Telugu is a Dravidian language spoken in the southern Indian states of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana. It is an official language in the Yanam district of Pondicherry. In the earlier days, Telugu was known as ‘Trilinga Basha’, later it was named ‘Telungu’, ‘Tenugu’ and finally we call it today ‘Telugu’.
Among the official languages in India, the Telugu Language stands next to Hindi. There are about 8,11,27,740 Telugu speakers as per the 2011 census with an increase of 6.70% from 4,47,56,923 Telugu speakers in the year 2001.
The Telugu language which is also known as ‘Italian of the East‘ has been successful in reaching other parts of the world such as the USA, Burma, and South Africa.
Scripts of Telugu
The official language of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana originated from the Proto-Dravidian language in the 1st century A.D. The Telugu script is stated to have been created from the Pahlava script and is somewhat similar to the Kannada script. The vocabulary has a major influence on Sanskrit.
The written materials in the Telugu language date from 633 AD. The literature of the Telugu language begins with an 11th-century translation of the Sanskrit classic Mahabharata. Also, many Arabic and Persian words became a part of the Telugu language with the arrival of the Muslim rule.
Then, English words were used in the vocabulary of Coastal Andhra when there was British rule. We can also notice that the Urdu language also had its influence on Telugu before the spread of English education.
Evolution and Existence of the Telugu language
Starting from the history which dates back to the 3rd century BC, modern Telugu emerged during the 10th century AD through progressive contact with Sanskrit, Prakrit, Urdu, and English. Some Kannada and Tamil words also were used as a part of the Telugu language but they failed to gain much popularity, unlike the other languages.
You can find postpositions in Telugu rather than prepositions. The script of the Telugu language was developed from the Brahmi script. The letters of the Telugu language were in round letters because of its carvings on palm leaves made with a sharp point that gave it resemblance.
The Dialects of Telugu
Spoken Telugu had many regional dialects with relative uniformity in the written form. Until the 20th century Telugu was written in an archaic style that was significantly different from the spoken language.
During the second half of the 20th century, the written standard was transformed to a new and modern spoken Telugu language with 27 dialects.
Literature and Vocabulary of Telugu language
Telugu is the only Indian language where every word ends with a vowel, so it is popularly known as ‘Ajanta Bhaasha’ and due to this reason, we can notice that most of the songs which are composed in Carnatic music are in Telugu.
The vocabulary of the Telugu language is basically Dravidian in nature because it is mostly Sanskritized and is said to have its derivatives from two great language families in India namely Dravidian and Sanskrit (Indo-Aryan).
Example similar words of Telugu and Kannada Language
Many words start with ‘ha’ in Kannada, but in old Kannada, it will start with ‘pa’ only with a similarity to the Telugu language.
English Word – Telugu – Kannada
Milk – Paalu – Haalu
Ten – Padi – Hattu
Daytime – Pagalu – Hagalu
Sing – Paadu – Haadu
Pig – Pandi – Handi
The Telugu alphabets consist of 60 symbols – 41 consonants, 16 vowels, and 3 vowel modifiers. You can refer the list the below-mentioned chart:
To summarize, Telugu is used in the neighboring states of India such as Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Chhattisgarh, Orissa, West Bengal, Jharkhand, and Maharashtra. In some parts of Kharagpur and in countries like Australia, Bahrain, Canada, Fiji, Ireland, Malaysia, New Zealand, Singapore, United Kingdom, United Arab Emirates.
Read also Bengali Language.