Telugu (English: /ˈtɛlʊɡuː/; తెలుగు [teluɡu]) fastest growing foreign language in United States is a Dravidian language spoken in the Indian states of Andhra Pradesh, Telangana and the union territories of Puducherry (Yanam) by the Telugu people and it is one of 22 scheduled languages of India. It stands alongside Hindi, English and Bengali as one of the few languages with official primary language status in more than one Indian state. There are also significant linguistic minorities in neighbouring states. It is one of six languages designated a classical language of India by the country’s government.
The 16th-century Venetian explorer Niccolò de’ Conti, who visited the Vijayanagara Empire, found that the words in the Telugu language end with vowels, just like those in Italian, and hence referred it as “The Italian of the East”; a saying that has been widely repeated
Prakrit Inscriptions with some Telugu words dating back to between 400 BCE and 100 BCE have been discovered in Bhattiprolu in the Guntur district of Andhra Pradesh. The English translation of an inscription reads, “gift of the slab by venerable Midikilayakha”
Source : Telugu