Telugu belongs to the family of Dravidian languages
and is the official language of the state of Andhra Pradesh, India. It is
also one among the 19 official national languages of India. In India,
Telugu is the most spoken mother tongue after Hindi.
Telugu was initially called Andhra bhasha (the language of Andhra). Andhra
was the name of the area consisting of the present coastal districts of
Andhra Pradesh. In 1956, 10 Nizam districts and 4 districts of Rayalaseema
were merged to Andhra and the collection was called Andhra Pradesh.
Prakrut had significant effect on Telugu in earlier ages. But from
Nannayya, Sanskrit had major influence on Telugu for the next 500-600
Telugu is a member of the Telugu languages, along with Chenchu language,
Savara language, and Waddar language. The Telugu languages are part of the
South-central branch of the Dravidian languages.
The dialects of Telugu identified by the Ethnologue are Berad, Dasari,
Dommara, Golari, Kamathi, Komtao, Konda-Reddi, Salewari, Telangana,
Telugu, Vadaga, Vadari, Srikakula, Vishakapatnam, East Godavari,
Rayalseema, Nellore and Guntur.In Tamil Nadu the Telugu dialect is
classified into salem, coimbatore, chennai Telugu dialects.
Telugu is usually written using the Telugu alphabet, a Brahmic script. The
Telugu script is phonetic in nature. It has 56 characters in total. Its
appearance is quite similar to the Kannada alphabet.