Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Kannada (ಕನ್ನಡ)

Kannada (ಕನ್ನಡ) is one of the major Dravidian languages of India, spoken predominantly in the southern state of Karnataka. It is the 27th most spoken language in the world, with native speakers called Kannadigas, Kannadigan, Kannadigaru (ಕನ್ನಡಿಗರು) numbering roughly around 53 million (2001). It is one of the official languages of India and the official and administrative language of the state of Karnataka.
The first written record in the Kannada language is traced to Emperor Ashoka's Brahmagiri edict dated 230 BC. At present, a committee of scholars is seeking a classical language tag for Kannada based on its antiquity.
The Kannada language is written using the Kannada script. The other native languages of Karnataka, Tulu, Kodava Takk and Konkani are also written using the Kannada script. Contemporary Kannada literature is the most successful in India, with India's highest literary honor, the Jnanpeetha awards, having been conferred seven times upon Kannada writers, which is the highest for any language in India.

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