Kannada previously known as canarese, is a language native to India, predominantly spoken in the southern state of Karnataka. Kannada is thought to have evolved from an ancient language known as Purava Hale Gannada. Kannada has its own script which consists of 49 letters and is highly influenced by Sanskrit’s Devanagari script. Kannada is also heavily influenced by Tamil, Telugu and Tulu languages.

It is one of the oldest languages of India. 

The earliest inscriptional records in Kannada are from the 6th century. Kannada script is closely akin to Telugu script in origin. Like other major Dravidian languages, Kannada has a number of regional and social dialects and marked distinctions between formal and informal usage. The oldest literary works in the Epigraphs reveal that the old Kannada flourished during the Ganga dynasty in the 6th century AD and during the Rashtrakuta dynasty during the 9th century.The oldest preserved manuscript in Kannada is Jain Bhandar, Mudbidri palm leaf manuscript of Dhavala. It contains 1478 leaves in old Kannada from the 9th century AD.


“Learn to Handwrite Kannada Alphabets”

Kannada history can be conventionally divided into three stages: Old Kannada (Haḷegannaḍa) from 450 to 1200 AD, Middle Kannada (Naḍugannaḍa) from 1200 to 1700 and Modern Kannada (Hosagannaḍa) from 1700 to the present.Kannada was influenced to a considerable degree by Sanskrit and Prakrit. The scholar Iravatham Mahadevan indicated that Kannada was already a language of rich spoken tradition earlier than the 3rd century BC and based on the native Kannada words found in Prakrit inscriptions of that period, Kannada must have been spoken by a broad and stable population.The scholar K. V. Narayana claims that many tribal languages which are now designated as Kannada dialects could be nearer to the earlier form of the language, with lesser influence from other languages.

The Kannada-speaking community consists of over 60 million people living around the world, including regions in India, such as Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Maharashtra and Goa; Middle Eastern countries like United Arab Emirates; and other countries such as USA, Canada, UK and Australia. Kannada is one of the oldest languages in the world and has a rich literary tradition with many well-known Kannada poets writing on themes such as religion, philosophy, social values and culture. Kannada literature also includes works by great writers like Kalidasa, Kavirajamarga and Ranna.

Kannada is also known for its popular creations such as Kannada songs, movies, television serials and theater. Kannada films have even earned international recognition with movies such as Kasturi Nivasa (1971), which won the National film award for best feature film in Kannada language.

Rulers over centuries from Kadamba dynasty to Chalukyas to Rashtrakuta rulers have contributed to Kannada literature and language. Kannada has also found an international audience with Kannada TV channels airing in Gulf countries such as UAE and Kannada radio shows being broadcast from places like USA, England and Canada. In the recent years Kannada has taken a larger role internationally due to its growing popularity amongst the diaspora. Kannada is now increasingly becoming popular across other countries including Japan, Singapore, Germany, France and Sri Lanka.

Kannada is a highly inflected language with three genders (masculine, feminine, neutral or common) and two numbers (singular, plural). It is inflected for gender, number and tense, among other things.

There is also a sharp distinction between the spoken and written forms of the language. Spoken Kannada tends to vary from region to region. The written form is more or less constant throughout Karnataka, however. The ethnologue identifies about 20 dialects of Kannada. Notable of them are Kodava (spoken in Coorg district), Kunda (spoken exclusively in Kundapura), Havyaka (spoken mainly by Havyaka Brahmanas of Dakshina Kannada, Uttara Kannada, Shimoga, Sagara, and Udupi districts), Are Bhashe (spoken mainly in Sullia region of Dakshina Kannada), Soliga Kannada, Badaga Kannada, Gulbarga Kannada, Hubli Kannada, etc. (Source: Wikipedia.org)

Kannada is here to stay with its rich culture and vibrant history that can be traced back centuries. With so many contributions from great writers, poets and rulers over centuries, Kannada is well on its way to become one of the most widely spoken languages in the world. Kannada is also becoming a language of choice for tech companies and other organizations due to its rising popularity.

“Learn to Handwrite Kannada Alphabets”

Kannada language is also being adopted by large tech companies such as Microsoft, Oracle and IBM in order to expand their reach into Kannada speaking communities around the globe. Kannada will remain an important part of history for many years to come.

Modern Kannada literature saw its development when Maharaja Krishnaraja Wodeyar III began writing prose based on Sanskrit epics in the early 19th century. The first Modern Kannada novel is”Mudramanjusha” by Kempu Narayana. The dawn of the 20th century saw the emergence of B.M. Srikantaiah or B.M. Sri, who revolutionized Modern Kannada literature and is thus termed as the ‘Father of modern Kannada literature’. B.M. Sri published his work – English Geethegalu – a collection of poems that are translated into English. This era was marked by the writing of new, original work in Modern Kannada, while simultaneously leaving behind the old forms. Some other famous 21st century Kannada writers include Kuvempu, V.K. Gokak, K. Shivaram Karanth, Srinivasa, Girish Karnad, U.R. Ananthamurthy, and Ambikatanayadatta.