- Kannada is one of the official languages of India, and the official language of the southern Indian state of Karnataka. Kannada also known as Kanarese is one of the oldest Dravidian languages. This language is not just confined within the borders of Karnataka, for you will find it spoken by people in parts of the neighbouring states of Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Maharashtra.
- Kannada is spoken in its various dialects by roughly 45 million people across the globe. It is one among the top 40 most spoken languages of the world.Spoken Kannada is in use since 2500 years, and the written form has its own script since 1900 years. Spoken Kannada varies according to the region of Karnataka it is spoken in, while the written form remains constant. The written form is phonetic-we write as it is spoken.
- On November 1, 2008, the Union Government declared Kannada to be a Classical Language.
November 1 every year is celebrated as Kannada Rajyotsava Day throughout Karnataka state and is declared a state holiday. This was the day that the name Karnataka was given to the Mysore state.
Kannada is the third oldest language of India (after Sanskrit & Tamil).
- The first Kannada-English Dictionary (Shabda Kosha) was compiled in 1894 by a German priest, Rev. Ferdinand Kittel. He also wrote a book on Kannada Grammar entitled, “A Grammar of the Kannada Language: Comprising the Three Dialects of the Language”.
- Several noted centuries old literary works of Kannada have been translated into Sanskrit, and other languages. Through the centuries, Kannada has been developing both as literature and a language and has thus been recognized as a Classical Language.