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Telugu (తెలుగు telugu, ) is a South-Central Dravidian language primarily spoken in the state of Andhra Pradesh, India, where it is an official language. It is also spoken in the neighbouring states of Chattisgarh, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Orissa and Tamil Nadu, and is spoken in the bordering city of Yanam, in the neighboring territory of Pondicherry. According to the 2001 Census of India, Telugu is the language with the third largest number of native speakers in India (74 million), thirteenth in the Ethnologue list of most-spoken languages worldwide, and most spoken Dravidian language. It is one of the twenty-two scheduled languages of the Republic of India and one of the four classical languages.
Telugu was influenced by Sanskrit and Prakrit. Telugu borrowed several features of Sanskrit that have subsequently been lost in Sanskrit's daughter languages such as Hindi and Bengali, especially in the pronunciation of some vowels and consonants. It has also been influenced by Urdu around Hyderabad city.
Telugu is written in a Brahmic alphabet.
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“All official institutions of language are repeating machines: school, sports, advertising, popular songs, news, all continually repeat the same structure, the same meaning, often the same words: the stereotype is a political fact, the major figure of ideology.”
—Roland Barthes (19151980)