About Telangana Speaking Language
Telugu is the main language of the state, which was formed on the principle of one language-one state. Telugu, the second largest spoken language in India and it has a long history. While Tamil is the oldest among the Dravidian languages, Telugu has enjoyed a unique status because of “its melody and grace.” It has justly been called the “Italian of the East.” Dr.William Carey, who set up printing press in vernacular languages, published his Telugu grammar in 1812.A.D. Campbell prepared a Telugu-English dictionary. C.P.Brown’s contribution to the growth and development of Telugu is well known. He felt sad that Telugu classics were “in a deplorable state like those of Greek and Latin authors before the invention of printing.” He heralded the renaissance in Telugu literature through his monumental works. Carey, describing Telugu as the most polished among the five South Indian languages, namely Tamil, Kannada, Malayalam, Telugu and Sinhalese, observed that “its variety of inflection is such as to give it a capacity of expressing ideas, with a high degree of felicity, justness and elegance.” Campbell too lavished high praise on Telugu when he wrote in 1816: “Few languages will be found more copious, more nervous or more regular in constructions, and it may boast, in a peculiar manner, of great elegance of expression and melody of sound.” Caldwell, the “father of Dravidian languages”, gave it first place in point of “euphonic sweetness” and this view was supported by Henry Morris, who called Telugu the most musical of all Dravidian languages.
Quite recently the noted scientist J.B.S. Haldane expressed the view that Telugu could be a rival to Hindi in teaching science, medicine and engineering. Around the same tinie G.H. McLeod wrote that “Telugu is the northern-most memuer of the northern languages: and it has the advantages of both groups with few, if any, of the defects…. It has never suffered from narrow provincialism.”
Telugu is said to have grown out of a synthesis of the language of the native Dravidians and Sanskrit, the language of the colonizers, the Aryans. The influence of Sanskrit began in the 3rd century B.C. and since then the growth of the language is traced. The evolution of Telugu as it is understood now however took place in the 9th Century A.D. Enrichment of the language took place at regular intervals in the history. The names of Nannayya, Tikkana and Pothana are cherished in every home like those of Vemana and Thyagaraja of later periods. Veeresalingam, Gurazada, Viswanatha Satyanarayana and Sri Sri were prominent writers and poets of the last hundred years. The development of Telugu language and literature owes a great deal to the efforts of the Englishmen. Historians noted the “Asia-wide influence of Andhra art” and as a scholar summed up: “The people of this region especially Kakathiyas made a glorious contribution to the development of art and architecture .”
It must be remembered that Telugu varies from region to region in its expression. Here too the Telugu-speaking people proudly claim that the language spoken in their region is superior to that of the other regions. All the same, one unique aspect of Telugu is that it has never harboured, as McLeod pointed out, narrow provincialism. It interacted much with other languages and in Hyderabad city-and neighboring areas, Marathi, Urdu and Kannada have had much influence on the people. It is said that the Telugus’ spirit of tolerance is due largely to the mingling of different languages for several centuries. Urdu is the second most widely spoken language in the state. The majority of the Urdu-speaking people are confined to the twin cities and neighboring districts. Of the total population of Andhra Pradesh 87 percent have Telugu and 7.20 per cent Urdu as their mother tongue.
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Category: Telangana, Telangana History
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