Apparently, two characters have been added to unicode:

LLLA ழ & RRA ற

From what I can tell the Tamil are up in arms & the Telugu are just as equally upset.

@macblaze2020 wrote the following comment on twitter:

We 80 million Tamil People object to this change.
LLLA ழ & RRA ற are Tamil characters.
Please do NOT impose on 85 million Telugu people,
just for a handful of people to write a few religious texts!

What's going on here?

  • 1
    I can't comment on the social aspects, but the relevant Unicode proposal seems to be this one: unicode.org/L2/L2020/20119-two-telugu-letters.pdf Commented May 5, 2020 at 14:13
  • 1
    I’m asking what the anger is about. It seems Tamil and Telugu people are both quite upset about this.
    – Mou某
    Commented May 5, 2020 at 14:30
  • 1
    I’m voting to close this question because it is not about linguistics at all. Maybe politics? Commented May 5, 2020 at 15:18
  • 3
    Politics and linguistics are, unfortunately, sometimes inseparable.
    – Mou某
    Commented May 5, 2020 at 15:38
  • 1
    But still, I see no linguistic question here. Commented May 5, 2020 at 16:22

2 Answers 2


The premise that one can extrapolate from a tweet or two to a generalization about beliefs of about 150 million speakers of two languages needs support. But supposing there is a significant opposition, to the extent that one can learn anything by observations of social media chatter on the topic (thank heavens Google can handle Tamil and Telugu), this seems to reduce to misconceptions about language -- that some fancy committee with a bunch of computer science PhDs has decided to impose a change the language (Telugu), or possibly "dilute" Tamil. Linguists know better, but still many people get upset over little things that have some marginal bearing on language. For the most part, the principle for language is "don't change anything!". There seems to be some inter-ethnic tension there, and this is a convenient excuse to express yourself vehemently.


This article in The Hindu talks about the issues:

Touching upon the transcribing of Tamil in Telugu script, an excerpt from the 14-page proposal reads, “Both these problems were resolved by the wholesale importation of these two Tamil consonants and simply treating them as if they were Telugu consonants. Using this hybrid orthography, the original Tamil phonetic realisation of the source text was appropriately preserved in the Telugu script without any loss.”

However, the proposal has ruffled feathers among both the Telugu and Tamil-speaking people. Several twitter handles opposed the move, stating that these characters must not be ‘imposed’ on Telugu-speaking people.

In Hyderabad, Prof Vasudev Varma from International Institute of Information Technology – Hyderabad, whose research areas include semantic search, and has been working on Telugu in cyberspace, said, “a controversial proposal. Wish such proposals discussed widely involving all stake holders. Speakers of both languages seem unhappy.”

Veeven, a Telugu technology enthusiast, who has developed Telugu digital tools, opined that on several occasions in the past Telugu characters have been encoded. The proposal mentions this, he added.

Mr Rajan, however, pointed out that the proposal to add the two characters was to only preserve religious texts digitally. He maintained that the Telugu equivalents of these characters were either not well known or were out of use for centuries.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.