Languages of Bangladesh
|Languages of Bangladesh|
UnofficialChittagonian, Sylheti, Chakma, Rangpuri
|Minority languages||Assamese, Bishnupuriya, Chakma, Hajong, Tangchangya, Oraon Sadri, Khasi, Koda, Mundari, Pnar, Santali, War-Jaintia, Kurukh, Sauria Paharia, A'Tong, Chak, Chin, Asho, Bawm, Falam, Haka, Khumi, Koch, Garo, Megam, Meitei Manipuri, Mizo, Mru, Pangkhua, Rakhine/Marma, Kok Borok, Riang, Tippera and Usoi|
|Main immigrant languages||Bihari • Burmese • Rohingya • Urdu|
|Main foreign languages||English, Arabic and Hindustani|
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 fluent in Bengali (including dialects) as their first language. English, having no official status, is prevalent across government, law, business, media and education, and can be regarded as the de facto co-official language of Bangladesh (see Bangladeshi English). Hindi is understood by some as a foreign language. Beside English, French is becoming a popular language among the younger generation in recent days.
The indigenous people of northern and southeastern Bangladesh speak a variety of native languages.
The lowlands of Bangladesh form the eastern half of the ethno-linguistic region of Bengal, and the Bengali language is spoken by the majority of the country's inhabitants. There are also some Eastern Indic language varieties, which are variously classified either as dialects of Bengali or separate but closely related languages. They can be thought of forming a dialect continuum.
- Bengali-Assamese branch:
- Assamese: An Eastern Indo–Aryan language used mainly in the state of Assam. It is the official language of Assam State, India.
- Bishnupriya Manipuri: An Indo–Aryan language by the Bishnupriya Manipuri people who live
- Bengali proper: spoken all over the country. Bishnupriya Manipuri is distinct from the Bengali–Assamese languages and contains many features and elements of the Tibeto–Burman languages.
- Chakma: Spoken in the Chittagong Hill Tract Region. Unrelated to the Tibeto-Burman languages commonly found in the region.
- Chittagonian: Spoken in the South–East region of Chittagong, it is often considered to be a dialect of Bengali, but both languages are largely mutually unintelligible.
- Hajong: Originally a Tibeto-Burman language that has shifted over time to an Indic language.
- Rohingya: Spoken in Arakan State, Burma, and by refugees from that region, currently living in Bangladesh's Chittagong Division. It is also often called Arkani by native speakers.
- Sylheti: Spoken by Sylhetis in the North–East region of Sylhet.
- Tangchangya: Tanchangya is an Indo-Aryan language spoken by the Tanchangya people of Bangladesh. It is closely related to Chakma.
- Oraon Sadri: Also a major language of Jharkhand State, India.
- Bihari: Spoken primarily by the refugees from Bihar State, India.
While the more widely spoken and better-known Austroasiatic languages are spoken in Southeast Asia (e.g. Khmer and Vietnamese), smaller languages of that family are spoken by indigenous communities of northern and eastern Bangladesh.
Two Dravidian languages are spoken by indigenous communities of western Bangladesh.
The mountainous areas along the northern and eastern edges of the Indian Subcontinent are inhabited primarily by speakers of Tibeto-Burman languages. Indigenous Tibeto-Burman-speaking communities are found through the northern, eastern, and especially the southeastern parts of Bangladesh.
- Chin languages:
- Garo: also a major language of Meghalaya State, India
- Meitei Manipuri: also a major language of Manipur State, India
- Mizo: also a major language of Mizoram State, India
- Rakhine/Marma: also a major language of Arakan State, Burma
- Tripuri languages: a major language group of Tripura State, India