Kannada is one of the most important languages that are spoken by the people of Mangalore in Karnataka. This language has Dravidian origin. It is supposed to be more than 2,500 years old. Kannada is a member of the proto-Dravidian group of languages. The language has a lot of similarities with another language that is widely in practice in the southern part of India, which is Tamil.

About Kannada Language

This language has gone through three different stages of development; these are Hale Kannada or old Kannada, Nadu Kannada or middle Kannada and Adhunika Kannada or modern Kannada. The alphabet of Kannada comprises of 52 letters, among which 42 are parts of the Kannada script.

The oldest work of literature in the Kannada language is the 'Kavirajamarga'. King Nripatunga wrote it in the 9th century AD. It is this Kannada document that proves that Kannada was a fully grown language in those days. The oldest written document in Kannada is the Halmidi inscription, which is as old as 450 AD. However, the oral form of the language was in practice much before this time.

The language of Kannada ranks third among all the ancient languages. The only two languages that are older than the Kannada language are Sanskrit and Tamil. The alphabet of this language came into being 1,900 years ago. The oral Kannada language was created before the written form. This is the trend with all the Dravidian languages. In the later period of its development, Kannada was highly influenced by the Sanskrit language.

Last Updated on 21 September 2011



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