Similarities Between Bengali and Urdu





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Published on Mar 9, 2019

Bengali and Urdu are both Indo-Aryan languages that share a large number of words, in addition to the many loanwords that are used in both languages. This language challenge will be between Ayesha, an Urdu speaker from Lahore, Pakistan, and Akash, a Bengali speaker from Kolkata (Calcutta), India. Kolkata is the capital of the Indian state of West Bengal, and is located less than a 100 kilometres west of the border with Bangladesh. Bengali is the official state language and is the dominant language in Kolkata.

Modern Standard Urdu is a Persianized and standardised register language of the Hindustani language. It is the official national language and lingua franca of Pakistan. In India, it is one of the official languages recognized in the Constitution of India, having official status in the five states of Jammu and Kashmir, Telangana, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, and Jharkhand, as well as the national capital territory of Delhi. For centuries prior to the British colonization, Persian was widely used as a second language in the Indian subcontinent and has had a huge impact on the languages of the region.

Bengali (Bangla) is an Indo-Aryan language and the official and most widely spoken language of Bangladesh and second most widely spoken of the 22 scheduled languages of India, behind Hindi. Within India, Bengali is the official language of the states of West Bengal, Tripura and the Barak Valley in the state of Assam. It is also spoken in different parts of the Brahmaputra valley of Assam. It is also the most widely spoken language in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands in the Bay of Bengal, and is spoken by significant minorities in other states including Jharkhand, Bihar, Mizoram, Meghalaya, and Odisha.

Urdu and Bengali use a large number of Persian words, which we could have easily used for this video. However, we decided to includ mainly words which are derived from Sanskrit, in addition to a few words which entered the languages through Persian.

If you live in Toronto or the surrounding areas, speak a language that has not been featured on our channel and would like to participate in a future video, and/or if you have any suggestions or feedback, please contact us on Instagram:
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