Born of Bangla Language: A Thousand Year Story

Born of a language is not a hundred years rather it is a tale of thousand years. The language we see now; at the beginning, it had a completely different picture. How much resourceful a language is, completely depends on how many of people are using it and Bangla is a prime of example of this. Once, Bangla was rejected by elite people, is now using 300 million people around the world.  In the ancient era, Bangla was never being used in literature as substratum people were using this. Fun fact is, most elite languages are lost as time flows, however, Bangla survives. The low-level people keep this language alive in their daily life and make it more resourceful than ever.  Bangla is now using in a different corner of this world. It becomes well known when people give their life for Bangla in 1952. Here we would discuss the source of Bangla language and its timeline.

There are hundred people who have researched on Bangla, but two of them are iconic. One is Dr. Suniti Kumar Chattopadhyay and the other one is Dr. Muhammad Shahidullah.  These two great researchers have some sorts of different view over the birth flow and source of birth of Bangla.

Based on the research of Dr. Suniti Kumar Chattopadhyay, the timeline of Bangla’s birth can be divided into three specific stages. The first stage starts from 1500 BC to 600 BC. At the beginning of this era, Aryans are coming into Indian Sub-Continent from East.  In this time people usually use Vedic and Sanskrit as their primary language.  This era ends during the time when Buddha arise. This whole time is known as Ancient Indo-Aryan Era.

Old Bangla Language
Old Bangla Language

The second stage starts from 600 BC to 1000 AD. Aryans who comes from East starts to use Ashoka, Prakrit, and Opovrongsho language at this time. They mix these languages with Ancient Indian language. This event creates a new dimension in the history of Indian Language book and develops hundreds flow of new languages.

Finally, the third stage starts from 1000 AD and still continues. During this time Modern Indo-Aryan languages doe born from Opovronngsho. Magadhi, one of major Modern Indo-Aryan language is where today’s Bangla born.

On the other hand, Dr. Muhammad Shahidullah gives us a slightly different idea regarding the born of Bangla language. His research gives us following flow:

Indo-European Language (5000 BC) -> Shotom (3500 BC) – Aryan Language (2500 BC) – Ancient Indian Aryan Primitive Prakrit  (800 BC) -> Gouri Prakrit (200 BC) -> Gouri Opovronngsho (400-600 AD) -> Bango Kamrupi ( 500 AD) -> Bangla (650 AD)

Although Bangla is one of major language in the world at the beginning, it struggles a lot. During that time Bangla was rejected by elite group by the court and literature. At the same time, they define “Bangla” as the language of low born people and those people take “Bangla” as their own. They cultivate this language with their daily life and keeps alive. Bangla is one of most open-minded language which drags all the languages close when it gets chance.

Some important facts of Bangla language:

  1. 300 million people use this langauge.
  2. It’s 5th most used mother language.
  3. Bangla is being institutional status by Bangladesh, India and Sierra Leone


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