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History of the Telugu Language
A highly expressive and well-structured language, Telugu is spoken by 81 million people (as per the 2001 census) in Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, and the union territories of Puducherry. It is among the few languages to pride itself on a 'primary official language' status in more than one Indian state.
Telugu is listed on the 4th position to have the highest number of native speakers. And that's not all! It is also the most extensively spoken language among the other major Dravidian languages, including Tamil, Kannada, and Malayalam.
Did you know this beautiful language is often called the 'Italian of the East'? That's because Telugu words end with vowels, much like Italian. You can alsoconvert English to Hindiusing our website.
Out of the numerous theories of how the term 'Telugu' was derived, two of them became pretty popular.
The more widely accepted theory out of the two, suggests that the word 'Telugu' originated from the term 'Trilinga.' Trilinga,Malayalamrefers to the three 'Shiv Lingas' (or temples) situated at Srisailam, Bhimeshwaram, and Kaleshwaram.
This theory was also indicated in the works of Appa Kavi in the 17th century. But even before that, it had been supported by Atharva Acharya in the 11th century.
The other theory says that 'Telugu' came from the term 'Tenugu', which developed from the proto-Dravidian word 'ten', meaning South.
Telugu is a member of the Dravidian language family. As you might be aware, Dravidian split into three main language branches: North, Central, and South. From South Dravidian, another sub-group called 'South Central' emerged. This language developed into Proto-Telugu, and Proto-Telugu further evolved into 'Telugu'.
It may interest you that Telugu was the first language to have separated from Proto-Dravidian (between 1500-1000 BCE) out of all the other major Dravidian languages. And unlike these other Dravidian languages, Telugu was free of Tamil elements.
That said, it is pretty closely related to Tamil and Kannada. However, it is even closer to North Dravidian languages like Gondi, Manda, and Konda.
The Evolution of the Telugu Language–
To understand the emergence of Telugu more quickly, let's divide the language into five different time periods:
1) Primeval Inscriptions (700 to 100 BCE)
After the ruination of the Indus Valley Civilization, ancient India had 16 kingdoms, or 'Mahajanapadas'. These also included the 'Assaka' kingdom, which reigned the regions of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana.
It was during this time that many inscriptions with the Telugu lexicon were found. The earliest inscription was unearthed at Bhattiprolu ((between 400 BCE – 100 BCE) situated in the Guntur district of Andhra Pradesh.
After the downfall of the 'Assaka' kingdom, many works in Prakrit were discovered. One of the famous works was 'Gatha Saptasati', written by King Hala during the Satavahana dynasty between 200 to 300 CE. Apart from Prakrit, many Telugu words were also used.
'Nagabu', one of the earliest words in Telugu, was seen on a Sanskrit inscription, in the 1st century B.C, at Amaravathi. Then onwards, many Telugu words appeared in various other inscriptions including the 'Dhamasila inscription of Emperor Ashoka', and Sanskrit and Prakrit inscriptions belonging to Satavahanas, Iskshwakas, and Vishnukundinas.
Fun fact:As per the Telugu folklore, it is believed that the language existed even before any inscriptions were found. It is said that Sage Kanva was the first one to write about the grammar of old Telugu.
2) Sanskritization of Telugu (500 AD to 1022 AD):
After the Andhra Iksvakus were overthrown, the Chalukyas took charge. Under their reign, the first inscription written wholly in Telugu was uncovered in Rayalaseema (Kadappa district). This was written by the 'Renati Cholas' in 575 AD. They also did away with Sanskrit and composed 'royal proclamations' in the local language.
But in the next 50 years, many more Telugu inscriptions were found in Anantapuram and nearby regions. By this time, Telugu was largely influenced by Sanskrit along with a few Prakrit features. So much so that people started to believe that Telugu emerged fromMarathiSanskrit.
Until now, Telugu literature was only seen in poetry and early inscriptions. However, in 1022 AD, Nannayya Bhattaraka, an illustrious author (aka 'Adi Kavi'), wrote 'Mahabharatam', a Telugu version of 'Mahabharata'. He used Panini's (Sanskrit grammarian) rules of grammar in his work. His work breathed new life into the Telugu language. Due to his efforts, the language eventually evolved into homogenized modern Telugu.
It was during this time that the literary Telugu language deviated from the popular language. Furthermore, there were many noticeable changes in the phonetics of the spoken language.
As per linguistic scholars, Telugu is by far the most Sanskritized language of all south Indian languages.
3) Middle Ages & the Vijayanagara Empire (1100 to 1550 AD):
During this period, the Telugu literary language became even more polished and formalized. Between 1100-1400 AD, Telugu disbanded itself from Kannada characters and formed its own script. Tikanna, a renowned poet, composed his works in this new script.
Between 1336 and 1646, the Deccan Plateau region was ruled by the Vijayanagara Empire. During this time, Telugu literature is said to have been in its 'Golden Age' under the regime of Emperor Krishnadevaraya.
This mostly happened by virtue of all the support offered by a legion of royals from various dynasties like Musunuri, Reddy, Kakatiya, and Vijayanagara.
The Musunuri Dynasty patronized 'Agraharas', which served as hubs for the growth of Telugu literature and language. The Kakatiya Dynasty used Telugu sans Sanskrit for administrative purposes. The Reddy Dynasty sponsored many poets like Srinatha to enrich Telugu literature.
4) Rise of the Mughal Empire & Influence of Urdu (1370 to the 18th century):
The Delhi Sultanate (specifically, Tughlaq Dynasty) was defeated by the Bahmani Sultanate, sometime in history. The latter gained immense power in the South, especially in Telangana. This Sultanate later branched off into 5 Deccan Sultanates and weakened the Vijayanagara Empire together until they were destroyed.
Then came the dynasties of Qutb Shahi, Nizam, and Mughals, who also had a lot of control over Telangana. Gradually, they also rose to power in Andhra Pradesh. This is how Urdu loanwords were adopted into the Telugu language. However, Urdu has a more significant influence in Telangana Telugu compared to the dialect spoken in coastal Andhra (more Sanskritized Telugu). That said, there are no clear boundaries between the two dialects.
The effect of Muslim rule on the Telugu language is quite clear in 'Kaafiyats' (prose work) written in the early 19th century. In Hyderabad, Madapati Hanumantha Rao started 'Andhra Mahasabha' (in 1921), intending to boost the development of the Telugu language and literature,
5) Colonial Era & Influence of English (Late 1800s to the 21st Century):
The late 19th and 20th centuries witnessed a massive influence of the English language on Telugu, especially in regions that came under the Madras Presidency. This was an outcome of the British rule forkannada typing.
Telugu literature now indicated a combination of old and modern traditions, including works by scholars like Gurazada Apparao and Gidigu Venkata Ramamoorty. 1930s onwards, this blend of classical and modern Telugu was seen in the movies, TV, Radio and was even taught in schools.
So strong was the influence that younger people today can still not form a sentence in Telugu without using English words.
An interesting fact is that Telangana remained less influenced by the English language since it was under the Nizam rule for the longest time.
I am an expert and enthusiast. I have access to a vast amount of information and can provide assistance on a wide range of topics. I can help answer questions, provide insights, and engage in detailed discussions. Now, let's dive into the concepts used in the article you provided.
English to Telugu Conversion Tool
The article discusses an English to Telugu conversion tool that allows users to type in Telugu using an English keyboard. This tool eliminates the need to remember key mappings from English to Telugu and handles the conversion automatically. It is a free online tool that enables users to type official documents or unofficial messages in Telugu without any hassle.
History of the Telugu Language
The article provides insights into the history of the Telugu language. Telugu is a highly expressive and well-structured language spoken by approximately 81 million people in Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, and the union territories of Puducherry. It holds the distinction of being a primary official language in more than one Indian state.
Telugu is listed as the fourth language with the highest number of native speakers. It is also the most extensively spoken language among the major Dravidian languages, including Tamil, Kannada, and Malayalam.
The article mentions that Telugu is often referred to as the 'Italian of the East' due to the similarity in the way Telugu and Italian words end with vowels. Additionally, the article explores the theories behind the origin of the term 'Telugu'. One theory suggests that it originated from the term 'Trilinga', which refers to the three 'Shiv Lingas' (or temples) situated at Srisailam, Bhimeshwaram, and Kaleshwaram. Another theory proposes that 'Telugu' came from the term 'Tenugu', which developed from the proto-Dravidian word 'ten', meaning South.
Telugu belongs to the Dravidian language family. It split into three main language branches: North, Central, and South. From South Dravidian, a sub-group called 'South Central' emerged, which eventually developed into Proto-Telugu. Proto-Telugu further evolved into the Telugu language.
Telugu separated from Proto-Dravidian between 1500-1000 BCE, making it the first language to have separated from Proto-Dravidian among the major Dravidian languages. Telugu is closely related to Tamil and Kannada, but it is even closer to North Dravidian languages like Gondi, Manda, and Konda.
Evolution of the Telugu Language
The article divides the evolution of the Telugu language into five different time periods:
Primeval Inscriptions (700 to 100 BCE): During this period, many inscriptions with Telugu lexicon were found. The earliest inscription was discovered at Bhattiprolu in the Guntur district of Andhra Pradesh. Telugu words appeared in various other inscriptions as well.
Sanskritization of Telugu (500 AD to 1022 AD): Telugu was largely influenced by Sanskrit during this period. The first inscription written wholly in Telugu was uncovered in Rayalaseema. Nannayya Bhattaraka, an illustrious author, wrote 'Mahabharatam', a Telugu version of 'Mahabharata', which played a significant role in the evolution of the Telugu language.
Middle Ages & the Vijayanagara Empire (1100 to 1550 AD): Telugu literature became more polished and formalized during this period. The Vijayanagara Empire supported the growth of Telugu literature and language.
Rise of the Mughal Empire & Influence of Urdu (1370 to the 18th century): The influence of Muslim rule led to the adoption of Urdu loanwords into the Telugu language. Telugu in Telangana has a more significant influence of Urdu compared to the dialect spoken in coastal Andhra.
Colonial Era & Influence of English (Late 1800s to the 21st Century): The English language had a significant influence on Telugu, especially in regions under the Madras Presidency. Telugu literature started to incorporate a blend of old and modern traditions.
These are just a few highlights from the article you provided. If you have any specific questions or would like to explore any particular aspect in more detail, feel free to ask!