Telugu is a Dravidian language spoken mainly in the southern Indian states of Andhra Pradesh, Telangana and Yanam. It is also spoken in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, Chattisgarh and Odisha. According to the 2001 census there are about 73.8 million native speakers of Telugu, and another 5 million second language speakers.
There are also quite a few Telugu speakers in Canada, the USA, Malaysia, Mauritius, Myanmar and Réunion.
The origins of the Telugu alphabet can be traced by to the Brahmi alphabet of ancient India, which developed into an alphabet used for both Telugu and Kannada, which in turn split into two separate alphabets between the 12th and 15th centuries AD.
The earliest known inscriptions containing Telugu words appear on coins that date back to 400 BC. The first inscription entirely in Telugu was made in 575 AD and was probably made by Renati Cholas, who started writing royal proclamations in Telugu instead of Sanskrit. Telugu developed as a poetical and literary language during the 11th century.
Until the 20th century Telugu was written in an archaic style very different from the everyday spoken language. During the the second half of the 20th century, a new written standard emerged based on the modern spoken language. In 2008 Telugu was designated as a classical language by the Indian government.
Pratipattisvatvamula visyamuna mānavulellarunu janmataḥ svataṁtrulunu samānulunu naguduru. Vāru vivēdanāṁtaḥkaraṇa saṁpannulaguṭacaē parasparamu bhrātṛbhāvamutō vartiṁpavalayunu.
All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.
They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards
one another in a spirit of brotherhood.
(Article 1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights)
Information about the Telugu language and script
Online Telugu dictionary
Online Telugu TV
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