Telugu, the official language of the state of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, holds many amazing facts to its credit. The old adage ‘Desha Bhashalandu Telugu Lessa‘ (Telugu is the greatest of all the languages in the country) says it all and here are 15 lesser-known facts about the language
1. Telugu is the only language in the India in which every word ends with a vowel.
There is always great sense of pride in holding a title all to yourself.
Source Telugu Basha
2. It is called the ‘Italian of the East’.
Circa 1400-1500 AD, Niccolò de’ Conti, a renowned merchant and explorer travelled across the world towards south-east Asia. He then chanced upon Telugu people and immediately noticed the vowel-ending similarly in the language and then coined the term for Telugu as ‘Italian of the East’, because in the west – this property is possessed by Italian.
3. It is the fourth most spoken language in India.
After Hindi, Bengali and Punjabi respectively; says the 2012 census.
4. Telugu broadcasts are aired on Mauritius’ radio and television.
Mauritius Broadcasting Corporation gives a one hour slot exclusively to Telugu programmes every day. The show is coordinated by Telugu scholar Sanjeeva Narasimha Appadu.
5. It is the fifteenth most spoken language in the world.
With 76 million speakers, it is spoken by 1.15% of the entire world’s population.
Source The Hindu
6. It is the only language in the country that is the official language for more than one state
Apart from Hindi and Urdu, obviously.
7. Ancient Telugu Speakers Used ‘Bu‘ Instead of ‘Mu’
Yes, this is one of the most astounding things. The ancient Telugu speakers would use the word ‘Bu’ in place of ‘Mu’. The letters of the Prathamaa Vibhakti (Du, Mu, Vu, Lu) were used often number of times.
Source Friends Of Telugu
8. According to a hypothesis it is said that the world ‘telugu’ originated from the word ‘triling’.
Andhra Pradesh was formerly known as ‘trilinga rajyam’, the land between three lingas – Srisailam, Kaleshwaram and Bhimeshwaram. So, Telugu was known as ‘trilinga basha’, later changed to ‘telungu’ and finally reached to the current ‘Telugu’.
9. Most of the songs composed in Carnatic music are in Telugu.
Thanks to the vowel-ending property it bears which lends it a musical touch, Telugu is considered to be one of the most expressive languages.
10. It is one language whose vocabulary is extensively derived from two great language families of India.
These families which together account to languages spoken by 97% of the population, are namely Sanskrit (Indo-Aryan) and Dravidian.
11. Telugu is one of the few languages which has ‘Avadhana’ art.
The art includes 8 questioners (Prichchaka) in ‘Ashta-Avadhana’, 100 in ‘Shata-Avadhana’ and 1000 in ‘Sahasra-Avadhana’. The focus is mostly on ‘Samasya-Pooranam’, making poems using the letters/lines given by questioner on his/her own terms.
12. It is one of the most difficult languages to master with complexities such as sandhis, samasas and heavily used inflections.
But whoever said, “No Pain, No Gain”.
Source Andhra Bulletin
13. It was declared one of the ‘classical languages’ of India.
Along with Kannada in the year 2008.
Source Austin Gurukulam
14. The Telugu language has 27 noted dialects.
They are as follows: Berad, Dasari, Dommara, Golari, Kamathi, Komtao, Konda-Reddi, Salewari, Telaingani, Warangal, Mahaboobnagar (Palamuru), Gadwal (Rayalaseema mix), Narayanapeta (Kannada and Marathi influence), Vijayawada, Vadaga, Srikakulam, Visakhapatnam, Toorpu (East) Godavari, Paschima (West) Godavari, Kandula, Rayalaseema, Nellooru, Prakasam, Gunturu, Tirupati, Vadari and Yanadi (Yenadi).
Source Indian Mirror
15. Inscriptions in Telugu date back to 400 BC.
Source Trip Advisor
The inscription found at Addanki, is said to be the oldest poem in Telugu. It is also said to be the first known poem that follows the grammatical rules of Telugu.
I want to leave on this note. Why? Because it is always good to cherish the fact that ‘old is gold’.