Bengali language

Bengali (/bɛŋˈɡɔːli/),[7] also known by its endonym Bangla (UK: /ˈbʌŋlə/; বাংলা), is an Indo-Aryan language primarily spoken by the Bengalis in South Asia. It is 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).[8][9][10][11] It serves as the lingua franca of the nation, with 98% of Bangladeshis being fluent in Bengali (including dialects) as their first language.[12][13] 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 also the most widely spoken language in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands in the Bay of Bengal,[14] and is spoken by significant minorities in other states including Jharkhand, Bihar, Mizoram, Meghalaya, and Odisha. With approximately 250–300 million total speakers worldwide,[15] Bengali is usually counted as the sixth most spoken native language in the world by population.[16][17]

Dictionaries from the early 20th century attributed about to 50% of the Bengali vocabulary to native words (i.e., naturally modified Prakrit words, corrupted forms of Aryan words, and Native Austro-Asiatic e.g. Munda, Dravidian words (non-Indo-European native languages), about 7% percent of Bengali words are unmodified Sanskrit, and the remainders are from to Persian, Arabic, Turkish, English, Portuguese, French etc. language.[18] 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.[18]

Bengali literature, with its millennium-old history and folk heritage, has extensively developed since the Bengali renaissance and is one of the most prominent and diverse literary traditions in Asia. In 1999, UNESCO recognized 21 February as International Mother Language Day in recognition of the language movement in East Bengal (now Bangladesh). Language is an important element of Bengali identity and binds together a culturally diverse region.

Bengali
Bangla
বাংলা
বাংলা
"Bangla" in Bengali script
Pronunciation[ˈbaŋla] (listen)
Native toBangladesh and India
RegionBengal
EthnicityBengalis
Native speakers
261 million
Bangladesh: 163m[1]
India: 98m[2] Nepal:13,000 [3][4]
Early forms
Abahattha
  • Old Bengali
Dialects
Bengali alphabet
Bengali Braille
Bengali signed forms[5]
Official status
Official language in
 Bangladesh
 India (in West Bengal, Tripura and Assam's Barak Valley)
Regulated byBangla Academy
Paschimbanga Bangla Akademi
Language codes
ISO 639-1bn
ISO 639-2ben
ISO 639-3ben
Glottologbeng1280[6]
Bengalispeaking region
Bengali-speaking region of South Asia
A series of picture stories narrated in Bengali

History

Coin - Silver - Circa 9-10th Century 13th Century CE - Harikela Kingdom - ACCN 90-C2752 - Indian Museum - Kolkata 2014-04-04 4303
Silver coin with proto-Bengali script, Harikela Kingdom, circa 9th-13th century

Ancient language of Bengal

Sanskrit was practiced by the priests in Bengal since the first millennium BCE. But, the local people were speaking in some varieties of Prakrita languages. Dr. Suniti Kumar Chatterjee coined it as "eastern variety of Magdhi Prakrita". But, Dr. Muhammad Shahidullah argued that the language spoken by the then Bengalis was distinct from Magdhi Prakrit. He named it "Purbo Magdhi Prakrita" and explained that it included more non-Indo-Aryan vocabulary. Humayun Azad suggested that Purbo Magdhi Prakrita (defined by Shahidullah) had substantial Dravidian and Austro-Asiatic words. During the Gupta Empire, Bengal was a hub of Sanskrit literature.[19] The Middle Indo-Aryan dialects were influential in Bengal in the first millennium when the region was a part of the Magadha Realm. These dialects were called Magadhi Prakrit spoken in current Bihar state of India. Purbo Magdhi was close to but distinct from Magdhi Prakrita. The Magdhi Prakrita eventually evolved into Ardha Magadhi and become more distinct from the languages of Bengal day by day.[20][21] Ardha Magadhi began to give way to what are called Apabhraṃśa languages at the end of the first millennium. Then Bengali language evolved a as distinct language by the course of time.[22]

Emergence of Bengali

Along with other Eastern Indo-Aryan languages, Bengali evolved circa 1000–1200 CE from Sanskrit and Magadhi Prakrit.[23] The local Apabhraṃśa of the eastern subcontinent, Purbi Apabhraṃśa or Abahatta ("Meaningless Sounds"), eventually evolved into regional dialects, which in turn formed three groups of the Bengali–Assamese languages, the Bihari languages, and the Odia language. Some argue that the points of divergence occurred much earlier – going back to even 500,[24] but the language was not static: different varieties coexisted and authors often wrote in multiple dialects in this period. For example, Ardhamagadhi is believed to have evolved into Abahatta around the 6th century, which competed with the ancestor of Bengali for some time.[25] Proto-Bengali was the language of the Pala Empire and the Sena dynasty.[26][27]

Middle Bengali

Silver coin of Danujamarddana
Silver Taka from the Sultanate of Bengal, circa 1417

During the medieval period, Middle Bengali was characterized by the elision of word-final ô, the spread of compound verbs and Arabic and Persian influences. Bengali was an official court language of the Sultanate of Bengal. Muslim rulers promoted the literary development of Bengali.[28] Bengali became the most spoken vernacular language in the Sultanate.[29] This period saw borrowing of Perso-Arabic terms into Bengali vocabulary. Major texts of Middle Bengali (1400–1800) include Chandidas' Shreekrishna Kirtana.

Modern Bengali

Language Martyr's Memorial at Silchar Railway Station in Assam, India.

The modern literary form of Bengali was developed during the 19th and early 20th centuries based on the dialect spoken in the Nadia region, a west-central Bengali dialect. Bengali presents a strong case of diglossia, with the literary and standard form differing greatly from the colloquial speech of the regions that identify with the language.[30] The modern Bengali vocabulary contains the vocabulary base from Magadhi Prakrit and Pali, also tatsamas and reborrowings from Sanskrit and other major borrowings from Persian, Arabic, Austroasiatic languages and other languages in contact with.

During this period, the

  • চলিতভাষা Chôlitôbhasha form of Bengali using simplified inflections and other changes, was emerging from
  • সাধুভাষা Sadhubhasha (Proper form or original form of Bengali) as the form of choice for written Bengali.[31]

In 1948 the Government of Pakistan tried to impose Urdu as the sole state language in Pakistan, starting the Bengali language movement.[32] The Bengali Language Movement was a popular ethno-linguistic movement in the former East Bengal (today Bangladesh), which was a result of the strong linguistic consciousness of the Bengalis to gain and protect spoken and written Bengali's recognition as a state language of the then Dominion of Pakistan. On the day of 21 February 1952 five students and political activists were killed during protests near the campus of the University of Dhaka. In 1956 Bengali was made a state language of Pakistan.[32] The day has since been observed as Language Movement Day in Bangladesh and is also commemorated as International Mother Language Day by UNESCO every year since 2000.

In 2010, the parliament of Bangladesh and the legislative assembly of West Bengal proposed that Bengali be made an official UN language,[33] though no further action was taken on this matter.

Geographical distribution

Approximate distribution of native Bengali speakers (assuming a rounded total of 261 million) worldwide.

  Bangladesh (61.3%)
  India (37.2%)
  Other (1.5%)

Bengali language is native to the region of Bengal, which comprises Indian states of West Bengal and the present-day nation of Bangladesh.

Brick Lane - London
A Bengali sign in Brick Lane in London, which is home to a large Bengali diaspora

Besides the native region it is also spoken by the Bengalis living in Tripura, southern Assam and the Bengali population in the Indian union territory of Andaman and Nicobar Islands. Bengali is also spoken in the neighboring states of Odisha, Bihar, and Jharkhand, and sizable minorities of Bengali speakers reside in Indian cities outside Bengal, including Delhi, Mumbai, Varanasi, and Vrindavan. There are also significant Bengali-speaking communities in the Middle East,[34][35][36] the United States,[37] Singapore,[38] Malaysia, Australia, Canada, the United Kingdom, and Italy.

Official status

Bengali is national and official language of Bangladesh, and one of the 23 official languages in India.[39] It is the official language of the Indian states of West Bengal, Tripura and in Barak Valley of Assam.[40][41] Bengali is a second official language of the Indian state of Jharkhand since September 2011. It is also a recognized secondary language in the City of Karachi in Pakistan.[42][43][44] The Department of Bengali in the University of Karachi also offers regular programs of studies at the Bachelors and at the Masters levels for Bengali Literature.[45]

The national anthems of both Bangladesh (Amar Sonar Bangla) and India (Jana Gana Mana) were written in Bengali by the Bengali Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore.[46] Additionally, the first two verses of Vande Mataram, a patriotic song written in Bengali by Bankim Chandra Chatterjee, was adopted as the "national song" of India in both the colonial period and later in 1950 in independent India. Furthermore, it is believed by many that the national anthem of Sri Lanka (Sri Lanka Matha) was inspired by a Bengali poem written by Rabindranath Tagore,[47][48][49][50] while some even believe the anthem was originally written in Bengali and then translated into Sinhalese.[51][52][53][54]

In 2009, elected representatives in both Bangladesh and West Bengal called for Bengali language to be made an official language of the United Nations.[55]

Dialects

Regional variation in spoken Bengali constitutes a dialect continuum. Linguist Suniti Kumar Chattopadhyay grouped these dialects into four large clusters – Rarh, Banga, Kamarupa and Varendra;[56] but many alternative grouping schemes have also been proposed.[57] The south-western dialects (Rarhi or Nadia dialect) form the basis of modern standard colloquial Bengali. In the dialects prevalent in much of eastern and south-eastern Bangladesh (Barisal, Chittagong, Dhaka and Sylhet Divisions of Bangladesh), many of the stops and affricates heard in West Bengal are pronounced as fricatives. Western alveolo-palatal affricates [tɕɔ], [tɕʰɔ], [dʑɔ] correspond to eastern [tsɔ], [tsʰɔ~sɔ], [dzɔ~zɔ]. The influence of Tibeto-Burman languages on the phonology of Eastern Bengali is seen through the lack of nasalized vowels and an alveolar articulation of what are categorised as the "cerebral" consonants (as opposed to the postalveolar articulation of West Bengal). Some variants of Bengali, particularly Chittagonian and Chakma, have contrastive tone; differences in the pitch of the speaker's voice can distinguish words. Rangpuri, Kharia Thar and Mal Paharia are closely related to Western Bengali dialects, but are typically classified as separate languages. Similarly, Hajong is considered a separate language, although it shares similarities to Northern Bengali dialects.[58]

During the standardization of Bengali in the 19th century and early 20th century, the cultural center of Bengal was in the city of Kolkata, founded by the British. What is accepted as the standard form today in both West Bengal and Bangladesh is based on the West-Central dialect of Nadia District, located next to the border of Bangladesh.[59] There are cases where speakers of Standard Bengali in West Bengal will use a different word from a speaker of Standard Bengali in Bangladesh, even though both words are of native Bengali descent. For example, the word salt is নুন nun in the west which corresponds to লবণ lôbôn in the east.[60]

Spoken and literary varieties

Bengali exhibits diglossia, though some scholars have proposed triglossia or even n-glossia or heteroglossia between the written and spoken forms of the language.[30] Two styles of writing have emerged, involving somewhat different vocabularies and syntax:[59][61]

  1. Shadhu-bhasha (সাধুভাষা "upright language") was the written language, with longer verb inflections and more of a Pali and Sanskrit-derived Tatsama vocabulary. Songs such as India's national anthem Jana Gana Mana (by Rabindranath Tagore) were composed in Shadhubhasha. However, use of Shadhubhasha in modern writing is uncommon, restricted to some official signs and documents in Bangladesh as well as for achieving particular literary effects.
  2. Cholito-bhasha (চলিতভাষা "running language"), known by linguists as Standard Colloquial Bengali, is a written Bengali style exhibiting a preponderance of colloquial idiom and shortened verb forms, and is the standard for written Bengali now. This form came into vogue towards the turn of the 19th century, promoted by the writings of Peary Chand Mitra (Alaler Gharer Dulal, 1857),[62] Pramatha Chaudhuri (Sabujpatra, 1914) and in the later writings of Rabindranath Tagore. It is modeled on the dialect spoken in the Shantipur region in Nadia district, West Bengal. This form of Bengali is often referred to as the "Nadia standard", "Nadia dialect", "Southwestern/West-Central dialect" or "Shantipuri Bangla".[57]

Linguist Prabhat Ranjan Sarkar, categorizes the language as:

  • Madhya Rādhi dialect
  • Kanthi (Contai) dialect
  • Kolkata dialect
  • Shantipuri (Nadia) dialect
  • Maldahiya (Jangipuri) dialect
  • Barendri dialect
  • Rangpuriya dialect
  • Sylheti dialect
  • Dhakaiya (Bikrampuri) dialect
  • Jessor/ Jessoriya dialect
  • Barisal (Chandradwip) dialect
  • Chattal (Chittagong) dialect

While most writing is in Standard Colloquial Bengali (SCB), spoken dialects exhibit a greater variety. People in southeastern West Bengal, including Kolkata, speak in SCB. Other dialects, with minor variations from Standard Colloquial, are used in other parts of West Bengal and western Bangladesh, such as the Midnapore dialect, characterised by some unique words and constructions. However, a majority in Bangladesh speak in dialects notably different from SCB. Some dialects, particularly those of the Chittagong region, bear only a superficial resemblance to SCB.[63] The dialect in the Chittagong region is least widely understood by the general body of Bengalis.[63] The majority of Bengalis are able to communicate in more than one variety – often, speakers are fluent in Cholitobhasha (SCB) and one or more regional dialects.[31]

Even in SCB, the vocabulary may differ according to the speaker's religion: Hindus are more likely to use words derived from Sanskrit whereas Muslims are more likely to use words of Persian and Arabic origin, along with more native words respectively.[64] For example:[60]

Predominantly Hindu usage Predominantly Muslim usage Translation
নমস্কার nômôshkar আসসালামু আলাইকুম Assalamu-Alaikum hello
নিমন্ত্রণ nimôntrôn দাওয়াত daoat invitation
জল jôl পানি pani water
স্নান snan গোসল gosôl bath
দিদি didi আপু apu sister / elder sister
দাদা dada ভাই bha'i brother / elder brother[65]
মাসী mashi খালা khala maternal aunt
কাকা kaka চাচা chacha paternal uncle
প্রার্থনা prarthona দো'আ do'a / du'a pray
প্রদীপ prodip বাতি bati light[66] Attribute[67]

Phonology

The phonemic inventory of standard Bengali consists of 29 consonants and 7 vowels, as well as 7 nasalized vowels. The inventory is set out below in the International Phonetic Alphabet (upper grapheme in each box) and romanization (lower grapheme).

Vowels
Front Central Back
Close ই~ঈ
i
i
উ~ঊ
u
u
Close-mid
e
e

ʊ~o
u/o
Near-open এ্যা/অ্যা
æ or ɛ
ê

ɔ~ɒ
ô/a
Open
a
a
Nasalized vowels
Front Central Back
Close ইঁ~ঈঁ
ĩ
ĩ
উঁ~ঊঁ
ũ
ũ
Close-mid এঁ

ওঁ
õ
õ
Near-open এ্যাঁ / অ্যাঁ
æ̃
অঁ
ɔ̃
Open আঁ
ã
Consonants
Labial Dental/
Alveolar
Retroflex Palatoalveolar Velar Glottal
Nasal m n   ŋ  
Plosive voiceless p t ʈ tʃ~ts k
aspirated pʰ~ɸ ʈʰ tʃʰ
voiced b d ɖ dʒ~dz ɡ
aspirated bʱ~β ɖʱ dʒʱ ɡʱ
Fricative s ʃ h
Approximant w l j
Rhotic r ɽ~ɽʱ

Bengali is known for its wide variety of diphthongs, combinations of vowels occurring within the same syllable.[68] Two of these, /oi̯/ and /ou̯/, are the only ones with representation in script, as and respectively. /e̯ i̯ o̯ u̯/ may all form the glide part of a diphthong. The total number of diphthongs is not established, with bounds at 17 and 31. An incomplete chart is given by Sarkar (1985) of the following:[69]

a ae̯ ai̯ ao̯ au̯
æ æe̯ æo̯
e ei̯ eu̯
i ii̯ iu̯
o oe̯ oi̯ oo̯ ou̯
u ui̯

Stress

In standard Bengali, stress is predominantly initial. Bengali words are virtually all trochaic; the primary stress falls on the initial syllable of the word, while secondary stress often falls on all odd-numbered syllables thereafter, giving strings such as in সহযোগিতা shô-hô-jo-gi-ta "cooperation", where the boldface represents primary and secondary stress.

Consonant clusters

Native Bengali words do not allow initial consonant clusters;[70] the maximum syllabic structure is CVC (i.e. one vowel flanked by a consonant on each side). Many speakers of Bengali restrict their phonology to this pattern, even when using Sanskrit or English borrowings, such as গেরাম geram (CV.CVC) for গ্রাম gram (CCVC) "village" or ইস্কুল iskul (VC.CVC) for স্কুল skul (CCVC) "school".

Writing system

Tagore handwriting Bengali
An example of handwritten Bengali. Part of a poem written in Bengali (and with its English translation below each Bengali paragraph) by Nobel Laureate Rabindranath Tagore in 1926 in Hungary

The Bengali script is an abugida, a script with letters for consonants, diacritics for vowels, and in which an inherent vowel (অ ô) is assumed for consonants if no vowel is marked.[71] The Bengali alphabet is used throughout Bangladesh and eastern India (Assam, West Bengal, Tripura). The Bengali alphabet is believed to have evolved from a modified Brahmic script around 1000 CE (or 10th–11th century).[72] Note that despite Bangladesh being majority Muslim, it uses the Bengali alphabet rather than an Arabic-based one like the Shahmukhi script used in Pakistan.

The Bengali script is a cursive script with eleven graphemes or signs denoting nine vowels and two diphthongs, and thirty-nine graphemes representing consonants and other modifiers.[72] There are no distinct upper and lower case letter forms. The letters run from left to right and spaces are used to separate orthographic words. Bengali script has a distinctive horizontal line running along the tops of the graphemes that links them together called মাত্রা matra.[73]

Since the Bengali script is an abugida, its consonant graphemes usually do not represent phonetic segments, but carry an "inherent" vowel and thus are syllabic in nature. The inherent vowel is usually a back vowel, either [ɔ] as in মত [mɔt̪] "opinion" or [o], as in মন [mon] "mind", with variants like the more open [ɒ]. To emphatically represent a consonant sound without any inherent vowel attached to it, a special diacritic, called the hôsôntô (্), may be added below the basic consonant grapheme (as in ম্ [m]). This diacritic, however, is not common, and is chiefly employed as a guide to pronunciation. The abugida nature of Bengali consonant graphemes is not consistent, however. Often, syllable-final consonant graphemes, though not marked by a hôsôntô, may carry no inherent vowel sound (as in the final in মন [mon] or the medial in গামলা [ɡamla]).

A consonant sound followed by some vowel sound other than the inherent [ɔ] is orthographically realized by using a variety of vowel allographs above, below, before, after, or around the consonant sign, thus forming the ubiquitous consonant-vowel typographic ligatures. These allographs, called কার kar, are diacritical vowel forms and cannot stand on their own. For example, the graph মি [mi] represents the consonant [m] followed by the vowel [i], where [i] is represented as the diacritical allographি (called ই-কার i-kar) and is placed before the default consonant sign. Similarly, the graphs মা [ma], মী [mi], মু [mu], মূ [mu], মৃ [mri], মে [me~mæ], মৈ [moj], মো [mo] and মৌ [mow] represent the same consonant combined with seven other vowels and two diphthongs. In these consonant-vowel ligatures, the so-called "inherent" vowel [ɔ] is first expunged from the consonant before adding the vowel, but this intermediate expulsion of the inherent vowel is not indicated in any visual manner on the basic consonant sign [mɔ].

The vowel graphemes in Bengali can take two forms: the independent form found in the basic inventory of the script and the dependent, abridged, allograph form (as discussed above). To represent a vowel in isolation from any preceding or following consonant, the independent form of the vowel is used. For example, in মই [moj] "ladder" and in ইলিশ [iliɕ] "Hilsa fish", the independent form of the vowel is used (cf. the dependent formি). A vowel at the beginning of a word is always realized using its independent form.

In addition to the inherent-vowel-suppressing hôsôntô, three more diacritics are commonly used in Bengali. These are the superposed chôndrôbindu (ঁ), denoting a suprasegmental for nasalization of vowels (as in চাঁদ [tɕãd] "moon"), the postposed ônusbar (ং) indicating the velar nasal [ŋ] (as in বাংলা [baŋla] "Bengali") and the postposed bisôrgô (ঃ) indicating the voiceless glottal fricative [h] (as in উঃ! [uh] "ouch!") or the gemination of the following consonant (as in দুঃখ [dukʰːɔ] "sorrow").

The Bengali consonant clusters (যুক্তব্যঞ্জন juktôbênjôn) are usually realized as ligatures, where the consonant which comes first is put on top of or to the left of the one that immediately follows. In these ligatures, the shapes of the constituent consonant signs are often contracted and sometimes even distorted beyond recognition. In the Bengali writing system, there are nearly 285 such ligatures denoting consonant clusters. Although there exist a few visual formulas to construct some of these ligatures, many of them have to be learned by rote. Recently, in a bid to lessen this burden on young learners, efforts have been made by educational institutions in the two main Bengali-speaking regions (West Bengal and Bangladesh) to address the opaque nature of many consonant clusters, and as a result, modern Bengali textbooks are beginning to contain more and more "transparent" graphical forms of consonant clusters, in which the constituent consonants of a cluster are readily apparent from the graphical form. However, since this change is not as widespread and is not being followed as uniformly in the rest of the Bengali printed literature, today's Bengali-learning children will possibly have to learn to recognize both the new "transparent" and the old "opaque" forms, which ultimately amounts to an increase in learning burden.

Bengali punctuation marks, apart from the downstroke daṛi – the Bengali equivalent of a full stop – have been adopted from western scripts and their usage is similar.[56]

Unlike in western scripts (Latin, Cyrillic, etc.) where the letter-forms stand on an invisible baseline, the Bengali letter-forms instead hang from a visible horizontal left-to-right headstroke called মাত্রা matra. The presence and absence of this matra can be important. For example, the letter and the numeral "3" are distinguishable only by the presence or absence of the matra, as is the case between the consonant cluster ত্র trô and the independent vowel e. The letter-forms also employ the concepts of letter-width and letter-height (the vertical space between the visible matra and an invisible baseline).

There is yet to be a uniform standard collating sequence (sorting order of graphemes to be used in dictionaries, indices, computer sorting programs, etc.) of Bengali graphemes. Experts in both Bangladesh and India are currently working towards a common solution for this problem.

Orthographic depth

The Bengali script in general has a comparatively shallow orthography, i.e., in most cases there is a one-to-one correspondence between the sounds (phonemes) and the letters (graphemes) of Bengali. But grapheme-phoneme inconsistencies do occur in certain cases.

One kind of inconsistency is due to the presence of several letters in the script for the same sound. In spite of some modifications in the 19th century, the Bengali spelling system continues to be based on the one used for Sanskrit,[56] and thus does not take into account some sound mergers that have occurred in the spoken language. For example, there are three letters (, , and ) for the voiceless alveolo-palatal sibilant [ɕɔ], although the letter retains the voiceless alveolar sibilant [sɔ] sound when used in certain consonant conjuncts as in স্খলন [skʰɔlɔn] "fall", স্পন্দন [spɔndɔn] "beat", etc. The letter also retains the voiceless retroflex sibilant [ʂɔ] sound when used in certain consonant conjuncts as in কষ্ট [kɔʂʈɔ] "suffering", গোষ্ঠী [ɡoʂʈʰi] "clan", etc. Similarly, there are two letters ( and ) for the voiced alveolo-palatal affricate [dʑɔ]. Moreover, what was once pronounced and written as a retroflex nasal [ɳɔ] is now pronounced as an alveolar [nɔ] when in conversation (the difference is seen heard when reading) (unless conjoined with another retroflex consonant such as , , and ), although the spelling does not reflect this change. The near-open front unrounded vowel [æ] is orthographically realized by multiple means, as seen in the following examples: এত [ætɔ] "so much", এ্যাকাডেমী [ækademi] "academy", অ্যামিবা [æmiba] "amoeba", দেখা [dækʰa] "to see", ব্যস্ত [bæstɔ] "busy", ব্যাকরণ [bækɔrɔn] "grammar".

Another kind of inconsistency is concerned with the incomplete coverage of phonological information in the script. The inherent vowel attached to every consonant can be either [ɔ] or [o] depending on vowel harmony (স্বরসঙ্গতি) with the preceding or following vowel or on the context, but this phonological information is not captured by the script, creating ambiguity for the reader. Furthermore, the inherent vowel is often not pronounced at the end of a syllable, as in কম [kɔm] "less", but this omission is not generally reflected in the script, making it difficult for the new reader.

Many consonant clusters have different sounds than their constituent consonants. For example, the combination of the consonants ক্ [k] and [ʂɔ] is graphically realized as ক্ষ and is pronounced [kkʰɔ] (as in রুক্ষ [rukkʰɔ] "coarse") or [kkʰo] (as in ক্ষতি [kkʰot̪i] "harm") or even [kkʰɔ] (as in ক্ষমতা [kkʰɔmɔt̪a] "capability"), depending on the position of the cluster in a word. The Bengali writing system is, therefore, not always a true guide to pronunciation.

Uses

The script used for Bengali, Assamese and other languages is known as Bengali-Assamese or Eastern Nagari script. The script is known as the Bengali alphabet for Bengali and its dialects and the Assamese alphabet for Assamese language with some minor variations. Other related languages in the nearby region also make use of the Bengali alphabet like the Meitei language in the Indian state of Manipur, where the Meitei language has been written in the Bengali alphabet for centuries, though the Meitei script has been promoted in recent times.

Romanisation

There are various ways of Romanisation systems of Bengali created in recent years which have failed to represent the true Bengali phonetic sound. The Bengali alphabet has often been included with the group of Brahmic scripts for romanisation where the true phonetic value of Bengali is never represented. Some of them are the International Alphabet of Sanskrit Transliteration or IAST system (based on diacritics),[74] "Indian languages Transliteration" or ITRANS (uses upper case letters suited for ASCII keyboards),[75] and the National Library at Kolkata romanization.[76]

In the context of Bengali romanisation, it is important to distinguish transliteration from transcription. Transliteration is orthographically accurate (i.e. the original spelling can be recovered), whereas transcription is phonetically accurate (the pronunciation can be reproduced).

Although it might be desirable to use a transliteration scheme where the original Bengali orthography is recoverable from the Latin text, Bengali words are currently Romanized on Wikipedia using a phonemic transcription, where the true phonetic pronunciation of Bengali is represented with no reference to how it is written.

The most recent attempt has been by publishers Mitra and Ghosh with the launch of three popular children's books, Abol Tabol, Hasi Khusi and Sahoj Path in Roman script at the Kolkata Book Fair 2018. Published under the imprint of Benglish Books, these are based on phonetic transliteration and closely follow spellings used in social media but for using an underline to describe soft consonants.

Grammar

Bengali nouns are not assigned gender, which leads to minimal changing of adjectives (inflection). However, nouns and pronouns are moderately declined (altered depending on their function in a sentence) into four cases while verbs are heavily conjugated, and the verbs do not change form depending on the gender of the nouns.

Word order

As a head-final language, Bengali follows subject–object–verb word order, although variations to this theme are common.[77] Bengali makes use of postpositions, as opposed to the prepositions used in English and other European languages. Determiners follow the noun, while numerals, adjectives, and possessors precede the noun.[78]

Yes-no questions do not require any change to the basic word order; instead, the low (L) tone of the final syllable in the utterance is replaced with a falling (HL) tone. Additionally, optional particles (e.g. কি -ki, না -na, etc.) are often encliticized onto the first or last word of a yes-no question.

Wh-questions are formed by fronting the wh-word to focus position, which is typically the first or second word in the utterance.

Nouns

Nouns and pronouns are inflected for case, including nominative, objective, genitive (possessive), and locative.[22] The case marking pattern for each noun being inflected depends on the noun's degree of animacy. When a definite article such as -টা -ṭa (singular) or -গুলো -gulo (plural) is added, as in the tables below, nouns are also inflected for number.

In most of the Bengali grammar books, cases are divided in to 6 categories and an additional possessive case (possessive form is not recognized as a type of case by Bengali grammarian). But in term of usages, cases are generally grouped in to only 4 categories.

Singular noun inflection
Animate Inanimate
Nominative ছাত্রটি
chatrô-ṭi
the student
জুতাটা
juta-ṭa
the shoe
Objective ছাত্রটিকে
chatrô-ṭi-ke
the student
জুতাটা
juta-ṭa
the shoe
Genitive ছাত্রটি
chatrô-ṭi-r
the student's
জুতাটা
juta-ṭa-r
the shoe's
Locative জুতাটায়
juta-ṭa-y
on/in the shoe
Plural noun inflection
Animate Inanimate
Nominative ছাত্ররা/ছাত্রগণ
chatrô-ra
the students
জুতাগুলা/জুতোগুলো
juta-gula/juto-gulo
the shoes
Objective ছাত্রদের(কে)
chatrô-der(ke)
the students
জুতাগুলা/জুতোগুলো
juta-gula/juto-gulo
the shoes
Genitive ছাত্রদের
chatrô-der
the students'
জুতাগুলা/জুতোগুলো
juta-gula/juto-gulo-r
the shoes'
Locative জুতাগুলা/জুতোগুলোতে
juta-gula/juto-gulo-te
on/in the shoes

When counted, nouns take one of a small set of measure words. Similar to Japanese, the nouns in Bengali cannot be counted by adding the numeral directly adjacent to the noun. The noun's measure word (MW) must be used between the numeral and the noun. Most nouns take the generic measure word -টা -ṭa, though other measure words indicate semantic classes (e.g. -জন -jôn for humans). There is also the classifier -khana, and its diminutive form -khani, which only attach to nouns which are flat, long, square, or thin. These are the least common of the classifiers.[79]

Measure words
Bengali Bengali transliteration Literal translation English translation
নয়টা গরু Nôy-ṭa goru Nine-MW cow Nine cows
কয়টা বালিশ Kôy-ṭa balish How many-MW pillow How many pillows
অনেকজন লোক Ônek-jôn lok Many-MW person Many people
চার-পাঁচজন শিক্ষক Car-pãc-jôn shikkhôk Four-five-MW teacher Four or five teachers

Measuring nouns in Bengali without their corresponding measure words (e.g. আট বিড়াল aṭ biṛal instead of আটটা বিড়াল aṭ-ṭa biṛal "eight cats") would typically be considered ungrammatical. However, when the semantic class of the noun is understood from the measure word, the noun is often omitted and only the measure word is used, e.g. শুধু একজন থাকবে। Shudhu êk-jôn thakbe. (lit. "Only one-MW will remain.") would be understood to mean "Only one person will remain.", given the semantic class implicit in -জন -jôn.

In this sense, all nouns in Bengali, unlike most other Indo-European languages, are similar to mass nouns.

Verbs

There are two classes of verbs: finite and non-finite. Non-finite verbs have no inflection for tense or person, while finite verbs are fully inflected for person (first, second, third), tense (present, past, future), aspect (simple, perfect, progressive), and honor (intimate, familiar, and formal), but not for number. Conditional, imperative, and other special inflections for mood can replace the tense and aspect suffixes. The number of inflections on many verb roots can total more than 200.

Inflectional suffixes in the morphology of Bengali vary from region to region, along with minor differences in syntax.

Bengali differs from most Indo-Aryan Languages in the zero copula, where the copula or connective be is often missing in the present tense.[56] Thus, "he is a teacher" is সে শিক্ষক se shikkhôk, (literally "he teacher").[80] In this respect, Bengali is similar to Russian and Hungarian. Romani grammar is also the closest to Bengali grammar.[81]

Vocabulary

Bengali Vocabulary2
Sources of modern literary Bengali words
  67% native
  25% Sanskrit reborrowings
  8% indigenous and foreign loans

Bengali has as many as 100,000 separate words, of which 50,000 are considered Tadbhavas, 21,100 are Tatsamas and the remainder loanwords from Austroasiatic and other foreign languages.

However, these figures do not take into account the large proportion of archaic or highly technical words that are very rarely used. Furthermore, different dialects use more Persian and Arabic vocabulary especially in different areas of Bangladesh and Muslim majority areas of West Bengal also Hindus use more Sanskrit vocabulary than Muslims and while standard Bengali is based on the Nadia dialect of spoken in the Hindu majority states of West Bengal, about 90% of Bengalis in Bangladesh (ca. 148 million) and 27% of Bengalis in West Bengal and 10% in Assam (ca. 36 million) are Muslim and speak a more "persio-arabised" version of Bengali instead of the more Sanskrit influenced Standard Nadia dialect. The productive vocabulary used in modern literary works, in fact, is made up mostly (67%) of tadbhavas, while tatsamas comprise only 25% of the total.[82][83] Loanwords from non-Indic languages comprise the remaining 8% of the vocabulary used in modern Bengali literature.

Because of centuries of contact with Europeans, Turkic peoples, and Persians, Bengali has absorbed numerous words from foreign languages, often totally integrating these borrowings into the core vocabulary.

The most common borrowings from foreign languages come from three different kinds of contact. After close contact with several indigenous Austroasiatic languages,[84][85][86][87] and later the Mughal invasion whose court language was Persian, numerous Chagatai, Arabic, and Persian words were absorbed into the lexicon.[32]

Later, East Asian travelers and lately European colonialism brought words from Portuguese, French, Dutch, and most significantly English during the colonial period.

Sample text

The following is a sample text in Bengali of Article 1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights:

Bengali in the Bengali alphabet

ধারা ১: সমস্ত মানুষ স্বাধীনভাবে সমান মর্যাদা এবং অধিকার নিয়ে জন্মগ্রহণ করে। তাঁদের বিবেক এবং বুদ্ধি আছে; সুতরাং সকলেরই একে অপরের প্রতি ভ্রাতৃত্বসুলভ মনোভাব নিয়ে আচরণ করা উচিত।

Bengali in phonetic Romanization

Dhara êk: Sômôstô manush shadhinbhabe sôman môrjada ebông ôdhikar niye jônmôgrôhôn kôre. Tãder bibek ebông buddhi achhe; sutôrang sôkôleri êke ôpôrer prôti bhratrittôsulôbh mônobhab niye achôrôn kôra uchit.

Bengali in the International Phonetic Alphabet

dʱara æk | ʃɔmɔstɔ manuʃ ʃadʱinbʱabe ʃɔman mɔrdʒada ebɔŋ ɔdʱikar nie̯e dʒɔnmɔɡrɔhɔn kɔre | tãder bibek ebɔŋ buddʱːi atʃʰe | sutɔraŋ sɔkɔleri æke ɔpɔrer prɔti bʱratritːɔsulɔbʱ mɔnobʱab nie̯e atʃɔrɔn kɔra utʃit

Gloss

Clause 1: All human free-manner-in equal dignity and right taken birth-take do. Their reason and intelligence exist; therefore everyone-indeed one another's towards brotherhood-ly attitude taken conduct do should.

Translation

Article 1: All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They possess conscience and reason. Therefore, everyone should act in a spirit of brotherhood towards each other.

See also

  • Portal-puzzle.svg Bengali language portal

Notes

  1. ^ "World Population2011 Prospects - Population Division - United Nations".
  2. ^ 2011 India Census
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  4. ^ Bengali at Ethnologue (21st ed., 2018)
  5. ^ "Bangla Sign Language Dictionary". www.scribd.com. Retrieved 12 September 2018.
  6. ^ Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2017). "Bengali". Glottolog 3.0. Jena, Germany: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.
  7. ^ Laurie Bauer, 2007, The Linguistics Student's Handbook, Edinburgh
  8. ^ "Bangla Language - Banglapedia". en.banglapedia.org. Retrieved 12 September 2018.
  9. ^ "Culture, Religion & Language". visitbangladesh.gov.bd. Retrieved 12 September 2018.
  10. ^ "Bengali Language". www.britannica.com. Retrieved 12 September 2018.
  11. ^ "Bangladesh". www.ethnologue.com. Retrieved 12 September 2018.
  12. ^ "National Languages Of Bangladesh". einfon.com. 2017-06-11. Retrieved 12 September 2018.
  13. ^ "5 Surprising Reasons the Bengali Language Is Important". 17 August 2017.
  14. ^ "50th Report of the Commissioner for Linguistic Minorities in India (July 2012 to June 2013)" (PDF). National Commission for Linguistic Minorities. 2014-07-16. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2018-01-02. Retrieved 2018-02-20.
  15. ^ Hays, Jeffrey. "BENGALIS - Facts and Details". factsanddetails.com.
  16. ^ "The World Factbook". www.cia.gov. Central Intelligence Agency. Retrieved 2018-02-21.
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  20. ^ Shah 1998, p. 11
  21. ^ Keith 1998, p. 187
  22. ^ a b (Bhattacharya & 50000000)
  23. ^ Oberlies, Thomas (2007). "Chapter Five: Aśokan Prakrit and Pāli". In Cardona, George; Jain, Danesh. The Indo-Aryan Languages. Routledge. p. 163. ISBN 978-1-135-79711-9.
  24. ^ (Sen 1996)
  25. ^ "Banglapedia". En.banglapedia.org. Retrieved 7 November 2017.
  26. ^ "Pala dynasty - Indian dynasty". Global.britannica.com. Retrieved 7 November 2017.
  27. ^ nimmi. "Pala Dynasty, Pala Empire, Pala empire in India, Pala School of Sculptures". Indianmirror.com. Retrieved 7 November 2017.
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  29. ^ Eaton, Richard M. (1993). The Rise of Islam and the Bengal Frontier, 1204–1760. University of California. ISBN 978-0-520-20507-9.
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  32. ^ a b c Thompson, Hanne-Ruth (2012). Bengali (Paperback with corrections. ed.). Amsterdam: John Benjamins Pub. Co. p. 3. ISBN 978-90-272-3819-1.
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  34. ^ "Kuwait restricts recruitment of male Bangladeshi workers | Dhaka Tribune". www.dhakatribune.com. 2016-09-07. Retrieved 2017-12-04.
  35. ^ "Bahrain: Foreign population by country of citizenship, sex and migration status (worker/ family dependent) (selected countries, January 2015) - GLMM". GLMM. 2015-10-20. Retrieved 2017-12-04.
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  37. ^ http://www.elections.ny.gov/NYSBOE/download/voting/voteform.pdf
  38. ^ http://blls.sg Bangla Language and Literary Society, Singapore
  39. ^ "Languages of India". Ethnologue Report. Retrieved 2006-11-04.
  40. ^ NIC, Assam State Centre, Guwahati, Assam. "Language". Government of Assam. Archived from the original on 2006-08-26. Retrieved 2006-06-20.CS1 maint: Uses authors parameter (link)
  41. ^ Bhattacharjee, Kishalay (30 April 2008). "It's Indian language vs Indian language". ndtv.com. Archived from the original on 2013-07-23. Retrieved 2008-05-27.
  42. ^ Syed Yasir Kazmi (16 October 2009). "Pakistani Bengalis". DEMOTIX. Archived from the original on 2015-01-02. Retrieved 2013-04-02.
  43. ^ "کراچی کے 'بنگالی پاکستانی'(Urdu)". محمد عثمان جامعی. 17 November 2003. Retrieved 2013-04-02.
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  48. ^ "Man of the series: Nobel laureate Tagore". The Times of India. Times News Network. 3 April 2011.
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  51. ^ Wickramasinghe, Nira (2003). Dressing the Colonised Body: Politics, Clothing, and Identity in Sri Lanka. Orient Longman. p. 26. ISBN 978-81-250-2479-8.
  52. ^ Wickramasinghe, Kamanthi; Perera, Yoshitha. "Sri Lankan National Anthem: can it be used to narrow the gap?". The Daily Mirror (Sri Lanka) (30 March 2015).
  53. ^ Haque, Junaidul (7 May 2011). "Rabindranath: He belonged to the world". The Daily Star (Bangladesh).
  54. ^ Habib, Haroon (17 May 2011). "Celebrating Rabindranath Tagore's legacy". The Hindu.
  55. ^ Subir Bhaumik (22 December 2009). "Bengali 'should be UN language'". BBC News. Retrieved 2010-01-25.
  56. ^ a b c d Bangla language in Asiatic Society of Bangladesh 2003
  57. ^ a b Morshed, Abul Kalam Manjoor. "Dialect". Banglapedia. Asiatic Society of Bangladesh. Retrieved 2006-11-17.
  58. ^ "Hajong". The Ethnologue Report. Retrieved 2006-11-19.
  59. ^ a b Huq, Mohammad Daniul. "Chalita Bhasa". Banglapedia. Asiatic Society of Bangladesh. Retrieved 2006-11-17.
  60. ^ a b "History of Bengali (Banglar itihash)". Bengal Telecommunication and Electric Company. Retrieved 2006-11-20.
  61. ^ Huq, Mohammad Daniul. "Sadhu Bhasa". Banglapedia. Asiatic Society of Bangladesh. Retrieved 2006-11-17.
  62. ^ Huq, Mohammad Daniul. "Alaler Gharer Dulal". Banglapedia. Asiatic Society of Bangladesh. Retrieved 2006-11-17.
  63. ^ a b Ray, Hai & Ray 1966, p. 89
  64. ^ Ray, Hai & Ray 1966, p. 80
  65. ^ "A Bilingual Dictionary of Words and Phrases (English-Bengali)". Bengali-dictionary.com. Retrieved 2016-10-25.
  66. ^ Shabdkosh.com. "light - Meaning in Bengali - light in Bengali - Shabdkosh | অভিধান : English Bengali Dictionary and Translation". Shabdkosh.com. Retrieved 2016-10-25.
  67. ^ Meaninginhindi.in. "Attribute Meaning in Hindi Language -Meaning of Attribute in Hindi | विशेषता : Meaninginhindi.in". Meaninginhindi.in. Retrieved 2018-11-12.
  68. ^ (Masica 1991, pp. 116)
  69. ^ Sarkar, Pabitra (1985). Bangla diswar dhoni. Bhasa.
  70. ^ (Masica 1991, pp. 125)
  71. ^ Escudero Pascual Alberto (23 October 2005). "Writing Systems/ Scripts" (PDF). Primer to Localization of Software. it46.se. Archived from the original (PDF) on 19 March 2009. Retrieved 20 November 2006.
  72. ^ a b Bangalah in Asiatic Society of Bangladesh 2003
  73. ^ "banglasemantics.net". Archived from the original on 24 December 2010.
  74. ^ "Learning International Alphabet of Sanskrit Transliteration". Sanskrit 3 – Learning transliteration. Gabriel Pradiipaka & Andrés Muni. Archived from the original on 2007-02-12. Retrieved 2006-11-20.
  75. ^ "ITRANS – Indian Language Transliteration Package". Avinash Chopde. Retrieved 2006-11-20.
  76. ^ "Annex-F: Roman Script Transliteration" (PDF). Indian Standard: Indian Script Code for Information Interchange – ISCII. Bureau of Indian Standards. 1 April 1999. p. 32. Retrieved 2006-11-20.
  77. ^ (Bhattacharya 2000, pp. 16)
  78. ^ "Bengali". UCLA Language Materials project. University of California, Los Angeles. Retrieved 2006-11-20.
  79. ^ Boyle David, Anne (2015). Descriptive grammar of Bangla. De Gruyter. pp. 141–142.
  80. ^ Among Bengali speakers brought up in neighbouring linguistic regions (e.g. Hindi), the lost copula may surface in utterances such as she shikkhôk hocche. This is viewed as ungrammatical by other speakers, and speakers of this variety are sometimes (humorously) referred as "hocche-Bangali".
  81. ^ Hübschmannová, Milena (1995). "Romaňi čhib – romština: Několik základních informací o romském jazyku". Bulletin Muzea Romské Kultury. Brno (4/1995). Zatímco romská lexika je bližší hindštině, marvárštině, pandžábštině atd., v gramatické sféře nacházíme mnoho shod s východoindickým jazykem, s bengálštinou.
  82. ^ Tatsama in Asiatic Society of Bangladesh 2003
  83. ^ Tadbhaba in Asiatic Society of Bangladesh 2003
  84. ^ Byomkes Chakrabarti A Comparative Study of Santali and Bengali, K.P. Bagchi & Co., Kolkata, 1994, ISBN 81-7074-128-9
  85. ^ Das, Khudiram (1998). Santhali Bangla Samashabda Abhidhan. Kolkata, India: Paschim Banga Bangla Akademi.
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  87. ^ Das, Khudiram. Bangla Santali Bhasa Samporko (eBook).

References

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Further reading

  • Thompson, Hanne-Ruth (2012). Bengali. Volume 18 of London Oriental and African Language Library. John Benjamins Publishing. ISBN 90-272-7313-8.
  • Dasgupta, Probal (2003). Bangla. In George Cardona and Dhanesh Jain, (eds) The Indo-Aryan languages. London/New York: Routledge, 351-390.

External links

Anandabazar Patrika

Anandabazar Patrika (Bengali: [anɔndɔbadʒar pɔtrika]) is a paid newspaper under circulation in Kolkata, New Delhi, Mumbai and Silchar by the ABP Group. According to the Audit Bureau of Circulations, it has a circulation of 1.1 million copies as of Jan−Jun 2016. Presently, the newspaper is edited by Anirban Chattopadhyay after Aveek Sarkar resigned. Its main competitors are Bartaman, Sangbad Pratidin, and Ei Samay.

A Bengali newspaper was published in 1876 in a small village of Magura at Jessore District in British India (now Bangladesh) by Tusharkanti Ghose and his father Sisir Kumar Ghose. They named it Ananda Bazar after Tusharkanti's grandmother's sister Anandomayee. However, soon the newspaper died. In 1886, Ghose published another newspaper, named after his grandmother Amritamoyee: Amrita Bazar Patrika.Later in 1922 the newspaper Anandabazar Patrika was relaunched by proprietor Suresh Chandra Majumdar and editor Prafulla Kumar Sarkar. It was first printed on 13 March 1922 under their ownership and was against British rule. In 1922 it first published as a four-page evening daily. The first colour printing was the features section. The internet edition of the newspaper was launched in 2001, which publishs news among the community. Also provides advertisement in the printed newspaper. In 2010, Time Inc. entered into a license agreement with ABP Group to publish Fortune India magazine. This magazine publishes the Fortune India 500 list every year.

Bangla Academy Literary Award

The Bangla Academy Literary Award (Bengali: বাংলা একাডেমি সাহিত্য পুরস্কার; Bangla Academy Shahitya Puroshkar), is given by the Bangla Academy of Bangladesh in recognition of creative genius in advancement and overall contribution in the field of Bengali language and literature.It was introduced in 1960 and recognized six categories: poetry, novels, short stories, essays, juvenile literature and translation. Beginning in 1985, two more awards were introduced to recognize overall contributions to Bengali language and literature.

At present, the Bangla Academy award is given in three fields:

Poetry, novel, and short story

Research, essay, and science

Translation, drama, and juvenile literature

Bartaman

Bartaman Patrika (Bengali: বর্তমান) is an Indian Bengali daily newspaper published from Kolkata, West Bengal, India by Bartaman Pvt. Ltd. Apart from the Kolkata edition, the newspaper has three other simultaneous editions, published daily from three major towns of West Bengal - Siliguri, Burdwan and Midnapore. Bartaman is the second-most widely circulated Bengali newspaper in India after Anandabazar Patrika.

Bengali Braille

Bengali Braille is used for the Bengali. According to UNESCO (2013), there are slight different braille conventions for Bengali language in Bangladesh and India, this article compares Bengali Braille in the two countries.

Bengali language movement

The Bengali Language Movement (Bengali: ভাষা আন্দোলন Bhasha Andolôn) was a political movement in former East Pakistan (currently Bangladesh) advocating the recognition of the Bengali language as an official language of the then-Dominion of Pakistan in order to allow its use in government affairs, the continuation of its use as a medium of education, its use in media, currency and stamps, and to maintain its writing in the Bengali script.

When the Dominion of Pakistan was formed by the partition of India in 1947, it was composed of various ethnic and linguistic groups, with the geographically non-contiguous East Bengal province (that was renamed in 1956 as East Pakistan) having a mainly Bengali population. In 1948, the Government of the Dominion of Pakistan ordained Urdu as the sole national language, sparking extensive protests among the Bengali-speaking majority of East Bengal. Facing rising sectarian tensions and mass discontent with the new law, the government outlawed public meetings and rallies. The students of the University of Dhaka and other political activists defied the law and organised a protest on 21 February 1952. The movement reached its climax when police killed student demonstrators on that day. The deaths provoked widespread civil unrest. After years of conflict, the central government relented and granted official status to the Bengali language in 1956.

The Language Movement catalysed the assertion of Bengali national identity in East Bengal and later East Pakistan, and became a forerunner to Bengali nationalist movements, including the 6-Point Movement and subsequently the Bangladesh Liberation War and Indo-Pakistani War of 1971. In Bangladesh, 21 February (Ekushey February) is observed as Language Movement Day, a national holiday. The Shaheed Minar monument was constructed near Dhaka Medical College in memory of the movement and its victims. In 1999, UNESCO declared 21 February as International Mother Language Day, in tribute to the Language Movement and the ethno-linguistic rights of people around the world.

Bengali literature

Bengali literature (Bengali: বাংলা সাহিত্য, Bangla Sahityô) denotes the body of writings in the Bengali language. The earliest extant work in Bengali literature is the Charyapada, a collection of Buddhist mystic songs dating back to the 10th and 11th centuries. Thereafter, the timeline of Bengali literature is divided into two periods − medieval (1360-1800) and modern (after 1800).

Medieval Bengali literature consists of various poetic genres, including Hindu religious scriptures (e.g. Mangalkavya), Islamic epics (e.g. works of Syed Sultan and Abdul Hakim), translations of Sanskrit, Arabic and Persian texts, Vaishnava texts (e.g. biographies of Chaitanya Mahaprabhu), and secular texts by Muslim poets (e.g. works of Alaol).

Novels were introduced to Bengali literature in the mid-19th century. Rabindranath Tagore, poet, playwright, novelist, painter, essayist, musician, and social reformer, is the best known figure of Bengali literature to the world. He won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1913. After the post-partition era, Bengali literature comprises literature of erstwhile East Pakistan (modern-day Bangladesh) and of West Bengal.

Bengalis

Bengalis (বাঙালি [baŋgali]), also rendered as the Bengali people, Bangalis and Bangalees, are an Indo-Aryan ethnic group native to the Bengal region in South Asia, specifically in the eastern part of the Indian subcontinent, presently divided between Bangladesh and the Indian states of West Bengal, Tripura, Assam's Barak Valley, who speak Bengali, a language from the Indo-Aryan language family. The term "Bangalee" is also used to denote people of Bangladesh as a nation.Bengalis are the third largest ethnic group in the world, after Han Chinese and Arabs. Apart from Bangladesh and the Indian states of West Bengal, Tripura, Assam's Barak Valley, Bengali-majority populations also reside in India's union territory of Andaman and Nicobar Islands as well as Bangladesh's Chittagong Hill Tracts (which was originally not a part of Bengal), with significant populations in Arunachal Pradesh, Delhi, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland and Uttarakhand. The global Bengali diaspora (Bangladeshi diaspora and Indian Bengalis) have well-established communities in Pakistan, the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, the Middle East, Japan, South Korea, Malaysia, Singapore, and Italy.

They have four major religious subgroups: Bengali Muslims, Bengali Hindus, Bengali Christians, and Bengali Buddhists.

Devdas

Devdas (Bengali: দেবদাস, transliterated as Debdās) is a Bengali romance novel written by Sarat Chandra Chatterjee. Despite being finished in September 1900, the novel was not published till June 1917 due to Chatterjee's hesitance probably over some autobiographical elements. According to Chatterjee's own words, he wrote it under the influence of drink and was ashamed of the work.The story pivots a tragic triangle linking Devdas, an archetypal lover in viraha (separation); Paro, his forbidden childhood love; and Chandramukhi, a reformed courtesan. Devdas was adapted on screen 19 times.

Gauḍa (region)

Gauda (Bengali: গৌড়), was a territory located in Bengal in ancient and medieval times, as part of the Gauda Kingdom.

Gitanjali

Gitanjali (Bengali: গীতাঞ্জলি, lit. ''Song offering'', IPA: [git̪ɑːnd͡ʒoli]) is a collection of poems by the Bengali poet Rabindranath Tagore. Tagore received the Nobel Prize for Literature, largely for the book.

It is part of the UNESCO Collection of Representative Works.

Hungry generation

The Hungry Generation (Bengali: হাংরি জেনারেশান) was a literary movement in the Bengali language launched by what is known today as the Hungryalist quartet, i.e. Binoy Mazumdar, Shakti Chattopadhyay, Malay Roy Choudhury, Samir Roychoudhury and Debi Roy (alias Haradhon Dhara), during the 1960s in Kolkata, India. Due to their involvement in this avant garde cultural movement, the leaders lost their jobs and were jailed by the incumbent government. They challenged contemporary ideas about literature and contributed significantly to the evolution of the language and idiom used by contemporaneous artists to express their feelings in literature and painting.The approach of the Hungryalists was to confront and disturb the prospective readers' preconceived colonial canons. According to Pradip Choudhuri, a leading philosopher and poet of the generation, whose works have been extensively translated in French, their counter-discourse was the first voice of post-colonial freedom of pen and brush. Besides the famous four mentioned above, Utpal Kumar Basu, Binoy Majumdar, Sandipan Chattopadhyay, Basudeb Dasgupta, Falguni Roy, Subhash Ghosh, Tridib Mitra, Alo Mitra, Ramananda Chattopadhyay, Anil Karanjai, Saileswar Ghosh, Karunanidhan Mukhopadhyay, and Subo Acharya were among the other leading writers and artists of the movement.

Jalsha Movies

Star Jalsha Movies (Bengali: স্টার জলসা মুভিজ) is a Bengali language movie channel operated by STAR India. STAR India launched the 24-hour channel on 16 December 2012, after their earlier Bengali-language channel, Star Jalsha, was well received.

The Channel launched its HD feed on 14 April 2016.

Catch the Latest season of Vivo IPL exclusively on Jalsha Movies from 7 April onwards.

This is a list of top two Bangla movie channels in India as per Broadcast Audience Research Council (BARC) ratings.

Jana Gana Mana

"Jana Gana Mana" (Hindi: [ɟənə gəɳə mənə]) is the national anthem of India. It was originally composed as Bharoto Bhagyo Bidhata in Bengali by poet Rabindranath Tagore. The first stanza of the song Bharoto Bhagyo Bidhata was adopted by the Constituent Assembly of India as the National Anthem on 24 January 1950. A formal rendition of the national anthem takes approximately fifty-two seconds. A shortened version consisting of the first and last lines (and taking about 20 seconds to play) is also staged occasionally. It was first publicly sung on 27 December 1911 at the Calcutta (now, Kolkata) Session of the Indian National Congress.

Kallol

Kallol (Bengali: কল্লোল) refers to one of the most influential literary movements in Bengali literature, which can be placed approximately between 1923 and 1935. The name Kallol of the Kallol group derives from a magazine of the same name (which translates as 'the sound of waves' in Bengali). Kallol was the main mouthpiece for a group of young writers starting their careers around that time including Premendra Mitra, Kazi Nazrul Islam, and Buddhadeb Basu. A number of other magazines that followed Kallol can also be placed as part of the general movement. These include Uttara (1925), Pragati (1926), Kalikolom (1926), and Purbasha (1932).

Lakshmipur District

Lakshmipur or Laxmipur District (Bengali: লক্ষ্মীপুর জেলা, Lakshmipur Jela also Lakshmipur Zila) with an area of 1455.96 km², is a district of Bangladesh. It is bordered by Chandpur District to the north, Bhola and Noakhali districts to the south, Noakhali District to the east, and Barisal and Bhola districts to the west.

List of Bengali-language authors (alphabetical)

This article provides an alphabetical list of Bengali language authors. For a chronological list, see List of Bengali language authors.

Mymensingh Division

Mymensingh Division (Bengali: ময়মনসিংহ বিভাগ) is one of the eight administrative divisions of Bangladesh. It has an area of 10,485 square kilometres (4,048 sq mi) and a population of 11,370,000 as of the 2011 census. It was created in 2015 from districts previously comprising the northern part of Dhaka Division. Its headquarters are in Mymensingh city in Mymensingh District.

Rabindra Sangeet

Rabindra Sangeet (Bengali: রবীন্দ্রসঙ্গীত Robindro shonggit, Bengali pronunciation: [ɾobindɾo ʃoŋɡit]), also known as Tagore Songs, are songs from the Indian subcontinent written and composed by the Bengali polymath Rabindranath Tagore, winner of the 1913 Nobel Prize in Literature. Tagore was a prolific composer with around 2,230 songs to his credit. The songs have distinctive characteristics in the music of Bengal, popular in India and Bangladesh. It is characterised by its distinctive rendition while singing which includes a significant amount of ornamentation like meend, murki, etc. and is filled with expressions of romanticism. The music is mostly based on Hindustani classical music, Carnatic Classical Music, Western tunes and the inherent Folk music of Bengal and inherently possess within them, a near perfect balance, an endearing economy of poetry and musicality. Lyrics and music both hold almost equal importance in Rabindra Sangeet. In fact, Tagore also created some 6 new Taal or Rhythm because he felt the traditional taals existing at the time could not do justice and were coming in the way of the seamless narrative of the lyrics.

Zee Bangla

Zee Bangla (জ়ি বাংলা) is a Bengali language Cable television channel in India and Bangladesh. It is offered by Zee Network, part of the Essel Group. The first Bengali-language television channel in India, Zee Bangla was launched in 1996 by Zee's TV chairman.It was one of three stations named in a 2014 court case that sought to ban Indian television stations from broadcasting in Bangladesh.It aired the comedy show "Raja and Gaja" before the show switched stations.It has its own YouTube Channel and has over 4 million subscribers.Treenoyni

Zee Bangla}}

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