Email
Monday, May 28, 2018
West Bengal

People


Language

Bengali is the mother tongue of the great majority of the natives of the state. Bengali is also the mother tongue of the entire population of the republic of Bangladesh. The languages of the people of Darjeeling District are Nepali and Bhotiya. Calcutta has a large number of immigrants, so they use different types of languages like Hindi, Oriya, English, Santhali, Burmese, Chinese and other languages. Bengali as a distinct language was evolved probably between the ninth and the twelfth centuries, out of the old Austric-Dravidian dialects, the Prakrit dialects which carried the message of Buddhism, Sanskrit and an eastern variant called Magadhi of the Northern Indian dialect belonging to the Sauraseni or western family. Old Bengali differs from medieval Bengali developed out of this admixture of dialects. The Bengali vocabulary has retained many words inherited from the pre-Aryan dialects, which survive in the speech of the aboriginal tribes. 

The Bengali script is as old as the language. The script was standardized in its present form in the 19th century. The Bengali alphabet has 13 vowels and 39 consonants. The script has a number of joint letters formed by conjuncture of vowels with consonants and consonants with consonants, many of which are arbitrarily designed. The Bengali  speech had many regional variations. Modern Bengali languages possesses a remarkably rich vocabulary having incorporated and adapted words from Sanskrit Persian, Hindi, Urdu, English, Portuguese, also Greek, Arabic, Dutch, Turkish, French, Japanese, Malayan, Burmese etc. The Bengali vocabulary thus exhibits a liberal admixture of words from many languages, pronounced and spelt in an indigenous manner.