national language of bangladesh

What Language is Spoken in Bangladesh?

(Last Updated On: April 1, 2022)

Language is Spoken in Bangladesh

Bangladesh has two official languages, but how many ones are spoken there? Bangladesh’s most significant and most commonly spoken language by far is Bengali. This Indo-Aryan language has its roots in the Maithili and Magadhi Prakrits of eastern India.

It was called Bangla in Sanskrit before being adopted as the official language of the British Raj in 1837 and eventually becoming Bangladesh’s official language after its independence from Pakistan in 1971. In 1948, the Government of Pakistan tried to impose Urdu as the sole state language in Pakistan, starting the Bengali language movement.

The full name of Bangladesh is the People’s Republic of Bangladesh, located in the northern part of the Bay of Bengal. Bangladesh is adjacent to Myanmar to the southeast, and India is adjacent to the east, west, and north. The official language, Bengali, is spoken by most people. Still, there are many indigenous languages, as well as some immigrant and foreign languages, spoken in various parts of the nation.

Sylhetis speak Sylheti, which is widely regarded as a dialect of Bengali, but some people believe it as a separate language. There are currently 50 indigenous communities enlisted by the Ministry of Cultural Affairs. While most linguists regard Sylheti as a different language, it serves as the diglossic vernacular for many native speakers, with standard Bengali as the codified lect.

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About Bangladesh

The abbreviation of Bangladesh is bd, the English are Bangladesh, and its capital is Dhaka, which is the largest city in Bangladesh and one of the major cities in South Asia. Bangladesh has a subtropical monsoon climate, which is characterized by hot, humid, and rainy weather, easy flooding in the rainy season, and hurricane weather. Therefore, Bangladesh has developed rivers and tributaries criss-cross.

Sylheti is spoken by the Sylheti people inhabiting Bangladesh’s Sylhet Division. Due to the British colonization of the country, English is also a widely spoken and commonly understood language in Bangladesh. Bengali vocabulary includes Magadhi Prakrit and Pali vocabulary, tatsamas and reborrowings from Sanskrit, and other critical borrowings from Persian, Arabic Austroasiatic languages, and other languages in touch. Although the language belongs to the Indo-Aryan family, its lexicon is affected by languages from the Austroasiatic, Dravidian, and Tibeto-Burman languages.

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The National Language of Bangladesh

Bengali (also known as Bangla) is spoken by around 90% of people living in Bangladesh. It’s also one of 23 official languages recognized by their constitution and one of two official languages used by their armed forces. However, Bengali has its origins outside of present-day Bangladesh. It was initially a regional language spoken mainly in eastern India before it spread across modern-day Bangladeshi territory. In the 16th century, Portuguese missionaries began a tradition of using the Roman alphabet to transcribe the Bengali language.

Other Languages Spoken in Bangladesh

With more than 130 distinct ethnic groups, it’s not surprising that many different languages are spoken in Bangladesh. While Bangla (Bengali) is considered one of two official languages, along with English, it may still be necessary to learn another language (s) when visiting—including Assamese, Bihari, Chittagonian, Gurmukhi, and Mizo.

Essential Facts About the Bengali Dialects

Bengali is an Indo-Aryan language native to India. In some countries outside of India, it is also known as Bangla. The Bengali dialects have their roots in Magadhi Prakrit and influence Maithili and Marathi languages. Most native speakers are found in Bangladesh and West Bengal. Other dialects can be found mostly in different parts of South Asia. During the colonial period, laws were written in English. The national anthems of both Bangladesh and India were composed in Bengali.

Other Languages Used in Education

While English is used as a lingua franca throughout government and business, it’s also used alongside regional languages as a language of instruction in school settings. These regional languages include Bengali, Urdu, Sanskrit, and several others. The use of these local languages allows for greater cultural integration between students and teachers. Sauria Paharia and Kurukh are two Dravidian languages spoken by indigenous people in western Bangladesh.

The Alphabet Used by Bangla and its Variants

The Bengali alphabet, used by both Bangladeshi and Indian Bengalis, has 46 characters. Unlike other Indian languages, it does not have a letter for each phoneme (letter) in speech; instead, most consonants are represented by multiple letters—six to be exact.

The Bengali script is a cursive script with 12 vowels and 52 consonants. This means that learning how to read Bangla doesn’t require memorizing as many letters or sounds as other languages do.  Groups of the Bengali–Assamese languages, Bihari languages, and the Odia language. However, there are still some tricky aspects of pronunciation that can throw off learners who aren’t familiar with South Asian dialects.

The script is known as the Bengali alphabet for Bengali and its dialects and the Assamese alphabet Assamese language with some minor variations. The indigenous people of northern and southeastern Bangladesh speak various native languages.  The Evolution of Bangla Bangla belongs to the easternmost branch, called Aryan or Indo-Iranian, of the Indo-European family of languages. Hindi is treated as an independent language or as part of a combination (Hindi and Urdu).

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The Aryan Languages Spoken In Bangladesh

The Aryan languages are spoken mainly in the lowlands of Bangladesh. Also, a significant language of Meghalaya, India Pnar: spoken in Sylhet division War: spoken in Sylhet Division Santali: spoken in Rajshahi and Rangpur divisions. The Bengali language is also an Aryan language and the most widely spoken language of this class. In extension, they are both members of the Indo-Aryan linguistic family. There are several other Eastern Indic languages spoken here, which might be treated as dialects of Bengali or as separate languages themselves. These regional dialects are often dependent on where they are used.

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Dialects of the same language and literary languages.

Bishnupriya

The Aryan language is spoken in some parts of northeastern India, Burma, and Bangladesh. It is spoken in the Sylhet region of Bangladesh. Bishnupriya is written with the Bengali alphabet.

Chakma

The Chakma language is spoken by Chakma and the Daingnet people. About 310,000 Bangladeshis live near Chittagong City of southeastern Bangladesh, and 300,000 people living in northeastern India talk about this language. The languages use the Chakma script for writing.

Chittagonian

The Chittagonian language is spoken widely in the southeast of Bangladesh, especially in Chittagong. Although the Bengali and

Chittagonian is not mutually intelligible; the latter is often treated as a nonstandard dialect of the former. Chittagonian is spoken by about 13 million people in Bangladesh.

Hajong

The Hajong language is spoken in parts of northeastern India and the Mymensingh District of Bangladesh. The language is written in Latin and the Assamese script.

Rohingya

Rohingya is the dominant language spoken in the Arakan State of Burma but is also spoken by refugees from Burma in Bangladesh. It is regarded as one of the leading immigrant languages of Bangladesh.

Sylheti

Sylheti is spoken by the Sylheti people inhabiting Bangladesh’s Sylhet Division. This language is also spoken in parts of northeastern India. Some consider the language a dialect of Bengali, while others treat it as a distinct language since they lack mutual intelligibility. However, the languages share about 80% of the vocabulary. Most Sylhetis can also speak Bengali.

Tangchangya

Closely related to Bengali, this language is spoken by the Tanchangya people.

Rangpuri

The Rangpuri language is spoken by about 10 million Rajbongshi people in Bangladesh. Many of these people are bilingual and also speak either Bengali or Assamese.

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Religion

Most of the people of Bangladesh follow the religion of Islam, which was made the official religion by a 1988 constitutional amendment. The Arabic language is taught as a religious language in mosques, schools, colleges, universities, and madrassahs, as well as in traditional Bengali Muslim households.

The arrival of Muslims in Bengal at the beginning of the 13th century and the rapid increase in their strength and influence permanently changed the character and culture of the area. When the Muslims first arrived, Hinduism was the dominant religion, although there were pockets of Buddhists and a few adherents of local religions. The Hindus remained in the majority through the Mughal period (16th to 18th century).

Know this: Do people in Assam know Hindi?

Even as late as the early 1870s, more than 18 million Hindus in Bengal, compared with about 16 million Muslims. From the 1890s onward, however, the weight began to shift toward the Muslims. There were several reasons for the increase in the proportion of the Muslim population.

FAQs

How many languages are spoken in Bangladesh?

There are about 39 languages spoken across Bangladesh.

Is Bangladesh an Arab country?

No, Bangladesh is not an Arab country. It is just a Muslim country.

What is the 2nd language of Bangladesh?

English is the 2nd language widely used in the country.

Is Hindi used in Bangladesh?

Bangladeshis speak Bangla / Bengali, not Hindi; however, because Bengali and Hindi are so closely related, most Bangladeshis can understand the meaning of numerous Hindi words.

Is Bengali Hindu Language?

Bengali and Hindi are common languages that share the same linguistic family. They are also used as official languages in India.  In terms of statistics and rankings, Hindi remains one step ahead of Bengali.

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