A recent post making rounds on the internet states Telugu language to be voted as the second best script in the world by International Alphabet Association. Being natively spoken in Telangana, Andra Pradesh and Yanam, Telugu has received an honor of quite a degree by being ranked in the top scripts.
But however, the claims are not entirely true. While there is no such organization as International Alphabet Association, the claims raise suspicion. Even though the name of the organization is false, the credit to Telugu language is true
Telugu was distinguished as second best script in 2012, at World Alphabet Olympics. Held in Bangkok in October, 2012 the contest got Korea’s Hangeul writing system to emerge in the first position, whereas English stood at number three. The current viral image shared above showing Telugu emerging on the second position has been now circulating for several years.
According to a blog by ITSCA (Indian Telugu Civil Servants Association), World Alphabet Olympics is an event that picks the most distinguished alphabets among all the writing systems present across the globe.
The Criteria for the Competition
The World Alphabet Olympics chooses the most comprehensive and competent script. In 2012 competition, more than 27 countries took part in the content and brought forward their own writing systems. The criteria for judging the systems were characters origin, structure and type, number of letters, the clarity of sound associated while combining the characters, application of the language and its growth potential.
How Telugu Stood at Top Second?
Telugu script has the highest number of alphabets – i.e. 56 alphabets that sound as all 7 ragas, which can help in pronouncing many sounds, called the “Italian of the East,” as the words end with a vowel sound; also making it almost musical with “du, mu, vu, lu” endings.
Despite grabbing such an honor, the celebration is bittersweet. Despite emerging second, Telugu language also makes it to the UNESCO’s list of languages that are on the verge of extinction.