The Telugu people or Telugu vaaru, are a Dravidian ethnic group who speak Telugu as their native language and/or trace their ancestry to the Indian states of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana. There is also a large significant Telugu population in Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra, Odisha, Chhattisgarh and Andaman and Nicobar Islands. The Telugu language is the third-most spoken native language in India and the fourth most in the Indian subcontinent, following Hindi, Bengali and Marathi.
Telugu is a Dravidian language spoken predominantly in the Indian states of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana and the Union Territory of Puducherry (Yanam) by the Telugu people. It stands alongside Hindi, English as one of the few languages with primary official language status in more than one Indian state. Telugu is also a linguistic minority in the states of Odisha, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Chhattisgarh, and Maharashtra. It is one of six languages designated a classical language of India by the country's government. Telugu ranks 3rd among the languages with the highest number of native speakers in India, with 6.7 percent at the 2011 census,[approx. 83 million native speakers] and fifteenth in the Ethnologue list of most widely spoken languages worldwide. It is the most widely spoken member of the Dravidian language family. It is one of the twenty-two scheduled languages of the Republic of India. It is also USA's fastest growing language. There is a large Telugu speaking community in the USA.
Telugu script (Telugu: తెలుగు లిపి, romanized: Telugu lipi), an abugida from the Brahmic family of scripts, is used to write the Telugu language, a Dravidian language spoken in the Indian states of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana as well as several other neighbouring states. The Telugu script is also widely used for writing Sanskrit texts and to some extent the Gondi language. It gained prominence during the Eastern Chalukyas also known as Vengi Chalukya era. It shares extensive similarities with the Kannada script, as it has evolved from Kadamba and Bhattiprolu scripts of the Brahmi family. Both Adikavi Pampa of Kannada and Adikavi Nannayya of Telugu hail from families native to the Vengi region. In 2008, Telugu language is given the status of Classical Languages of India, this status owes to its rich history and heritage.
Telugu Advice - LLORG - August 2017
I need a telugu reader - LLORG - April 2018
SBS announces changes to its radio services to meet the needs of multicultural Australia – LLORG – October 2017
Despite the number of native speakers of Telugu (some 83 million people) and although native-language media (newspapers, magazines, books, film, DVD, et cetera) are quite plentiful, resources for the study of the language from an English base are quite limited. Fortunately, the Central Institute of Indian Languages (CIIL) has published a number of apparently noteworthy materials for the study of Telugu (with much appreciation to Aravinda for having provided the information).
Intensive Course in Telugu (2006), 854 pages, by P. Ramanarasimham - Central Institute of Indian Languages (CIIL)
Intensive Course in Telugu (1985) – free online version
Audio recordings (16 cassettes) are available for separate purchase. NOTE: The audio recordings are also available as MP3 files from Exotic India (see below).
Intermediate Courses in Telugu (2007), 276 pages, by K. Viswanatham - Central Institute of Indian Languages (CIIL)
There is no mention of an audio component.
Learning Telugu / Telugu Learning Kit (
The Learning Telugu website offers suggestions on how to learn the language as well as tutorials based on a “Telugu Learning Kit” which is offered at a price of 28 $US. In the absence of additional information, it is difficult to say whether this is a solid basic course or simply a phrase book. No reviews available at this time.
Rapidex Language Learnilng Series - Hindi - Telugu Learning Course (2008), 272 pages, by the Pustak Mahal Editorial Board
This course can be ordered as a package (textbook plus CD). No reviews available at this time.
Spoken Telugu (1976), 374 pages, by Leigh Lisker – Spoken Language Services
Introduction to Spoken Telugu (1963), 345 pages, by Leigh Lisker - American Council Of Learned Societies
This introductory course to basic spoken Telugu employed the audio-lingual method of instruction as did the FSI Basic courses of the 1960’s. Materials included a total of 11 audio cassettes, making this one of the most complete courses for the study of Telugu from an English base. Professor Arguelles used the Spoken Telugu course manual to illustrate the main features of the SLS (Spoken Languages Services Inc.) courses on YouTube.
Spoken Telugu for Absolute Beginners (2010, 2019), 250 pages, by D. Sanjay – Independently published
This actually quite a serious effort at introducing the basics of the Telugu language, including its grammar and writing system, to the beginner. Audio recordings are available for download (instructions in the course book). The author recommends using his course with Memrise (instructions in the course book). The (currently 10) Amazon Customer Reviews are, generally speaking, quite positive.
The Telugu Basha website offers a « Learn Telugu » 71-minute audio book (which may, or may not, be a phrase book) for a price of 18 euros as well as an online course for a subscription fee of 14 euros per month. No reviews available at this time.
Telugu – Part I (2000), 161 pages
Telugu – Part II (2000), 152 pages
Both by by K.Srinivasacharya, P.Nagaraj & Y.Reddy Syamala - Central Institute of Indian Languages (CIIL). There is no mention of an audio component.
Telugu Velugu I (1997), 207 pages, by M.Parandhama Reddy - Central Institute of Indian Languages
Telugu Velugu II – not listed
Telugu Velugu III (1974), 147 pages, by P.Ramanarsimham- Central Institute of Indian Languages
Telugu Velugu IV (1976), 118 pages, by Y.Venkataramana Rao - Central Institute of Indian Languages
For all of the above, no mention of an audio component.
U.S. Peace Corps Conversational Telugu Course (1962), 262 pages, by Judith Beinstein
This Peace Corps Conversational Telugu course was conceived for presentation by a competent instructor in a classroom setting. Although designed to introduce the spoken language, the outline of the course suggests a heavy emphasis on grammar, drills, and the acquisition of topical vocabulary. Regrettably, the audio recordings, if they ever existed, are no longer available. The PDF is also available as ERIC document ED152110
Courses (French base)
Parlons Télougou (1994) by Deena Bossé – Éditions L'Harmattan
CD Parlons Télougou (2009)
One 5-star Customer Review on Amazon.FR. CD available for separate purchase.
Manuel de télougou (Inde): à l'usage d'un public francophone (2000), 470 pages, by by Deena Bossé – Éditions L'Harmattan
Phrase Books, Language Guides
Of special note is Hippocrene Books’ Telugu-English/English-Telugu Dictionary & Phrasebook by Lavanya Collooru.
3 Ways to Speak Telugu - wikiHow
Free advice, tips.
50 Languages / Book2 Telugu
English (USA) - Telugu for beginners: A book in 2 languages
Free, online phrase book with audio recordings and other features. Companion book available.
DLI Telugu Language Survival Kit
The DLI Language Survival Kits, which offer online/downloadable MP3 and PDF files, are often equivalent to, if not superior to, the 50-Languages phrase books.
English - Telugu Conversation Guide (2018), 154 pages, by Aarthi Janyavula - Independently published No audio component mentioned.
Learn Telugu 100 Lessons Audio Book MP3 CD iPod Friendly
Based a couple of recent experiences either with these specific MP3-CD lessons or with similar items sold under a different name, I suspect that they are no more than copies of the freely-available “50 Languages” phrase books listed above.
Learn Telugu in 30 Days (2008), 158 pages, by Krishna Gopal Vikal et al. - Educa Books
Learn Telugu in 30 Days (2002), 171 pages, by K. Srinivaschari – Hippocrene Books
Apparently, good content but poor print quality.
Learn Telugu in A Month (2000), 215 pages, by Govinbarajulu - Read Well (Educa Books)
Don’t turn around and look back, just keep running.
Let's Learn - Learn Telugu (2016), 101 pages
“To receiving Video lessons and blog posts sing into email list.”
Mango Languages: Learn Telugu
Opinions vary on Mango Languages. Their introductory Telugu course is available by subscription for a price of 7.99 $US per month. I have listed it here, amongst the phrase books and language guides, as I am not convinced that it is an in-depth course. Comments, anyone?
Telugu Aksharmala: Level 1 (2015), 86 pages, by Anupama Vyakarnam et al
Telugu-English/English-Telugu Dictionary & Phrasebook (2017), 256 pages, by Lavanya Collooru - Hippocrene Books
The (currently 2) Amazon Customer Reviews for this item are convincing (despite the absence of audio recordings).
Telugu Language: The Telugu Phrasebook and Dictionary (2016), 172 pages, by Aabhat Asuri - Independently published
Grammars, Related Materials
The number of recently-published grammars for Telugu reflects the “not-frequently-studied” category of this language. Not included below are the reprints of Telugu grammars dating from the early 20th and late 19th centuries of which there are surprisingly several.
Grammar of Modern Telugu (1986), 464 pages, by B. Krishnamurti and J. P. L. Gwynn - Oxford University Press
Grammar of the Teloogoo Language (Telugu) (1991), 204 pages, by A.D. Campbell - Laurier Books Ltd. / AES
Rapidex English Learner (Telugu Speaking- Telugu-English Grammar, Vocabulary, Dictionary) Book +CD (2015), 359 pages, by Rohit Gupta- Pustak Mahal (Educa Books)
Telugu Language: 101 Telugu Verbs (2015), 220 pages, by Garishma Kakarlapudi- Preceptor Language Guides
Telugu Aksharaalu Writing Book: a Portal to Learn Telugu by Bhaavya Ram - Independently published
Tests of Language Proficiency :Telugu (2002), 402 pages, by Pon Subbiah - Central Institute of Indian Languages
This is but a small selection, there are many other English-Telugu dictionaries available.
Collins Cobuild Pocket English-English-Telugu Dictionary (2011) - Collins CoBUILD
English-Telugu Dictionary (2011), 168 pages, by Kvenkata Charyulu - Nabu Press
Oxford Telugu-English Dictionary (1997), 597 pages, by J. P. L. Gwynn- Oxford University Press
Sura’s English - English - Telugu Dictionary With English Grammar Book (2006), 543 pages, by J V Subrahmanyam - Laurier Books Ltd. / SURA
Telugu-English Dictionary and Thesaurus (2004), by V. Rao Vemuri- Asian Educational Services
Interesting Amazon Customer Review.
Webster’s Telugu - English Thesaurus Dictionary (2008). 736 pages, by Philip M. Parker - ICON Group International
Graded Readings in Newspaper Telugu – Preliminary Edition (1966), 156 pages, G. Reddy, D. Matson (
The PDF is presently pending restoration. Anyone interested in accelerating the restoring process should communicate directly with ERIC staff.
Pathanakaushalamu I (Telugu) (1974), 220 pages
Pathanakaushalamu II (Telugu) (1974), 73 pages
Reading materials by K.V.V.L.Narasimha and Rao K.Viswanatham - Central Institute of Indian Languages
Telugu (Phonetic Reader Series) (2000), 100 pages, by J.Venkateswara Sastry - Central Institute of Indian Languages (CIIL
telugu novels – amazon.com search results
Central Institute of Indian Languages (CIIL) Catalogue
The Central Institute of Indian Languages was set up on the 17th July 1969 with a view to assisting and co-ordinating the development of Indian Languages. The Institute is charged with the responsibility of serving as a nucleus to bring together all the research and literary output from the various linguistic streams to a common head and narrow the gap between the basic research and developmental research in the field of languages and linguistics in India. Items in the catalogue for the study of Telugu have been listed separately above.
Bharatavani Project - Central Institute of Indian Languages (CIIL)księżycowy wrote: ... I've had some good success requesting some of CIIL's books and audio materials through Exotic India, at reasonable prices, I might add.
Note: Prospective users must register and login in order to access the materials.
Note: The following exchange took place as a reply to a question for advice on learning Telugu.
Whodathunkitz wrote:Bible.is has audio new testament bible in the android app. I believe you may be familiar with this work....
Systematiker wrote: Bible.is is the Faith Comes by Hearing group, which does good work, however, I've showed that version to my native speaker helper (pastor and missionary Dean), and he said that it isn't idiosyncratic usage, it sounds more like a foreigner with incomplete command of the language. So I've been warned away from that version in terms of actually being able to talk to people …
GitHub is a global company that provides hosting for software development version control using Git. It is a subsidiary of Microsoft. Free GitHub accounts are commonly used to host open source projects.
mcthulhu wrote:GitHub is always a good place to search for digital language resources. A search on Telugu shows 242 repositories as of today, including the following that look interesting:
https://github.com/Malkitti/Corpusandcodes - Telugu morphology
https://github.com/sridhar-newsdistill/teluguanalyser - a Telugu stemmer
http://www.projectchalam.com/ - Telugu digital library (a GitHub repository had the source code for this site)
https://github.com/sc5606/Telugu-Radio-Skill - Amazon skill to play Indian Telugu Radio Stations
https://github.com/cltk/telugu_text_wikisource - Classical Telugu texts from Wikisource
https://github.com/malyadri/en2te - English to Telugu dictionary
etc. I didn't look through all of it.
Also, see http://ltrc.iiit.ac.in/showfile.php?fil ... /index.htm.
"You can type a word and get it's analysis (The analysis gives the root and other features such as gender, number, tense etc). These are available for Hindi, Marathi, Kannada, Punjabi & Telugu. (...) Telugu has 95% coverage (for arbitrary text in modern standard Telugu)." It looks like both downloads and an online tool are available. I think 95% is very good for a morphological analyzer.