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Telugu language


Telugu /ˈtɛlʉɡuː/(తెలుగు telugu, IPA: [t̪el̪uɡu]) is a Dravidian language and is the only language other than Hindi, English and Bengali that is predominantly spoken in more than one Indian state, Andhra Pradeshand Telangana, and in the union territory of Yanam where it is also an official language. It is also spoken by significant minorities in theAndaman and Nicobar, Chhattisgarh, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Odisha, Tamil Nadu, and Puducherry, and by the Sri Lankan Gypsy people. It is one of six languages designated a classical language of India. Telugu ranks third by the number of native speakers in India(74 million), thirteenth in the Ethnologue list of most-spoken languages worldwide and is the most widely spoken Dravidian language. It is one of the twenty-two scheduled languages of the Republic of India. Etymology The etymology of Telugu is not known for certain. It is thought to have been derived from trilinga, as in Trilinga Desa, "the country of the three lingas". According to a Hindu legend, Shiva descended as a linga on three mountains: Kaleswaram in Telangana, Srisailam in Rayalaseema and Bhimeswaram in Coastal Andhra; in the legend, these marked the boundaries of the Telugu country. According to Marepalli Ramachandra Sastry, "Telu" means white and "unga" designates a plural in Gondi. Dialects Chenchu, and Manna-Dora are all closely related to Telugu. Dialects of Telugu are 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). Geographical distribution Telugu is mainly spoken in the states of Telangana, Andhra Pradesh and Yanam district of Puducherry as well as in the neighboring states of Tamil Nadu, Puducherry, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Odisha, Chhattisgarh, some parts of Jharkhand and the Kharagpur region of West Bengal in India. It is also spoken in the United States, where the Telugu diaspora numbers more than 800,000, with the highest concentration in Central New Jersey; as well as in Australia, New Zealand, Bahrain, Canada, Fiji, Malaysia, Singapore, Mauritius, Ireland, South Africa, Trinidad and Tobago, the United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, as well as other western European countries, where there is also a considerable Telugu diaspora. At 7.2% of the population, Telugu is the third-most-spoken language in the Indian subcontinent after Hindi and Bengali. In Karnataka, 7.0% of the population speak Telugu, and in Tamil Nadu, where it commonly known as Telungu, 5.6%.