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Bangla is the national language of Bangladesh and the official language of the state of West Bengal in India. Bangla is the easternmost of the Indo-European languages and has its roots in Pali, the local speech of Bengal. With Arabic, Urdu and Persian words Bangla has a close semblance to Hindi, with variations in pronunciation.  It is the state language of Bangladesh and one of the languages officially recognized in the constitution of India.


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The Bengali alphabet is derived from the Brahmi alphabet. It is also closely related to the Devanagari alphabet, from which it started to diverge in the 11th Century CE. The current printed form of Bengali alphabet first appeared in 1778 when Charles Wilkins developed printing in Bengali. A few archaic letters were modernized during the 19th century.


Bengali has two literary styles: one is called Sadhubhasa (elegant language) and the other Chaltibhasa (current language). The former is the traditional literary style based on Middle Bengali of the sixteenth century, while the later is a 20th century creation and is based on the speech of educated people in Calcutta. The differences between the two styles are not huge and involve mainly forms of pronouns and verb conjugations. Some people prefer to call this alphabet the Eastern Nagari script or Eastern Neo-Brahmic script.



1. The Sadhubhasa (elegant or genteel speech) and

2. The Chaltibhasa (current or colloquial speech).


Official status

1. Bangladesh,

2. India (West Bengal, Tripura and Barak Valley) (comprising districts of south Assam- Cachar, Karimganj and Hailakandi).


Number of speakers

It is spoken by more than 210 million people as a first or second language, with some 100 million Bengali speakers in Bangladesh; about 85 million in India, primarily in the states of West Bengal, Assam, and Tripura; and sizable immigrant communities in the United Kingdom, the United States, and the Middle East.


Regulatory Body

1. Bangla Academy(Bangladesh)

2. Paschimbanga Bangla Akademi(West Bengal).


Other regions

Other countries where this language is being spoken are Canada, India, Malawi, Nepal, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United States. Bengali has been proclaimed as the International Mother Language Day by UNESCO on 17 November 1999.




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