using the Kannada script is ranked as the 29th most spoken and the 3rd oldest language in the world after
Sanskrit and Tamil. It is one of the major Dravidian (of southern India) languages, spoken by 64 million
speakers across the globe in its 20 odd various dialects. There are 55 million of them, who claim Kannada
as their first language, or the mother tongue.
Kannada, one of the official languages, listed in the constitution of the Republic of India is at the same
time the state language of Karnataka, one of India's four southern or Dravidian language states.
King Nripatunga Amoghavarsha I (850 CE), author of Kavirajamarga, the earliest existing literary work of
Kannada poetry refers to the entire area between the Kaveri and Godavari Rivers as Kannada country,
implying the language was popular further north in present day Maharashtra. Even today, Kannada, besides
Karnataka is also spoken in the neighbouring states of Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, and Kerala
and to a certain extent in Goa too, but it is however, certainly not the language of Canada (official
language English and French), which many often mistake with.