Bangladesh

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Atong
[aot] Dhaka division: north Netrokona district. 5,400 in Bangladesh. Status: 6b (Threatened). Alternate Names: A’tong, Attong. Classification: Sino-Tibetan, Tibeto-Burman, Sal, Bodo-Garo-Northern Naga, Bodo-Koch, Koch. Comments: Seen by themselves and other Garos to be Garos, but the languages are not mutually intelligible. Christian.

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Bengali
[ben] Widespread. 106,000,000 in Bangladesh (2011 census). L2 users: 19,200,000 in Bangladesh (2011 census). Total users in all countries: 208,344,830 (as L1: 189,144,830; as L2: 19,200,000). Status: 1 (National). Statutory national language (1972, Constitution, Article 3). Alternate Names: Bangala, Bangla, Bangla-Bhasa. Dialects: Barisal, Noakhali, Khulna, Mymensingh. Reportedly similar to Assamese [asm]. Lexical similarity: 40% with Nepali [npi]. Classification: Indo-European, Indo-Iranian, Indo-Aryan, Outer Languages, Eastern, Bengali-Assamese. Comments: Muslim.

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Bihari
[urd] Chittagong, Dhaka, Khulna, and Rangpur divisions; mainly refugee camps in 13 districts. 250,000 in Bangladesh (2003 SIL). Status: 5 (Dispersed). Alternate Names: Urdu. Classification: Indo-European, Indo-Iranian, Indo-Aryan, Western Hindi, Hindustani. Comments: Non-indigenous.

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Bishnupriya
[bpy] Sylhet division: south Habiganj district, Sylhet city, 1 village; Moulvibazar district; Sunamganj district, 2 villages. 40,000 in Bangladesh (2003). No monolinguals. Status: 6a (Vigorous). Alternate Names: Bishnupria, Bishnupriya Manipuri, Bishnupuriya, Bisna Puriya. Dialects: Rajar Gang, Madai Gang. Classification: Indo-European, Indo-Iranian, Indo-Aryan, Outer Languages, Eastern, Bengali-Assamese. Comments: Dialects are not attached to localities but exist side by side: Madai Gang (of the village of the queen) and Rajar Gang (of the village of the king). Intelligibility between the 2 caste dialects sufficient to understand complex and abstract discourse. Hindu.

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Chak
[ckh] Chittagong division: Baishari, Bandarban, Bishar Chokpra; south Naikhongchari area in Arakan Blue mountains. 14 villages. 3,000 in Bangladesh (Bradley 2007b). Total users in all countries: 4,000. Status: 6a (Vigorous). Alternate Names: Sak, Tsak. Classification: Sino-Tibetan, Tibeto-Burman, Sal, Jingpho-Luish, Luish. Comments: Distinct from Chakma [ccp]. Traditional religion.

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Chakma
[ccp] Chittagong division: Chittagong city, Chittagong Hills area; Khagrachari and Rangamati districts. 150,000 in Bangladesh (2007 SIL). Total users in all countries: 326,000. Status: 5 (Developing). Alternate Names: Sakma, Sangma, Takam. Dialects: Chakma of India [ccp] understand Bangladesh Chakma with difficulty. Some dialect variation within Myanmar. Lexical similarity: 58%–67% with Tanchangya [tnv]. Classification: Indo-European, Indo-Iranian, Indo-Aryan, Outer Languages, Eastern, Bengali-Assamese. Comments: Buddhist, Christian.

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Chin, Asho
[csh] Chittagong division: Bandarban, Chittagong, and Rangamati districts. plains area (Laitu); hill area (Kongtu). 4,000 in Bangladesh (2011). Status: 6a (Vigorous). Alternate Names: Khyang, Khyeng, Qin, Sho, Shoa. Dialects: Laitu, Kongtu, Khyang. Classification: Sino-Tibetan, Tibeto-Burman, Sal, Kuki-Chin-Naga, Kuki-Chin, Southern. Comments: Non-indigenous.

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Chin, Bawm
[bgr] Chittagong division: Bandarbar and south Rangamati districts, near Myanmar border. 10,000 in Bangladesh (2011). Status: 5 (Developing). Alternate Names: Bawm, Bawn, Bawng, Bom. Classification: Sino-Tibetan, Tibeto-Burman, Sal, Kuki-Chin-Naga, Kuki-Chin, Central.

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Chin, Khumi
[cnk] Chittagong division: Bandarban district, Rowanchari, Ruma, and Thanchi subdistricts. 2,090 in Bangladesh (2005). Status: 6a (Vigorous). Alternate Names: Khami, Khuni, “Khweymi” (pej.). Dialects: Khimi, Yindi (Yindu), Khami. Classification: Sino-Tibetan, Tibeto-Burman, Sal, Kuki-Chin-Naga, Kuki-Chin, Southern.

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Chittagonian
[ctg] Chittagong division: widespread. 13,000,000 (2006 SIL). Status: 3 (Wider communication). Used as an L2 in Rangamati, Bandarban, Cox’ s Bazar, and Chittagong districts primarily for business and market. Alternate Names: Chatgaiyan Buli, Chatgaya, Chittagonian Bengali. Dialects: Not inherently intelligible with Bengali [ben], although considered a nonstandard Bengali dialect. Dialects form a continuum from north to south, with a larger religious distinction between Muslim and others. Rohingya [rhg] in Myanmar is reportedly similar to the southern dialect of Chittagonian. Lexical similarity: 43%–64% with Bangla [ben]. Classification: Indo-European, Indo-Iranian, Indo-Aryan, Outer Languages, Eastern, Bengali-Assamese. Comments: Muslim, Christian, Hindu.

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Garo
[grt] Dhaka division: Dhaka, Jamalpur, Madhupur, Netrokona, Sherpur districts; enclaves north, southwest and northwest of Mymensingh city; Sylhet division: Sylhet and Sunamganj districts. 120,000 in Bangladesh (2005). Status: 5 (Dispersed). Used as LWC among all Mandi. Alternate Names: Garrow, Mande, Mandi. Dialects: Abeng, Achik, Brak, Chibok, Dual. Classification: Sino-Tibetan, Tibeto-Burman, Sal, Bodo-Garo-Northern Naga, Bodo-Koch, Bodo-Garo, Garo. Comments: Abeng dialect is spoken but writing is in Achik. Christian, Hindu, traditional religion.

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Hajong
[haj] Dhaka division: Rangpur district east to Sunamganj district; Sylhet division. 8,000 in Bangladesh. Status: 5 (Developing). Alternate Names: Hajang. Classification: Indo-European, Indo-Iranian, Indo-Aryan, Outer Languages, Eastern, Bengali-Assamese. Comments: Hindu.

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Indian Sign Language
[ins] Scattered. Status: 6a (Vigorous). Alternate Names: Bangladesh Sign Language, Bangladeshi Sign Language, Bengali Sign Language. Dialects: Bangla Sign Language (Bangla Ishara Vasha). Classification: Sign language. Comments: Non-indigenous. The Indian manual English system is barely understandable to American Signed English.

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Khasi
[kha] Sylhet division: Brahman Bazar enclave south of Sylhet town, Jaintiapur north border enclave; Barlekha area southwest to Kamalpur. Very few speakers. Status: 6b (Threatened). Alternate Names: Cossyah, Kahasi, Khasie, Khasiyas, Khassee, Khuchia, Kyi. Classification: Austro-Asiatic, Mon-Khmer, Northern Mon-Khmer, Khasian. Comments: The Lyngngam [lyg], Pnar [pbv], and War-Jaintia [aml] of Bangladesh identify ethnically with the Khasi.

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Koch
[kdq] Dhaka division: north Sherpur district. 6,000 in Bangladesh (2006 SIL). Status: 6a (Vigorous). Alternate Names: Koc, Kocch, Koce, Kochboli, Konch. Dialects: Tintekiya, Chapra, Margan. Classification: Sino-Tibetan, Tibeto-Burman, Sal, Bodo-Garo-Northern Naga, Bodo-Koch, Koch.

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Koda
[cdz] Rajshahi division: Puthia, Mohonpur and Mundumala districts. 1,300 in Bangladesh (2005). Status: 6a (Vigorous). Classification: Austro-Asiatic, Munda, North Munda, Kherwari, Mundari. Comments: Hindu, traditional religion.

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Kok Borok
[trp] Chittagong division: Chandpur and Comilla areas east of Ganges delta; Sylhet divsion: 2 border areas southeast of Habiganj. 5,000 in Bangladesh. Status: 6a (Vigorous). Alternate Names: Debbarma, Tipura, Tripura, Tripuri. Classification: Sino-Tibetan, Tibeto-Burman, Sal, Bodo-Garo-Northern Naga, Bodo-Koch, Bodo-Garo, Bodo.

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Kol
[ekl] Rajshahi district: Godagari subdistrict. 1,660 (2012 SIL). Status: 6a (Vigorous). Alternate Names: Hor. Dialects: None known. Lexical similarity: 62%–64% with Santhali [sat], 58% with Mundari [unr], 57%–60% with Koda [cdz], 37% with Ho (Lanka Kol) [hoc]. Classification: Austro-Asiatic, Munda, North Munda, Kherwari, Mundari. Comments: Hindu, Christian, traditional religion.

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Kurux
[kru] Rangpur division: Dinajpur, Panchagarn, Rangpur, Saidpur and Thakurgaon districts’ areas. 50,000 in Bangladesh (2011), decreasing. Ethnic population: 50,000. Status: 6b (Threatened). Alternate Names: Kurukh, Oraoan, Uraon. Classification: Dravidian, Northern. Comments: Different from Sadri, Oraon [sdr].

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Lyngngam
[lyg] Dhaka division: Netrokona district. 1,000 in Bangladesh. Status: 7 (Shifting). Alternate Names: Megam. Classification: Austro-Asiatic, Mon-Khmer, Northern Mon-Khmer, Khasian. Comments: Previously listed as a dialect of Khasi. Culturally intermediate between the Khasi and the Garo. Resemble Garos in appearance and customs. (Singh 1994b) Lyngngam is a former Garo clan, but do not mix with the Garo, and consider themselves to be Khasi (Breton 1997). Megam [mef] and Lyngngam are sometimes used interchangeably for the same language in Netrokona district. Christian.

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Mahali
[mjx] Rajshahi division: Abirpara, Matindor, and Mundumala-Pachondor villages; scattered. 3,000 in Bangladesh (2010 SIL). Ethnic population: 3,000 (2004 SIL). Status: 6a (Vigorous). Alternate Names: Mahle. Classification: Austro-Asiatic, Munda, North Munda, Kherwari, Santali. Comments: Non-indigenous.

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Marma
[rmz] Chittagong division: Bandarban, Khagrachari, and Rangamati districts. 150,000 in Bangladesh (2007). Total users in all countries: 180,600. Status: 3 (Wider communication). Largest and earliest language group to settle in the area. Used in Cox’s Bazar and Bandarban districts in religious ceremonies, market, stores, and churches. Alternate Names: “Mogh” (pej.), Mraima. Classification: Sino-Tibetan, Tibeto-Burman, Ngwi-Burmese, Burmish, Southern. Comments: Buddhist, Christian, Muslim.

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Megam
[mef] Dhaka division: Netrokona district, Kalmakanda subdistrict. 6,870 (2000). Status: 6a (Vigorous). Alternate Names: Migam, Negam. Dialects: Lexical similarity: 7%–9% with the Abeng dialect of Garo [grt], 60% with Lyngngam [lyg]. Classification: Sino-Tibetan, Tibeto-Burman, Sal, Bodo-Garo-Northern Naga, Bodo-Koch, Bodo-Garo. Comments: Identify ethnically with the Garo [grt]. Christian.

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Meitei
[mni] Sylhet division: Moulvi Bazar district, Kamalganj subdistrict; Sylhet city. 15,000 in Bangladesh (2003). No monolinguals. Status: 5 (Dispersed). Alternate Names: Manipuri, Meetei, Meitei Manipuri, Meithei. Dialects: Hindu Meitei, Pangan (Pangal). Classification: Sino-Tibetan, Tibeto-Burman, Sal, Kuki-Chin-Naga, Meitei. Comments: Preferred name is Meitei Manipuri. Outsiders don’t distinguish between Meitei and Bishnupriya, calling both of them Manipuri. Meitei is a well-developed language with much literature in India, but little is available in Bangladesh. Hindu, Muslim.

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Mizo
[lus] Chittagong division: Rangamati, Sajek. 250 in Bangladesh (2007 census). Status: 6b (Threatened). Alternate Names: Hualngo, Lei, Lusai, Lushai, Lushei, Sailau, Whelngo. Classification: Sino-Tibetan, Tibeto-Burman, Sal, Kuki-Chin-Naga, Kuki-Chin, Central. Comments: Most moved from Bangladesh to India. Christian.

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Mru
[mro] Chittagong division: Bandarban district. 30,000 in Bangladesh (2007). Total users in all countries: 50,000. Status: 5 (Developing). Alternate Names: Maru, Mrung, Murung. Dialects: Anok, Dowpreng, Sungma. Lexical similarity: 13% with Mro-Khimi Chin [cmr], 72%–76% with Anu-Hkongso Chin [anl]; lexical similarity with Anok, Dowpreng, and Sungma dialects in Bangladesh is high: 91%–98%. Classification: Sino-Tibetan, Tibeto-Burman, Ngwi-Burmese, Mru. Comments: Ethnically related to the Khumi. 5 linguistically distinct groups: Anok (largest and central) and Tshungma in the north, Domrong in the lowlands north of the Matamuri, Dopreng and Rumma in far south and into Arakan (Brauns and Loffler 1990). Traditional religion.

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Mundari
[unr] Rajshahi division: Naogaon district; Rangpur division: Dinajpur district; Sylhet division: possibly some tea estates. 2,500 in Bangladesh (2005 Caritas Bangladesh). Ethnic population: 5,000. Status: 6a (Vigorous). Alternate Names: Colh, Horo, Mandari, Mondari, Munari, Munda. Dialects: Hasada’, Latar, Naguri, Kera’. Classification: Austro-Asiatic, Munda, North Munda, Kherwari, Mundari. Comments: Non-indigenous.

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Pangkhua
[pkh] Chittagong division: Rangamati district. 2,400 in Bangladesh (2015 Z. Akter). Status: 7 (Shifting). Alternate Names: Pangkhu, Pankho, Pankhu, Panko. Classification: Sino-Tibetan, Tibeto-Burman, Sal, Kuki-Chin-Naga, Kuki-Chin, Central. Comments: Christian.

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Pnar
[pbv] Sylhet division: Sylhet district, Jaflong area, Jaintiapur, north of Raipur, and Tamabil; Moulvi Bazar district, Alinagar, Barlekha, Fenchuganj area, Fultala, Goalbari, Islampur, Kamalganj, Khajori, Madhabkunda, Rashidpur, and Satgoan. 4,000 in Bangladesh (2002). Status: 6a (Vigorous). Classification: Austro-Asiatic, Mon-Khmer, Northern Mon-Khmer, Khasian. Comments: Identify ethnically with the Khasi [kha].

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Rakhine
[rki] Barisal division: Patuakhali district; Chittagong division: Cox’s Bazar, Maheshkhali island and south. 200,000 in Bangladesh (2011 SIL). Status: 5 (Dispersed). Alternate Names: Mogh, Rakhain, Rakkhaine. Dialects: Rakhine, Sitwe. Classification: Sino-Tibetan, Tibeto-Burman, Ngwi-Burmese, Burmish, Southern. Comments: Buddhist, Hindu, Muslim.

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Rangpuri
[rkt] Rajshahi division: Joypurhat area; Rangpur division: Dinajpur, Gaibanda, Lalmonihat, Nilphamari, Panchagar, Rangpur, and Thakurgaon districts. 10,000,000 in Bangladesh (2007 SIL). L2 users: 325,000 in Bangladesh (2015 SIL). Total users in all countries: 15,325,000 (as L1: 15,000,000; as L2: 325,000). Status: 5 (Developing). Used in the market and for commerce, media, and travel by nearly all minority language speakers in the greater Rangpur-Dinajpur area. Rangpuri has reportedly been spoken in the area for centuries. Alternate Names: Anchalit Bangla, Bahe Bangla, Kamta, Polia. Classification: Indo-European, Indo-Iranian, Indo-Aryan, Outer Languages, Eastern, Bengali-Assamese.

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Riang
[ria] Chittagong division: Rangamati district. 500 in Bangladesh (2007). Status: 7 (Shifting). Alternate Names: Kau Bru, Reang. Classification: Sino-Tibetan, Tibeto-Burman, Sal, Bodo-Garo-Northern Naga, Bodo-Koch, Bodo-Garo, Bodo. Comments: Different from Riang Lang [ril] of Myanmar, a Mon-Khmer language.

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Rohingya
[rhg] Chittagong division: Cox’s Bazaar district. 200,000 in Bangladesh (2006). Status: 6b (Threatened). Alternate Names: Rohinga, Ruwainggya. Classification: Indo-European, Indo-Iranian, Indo-Aryan, Outer Languages, Eastern, Bengali-Assamese. Comments: Muslim.

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Sadri, Oraon
[sdr] Khulna division: Jhenaidah, Kushtia, and Magura districts; Rajshahi division: widespread; Rangpur division: Hilli area; Sylhet division: possibly Habiganj and Moulvibazar districts. 166,000 (2000). Status: 5 (Developing). Alternate Names: Pahan. Dialects: Borail Sadri, Nurpur Sadri, Uchai Sadri, Mokkan Tila Sadri. Dialects may need separate literature. Inherent intelligibility of 7 Sadri varieties on Borail ranges from 70%–93%; of 8 varieties on Nurpur from 78%–94%. Lexical similarity: 88%–97% with 14 Sadri varieties with the Borail Sadri dialect. Classification: Indo-European, Indo-Iranian, Indo-Aryan, Outer Languages, Eastern, Bihari. Comments: The Oraon people came from India over 100 years ago. Sometime in the past some Oraon shifted from Kurux [kru], a Dravidian language, to Sadri, which is Indo-Aryan. Some Oraon people still speak Kurux. Traditional religion, Hindu.

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Santhali
[sat] Rajshahi and Rangpur divisions: widespread. 225,000 in Bangladesh (2011). Status: 5 (Dispersed). Alternate Names: Har, Har Rar, Hor, Sandal, Sangtal, Santal, Santali, Satar, Sonthal. Classification: Austro-Asiatic, Munda, North Munda, Kherwari, Santali.

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Sauria Paharia
[mjt] Rajshahi division: northwest of city, also near Singra; Rangpur division: south of Rangpur city. 7,000 in Bangladesh (2007). Status: 7 (Shifting). Alternate Names: Malto, Paharia. Classification: Dravidian, Northern.

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Sylheti
[syl] Sylhet division: Habiganj, Moulvibazar, Sunamganj, and Sylhet districts. 7,000,000 in Bangladesh. L2 users: 1,500,000 in Bangladesh. Total users in all countries: 11,800,000 (as L1: 10,300,000; as L2: 1,500,000). Status: 3 (Wider communication). Alternate Names: Sileti, Siloti, Srihattia, Sylhetti, Sylhetti Bangla, Syloti, Syloty. Dialects: None known. Reportedly similar to Assamese [asm]. Lexical similarity: 70% with Bengali [ben]. Classification: Indo-European, Indo-Iranian, Indo-Aryan, Outer Languages, Eastern, Bengali-Assamese. Comments: Muslim, Hindu.

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Tangchangya
[tnv] Chittagong hills. 21,600 (1991 census). Status: 6a (Vigorous). Alternate Names: Tanchangya. Dialects: None known. 90% intelligibility of Chakma [ccp]. Lexical similarity: 58%–67% with Chakma [ccp]. Classification: Indo-European, Indo-Iranian, Indo-Aryan, Outer Languages, Eastern, Bengali-Assamese.

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Tippera
[tpe] Chittagong division: Chittagong district, Fatikchari subdistrict; Khagrachari district. 85000 Status: 6a (Vigorous). Alternate Names: Kok Borok, Tipperah, Tippurah, Tipra, Tipura, Triperah, Tripura. Dialects: Naitong, Dendak, Gabing, Khali, Phatung, Tongpai, Anok, Kewa, Kema, Aslong. Lexical similarity: 56%–85% among dialects, 61%–74% with Kok Borok [trp], 53%–65% with Riang [ria], 37%–59% with Usoi Tripura [usi]. Classification: Sino-Tibetan, Tibeto-Burman, Sal, Bodo-Garo-Northern Naga, Bodo-Koch, Bodo-Garo, Bodo. Comments: Traditional religion, Hindu.

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Usoi
[usi] Chittagong division: Bandarban district. 22400 Status: 5 (Developing). Alternate Names: Kau Brung, Unshoi, Unsuiy, Ushoi. Dialects: Panji, Joloi. Lexical similarity: 88% with Panji and Joloi dialects, 59%–67% with Riang [ria], 47%–58% with Kok Borok [trp], 37%–59% with Tippera [tpe]. Classification: Sino-Tibetan, Tibeto-Burman, Sal, Bodo-Garo-Northern Naga, Bodo-Koch, Bodo-Garo, Bodo. Comments: Hindu, Christian, traditional religion.

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War-Jaintia
[aml] Sylhet division: Moulvi Bazar district, Alinagar, Barlekha, Fenchuganj area, Fultala, Goalbari, Islampur, Kamalganj, Khajori, Madhabkunda, Rashidpur, and Satgoan; Sylhet district, Jaflong area, Jaintiapur, north of Raipur, and Tamabil. 16,000 in Bangladesh (2003 SIL). No monolinguals. Total users in all countries: 41,900. Status: 6a (Vigorous). Alternate Names: War-Khasi. Dialects: War-Jaintia, War-Khasi. Lexical similarity: 86%–92% with dialects in Bangladesh; 83%–89% with War-Jaintia in India and Bangladesh; India variety 41%–45% with Pnar [pbv] (from scant data); 27%–35% with standard Khasi [kha]; 24%–28% with War dialect of Khasi. Classification: Austro-Asiatic, Mon-Khmer, Northern Mon-Khmer, Khasian. Comments: Learning standard Khasi [kha] is important due to affinity with the larger Khasi ethnic group. Standard Khasi has high prestige. Christian, traditional religion.

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