Interesting facts about the Bengali language
Bengali is spoken by around 215 million people as their mother tongue and ranks seventh on the list of world languages.
Over 140 million of these native speakers live in Bangladesh, a state in South Asia. Bengali is also the official language there.
But also in India Bengali is spoken by over 75 million people, here it is one of 22 officially recognized official languages and is mainly spoken in the Indian provinces West Bengal and Tripura.
Other regions where people converse in Bengali are Malaysia, Nepal, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Great Britain and the USA.
Dialects of Bengali
A uniform Bengali language did not develop until the middle of the 18th century, although dialects of Bengali continued to consolidate even after the introduction of a standardized official language and are still in use today. Dialects of Bengali are for example Nadia, Choltibhascha or Bangal, spoken - like Bengali itself - in Bangladesh as well as in India.
Chittagong-Bengali, Chakma and Sylheti were also considered dialects of Bengali in the past, but have developed into independent languages to this day.
The languages most closely related to Bengali are Assamese and Oriya. Both are mainly spoken in the Indian states of Assam and Orissa, but also in Bangladesh.
All three languages developed from Magadhi at the beginning of the 14th century, with the first scriptures from the early 12th century being discovered.
Bengali - an Indo-Aryan language
Bengali belongs to the Indo-Aryan language family, which forms a subfamily of Indo-European languages.
Thus the languages of this linguistic area are - at least remotely - related to German. The most important Indo-Aryan languages include Hindi, Urdu and Sanskrit, but Romani spoken in the European linguistic area also belongs to this language family.
However, the speakers of this language branch are predominantly located in Nepal, Central India, Sri Lanka or Bangladesh.
The Bengali alphabet
Bengali is written in its own script, the so-called Brahmi script. It is similar to the Devanagari script, in which Hindi and Sanskrit are also written.
As early as 1000 A.D., the first indications of the origin of Bengali were recorded in the form of a collection of songs called Charyapada.
First documents with mainly religious contents were dated to the early 14th century.
The alphabet consists of eleven vowels and 36 consonants, in addition there are ten vowel abbreviations, which are used in connection with the appropriate vowel.
Translated with www.DeepL.com/Translator