian language
belongs to South Central family`s Telugu branch. It is widely spoken in Andhra Pradesh. Other names of this language are Chenswar, Chenchukulam, Choncharu and Chenchwar.
This South-Central Dravidian language is mostly spoken in eastern India.
Berad, Dommara, Komati, Golari, Dasari, Kamathi, Vadaga, Godavari, Toorpu, Salewari, Telangana, Vadari, Paschima, Srikakula, Guntooru, Nellooru, Rayalaseema, Prakasam, Yanadi are some of the main dialects of Telugu language.