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Languages of West Bengal

Bengali is the main language of West Bengal, which is the mother tongue of a majority of the people of the state. It is the official language of West Bengal. Nepali and Bhutiya are also spoken in West Bengal, but mainly in the district of Darjeeling. Kolkata, which is a melting pot of several cultures, also communicates in Hindi and English. In schools of West Bengal, the medium of instruction is generally either Bengali or English. However, Hindi and Urdu are also being used in some cases.

The Bengali language has been derived from Magadhi Prakrit, Pali and Sanskrit. However, besides these three, Bengali has been enriched through borrowing words from several other languages such as Persian, Hindi, Urdu, English, Portuguese, Greek, Arabic, Dutch, Turkish, French, Japanese, Malayan and Burmese among others. Bengali is a very sweet language with a rich body of literature, whose origin dates back to the tenth century.

Now more than 230 million people in West Bengal, Bangladesh and elsewhere speak this language, making it one of the most widely spoken languages of the world. The evolution of Bengali is broadly classified in three phases; the Old Bengali, Middle Bengali and the New Bengali. The Bengali alphabets have 13 vowels and 39 consonants, and they are as old as the spoken language. However, the language was standardized in its present format only in the nineteenth century. However, the Bengali language has several dialects, which are spoken in the rural West Bengal and Bangladesh. According to the famous linguist Suniti Kumar Chatterjee, the dialects of Bengali can be grouped in the clusters of Radh, Banga, Kamarupa and Varendra. The national anthem of India is written by Rabindranath Tagore in the Bengali language.

In the cosmopolitan culture of Kolkata, which has a population mix of various linguistic groups, English is also very much in use, specially in education and work places. With the growth of the services sector, specially the IT sector in Kolkata, the usage of English as a medium of communication is increasing day by day. With the influence of Bollywood films, the use of Hindi on the streets of Kolkata is also emerging as a common feature.

Last Updated On: 2011/07/12


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Bishnu prasad gautam

Posted on 2011-12-14सर्व शिक्षा मातृभाषामा नहुनु सुक्ष्म गतिमा दास हुनु हो |

विष्णु प

Posted on 2011-12-14माताको दुध शिशुलाई शिक्षा मातृभाषामा प्रभाव पर्छ सृष्टिलाई प्रकाशको गतिमा


Posted on 2011-11-21thanks