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Languages of Bangladesh

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Title: Languages of Bangladesh  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
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Subject: Languages of South Asia, Languages of Asia, Bangladeshis, Languages of India, Bangladeshis in the Maldives
Collection: Languages of Bangladesh, Languages Spoken in West Bengal
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Languages of Bangladesh

Languages of Bangladesh
Official languages Literary Bengali
Regional languages


Chittagonian Bengali, Sylheti Bengali, Chakma language, Rangpuri language
Vernaculars Bengali
Main immigrant languages Bihari, Burmese, Rohingya
Sign languages Bengali Sign Language
Common keyboard layouts
Bengali National Keyboard

The official language of Bangladesh is Modern Standard Bengali (Literary Bengali). It serves as the lingua franca of the nation, with 98% of Bangladeshis fluent in Standard Bengali or Bengali dialects as their first language. English, though not having official status, is prevalent across government, law, business, media and education, and can be regarded as the de facto co-official language of Bangladesh.[1][2]

The indigenous people of northern and southeastern Bangladesh speak a variety of native languages, notably Chakma and Shantali. Urdu is commonly spoken among Muslim migrants from India and Pakistan.


  • Indic languages 1
  • Non-Indic languages 2
    • Tibeto-Burman languages 2.1
    • Austroasiatic languages 2.2
    • Dravidian languages 2.3
  • References 3
  • Further reading 4
  • External links 5

Indic 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.

Non-Indic languages

The indigenous languages of the region are members of the Tibeto-Burman, Austroasiatic, and Dravidian families. Most of these languages are spoken in mountainous areas.

Tibeto-Burman languages

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.

Austroasiatic languages

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.

Dravidian languages

Two Dravidian languages are spoken by indigenous communities of western Bangladesh.


  1. ^ Ethnologue.
  2. ^

Further reading

  • UNESCO, "Bangladesh: Some endangered languages (information from Ethonologue, UNESCO)", June 2010.

External links

  • Ethnologue report for Bangladesh
  • Bangla language
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