Telugu (English: ; telugu [t̪el̪uɡu]) is a Dravidian language native to India. It stands alongside Hindi, English, and Bengali as one of the few languages with official status in more than one Indian state; Telugu is the primary language in the states of Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, and in the town of Yanam, Puducherry, and is also spoken by significant minorities in Karnataka (8.03%), Tamil Nadu (8.63%), Maharashtra (1.4%), Chhattisgarh (1%), Odisha (1.9%), the Andaman and Nicobar Islands (12.9%), and by the Sri Lankan Gypsy people. It is one of six languages designated a classical language of India by the Government of India.
Telugu ranks third by the number of native speakers in India (74 million, 2001 census), fifteenth in the Ethnologue list of most-spoken languages worldwide and is the most widely spoken Dravidian language in the world. It is one of the twenty-two scheduled languages of the Republic of India.Approximately 10,000 inscriptions exist in the Telugu language.