Ethnologue: Areas: Asia

Bangladesh

132,219,000 (1995); population density 2,026 per square mile. 531,000 speakers of Tibeto-Burman languages, 125,000 speakers of Austro-Asiatic languages (1991 J. Matisoff). People's Republic of Bangladesh. GaNa Prajãtantrï Bangladesh. Formerly East Pakistan. Literacy rate 24% to 25%. Also includes Hindi 346,000, Oriya 13,299 (1961), Eastern Panjabi 9,677 (1961), Urdu 600,000. Information mainly from A. Hale 1982, Voegelin and Voegelin 1977, SIL 1982. Data accuracy estimate: B. Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist. Blind population 1,085. Deaf institutions: 14. The number of languages listed for Bangladesh is 35.

ARAKANESE (MARMA, MORMA, MAGHI, MOGH, MAGH, YAKHAIN, RAKHAIN, MASH) [MHV] 185,000 in Bangladesh (1993 Johnstone), .1% of the population; 22,870 in India (1994 IMA); 1,875,000 in Myanmar (1993); 2,0083,000 in all countries. 76,000 refugees recently came from Myanmar (1992). Southeast, Chittagong Hills area. Some possibly in China. Sino-Tibetan, Tibeto-Burman, Burmese-Lolo, Burmish, Southern. A form of Burmese. Educated speakers know and read standard Burmese. Many men can speak Bengali. People were brought to Bangladesh in the 1800's. Typology: SOV. Tropical forest. Agriculturalists. Buddhist, Muslim, Christian. Bible portions 1914.

ASSAMESE (ASAMBE, ASAMI) [ASM] 14,604,000 or more in all countries; a few in Bangladesh (1991 D. Barrett SB); 14,604,000 in Assam, India (1994 IMA). Indo-European, Indo-Iranian, Indo-Aryan, Eastern zone, Bengali-Assamese. Bible 1833, in press (1995). NT 1819-1898. Bible portions 1822-1974.

BENGALI (BANGA-BHASA, BANGALA, BANGLA) [BNG] 100,000,000 in Bangladesh (1994 UBS), 98% of the population (1990 WA); 68,000,000 in India (1991 IMA); 70,000 in United Arab Emirates (1986); 15,000 in Saudi Arabia; 600 in Singapore (1987); 189,000,000 in all countries; 196,000,000 including second language users (1995 WA). Western. Also in USA, United Kingdom. Indo-European, Indo-Iranian, Indo-Aryan, Eastern zone, Bengali-Assamese. Languages or dialects in the Bengali group according to Grierson: Central (Standard) Bengali, Western Bengali (Kharia Thar, Mal Paharia, Saraki), Southwestern Bengali, Northern Bengali (Koch, Siripuria), Rajbangsi, Bahe, Eastern Bengali (East Central, including Sylhetti), Haijong, Southeastern Bengali (Chakma), Ganda, Vanga, Chittagonian (possible dialect of Southeastern Bengali). Bengali used in schools. Bengali script used. National language. Muslim. Braille Bible portions. Braille Scripture in progress. Bible 1809, in press (1994). NT 1801-1982. Bible portions 1800-1980.

BURMESE (BAMA, BAMACHAKA, MYEN) [BMS] 231,000 in Bangladesh (1993 Johnstone); 21,553,000 in Myanmar (1986); 1,581 in USA (1970); 22,000,000 in all countries (1981 Wurm and Hattori). Area bordering Myanmar. Sino-Tibetan, Tibeto-Burman, Burmese-Lolo, Burmish, Southern. Dialect: BOMANG. People in Bangladesh speak Bomang, not Standard Burmese. Buddhist. Bible 1835, in press (1995). NT 1832-1987. Bible portions 1815-1985.

CHAK [CKH] 909 in Bangladesh (1981 census). Chittagong Hills. Most in Arakan Blue Mts., Myanmar. Unclassified. Distinct from Chakma. Tropical forest. Agriculturalists. Traditional religion.

CHAKMA (TAKAM) [CCP] 260,577 in Bangladesh (1991 UBS); 300,000 in India (1987 ABWE); 560,000 in all countries. Southeast, Chittagong Hills area, and Chittagong City. Indo-European, Indo-Iranian, Indo-Aryan, Eastern zone, Bengali-Assamese. Educated speakers know Bengali. Many men can speak Bengali. A more assimilated hill people. 6 dialects. Tropical forest. Hills. Agriculturalists: paddy rice; fishermen. Buddhist, Christian. NT 1926-1991. Bible portions 1924-1955.

CHIN, ASHO (SHO, SHOA, KHYANG, KHYENG, QIN) [CSH] 1,422 in Bangladesh (1981 census); 10,000 in Myanmar (1991 UBS); 11,500 or more in all countries. Arakan Hills, Myanmar. Not in China. Sino-Tibetan, Tibeto-Burman, Baric, Kuki-Naga, Kuki-Chin, Southern, Sho. Dialects: CHITTAGONG, LEMYO, MINBU, SANDOWAY, THAYETMYO. Tropical forest. Agriculturalists. NT 1954. Bible portions 1921-1986.

CHIN, BAWM (BAWNG, BAWN, BOM, BAWM) [BGR] 5,773 in Bangladesh (1981 census); 9,000 in all countries (1990 UBS). Chittagong Hills. Also in India and Myanmar. Sino-Tibetan, Tibeto-Burman, Baric, Kuki-Naga, Kuki-Chin, Central, Unclassified. Tropical forest. Agriculturalists. Bible 1989. NT 1977. Bible portions 1961.

CHIN, FALAM (HALLAM CHIN, HALAM, FALLAM, FALAM) [HBH] 125,370 or more in all countries; 100,000 in Myanmar; 25,367 in India (1994 IMA). Sino-Tibetan, Tibeto-Burman, Baric, Kuki-Naga, Kuki-Chin, Old Kuki, Western, Southern. Dialects: CHOREI, ZANNIAT. Typology: SOV. Bible 1991. NT 1951-1973. Bible portions 1933-1964.

CHIN, HAKA (HAKA, BAUNGSHE) [CNH] 100,000 in Myanmar (1991 UBS); 977 in Bangladesh; 101,000 in all countries. Also in India. Sino-Tibetan, Tibeto-Burman, Baric, Kuki-Naga, Kuki-Chin, Central, Haka. Dialects: LAI, KLANGKLANG (THLANTLANG), ZOKHUA, SHONSHE. Shonshe may be a separate language. Bible 1978. NT 1940, in press (1995). Bible portions 1920-1959.

CHIN, KHUMI (KHUMI, KHAMI, KHIMI, KHWEYMI, KHUNI) [CKM] 1,188 in Bangladesh (1981 census); 76,700 in Myanmar (1983); 78,000 or more in all countries. Also in India. Sino-Tibetan, Tibeto-Burman, Baric, Kuki-Naga, Kuki-Chin, Southern, Khami. Dialects: KHIMI, KHAMI, YINDU (YINDI), MATU, NGALA. Khami and Ngala may be separate languages. Tropical forest. Agriculturalists. NT 1959. Bible portions 1935-1950.

DARLONG [DLN] 14,000 in all countries (1993 UBS); 5,000 in India (1994 UBS). Sino-Tibetan, Tibeto-Burman, Baric, Kuki-Naga, Kuki-Chin, Central, Unclassified. NT in press (1996).

GARO (GARROW, MANDE) [GRT] 102,000 in Bangladesh (1993); 547,433 in India (1994 IMA); 650,000 in all countries. Northeastern, Mymensingh plains. Sino-Tibetan, Tibeto-Burman, Baric, Konyak-Bodo-Garo, Bodo-Garo, Garo. Dialects: ABENG, ACHIK. The Achik dialect predominates among several inherently intelligible dialects. The Abeng dialect is in Bangladesh. Closest to Koch. Bible 1924-1994. NT 1894-1987. Bible portions 1887-1904.

HAJONG (HAIJONG) [HAJ] (23,978 in India; 1971 census). Indo-European, Indo-Iranian, Indo-Aryan, Eastern zone, Bengali-Assamese.

HO (LANKA KOL) [HOC] (1,026,000 in India; 1994 IMA). Austro-Asiatic, Munda, North Munda, Kherwari, Mundari. Distinct from Ho (Hani) of Myanmar, China, Viet Nam, Laos. NT in press (1996). Bible portions 1915-1987.

INDIAN SIGN LANGUAGE [INS] (1,500,000 or more users in India; 1986 Gallaudet Univ.). Extends into some parts of Pakistan and Bangladesh. Mainly in India. Deaf sign language. Not related to French, Spanish, American sign languages, or their group. Some influence from British Sign Language in the fingerspelling system and a few other signs, but most signs are unrelated to European sign systems. It developed indigenously in India. The Indian manual English system is hardly intelligible to American Signed English.

KHASI (KAHASI, KHASIYAS, KHUCHIA, KYI, COSSYAH, KHASSEE, KHASIE) [KHI] 85,088 in Bangladesh (1961 census); 824,000 in India (1994 IMA); 909,000 in all countries. Northern. Austro-Asiatic, Mon-Khmer, Northern Mon-Khmer, Khasian. Dialects: KHASI (CHERRAPUNJI), LYNGNGAM (LNGNGAM), WAR. Bible 1891. NT 1831-1991. Bible portions 1816-1891.

KOCH (KOC, KOCCH, KOCE, KOCHBOLI, KONCH) [KDQ] 35,000 in all countries (1973 MARC); 21,870 in India (1994 IMA). Also Assam, Tripura, India. Sino-Tibetan, Tibeto-Burman, Baric, Konyak-Bodo-Garo, Bodo-Garo, Garo. Dialects: BANAI, HARIGAYA, SATPARIYA, TINTEKIYA, WANANG. Dialect or separate language: Atong. Closest to Garo. Distinct from Koch of Bengali-Assamese group in West Bengal. Survey needed.

KOK BOROK (TRIPURI, TRIPURA, TIPURA, MRUNG, USIPI) [TRP] 78,000 in Bangladesh (1993 Johnstone); 658,000 in India (1994 IMA); 736,000 in all countries. Sino-Tibetan, Tibeto-Burman, Baric, Konyak-Bodo-Garo, Bodo-Garo, Bodo. Dialects: JAMATIA, NOATIA, RIANG (TIPRA), HALAM, DEBBARMA. Bible in press (1995). NT 1976. Bible portions 1959-1983.

KURUX (KURUKH, URAON, ORAOAN) [KVN] 2,000,000 in all countries (1991 WA); 1,747,000 in India (1994 IMA). Primarily in India. Dravidian, Northern. Distinct from Nepali Kurux. NT 1950, in press (1989). Bible portions 1895.

LUSHAI (LUSHEI, LUSAI, SAILAU, HUALNGO, WHELNGO, LE) [LSH] 1,041 in Bangladesh (1981 census); 12,500 in Myanmar; 503,732 in India (1994 IMA); 517,200 in all countries. Mizo Hills. Sino-Tibetan, Tibeto-Burman, Baric, Kuki-Naga, Kuki-Chin, Central, Mizo. Dialects: RALTE, DULIEN, NGENTE, MIZO. Related to Zahao, Hmar, Pankhu, Paang. Tropical forest. Agriculturalists. Bible 1959-1995. NT 1916-1986. Bible portions 1898-1956.

MEGAM (MIGAM) [MEF] Northeastern. Sino-Tibetan, Tibeto-Burman, Baric, Konyak-Bodo-Garo, Bodo-Garo, Garo. Called a dialect of Garo, but may be a separate language. Survey needed.

MEITHEI (MEITHE, MITEI, MANIPURI, KATHE, KATHI, PONNA) [MNR] 92,800 in Bangladesh (1982); 1,252,000 in India (1994 IMA); 6,000 in Myanmar (1931); 1,351,000 in all countries. Sino-Tibetan, Tibeto-Burman, Baric, Kuki-Naga, Mikir-Meithei. Hindu, traditional religion, Muslim, Christian. Bible 1984. NT 1827, in press (1995). Bible portions 1820-1956.

MRU (MRO, MURUNG, NIOPRENG, MRUNG) [MRO] 17,811 in Bangladesh (1981 census); 34,100 in Myanmar; 14,584 in India; 66,500 in all countries. Southeastern, Chittagong Hills; 200 villages. Sino-Tibetan, Tibeto-Burman, Baric, Kuki-Naga, Mru. A more accessible hill tribe. Typology: SOV. Tropical forest. Agriculturalists. Traditional religion with some Buddhist elements. Bible portions 1934. Work in progress.

MUNDARI (MUNDA, MANDARI, MUNARI, HORO, MONDARI, COLH) [MUW] (1,467,515 In India (1994 IMA); 5,700 in Nepal; 1993). Austro-Asiatic, Munda, North Munda, Kherwari, Mundari. Dialects: HASADA', LATAR, NAGURI, KERA'. Bible 1910-1932. NT 1895, in press (1996). Bible portions 1876-1965.

PANKHU (PANKHO, PANKO) [PKH] 2,278 (1981 census). Falam area, Chin Hills. Sino-Tibetan, Tibeto-Burman, Baric, Kuki-Naga, Kuki-Chin, Central, Mizo. Tropical forest. Agriculturalists.

RAJBANGSI (RAJBANSI, TAJPURI) [RJB] (94,000 in Nepal; 1993). Districts of Jalpaiguri, Cooch Behar. Also in India. Indo-European, Indo-Iranian, Indo-Aryan, Eastern zone, Bengali-Assamese. Dialect: BAHE.

RIANG (REANG, KAU BRU) [RIA] 1,011 in Bangladesh; 132,600 in India (1994 IMA); 133,600 in all countries. Sino-Tibetan, Tibeto-Burman, Baric, Konyak-Bodo-Garo, Bodo-Garo, Bodo. Not the same as Riang of Myanmar, a Mon Khmer language. NT 1990. Bible portions 1959-1982.

SADRI [SDR] 84,000 to 200,000 (1994). Throughout Rajshahi Division; in Chittagong Division, Moulvibazar and Hobigani districts; and Khulna Division, Jhenaidah District (Jhenaidah Thana, Moheshpur Thana), Kushtia District (Mirpur Thana), Magura District (Magura Thana). Indo-European, Indo-Iranian, Indo-Aryan, Eastern zone, Bihari. Dialects: BORAIL SADRI, NURPUR SADRI, UCHAI SADRI, MOKKAN TILA SADRI. The Oraon people came from India over 100 years ago. Sometime in the past some Oraon shifted from Kurukh, a Dravidian language, to Sadri, which is Indo-Aryan. Some Oraon people still speak Kurukh. The dialects listed may need separate literature. Lexical similarity of 14 Sadri varieties with Borail Sadri ranges from 88% to 97%. Inherent intelligibility of 7 Sadri varieties on Borail ranges from 70% to 93%; of 8 varieties on Nurpur from 78% to 94%. Speakers' bilingual proficiency in Bengali is limited. Vernacular language use is vigorous. Agriculturalists. Traditional religion, Hindu. Work in progress.

SANTALI (HOR, SATAR, SANTHALI, SANDAL, SANGTAL, SANTAL, HAR, SONTHAL) [SNT] 157,000 in Bangladesh (1993 Johnstone); 5,675,000 in India (1994 IMA); 40,000 in Nepal (1985); 5,872,000 in all countries. Austro-Asiatic, Munda, North Munda, Kherwari, Santali. Dialects: KARMALI (KHOLE), KAMARI-SANTALI, LOHARI-SANTALI, MAHALI (MAHLE), MANJHI, PAHARIA. Bible 1914-1992. NT 1887-1962. Bible portions 1868-1989.

SHENDU (KHYEN, KHYENG, KHIENG, SHANDU, SANDU) [SHL] 1,000 in Bangladesh (1980 UBS). Also India. Sino-Tibetan, Tibeto-Burman, Baric, Kuki-Naga, Kuki-Chin, Southern, Sho. Close to Mara Shin (Lakher). Also related to Sho, Khyang, Thayetmo, Minbu, Chinbon, Lemyo.

SYLHETTI (SYLHETI, SYLHETTI BANGLA) [SYL] 5,000,000 in Bangladesh; 100,000 in United Kingdom (1987 D. Spratt); 5,000,000 in all countries (1995 WA). District of Sylhet, about 100 miles north of Dacca. Also possibly in India. Indo-European, Indo-Iranian, Indo-Aryan, Eastern zone, Bengali-Assamese. Educated speakers can read Bengali. Few women are educated. Approximately 70% lexical similarity with Bengali. Muslim. Bible portions 1993. Work in progress.

TANGCHANGYA (TANCHANGYA) [TNV] 17,695 (1981 census). Indo-European, Indo-Iranian, Indo-Aryan, Eastern zone, Bengali-Assamese. Closely related to Chakma. Tropical forest. Agriculturalists.

TIPPERA (TIPPERA-BENGALI, TIPPERAH, TIPRA, TIPURA, TRIPERAH, TIPPURAH, TRIPURA) [TPE] 105,000 (1993 Johnstone). Chittagong Hills. Indo-European, Indo-Iranian, Indo-Aryan, Unclassified. Many men can speak Bengali. 36 dialects. Tropical forest. Agriculturalists. Traditional religion with Hindu elements. NT 1995. Bible portions 1990.

USUI (UNSHOI, UNSUIY, USHOI) [USI] 4,010 (1981 census). Chittagong Hills. Indo-European, Indo-Iranian, Indo-Aryan, Unclassified. Closely related to Tippera. Tropical forest. Agriculturalists. Hindu, traditional religion. Survey needed.


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Part of the Ethnologue, 13th Edition, Barbara F. Grimes, Editor.
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