01 December, 2020

Eloquently Spoke

The Telugu in Telangana has a unique vocabulary and diction owing to its Nizami heritage

Eloquently Spoke

How different is the Telugu spoken in Telangana from that in the rest of Andhra Pradesh? An outsider or a dyed-in-the-wool Andhra unionist may consider them the same. But that would be glossing over a form of Telugu spoken in Telangana—not to use the condescending term ‘dialect’—that’s marked by a unique voc­abulary and diction. And a full reckoning can’t be made of the long desire for separation without looking at these linguistic-cultural differences.

The differences owe partly to history. Present-day Telangana was part of the erstwhile Hyderabad state, whose map included parts of modern Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Maharashtra. A post-Mughal state under the Nizams between 1724 and 1948, it operated with Per­sian (and later Urdu) as its official language, because of which many Farsi words have permeated into the Telugu spoken in Telangana.

Most of the rest of Andhra lived through these centuries as part of ‘Madras’, the British Presidency. Four years after getting statehood in 1952, following Potti...



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