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Telugu Script Sample.svg
Type Abugida
Spoken languages Telugu
Time period c. 1500–present
Parent systems
Sister systems Kannada
Unicode range U+0C00–U+0C7F
ISO 15924 Telu
Note: This page may contain IPA phonetic symbols in Unicode.

Telugu script, an abugida from the Brahmic family of scripts, is used to write Telugu language, a South Central Dravidian Language found in the Southern Indian state of Andhra Pradesh as well as several other neighboring states. The Telugu script is derived from the Telugu-Kannada script[1] and developed independently at the same time as the Kannada script which is why it has strong resemblance to it.[2]


Derivation from Brahmi script

The Brahmi script used by Mauryan kings eventually reached Krishna River delta and gave rise to Bhattiprolu script found on the urn containing Buddha's relics.[3][4] Buddhism spread to east Asia from the nearby ports of Ghantasala and Masulipatnam (ancient Maisolos of Ptolemy and Masalia of Periplus)[5]. The Bhattiprolu script also travelled giving rise to the modern Thai, Burmese, Javanese and Balinese scripts, which bear a strong resemblance to Telugu script[6] [7]. The Bhattiprolu Brahmi script evolved into the old Telugu-Kannada script by 5th century C.E.[8][9][10][11][12][13][14]

The Muslim historian and scholar Al-Biruni called the Telugu language and script Andhri.[15]


Telugu uses fourteen vowels, each of which has both a singular form and a diacritic form used with consonants to create syllables. It is important to note that this language does make a distinction between short and long vowels.

Independent With క (k) ISO IPA Independent With క (k) ISO IPA
a [ʌ] కా ā [a:]
కి i [i] కీ ī [i:]
కు u [u] కూ ū [u:]
[rɨ, ru] r̥̄ [rɨ:, ru:]
కె e [e] కే ē [e:]
కొ o [o] కో ō [o:]
కై ai [aj] కౌ au [aw]

The singular form is used when the vowel occurs at the beginning of a word or syllable, or is a complete syllable in itself (example: a, u, o). The diacritic form is added to consonants (represented by the dotted circle) to form a consonant-vowel syllable (example: ka, kru, mo). It should be noted that అ does not have a diacritic form, because this vowel is already inherent in all of the consonants. The other diacritic vowels are added to consonants to change their pronunciation to that of the vowel.


ఖ + ఈ (ీ) → ఖీ [kʰa] + [iː] → [kʰiː]
జ + ఉ (ు) → జు [dʒa] + [u] → [dʒu]


Character ISO IPA Character ISO IPA Character ISO IPA Character ISO IPA Character ISO IPA
k [k] kh [kʰ] g [g] gh [gʱ] [ŋ]
c [tʃ] ch [tʃʰ] j [dʒ] jh [dʒʱ] ñ [ɲ]
[ʈ] ṭh [ʈʰ] [ɖ] ḍh [ɖʱ] [ɳ]
t [t] th [tʰ] d [d] dh [dʱ] n [n]
p [p] ph [pʰ] b [b] bh [bʱ] m [m]
y [j] r [r] l [l] v [ʋ] [ɭ]
ś [ɕ] [ʂ] s [s] [ɽ] h [h]

Other diacritics

There are also several other diacritics used in the Telugu script. mutes the vowel of a consonant, so that only the consonant is pronounced. and nasalize the vowels or syllables to which they are attached. adds a voiceless breath after the vowel or syllable it is attached to.

Tecken ISO Tecken ISO Tecken ISO Tecken ISO
అం kaṁ అఁ kan̆ అః kaḥ క్ k


క + → క్    [ka] + [Ø] → [k]
క + → కఁ [ka] + [n] → [kan]
క + → కం [ka] + [m] → [kam]
క + → కః [ka] + [h] → [kah]


0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
04 14 24 34 016 116 216 316

NOTE: , , and are used also for 164, 264, 364, 11024, etc. and , , and are also used for 1256, 2256, 3256, 14096, etc.[16]

Telugu in Unicode

The Unicode range for Telugu is U+0C00–U+0C7F. Grey areas indicate non-assigned code points.

Telugu chart (PDF)
  0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 A B C D E F
U+0C3x         ి
U+0C7x                 ౿

In contrast to a syllabic script such as katakana, where one Unicode code point represents the glyph for one syllable, Telugu combines multiple code points to generate the glyph for one syllable, using complex font rendering rules.[17][18]===========

  1. the missing consonants tsa and jza ; were very useful for the sweet pronunciation. Please reconsider reusage.


  1. ^ Bhat, Raghunath (2001). "PALAEOGRAPHIC ART OF INDIA AND SOUTH EAST ASIA". IGNCA. Retrieved 2007-07-19.  
  2. ^ "Telugu script details".  
  3. ^ Antiquity of Telugu language and script:
  4. ^ Ananda Buddha Vihara
  5. ^ The Great Stupa at Nagarjunakonda in Southern India-【佛学研究网】 佛教文化网 中国佛教网 中国佛学网 佛教信息网 佛教研究 佛学讲座 禅学讲座 吴言生说禅
  6. ^ My Thais - Sepia Mutiny
  7. ^ Balinese alphabet, language and pronunciation
  8. ^ The Blackwell Encyclopedia of Writing Systems by Florian Coulmas, p. 228
  9. ^ Vishwabharath by K. N. Murthy and G. U. Rao,
  10. ^ Indiain Epigraphy: a guide to the study of inscriptions in Sanskrit, Prakrit, and the other Indo-Aryan languages, by Richard Solomon, Oxford University Press, 1998, p.40, ISBN 0195099842
  11. ^ Indian Epigraphy by Dineschandra Sircar, Motilal Banarsidass, 1996, p.46, ISBN 8120811666
  12. ^ The Dravidian Languages by Bhadriraju Krishnamurti, 2003, Cambridge University Press, pp.78-79, ISBN 0521771110
  13. ^ Comparative Dravidian linguistics: Current perspectives by Bhadriraju Krishnamurti. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2001. ISBN 0198241224
  14. ^ K. Raghunath Bhat,
  15. ^ Al-biruni. English translation of 'Kitab-ul Hind'. New Delhi: National Book Trust.  
  16. ^ Nāgārjuna Venna (2006-09-14). "Telugu Measures and Arithmetic Marks" (PDF). JTC 1/SC 2/WG 2 N3156. Retrieved 2009-09-03.  
  17. ^ "Developing OpenType Fonts for Telugu Script".  
  18. ^ "Unicode 4.0.0: South Asian Scripts".  

External links

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