The state language of West Bengal is Bengali. Bengali language has been around since the first millennium BC. Bengali is also one of the 23 official languages that have been recognised by the Indian government.
West bengal language Bengali is spoken by over 210 million people throughout the world out of which 85 million belong to India significantly from the states of West Bengal, Tripura and Assam. It also happens to be the 7th most spoken language in the world.
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The most significant language spoken in West Bengal is Bengali but English is also one the official languages of the state and is used side by side with Bengali in government and administrative offices. Even the national anthem of India was written in Bengali by Rabindranath Tagore. Bengali is also the official language of neighbouring country Bangladesh and is spoken in other parts of India such as Tripura, Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Barak Valley in Assam and it is the second official language of Jharkhand too.
Main language of West Bengal is Bengali as 93% people living in West Bengal speak Bengali.While the official language of West Bengal is Bengali, there are many other languages spoken in West Bengal. There is a diversity of communities and different religions that live in West Bengal people speak in languages like Hindi, Nepali, Santali and Urdu besides Bengali.
Bengali, the main language of West Bengal is a dialect that is spoken throughout West, Bengal and some of its neighbouring states and countries but the dialects differ from place to place. All these dialects are grouped in to four basic groups by linguist – Kamrupa, Rarh, Varendra and Banga. However there are many other system of grouping that have been proposed by different linguists. Rarh or Nadia are the main dialects on which the modern Bengali language is based on. The Eastern Bengali is much impacted by the Tibeto-Burman languages. Eastern Bengali doesn’t use nasalized vowels and alveolar articulation like the Western Bengali that uses postalveolar articulation. Other variations of Bengali are Chakma and Chittagonian. Kharia Thar, Rangpuria and Mal Paharia resemble the Western Bengali dialects but should not be confused as same, they are completely different languages whereas Hajong is a Northern Bengali dialect but considered as a different language.
|Official Language|| Bengali
|Second State Language|| Hindi
Odia (or Oriya)
|Regional/Local Language||Hindi, Nepali, Santali and Urdu, Bengali.|
The West Bengal language – Bengali has evolved from Magadh Prakrit and Sanskrit in 1000 – 1200 AD. This Purbi Apabhramsa or the Abahatta which means meaningless sounds gradually developed into one of the regional dialects which was then divided into three groups – Bengali-Assamese languages, Odia language and Bihari languages. Medieval history saw Bengali influenced by Persian and Arabic languages. The modern Bengali literary majorly comprises of vocabulary from Pali, Prakrit, Sanskrit and tatsamas.
The scripting of Bengali language has been taken from Brahmi especially from the eastern Brahmi. The line of development of Bengali is different from Oriyan and Devanagari scripts but the Assamese and Bengali characters usually match. Although scripting of Bengali language was complete by the 12th century CE there were some changes that continued to happen till the 16th century and there were few changes that took place in the 19th century as well. Bengali is written from left to right, most of the punctuation marks are taken from English and there are no capital letters.
The local language of West Bengal, Bengali has been around in the history for a long time and the oldest literature works belongs to the 10th century is known as the ‘Charyapada’ which is a collection of Buddhist songs. There are several poets such as Kanhapada, Kamlipada, Shantipada, Luipada, Chatilpada and others. There are literary works that have been preserved from the time earlier than Chaitanya Mahaprabhu such as ‘Sri Krishna Kritana’ written by Boru Chandidas, a partly translated ‘Bhagavata Geeta Purana’ by Maladhar Basu and ‘ Vaishnava Padavali’ by Chandidas and Vidyapati. There were many literary geniuses of the medieval period between 13th and 18th century such as Bijay Gupta, Mukundaram Chakraborty, Rupram Chakraborty etc.
Bengali- the regional language of West Bengal gained impetus in the 19th century as it was in this period that the Bengali Pandits of Fort William College got together to translate in Bengali so even the British could be taught Indian languages. Raja Ram Mohan Roy was one of the important literary icons of Bengali language who formed a cultural group known as ‘Atmiya Sabha’. Some more literary geniuses of the modern world include famous names like Bakim Chandra Chattopadhyay, Michael Madhusudan Dutt, Biharilal Chakraborty, Ishwar Chandra Gupta, Akshay Kumar Boral, Romesh Chunder Dutt, Rassundari Devi and many others. From essays to books, Bengali writers took their literature to a complete new level.
West Bengal language name is Bengali. The language is the essence – the heart and soul of the people of West Bengal who love and respect their native language.