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What writing system(s) does this language use?[edit | edit source]

A sign with Kannada script on it

The Kannada script is thought to be an abugida of the Brahmic family, primarily to write the Kannada language, one of the South Indian languages in India. It is also used for Konkani, Tulu and Kodava languages. Like the scripts used to write other South Asian languages, the Kannada script is very different from the letters you are reading now. An example of a sign with words in Kannada script and in English is to the left.

How many people speak this language?[edit | edit source]

Approximately sixty million people speak Kannada mainly in the state of Karnataka in South India. People in other Indian states and mainly in western countries form a small percentage of Kannada speaking population.

Where is this language spoken?[edit | edit source]

Kannada is spoken in the Karnataka state of India. Kannada is also the official language of the state and is considered as one of the eighteen official languages of India.

What is the history of this language?[edit | edit source]

Kannada is one of the oldest languages of India after Sanskrit. It has a verbal history of over 2,300 years and Kannada words could be identified in Emperor Ashoka's edicts. Kannada had become administrative language in 4th century. Kannada became a literary language in the 6th century though evidence exists of older texts which have not been found till now. The oldest inscriptions of Kannada language can be found in the "Halmidi Shaasana" of the fourth century. The oldest literary epic in Kannada "Kavirajamarga" which follows the Sanskrit tradition of Poetics. Pampa is the best known of the earliest poets whose "Adipurana" and "Vikramaarjunavijayam" form the brightest jewels in the Kannada literary history.

Who are some famous authors or poets in this language?[edit | edit source]

"Kavirajamarga" - a treatise on poetics and language was the first literary work. Though there has been much debate over the author, academics all over common term the author as "kavirajamargakaara". Pampa, Ranna and Ponna formed the "Ratnatraya" meaning the "Jewel trinity" of early Kannada literature. The Vachana saahithya then formed the biggest milestone in Kannada literature with Bhakti traditionists like Basavanna, Akkamahadevi, Allamaprabhu, Jedara Dasimayya etc. This also laid the cornerstone for the Veerashaiva movement in Karnataka ending in a huge social upheaval and a wateshed in the demographics of the region. Some of the Shaivaite poets of recognition have been Harihara and Raghavanka. Kumaravyaasa and Lakshmeesha wrote Mahabhaaratha's that complied with the ethos of the Kannada language and culture. The Dasa saahithya propounded by Purandara Dasa, Kanakadasa and other monks of the Dwaita tradition also formed a watershed in Kannada literature.

A long slump in any significant contribution to literature was broken by the Navodaya literature in the turn of the century by greats like B.M.Srikantaiah, T.S.Venkanaiah, D.V.Gundappa, Kuvempu, D.R.Bendre, Pu.Ti.Narasimhachar. Great works like "RamayanaDarshanam" and "MankutimmanaKagga" reclaimed the Kannada ethos and upheld the uniqueness of the Kannada psyche. Following on the heals of Navodaya, the Navya tradition rebelled against the traditionalists and formed a new path. The proponents of this path were Gopalakrishna Adiga, V.K.Gokak, U.R.Ananthamurthy etc. Further, Dalit and Bandaya saahithya enriched the varied range of Kannada litearture with authors like Devanuru Mahadeva and Siddalingaiah.

Other notable laureates of the century were Shivaram Karanth, Shreeranga, Niranjana, A.Na.Krishnarao, P.Lankesh, Girish Karnad.

Kannada literature's richness has been emphasized by the fact that till recently it had the unique distinction of having received seven Jnanapeetha awards.

What are some basic words in this language that I can learn?[edit | edit source]

amma, ammaji, maatey - mother

appa, appaaji, pitaa, ayya - father

thatha - grandfather

ajji - grandmother

anna, annayya - elder brother

tamma, tammayya - younger brother

akka, akkayya - elder sister

tangi, tangamma - younger sister

bhaava - elder brother in law

bhaavmaida, maiduna, maida - younger brother in law

maava - father in law

atte - mother in law

doddamma - elder aunt

chikkamma - younger aunt

doddappa - elder uncle

chikkappa - younger uncle..

naanu, naan, en, naa, eer - I

naavu, em, naam - We

neev, eev, - you(plural)

neen, nee - you(singular)

oota - lunch, dinner.

tindi - eatable, tiffin.

hogu, pogu - go

baa, baru - come

baruve, baruththeeni - coming

hoguve, hoguththeeni - going

anna - boiled rice

akki - raw rice

jola - jowar

raagi - ragi

hittu - flour, mixed flour.

saaru, huli - thick spicy soup.

rasa, tili saaru - dilute spicy soup.

mudde - a special dish of karnataka made using rice, ragi, jowar, or wheat ..etc.

rotti (like roti)- a special pan-cake dish of karnataka made using rice, ragi, jowar, or wheat ..etc.

What is a simple song/poem/story that I can learn in this language?[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]