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What language is Bengali?
Bengali or Bangla language is an Indo-Aryan language with more than 234 million native speakers and 39 million additional speakers as second language speakers. It is commonly spoken in Bangladesh and West Bengal, India, along with smaller communities in other parts of India, as well as in Pakistan, Nepal, and Sri Lanka. Bengali language is the sixth most spoken native language and the seventh most spoken language by the total number of speakers in the world. It is the official, national, and most widely spoken language of Bangladesh with more than 98% of Bangladeshi using Bengali as their first language.
History of Bengali Language
The history of the Bengali language spans through several distinct periods, each contributing to its evolution and development:
- Ancient Origins (3500 B.C.): Bengali’s roots in the Indo-European language family, with influences from Indo-Aryan languages like Magadhi Prakrit and Pali.
- Old Bengali (Around 650 A.D.): Priests and scholars widely used Sanskrit in literary works, exemplified by the mystical poems of Charyapada based on Buddhism.
- Medieval Transformations (14th Century): Muslim invasions led to the Sultanate of Bengal, declaring Bengali as the official court language, with Middle Bengali emerging, influenced by Persian.
- Mughal Rule (16th-18th century): The Mughal period witnessed literary patronage, and contributions from poets like Alaol and Daulat Qazi, despite challenges from political turmoil.
- Bengal Renaissance (19th century): The cultural revival led by figures like Raja Ram Mohan Roy and Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar, revitalized literature, arts, and culture, and standardized the Bengali script.
- British Colonial Era (19th-20th century): Bengali gained prominence as a significant literary language, with Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore’s contributions.
- Partition of Bengal (1947): Linguistic implications arising from the partition, leading to the creation of East Pakistan (later Bangladesh) and West Bengal in India.
- Post-Independence (20th century onwards): Bengali became one of the official languages of Bangladesh after its independence in 1971, continuing to thrive as a vibrant and culturally rich linguistic tradition. Throughout these periods, Bengali has demonstrated resilience and adaptability, absorbing influences from various cultures while maintaining its distinct identity.
Bengali Speaking Countries
Here is a table summarizing the number of Bengali speakers in different countries:
|Bengali Speaking Countries
|United Arab Emirates
|Andaman and Nicobar Islands
Different Dialects of Bengali Language
|Khulna, Barisal, Dhaka, Mymensingh, Sylhet, Comilla Divisions (Bangladesh), Tripura (India)
|Most widely spoken dialect with a diverse range of accents and expressions
|Southern West Bengal (India), Southwestern Bangladesh
|Predominant in literary and cultural activities, distinctive intonation, and vocabulary
|Rajshahi Division, Southern Rangpur Division (Bangladesh), Malda Division (India)
|Rich in traditional folk culture, slightly distinct vocabulary and pronunciation
|Rangpur Division (Bangladesh), Jalpaiguri Division (India), Border areas of Assam and Bihar
|Influenced by local cultures, unique pronunciation, and vocabulary
|Medinipur Division, Northern half of Burdwan Division (West Bengal, India), Santhal Pargana and Kolhan Divisions (Jharkhand, India)
|Exhibits a blend of tribal and Bengali influences, distinct local vocabulary and expressions
Interesting Facts about Bengali Language
- According to a UNESCO survey, Bengali is the sweetest language in the world.
- There are no gender-specific pronouns in Bengali. It does, however, include gender-specific terms such as actor and actress, as well as mother and father.
- Bengali is the world’s seventh most spoken language.
- The Indian national anthem was originally written in Bangla.
- Bangladesh’s official language is Bengali. Bengali is the official language of the Indian states of West Bengal, Tripura, and the Barak Valley part of Assam.
- People sacrificed their lives to preserve this language.
- Sierra Leone’s official language is Bangla.
How to Learn Bengali Fast?
To learn Bengali quickly, practice with the fundamental Bengali vocabulary available on our ToolsNepal blogs. You can begin by learning the Bengali alphabet, numbers, and important words. Then move on to common phrases, create sentences, and improve your written and spoken skills. Once you’ve got the basics, you can use our Bengali translation tool, Bengali typing tool, and Bengali Keyboard for extra practice.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) – Bengali Language and Culture
What Are The People Of Bangladesh Called?
The people of Bangladesh are called Bangladeshis.
Bengali Vs Bangladeshi
Bengali is a language and culture, whereas Bangladeshi is a nationality or origin from Bangladesh.
Is Bengali And Bangla The Same Language?
Yes, Bengali and Bangla are the same language.
How Many People Speak Bengali?
More than 234 million people worldwide speak Bengali, largely in Bangladesh and the Indian state of West Bengal.
What’s The Sweetest Language In The World?
Bengali is known as the sweetest language in the world, with a beautiful and rhythmic tone.
Why Bengali Is The Sweetest Language In The World?
Bengali is the sweetest language in the world due to its phonetic qualities, musical intonation, and poetic essence.
Who Created Bengali Language?
Bengali, like many other languages, evolved throughout time and was not created by a single individual. It emerged from Magadhi Prakrit, one of the basic Prakrit varieties that arose from Sanskrit over a long period. It spontaneously evolved as a result of the societies and civilizations that employed it.
How Many Alphabets In Bengali Language?
There are 50 letters, including consonants, vowels, and modifiers in Bengali alphabet.
How Old Is Bengali Language?
Bengali Language is more than 1300 years old.
How Many Words Are There In Bengali Language?
There are more than 100,000 words in Bengali Language.