Bangla is spoken by about 230 million people. Development of Bengali language has three main periods, they are (1000-1350 AD, 1350-1800 AD, 1800-modern day). Various versions of Bangla are spoken or written today.
Bangla is the state language of Bangladesh. It is the administrative language of the Indian states of Tripura and West Bengal as well as one of the administrative languages of Kachar district, Assam.
Bangla speakers number about 230 million today, making Bangla the seventh most spoken language after Chinese, English, Hindi, Urdu, Spanish, Arabic and Portuguese.
Phases of Bangla (Development of Bengali Language)
The existence of the earliest form of Bangla language could be traced as far back as 1000 AD. The period between 1000 AD and 1350 AD is regarded as the old phase of the evolution of Bangla. The earliest example of old Bangla is to be found in the Charyapada, a collection of poems written by Buddhist monks.
The period between 1350 AD and 1800 AD is considered as the medieval phase for Bangla. Exmples of the early form of medieval Bangla include translations of the Ramayana and the
Mohabharata, Vaishnava lyrics, poetical biographies of Sri Chaitanya, narratives and Purbabanga Gitika. Some Sultans of the pre-mughal periods patronized many of these works.
During the Mughal period, an influx of Perso-Arabic words took place into the evolving vocabulary of Bangla. The modern phase of Bangla language starts from approximately 1800 AD with the influence of English and this phase in now continuing.
The dominant form of pre-modern Bangla was poetic, but in the modern phase, the porse form of Bangla gradually emerged. During this period, Bangla borrowed works form Sanskrit, English and other European languages.
During the 19th century, the efforts of Bengali writers contributed to the further growth of the language. Among them were Raja Remmohun Roy, Bahabanicharan Bandyopadhay, Iswar Chandra Vidyasagar, Bankimchandra Chattopadhyay, Michael Madhusudan Dutta and Mir Mosharraf ossain.
In the twentieth century, writers such as Rabindranath Tagore and Pramatha Chowdhury helped turn everyday spoken Bangla into a written language.
Dialects and styles
Much of modern day Bangla comes from Sanskrit and there also Persian and English influences. The Bengali speaking people are accustomed to various dialects that differ from divisions to division and form one district to another.
People speak in dialect at home, but generally use spoken Bangla outside and standard colloquial Bangla for academic and literacy purposes. Usually, standard Bangla is used in literary and artistic work, plays and mass communication, but recently the use of dialects in these activities has increased.
There are two separate styles of writing Bengali scriptures: formal (sadhu) and informal (chalet), but most are written in chalet. The alphabet consist of 11 vowels and 39 consonants, making a total of 50 letters.
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