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Works on Telugu before 1900 AD

Editorial Note:

The following list of references has been compiled from Volume IV of "Linguistic Survey of India," Edited by George A. Grierson, 1906. The list gives many interesting and very useful titles on the Telugu language from the 19th Century. The words Gentoo and Badaga refer to Telugu. Many common words are written with a peculiar spelling below. The present English spellings for these words did not get established till early 20th Century.

The last table contains the references sent by Sreenivas Paruchuri. If the viewers know of other major lists of this kind, kindly point them out so that they can also be added to the list below.


Early References to Telugu

Jehan Van Twist, 1648

"Generall Beschrijfvinge van Indien"


Frederic Bolling, 1678

"Friderici Bollingii Oost-Indiske Reise-bog hvor udi Befattis hans Reise til Oost-Indien saa vel og Eendeel Platzers Beskrifvelse med en Andtall Hedningers Ceremonier, baade i deris Guds-Tieniste saa og i deris Ecteskabs Begyndelse end og Negotierne med de regierendis itzige Hollandske Herrers Andkomst, Gage, Promotion og Polltie udi Oost-Indien diszligeste Hans Reise til Fæ(ae)derne-Landen igjen"


John Fryer, 1698

"A New Account of East India and Persia in 8 Letters; being 9 years’ Travels. Begun 1672. And finished 1681"


Hadrianus Relandus, 1706

"De linguis insularaum quarundam orientalium"

printed in Dissertationes miscellaneae. Trajecti ad Rhenum.

Valentijn, 1724-1726

"Oud en Niew Oost-Indien"


Benjamin Schulze, 1746

"Catechismus telugicus minor"

Halle, Germany

Benjamin Schulze, 1747

"Colloquium religiosum telugice"

Halle, Germany

Benjamin Schulze, 1747

"Perspicua Explicatio Doctrinae Christianae secundum Ordinem quinque Capitum Catechismi majoris ex Lingua Tamulica in Telugicam versa"

Halle, Germany

Benjamin Schulze, 1747

"Conspectus litteratturae Telugicae, vulgo Barugicae secundum figurationem et vocalium et consonantium, quae frequentissimo in usu sunt, studio omissis, quae in sacro codice non occurrunt, nec non eorundem multifariam variationem hic ordine alphabetico propriis characteribus ab invicem distincte appositam; sicut lingua ipsa in India orientali, nempe Madrastae, et in omnibus regionibus ubi vernacula est, auditur"

Halle, Germany

Father Norbert, 1744

"Memoires historiques"

Luques (Avignon),

Thomas Hyde, 1767

"Syntagma Dissertationum"





W. Brown [?], 1807.

"A Grammar of the Gentoo language, as it is understood and spoken by the Gentoo People, residing north and north-westward of Madras. By a Civil Servant under the Presidency of Fort St. George, many years resident in the Northern Circars"


Carey, W.,. 1814.

"A Grammer of the Telugu Language"

Serampore, Bengal.

Campbell, A. D., 1816.

"A Grammar of the Teloogoo Language, commonly termed the Gentoo, peculiar to the Hindoos inhabiting the North-Eastern Provinces of the Indian Peninsula"

Madras, Second edition, 1820. Third Edition, 1869. XXI, 202, 18 pp.

Brown William, 1817.

"Grammar of the Gentoo Language as it is understood and spoken by the Gentoo people residing north and north-westward of Madras"


Morris, J. C., 1845.

"Teloogoo Selections, with translations and grammatical analysis; to which is added a glossary of Revenue terms used in the Northern Circars"

Madras, 1823. Second edition.

Brown, Ch. P., 1827.

"The Prosody of the Telugu and Sanskrit Languages explained"


Brown, Ch. P., 1832.

"Vakyavali or Exercises in Idioms, English and Telugu"


Howell, Wm., 1834.

"Compendium of the Andhra Vyakurnum, or a Catechism of Teloogoo Grammar"



"A Help in acquiring a knowledge of the English Language, in English and Telugu"

Bellary, 1839.

Narain Swamy, 1839.

"Select Tales with Translations, English and Teloogoo"



"Reading lessons for Children, in Telugu"

Bellary, 1840.

Brown, Ch. P., 1840.

"A Grammar of the Telugu Language"

Madras, Second edition ib., 1857.

Brown, Ch. P., 1846.

"Dialogues in Telugu and English for the use of learners"

Madras, Second Edition, 1853.


"Easy Lessons in English and Telugu"

Bellary, 1847.

Adacki Sooba Row, 1851.

"The Telugu Primer: for the use of those who wish to study the Telugu language".

Madras. Adivevakadarsam Pr., 1851. XV -232, pp.

Brown, Ch. P., 1851-52.

"The Telugu Reader, being a Series of Letters private and on business, police and revenue matters, with an English Translation, grammatical analysis and vocabulary"

Part i-iii, Madras, Second Edition, 1867.



Madras, 1852.


"Telugu Selections, compiled from the several Text Books in that Language, for thc use of officers in the civil, military and public works department"

By order of the Board of Examiners. Madras, 1858. Second Edition, 1881.

Chinnaiah Soory, 1871.

"A Telugu Grammar"

Madras, 1858. Second Edition.

Maddali Lakshmi Narasayya, 1860.

"A short Grammar of the Telugu Language, in which the Roman-Telugu character is used"

Madras, New Edition, 1870.

Lingam Lakshmaji Pantulu, 1863.

"The Niti Sangrahamu With a glossary and Anlysys of the Telugu Language"


Paupinani Abboyi Naidu, 1868.

"The Rudiments of Telugu Grammar"


Cair, M. W., 1868.

"Collection of Telugu Proverbs, Translated, illustrated, and explained, with some Sanskrit Proverbs, with Supplement"


Riccaz, Rev. A., 1869.

"An Abridgement of the Telugu Grammar for the use of schools, compiled from various sources"


P. G. Savundaranayagam Pillai, 1870.

"The Elements of Telugu Grammar"


K. Subba Rayudu, 1870.

"The Vibhakti Chendrika"


Arden, A. H., 1873.

"A Progressive Grammar of the Telugu Language with copious examples and exercises"

In three parts. Madras.

Arden, A.H., 1879.

"A Companion Telugu Reader to Arden's Progressive Telugu Grammar"

Madras and London.

Campbell, Sir George, 1874.

"Specimens of Languages of India"

Calcutta, pp44 and ff.

Rogers, Col. H. T., 1880.

"First Lessons in Telugu"



"The Vikramarka Tales -Text-book revised from the Telugu Selections"

Madras, 1881.


"English-Telugu Dialogues"

Madras, 1883.

Venkayya, J., 1889.

"Telugu Grammar, Compiled from the Andhra Sabda Chintamani"


Morris, H., 1890.

"Simplified Grammar of the Telugu Language"


Marsden, E., And H. V. Ratnam, 1897.

"Third and fourth Telugu Reader"




Brown, W., 1818.

"A Vocabulary of Gentoo and English, composed of words in currant use and illustrated by examples applicable to the familiar speech and writings of the middle orders and more elevated ranks of the modern Gentoo people"


Campbell, A.D., 1821.

"A Dictionary of the Teloogoo Language, commonly termed the Gentoo, peculiar to tie Hindoos of the North Eastern Provinces of the Indian Peninsula"

Madras, Second Edition, 1848. Hindu Pr., 1848. - 332, 312, III pp.

Morris, J. C., 1835-39.

"A Dictionary, English and Teloogoo"


Carpenter, W., 1839.

"A Dictionary of English synonyms"

London Reprinted with explanations in the Telugu Language by B. Subaroyaloo. Madras, 1839.

C. Ramakrisna Sastruloo, 1841.

"A Vocabulary, in English and Teloogoo"


Nicholas, J., 1841.

"A Vocabulary of English and Teloogoo"

2nd edition, Madras.

Balfour, E., 1844

"On the Migratory Tribes of Natives in Central India"

Journal of the Asiatic Society of Bengal, Vol. xiii, Part i, pp. 1 and ff. Vocabularies Telagoo, etc., on. pp. 17 and ff.

Elliott, [Elliot], W., 1847.

"Observations on the Language of the Goands, and the identity of many of its terms with terms now in use in the Telugu, Tamil and Canarese"

Journal of the Asiatic Society of Bengal, Vol. xvi, Part ii, pp. 1140 and ff. Vocabularies on pp. 1144 and ff.

Hodgson, B. H., 1849.

"Aborigines of Southern India"
Reprinted in "Miscellaneous Essays relating to Indian subjects" Vol. ii, London, 1880, pp. 152 and ff. Vocabularies on pp. 352 and ff.

Journal of the Asiatic Society of Bengal, Vol. xviii, Part i, pp. 350 and ff.


"A short Lexicon of the Teloogoo Language"

Bellary, 1852.

Brown, Charles Philip, 1852

"A DICTIONARY, Telugu and Eng1ish, explaining the Colloquial Style used in Business and the Poetical Dialect, with explanations in English and in Telugu"


Brown, Charles Philip, 1895.

"A Dictionary, English and Telugu, explaining the English idioms and phrases in Telugu, with the pronunciation of Telugu words"

Madras, 1853. New edition, by M. Venkata Ratnam. Madras.

Brown, Charles Philip, 1854.

"A Dictionary of the Mixed Dialects and. Foreign Words used in Telugu, With an explanation of the Telugu alphabet"


By a late Student of Mr. Lewis.

"Polyglot Vocabulary in the English, Telugu and Tamil Languages; to which are appended the nine parts of speech, several useful dialogues, with selections, and a glossary of Revenue terms"

Madras, 1857.
With the assistance of T. M. Kistnasawmy Pillay. - 2. ed.. - Madras : Hindu Pr., 1862. - 262 pp.

Perciwal, Rev. P., 1862.

"Telugu-English Dictionary"

Madras, Second edition, 1867.

[Lyall, Sir A. J.,] 1868.

"Report of the Ethnological Committee on papers laid before them, and upon examination of specimens of aboriginal tribes brought to the Jabbulpore Exhibition of 1866-67"

Nagpore, Part 3, A table of words used (sic.) by aboriginal tribes in Upper Gadavery (sic.) District . . . Telugoo, by C. S. R. Glasfurd.


"A Vocabulary in Hindustani, English and Telugu"

Madras, 1873.


"Manual of the Administration of the Madras Presidency"
See also the reprint of Articles on Geography, Ethnology and History, taken from the first volume, Telugu Country, pp.5 and 11; Telugu alphabet, p. 48; Telugu literature, p. 57.

Madras, 1885-86. Telugu alphabet, Vol. ii, pp. 185 and ff.; Vocabulary Vol. ii, pp. 193 and f.

Percival, Rev. P., 1886.

"Anglo-Telugu Dictionary"

5th edition. Madras.

Veera Swamy Moodeliar, 1889

"The Builder's Vocabulary in English and Telugu"

2nd edition. Madras.


"English and Telugu Vocabulary"

Madras, 1889.

Sankara Narayana, P., 1891.

"English-Telugu Dictionary"

Madras, New edition, ib., 1894 and 1897.

Sankara Narayana, P., 1894.

"A Smaller English-Telugu Dictionary"


Sankara Narayana, P., 1900.

"Telugu-English Dictionary"


Talor, G. W., 1898.

"An English-Telugu Vocabulary"


Holler, P., 1900.

"Telugu Nighantuvulu, containing Telugu-English and English-Telugu Dictionary"




Additional Early References to Telugu by European Works

Editorial Note:

The following references were sent by Sri Sreenivas Paruchuri from Germany. Many Portuguese, German, Dutch, French and other European missionaries had worked in India during the 17th and 18th Centuries and carried out a study of Indian languages. Their avowed purpose was to convert the so-called heathen natives to Christendom. To facilitate their preaching, they prepared grammars, dictionaries, and Bible translations. Just as the early Buddhist missionaries who adopted local dialects to preach and prepare religious texts, these Christian missionaries used the study of vernacular languages to their advantage. Some of the missionaries with a scholarly bent, e.g., Benjamin Schulze, had studiously prepared excellent introductory works to Telugu, Tamil, Hindi, etc.

What ever be their intended purpose, these early works cast a fascinating glimpse in to Telugu and other Indian languages of that time. They give priceless historical information. Some of these works are still very useful in their own right. For example, many works of grammar, dictionaries, and other essays are still relevant and can be readily used as such.

Nathaniel B. Halhed [Transl.], 1781.

"A code of gentoo laws, or Ordinations of the Pundits : from a Persian translation, made from the original, written in the Shanscrit language," Original: Vivadarnavasetu

London - CXX, 284 pp. Original: Vivadarnavasetu, Content: A collection of laws, compiled at the order of Warren Hastings. There are three editions of it: from 1776 (with LXXVI, 322 pp), 1777 (CXX, 285 pp) and 1781 (CXX, 284pp). There is also a German translation of it from 1778.

John Henry
[John Carmichael], 1772

"A voyage to the East Indies, containing authentic accounts of the Mogul government in general, the viceroyalties of the Decan and Bengal, with their several subordinate dependances of Angria, the Morattoes, and Tanjoreans, of the Mahometan, Gentoo: with general reflections on the trade of India, of the European settlements, particularly those belonging to the English, their respective factories, governments, trade, fortifications and public buildings, the history of the war with the French fro* / Grose," "To which is added A journey from Aleppo to Busserah, over the desert,"
by [John] Carmichael.

A new ed., illustr. with views and several plans, not in th*. - London: Hooper Vol. 1-2

The Serampore Missionaries, 1818.

"The Holy Bible Containing The Old And New Testaments : Translated From The Originals Into The Telinga Language"
Original: Biblia <Telugu>
Parallel title: "Isvaruni anni matalu visesamuga manusyani uddharamukoraku acarincetandukorukunni deni prakasamu cenunnado ide Dharmmapustakamu." (The Holy Bible Containing The Old And New Testaments/By The Serampore Missionaries) Band: 5 Containing the New Testament.
Telugu Title: Yisukristani mangala samacaramu

Serampore : Mission Pr.; (Telugu) -960 S.


Alphabetical Index of manuscripts in the Government Oriental Mss. Library, Madras: sanskrit, telugu, tamil, kanarese, malayalam, mahrathi, uriya, arabic, persian and hindustani / <Madras>.

Tamil Nadu Government Oriental Manuscripts Library, Madras, 1893


"The book of Psalms in Telugu
Bhaudana kirtanalapustakamu." -

Madras :American Mission Pr.,. - 564 S.; (Telugu) Original: Psalmi <Telugu>


"The book of Genesis
Moseceta prayabadisa modatipustakamu."

Madras : Madras Auxiliary Bible Society, - 163 S.; (Telugu) Original: Genesis <Telugu>


"The gospel of Matthew
Mattaiceta prayabadina subhavartamanamu / Matthaeus <Apostolus>."

Madras : Madras Auxiliary Bible Society, - 103 S.; (Telugu) Original: Evangelium <Telugu>

W. Howell [transl.], 1839.

"Scripture history: New Testament; for native schools."

[S.l.] : Bellary Mission Pr., - 162 S.; (Telugu)

Bartholomaeus Ziegenbalg

"Bartholomaeus Ziegenbalgs ausfuehrlicher Bericht, wie er, nebst seines Collegen Heinrich Pluetscho, das Amt des Evangelii in Trangebar unter den Heiden und Christen fuehre."


von Bartholomaeo Ziegenbalg. 1710.

"Allgemeine Schule der wahren Weisheit : darinnen einem jeden Menschen aus Gottes Wort und eigener Erfahrung gezeiget wird, wie uns auf was Weise man diejenige Weisheit in dieser Welt suchen, finden und erlangen soll"

Frankfurt, - 470 pp

Bartholomaeus Ziegenbalg1715

[Kurtze Nachricht von seiner Reise aus Ost-Indien nach Europa]
"Bartholomaei Ziegenbalgs Kurtze Nachricht von seiner Reise aus Ost-Indien nach Europa: wie auch von seiner dahin wieder zu nehmenden Retour."


Bartholomaeus Ziegenbalg. Hrsg. v. Burchard Brentjes. 1716

"Grammatica Damulica"

[Nachdr. d. Ausg. Halle, 1716]. - Halle (Saale) : Abt. Wissenschaftspublizistik d. Martin-Luther- Universitaet, 1985. - V, [16], 128 S.; (lat.) (Wissenschaftliche Beitraege / Martin-Luther-Universitaet Halle-Wittenberg ; 1985,32 : I ; 44)

von Benjamin Schultze, 1728.

"Grammatica Telugica"

[Nachdr. der Ausg.] Madras, 1728. - Halle: Abt. Wissenschaftspubl. d. Martin-Luther-Universi*, 1984. - VI, [201] S.; (lat.) (Wissenschaftliche Beitraege / Martin-Luther-Universitaet Halle-Wittenberg; 1984,47 : I ; 28)

von Benjamin Schultze, 1745.

"Grammatica Hindostanica"

[Nachdr. d. Ausg.] Halle, 1745 / hrsg. von Burchard Brentje*. - Halle: Abt. Wissenschaftspublizistik d. Martin-Luther-Un*, 1986. -getr. Zaehlung; (lat.) (Wissenschaftliche Beitraege / Martin-Luther-Universitaet Halle-Wittenberg ; 1986,38 : I ; 37)

Johann F. Fritz u. Benjamin Schultze, 1748.

"Orientalisch- und occidentalischer Sprachmeister : welcher nicht allein hundert Alphabete nebst ihrer Aussprache ... auch das Gebet des Herrn in 200 Sprachen und Mund-Arten ... mittheilet / [Verf.: Johann F. Fritz u. Benjamin Schultze]."

Leipzig : Gessner, 1748. - [10] Bl., 219, 128 S., [9] Bl.; (polygl.) Teilw. auch Johann Heinrich Fritz als Verfasser genannt. - Spaetere Ausg. u. d.T.: Orientalisch- und occidentalisches A-B-C-Buch




First posted on the World Wide Web: March 1999. The original work was published in 1906 and subsequently reprinted by Motilal Banarsidass in 1967. Suggestions, additions and corrections to the above will be gratefully appreciated.

Seshu Madhava Rao Adluri




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