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What Languages Are Spoken In Bangladesh?

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Ever wondered what languages are spoken in Bangladesh? If you think it’s only Bengali, you’re in for a surprise! In this blog post, we delve into the rich linguistic tapestry of Bangladesh, exploring everything from its official language to various dialects and ethnic minority languages.

Intrigued? Let’s unravel the mystery together!

Key Takeaways

  • Bengali, also known as Bangla, is the main language spoken in Bangladesh and is used by around 98% of the population as their first language.
  • English is widely spoken and taught in schools in Bangladesh, serving as a significant part of daily life and providing access to global communication and opportunities.
  • In addition to Bengali and English, other major languages spoken in Bangladesh include Chakma, Rohingya, Sylheti, and many more that contribute to the country’s linguistic diversity.
  • Ethnic minority languages like Noakhailla, Ao Bengali, Telugu, and Assamese are also present in Bangladesh’s linguistic landscape.

Official Languages of Bangladesh

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The official languages of Bangladesh are Bengali/Bangla and English.

Indigenous languages in Bangladesh

Bengali/Bangla

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Bengali, or Bangla, is the main language in Bangladesh. Many people in the country speak this language. About 98% of them use it as their first language. The law of the country calls Bengali the official language.

Not only in Bangladesh, but some people in India also speak this same language. About 7% of Indians can talk and understand Bengali.

English

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Even though English is not an official language of Bangladesh, many people speak it there. They use it often in their day-to-day life. A lot of schools teach kids this language and they learn to read and write in English too.

Many jobs also need you to know English well.

Not just that, but books, movies, songs – all come in English too. So even if the law does not say it’s official, English is a big part of life for many in Bangladesh! It opens doors to the world outside and helps them connect with more people around the globe.

Other Major Languages Spoken in Bangladesh

A diverse group of people representing different languages in Bangladesh stand in front of a multilingual signboard.

Alongside Bengali and English, there are several other major languages spoken in Bangladesh, including Bishnupriya, Chakma, Chittagonian, Hajong, Rohingya, Sylheti, Tangchangya, and Rangpuri.

Languages of Bangladesh

Bishnupriya

A group of Bishnupriya people participate in a traditional dance, showcasing diverse faces, hairstyles, and outfits.

Bishnupriya is a key language in Bangladesh. This speech of the Bishnupriya people is not a Bengali tongue. In fact, it holds marks from Tibeto-Burman languages. It’s found not only in Bangladesh but also parts of Assam, Tripura and Manipur.

The script used for this dialect links to Bengali-Assamese writings. While they use their own words at home, Bangla or Bengali becomes the go-to language for school and faith-based talks.

Chakma

A detailed portrait of a Chakma woman showcasing her traditional clothing and vibrant surroundings.

The Chakma tribe is the largest indigenous population in Bangladesh. They speak a dialect of Bengali (Bangla) and use the standard Bengali alphabet. The Chakma language is considered an Indo-Aryan language and is spoken by an estimated 700,000 people.

The Chakma people follow Theravada Buddhism as their religion. It’s important to acknowledge the Chakma language and other indigenous languages in Bangladesh in the country’s existing language policy.

Chittagonian

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Chittagonian is a language spoken in the Chittagong Hill districts of Bangladesh. It shares similarities with other languages in the region, such as Tanchangya and Arakanese. Interestingly, Rohingya, another language spoken in Bangladesh, is associated with Chittagonian as well.

In fact, Chittagonian has connections to Burmese, Rakhine, Bangla, Urdu, and English. So if you’re ever in the Chittagong region of Bangladesh, you might come across people speaking this unique and diverse language!

Hajong

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Hajong is one of the major languages spoken in Bangladesh. The Hajong language is a combination of Assamese and Bengali. The Hajong people mainly speak Bangla, which is the official language of Bangladesh.

Rohingya

A vibrant traditional Rohingya wedding feast with colorful decorations, different faces, hairstyles, and outfits.

The Rohingya language is spoken by the Rohingya people, an ethnic minority in Bangladesh. It is not mutually intelligible with Bangla, the official language of Bangladesh. The Rohingya language belongs to the Eastern Indo-Aryan branch and shares similarities with Chittagonian, a language spoken in neighboring areas.

It has roots in Sanskrit and Pali, which are ancient South Asian languages. In addition to their native tongue, many Rohingyas also speak English and Burmese. Some argue that Rohingya children should focus on learning Burmese instead of Bangla.

Sylheti

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Sylheti is a language spoken by around 11 million people in the Sylhet Division of Bangladesh and the Barak Valley of Assam. It is closely associated with regional culture and identity, as well as an ethnic Bengali identity.

However, despite its significant number of speakers, Sylheti is unrecognized both in Bangladesh and India, with official recognition limited to only the Sylhet division. Nevertheless, there is an evident interest in preserving and understanding the language, demonstrated through searches related to translation, learning, and its alphabet.

Tangchangya

Tangchangya is one of the indigenous languages spoken in the Chittagong Hill Tracts region of Bangladesh. It is associated with an ethnic group that resides in present-day Bangladesh and is also spoken by this community.

The Tangchangya language has its own unique characteristics and plays a significant role in preserving the cultural identity of the people who speak it. Being one of the many languages spoken in Bangladesh, Tangchangya adds to the linguistic diversity of the country and showcases the rich heritage of its indigenous communities.

Rangpuri

Rangpuri is an eastern Indo-Aryan language spoken in the northern region of Bangladesh called the Rangpur Division. It is closely related to the Varendri dialect and belongs to the Bengali-Assamese branch.

Rangpuri is also spoken by people in northern West Bengal and western Goalpara of Assam in India.

Ethnic Minority Languages of Bangladesh

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Ethnic Minority Languages of Bangladesh include Noakhailla, Ao Bengali, Telugu, and Assamese.

Learn Bengali Speaking Through English | Bangladesh language | Bangla Personal Pronouns | Words

Noakhailla

Noakhailla is a dialect of Bengali spoken by around 7 million people in the Greater Noakhali region of Bangladesh. It is considered an ethnic minority language in the country. Bangladesh has a total of 44 indigenous languages, and Noakhailla is one of them.

However, out of the 42 established languages in Bangladesh, Noakhailla falls under the category of ethnic minority languages. Various socio-political and cultural factors have contributed to the decline and extinction of indigenous languages in Bangladesh, including Noakhailla.

Ao Bengali

Ao Bengali is one of the ethnic minority languages spoken in Bangladesh. It is primarily used by the Ao people, who are a small community residing in certain parts of the country. Although it is not as widely spoken as Bengali, it holds cultural and historical significance for the Ao community.

This language helps them preserve their unique identity and traditions within the diverse linguistic landscape of Bangladesh.

Telugu

Telugu is a significant language spoken in Bangladesh, particularly by a marginalized community. While it is not one of the official languages of the country, Telugu holds importance as an ethnic minority language.

In terms of linguistic groups in India, Telugu ranks third after Hindi and Bangla. This presence of Telugu among the ethnic minority languages showcases the diverse range of languages spoken in Bangladesh, highlighting its linguistic richness and cultural diversity.

Assamese

Assamese is one of the ethnic minority languages spoken in Bangladesh. It is spoken by a small percentage of the population, with around 5,000 Assamese speakers in the country. Assamese is part of the Indo-Aryan language family and has some similarities to other indigenous ethnic minority languages in Bangladesh.

Overall, while not widely spoken, Assamese still contributes to the linguistic diversity of Bangladesh.

The Aryan Languages Spoken in Bangladesh

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– Sylheti is an Indo-Aryan language spoken by around 11 million people in the Sylhet Division, Barak Valley, and Hojai region of Bangladesh.

– It is one of the Aryan languages that are also spoken in parts of northeastern India and Burma.

– The Sylheti language has its own unique features and dialects within different regions of Bangladesh.

– Apart from Sylheti, other Aryan languages are also spoken in some parts of Bangladesh but on a smaller scale.

Influence of Religion on Languages in Bangladesh

A stack of Bengali books with an open Quran on top in a bustling atmosphere.Islam has a significant influence on the languages spoken in Bangladesh. As the majority of the population in Bangladesh follows Islam, it has shaped the linguistic landscape of the country.

Bengali, which is the official language of Bangladesh, reflects this Islamic influence. The language contains loanwords from Arabic and Persian, which are languages associated with Islam.

These loanwords have become an integral part of Bengali vocabulary and contribute to its rich cultural heritage. Additionally, many religious texts and teachings are also written in Bengali, further solidifying its connection to Islam in Bangladesh.

Dialects of Bengali

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In Bangladesh, Bengali has various dialects that are spoken by different communities. Here are some of the dialects of Bengali:

  • Eastern Bangali: This is the most widely spoken dialect of Bengali in Bangladesh. It is influenced by the dialect spoken in the capital city, Dhaka.
  • Rajbangsi: This dialect is closely related to Western Bengali dialects and is mainly spoken in the northern regions of Bangladesh.
  • Kharia Thar: Another dialect closely related to Western Bengali, it is primarily spoken by indigenous communities in rural areas.
  • Mal Paharia: This dialect is spoken by the Paharia community in the hilly regions of Chittagong.

Other Languages Used in Education

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In addition to BengaliArabic, and English, other languages used in education in Bangladesh include:

  • Hindi
  • Indigenous ethnic group languages

Significance of the Bengali Language

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Bengali language holds great significance in Bangladesh and beyond. It is the official language of Bangladeshspoken by around 98% of its population as their first language. Bengali is also spoken in Indian states like West Bengal, Assam, and Tripura.

With over 100,000 unique words, Bengali has a rich vocabulary that reflects its cultural heritage. It is the second-largest spoken language in India and one of the official languages there, with 7.1% of Indians speaking it as their first language.

The significance of Bengali extends beyond just being a widely spoken language. It has a strong presence in literature, music, art, and films produced in both Bangladesh and India.

Many renowned poets, writers, and artists have contributed to shaping the identity of Bengali culture through their works.

Moreover, Bengali acts as a unifying force among different regions within Bangladesh itself. Despite dialectical variations across different parts of the country, all speakers can understand and communicate with each other using standard Bengali.

Overall,’s importance cannot be understated; it serves as an integral part of Bangladeshi national identity while also fostering cultural exchanges between nations sharing this vibrant linguistic heritage

Conclusion

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In conclusion, Bangladesh is a diverse country with multiple languages spoken. While Bengali is the official and most widely spoken language, there are also other major languages like Chakma, Rohingya, and Sylheti.

Additionally, ethnic minority languages such as Noakhailla and Telugu contribute to the linguistic diversity of Bangladesh. The cultural richness derived from these various languages highlights the country’s vibrant heritage and emphasizes the importance of preserving linguistic diversity.

FAQs

1. What is the main language spoken in Bangladesh?

The main language spoken in Bangladesh is Bengali.

2. Are other languages spoken in Bangladesh?

Yes, besides Bengali, there are also several minority languages that people speak.

3. Can everyone in Bangladesh speak Bengali?

Most people in Bangladesh do speak Bengali, but some may use different local languages too.

4. Is English a language used in Bangladesh?

Yes, English is often used for business and official work in Bangladesh.

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