Bangladeshi English

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Bangladeshi English, Benglish or Banglish is one of the dialects of English characteristic of Bangladesh influenced by a Bengali accent.


An estimated 18 million Bangladeshis can use English as a second language.

Education, newspapers, business and nongovernmental organisations in English are prevalent throughout Bangladesh.

English is the principal language of the Bangladeshi upper judiciary, including the Bangladesh Supreme Court and the Dhaka High Court. Bengali is the sole official language, but English is often used secondarily for official purposes, especially in the judiciary. The Government of Bangladesh extensively uses English as a working language. Bangladeshi laws are written in both English and Bengali.


The territory of modern Bangladesh was the heartland of the Bengal Presidency in the Indian Empire.

Historically, the Bengali bhadralok class were heavily influenced by the British accent. The efforts of Sir Syed Ahmed Khan played a key role in building an English-speaking Muslim intelligentsia and middle class in Bengal. Modern Bangladeshi English is noted for its neutral accent, in comparison to other forms of Asian English, and has been influenced by the American accent. Spellings continue to be adopted from British English. English was an official language of East Pakistan. After independence, the Constitution of Bangladesh was written in both English and Bengali in 1972.

However, successive Bangladeshi governments have converted many original English-medium universities, schools and colleges to Bengali instruction in order to spread mass education. In 1987, President Hussain Muhammad Ershad replaced English with Bengali as the language of most of the lower courts, which was reversed in 2001.[1] In 2012, the High Court banned the use of "Banglish", described as a slang mixture of Bengali and English, in radio and television programs to prevent the corruption of both languages.[2]


English literature in Bangladesh includes the early works of Begum Rokeya, one of the world's earliest feminist science fiction writers, and Rabindranath Tagore, whose English translation of Gitanjali won him the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1913.

Numbering system

The Indian numbering system is preferred for digit grouping. When written in words, or when spoken, numbers less than 100,000/100 000 are expressed just as they are in Standard English. Numbers including and beyond 100,000 / 100 000 are expressed in a subset of the South Asian numbering system.

Thus, the following scale is used:

In digits (International system) In digits (South Asian system) In words (long and short scales) In words (South Asian system)
10 ten
100 one hundred
1,000 one thousand
10,000 ten thousand
100,000 100,000 one hundred thousand one lakh
1,000,000 1,000,000 one million ten lakh
10,000,000 10,000,000 ten million one koti

See also


  1. ^ "English – Banglapedia". 8 June 2014. Retrieved 23 November 2015.
  2. ^ "Bangladesh bans 'Banglish' to protect local tongue". The Express Tribune. Agence France-Presse. 17 February 2012. Retrieved 23 November 2015.

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