Languages of Bangladesh

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Languages of Bangladesh
Languages of Bangladesh map.svg
Official languages Bangla
National languages Bangla
Regional languages


Chittagonian, Sylheti, Chakma, Rangpuri
Minority languages Assamese, Bishnupriya Manipuri, Chakma, Hajong, Tangchangya, Oraon Sadri, Khasi, Koda, Mundari, Pnar, Santali, War-Jaintia, Kurukh, Sauria Paharia, A'Tong, Chak, Chin, Asho, Bawm, Falam, Haka, Khumi, Koch, Garo, Megam, Meitei Manipuri, Mizo, Mru, Pangkhua, Rakhine/Marma, Kok Borok, Riang, Tippera and Usoi
Main immigrant languages Bihari • Burmese • Rohingya
Main foreign languages English

The official and de facto national language of Bangladesh is Modern Standard Bengali (Literary Bangla). 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, having no official status, is prevalent across government, law, business, media and education, and can be regarded as the de facto co-official language of Bangladesh (see Bangladeshi English).[1][2]

The indigenous people of northern and southeastern Bangladesh speak a variety of native languages.

Aryan languages[edit]

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-Aryan languages[edit]

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

Austroasiatic languages[edit]

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[edit]

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

Tibeto-Burman languages[edit]

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.


Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]