With 205 million speakers, Bengali is the seventh most spoken native language in the world by population.
Dictionaries from the early 20th century attributed slightly more than half of the Bengali vocabulary to native words (i.e., naturally modified Sanskrit words, corrupted forms of Sanskrit words, and loanwords from non-Indo-European languages), about 30 percent to unmodified Sanskrit words, and the remainder to foreign words.
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The day has since been observed as Language Movement Day in Bangladesh and was proclaimed the International Mother Language Day by UNESCO on 17 November 1999, marking Bengali language the only language in the world to be also known for its language movements and people sacrificing their life for their mother language.
A Bengali language movement in the Indian state of Assam took place in 1961, a protest against the decision of the Government of Assam to make Assamese the only official language of the state even though a significant proportion of the population were Bengali-speaking, particularly in the Barak Valley.
For an introductory guide on IPA symbols, see Help: IPA.), is an Indo-Aryan language spoken in the Indian Subcontinent.
It is the official and most widely spoken language of Bangladesh, and second most widely spoken of the 22 scheduled languages of India, behind Hindi.
Rangpuri, Kharia Thar and Mal Paharia are closely related to Western Bengali dialects, but are typically classified as separate languages.
Similarly, Hajong is considered a separate language, although it shares similarities to Northern Bengali dialects.In 1999, UNESCO recognized 21 February as International Mother Language Day in recognition of the language movement in East Pakistan (now Bangladesh).Language is an important element of Bengali identity and binds together a culturally diverse region. The local Apabhraṃśa of the eastern subcontinent, Purbi Apabhraṃśa or Abahatta ("Meaningless Sounds"), eventually evolved into regional dialects, which in turn formed three groups of the Bengali–Assamese languages, the Bihari languages, and the Odia language.During the standardization of Bengali in the 19th century and early 20th century, the cultural center of Bengal was in the city of Kolkata, founded by the British.What is accepted as the standard form today in both West Bengal and Bangladesh is based on the West-Central dialect of Nadia District, located next to the border of Bangladesh.On the day of 21 February 1952 five students and political activists were killed during protests near the campus of the University of Dhaka.