Usage by Country
Official Language: Andhra Pradesh/India. Home Speakers: Malaysia, South Africa
Telugu is spoken principally in the state of Andra Pradesh, south-eastern India. With about 70 million speakers, it is the most widely spoken of the four major Dravidian languages of southern India, each of which is recognized as an official provincial language by the Indian constitution. In tracing its origins, there is reason to believe that Telugu is not the language of any specific dominant people of Eastern India, but rather the confluence of individual languages of a dozen-to-twenty big tribal groups. Hence, it seems that its origins can be traced as far as 1500 BC. The Telugu alphabet most closely resembles that of Kanarese, both of them having developed out of the Grantha script, which appeared in India approximately in the 5th century A.D.