The official and national language of Bangladesh is Bengali or Bangla, which is also the language spoken by the majority of the country’s inhabitants.

Bengali is the world’s seventh most spoken native language which belongs to the Indo-Aryan language family. Its vocabulary is also influenced by languages from the Austroasiatic, Dravidian and the Tibeto-Burman families of languages. Bengali acts as a force of binding between the separated Bengali communities living in Bangladesh and India. The national anthems of India and Bangladesh are both composed in Bengali. 98% of Bangladeshis in Bangladesh speak Standard Bengali or one of the many Bengali dialects as their first language.

Aside from Bengali, which is the de facto language of the country, Bangladesh also has several indigenous languages spoken by the different indigenous groups living in the country.

The Aryan languages spoken in Bangladesh can be heard mainly in the lowlands of Bangladesh. The Bengali language is also an Aryan language and it’s the most widely spoken language from this group of languages in the country. Several other Eastern Indic languages spoken here might be treated as dialects of Bengali or as separate languages. These include: Bishnupriya, Chakma, Chittagonian, Hajong, Rohingya, Sylheti, Tangchangya, Rangpuri, Assamese, Oraon Sadri, and Bihari.

The Non-Aryan languages spoken in Bangladesh are grouped into Austroasiatic languages of Bangladesh, which include Khasi, Koda, Mundari, Pnar, Santali and War-Jaintia. Next are the Dravidian languages spoken in Bangladesh by the indigenous communities living in the western parts of Bangladesh and which include Kurukh and Paharia/Malto. Tibeto-Burman languages in Bangladesh are spoken by the communities that live in the eastern, northern and southeastern parts of the country and include the Chak, A’Tong, Koch, Garo, Megam, Pangkhua, Tripuri languages, Chin languages, Rakhine/Marma, Mru, and others.

Immigrant languages spoken in Bangladesh include the Bihari, Burmese and Rohingya, which are treated as the main immigrant languages in the country. Bihari is primarily spoken by the Muslim refugee community from India’s Bihar state, while refugees from Burma speak Burmese and Rohingya.

Despite the fact that English does not have an official status in Bangladesh, this language is often used in government affairs, courts, educational institutions, business, and media, and it enjoys a fairly popular status in Bangladesh, especially among the youth of the nation. There is high demand for English education in Bangladesh particularly since it is considered that the knowledge of English language broadens the scope of employment opportunities available to young people.


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