Bengali is an Indo-Aryan language spoken in South Asia. It's the official and most widely spoken language of Bangladesh and second most widely spoken of the 22 scheduled languages of India, behind Hindi. The official and de facto national language of Bangladesh is Modern Standard Bengali (Literary Bengali). It serves as the lingua franca of the nation, with 98% of Bangladeshis being fluent in Bengali (including dialects) as their first language.
Within India, Bengali is the official language of the states of West Bengal, Tripura and the Barak Valley in the state of Assam. It is also spoken in different parts of the Brahmaputra valley of Assam. It is the only language which has been an official language in Bangladesh and a state language in India (West Bengal) There are Bengali medium schools that cater to the demands of the community. Also the language is taught in various colleges and universities across Assam. It is also the most widely spoken language in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands in the Bay of Bengal. and is spoken by significant minorities in other states including Jharkhand, Bihar, Mizoram, Meghalaya, Madhya Pradesh and Odisha.
With approximately 189 million native and 208 million total speakers worldwide, Bengali is usually counted as the seventh most spoken native language in the world by population.
Dictionaries from the early 20th century attributed slightly more than half of the Bengali vocabulary to native words (i.e., naturally modified Sanskrit words, corrupted forms of Sanskrit words, and loanwords from non-Indo-European languages), about 30 percent to unmodified Sanskrit words, and the remainder to foreign words. Dominant in the last group was Persian, which was also the source of some grammatical forms. More recent studies suggest that the use of native and foreign words has been increasing, mainly because of the preference of Bengali speakers for the colloquial style.
|This article uses material from Bengali language on Wikipedia (view authors). License under CC BY-SA 3.0.|