Situation of English in Bangladesh: Second Language or Overseas Language

Mom tongue or first language is probably essentially the most favourite factor for any particular person. The query of language has resulted into many conflicts and discontentment. The prime instance of such discontentment is the Language Motion of 1952 in Bangladesh. However we cannot reside in isolation. We’ve to keep in touch with the audio system of different languages. Bangladesh is taken into account to be a monolingual nation wherein greater than 98% of the inhabitants is audio system of Bangla language. Nonetheless, there are greater than ten languages in such a small nation like Bangladesh. Monipuri, Urdu, Chakma, Santali, Garo, Rakhain, Tipra- are simply among the different languages current in Bangladesh.

The fascinating factor is that Urdu is a Indo-European language however written in Arabic script, Santali belongs to the Mono-Khemar language household whereas Chakma belongs to the Chinese language-Barmese language group. So, though Bangladesh is commonly portrayed as a rustic of linguistic unity based mostly on Bangla language in actuality it has notable linguistic variety. To speak with the audio system of different languages we both have to know their language or talk in a Lingua-Franca that’s understandable to each of us.

In the present day, the world has turn into a world village. Due to the development of communication system and expertise. Each nation relies on others for commerce and commerce, training, politics and so forth. Consequently, we now have to continually talk with different nations and audio system of different languages. Third world nations like Bangladesh need to rely upon international help as a result of they aren’t self-sufficient. Consequently, many foreigners come to Bangladesh. A 3rd issue is the issue of faith. The sacred language of the Muslims is Arabic, Sanskrit for Hindus, Pali for the Buddhists and Latin for the Christians.

All these components remind us the need for studying different language(s) along with our mom tongue. Based on this actuality many nations of the world have adopted a European language as second language which is commonly utilized in training, legislation court docket, financial actions and authorities works. These languages have more often than not official standing within the structure of these nations. Most of the circumstances the nations have adopted the language of their previous colonial rulers because the second language. Typically these languages are additionally referred to as official language. In lots of African nations we will see this image. However, some European languages have turn into essential on the earth for literary and financial functions. For instance, German and French are thought-about to be essential languages of the world as a result of each of them have influential literature and financial facets related to them.

For instance, many individuals in our nation have an interest to be taught French as a result of it might assist them to get UN jobs and jobs in Multinational firms. One other engaging motivation for studying French in Bangladesh is that it might assist us to immigrate to Canada as ability in French language offers an individual some additional factors within the level system of Canadian immigration.

The title of my analysis is “Standing of English in Bangladesh: Second language or international language?” I’ve chosen this matter as a result of from sociolinguistic viewpoint the standing of English is a really fascinating one. On the one hand English language is dominantly current in each aspect of our nationwide life whereas alternatively in our structure it’s clearly declared that the language of the nation is Bangla. Actually, nothing is claimed in regards to the standing of English language in our structure. On one hand, financial actions within the personal firms are carried out in English whereas there’s a authorities legislation (Bangla procholon ain1987) that authorities places of work should use Bangla of their official works. So from the federal government viewpoint Bangla is the national- official language of Bangladesh and English is a very powerful international language. However in actuality English is the second language of the nation and in lots of locations English is extra essential than Bangla in Bangladesh.

Second language:

A second language is any language aside from the primary, or native, language discovered; it’s usually used due to geographical or social causes. The time period is to be distinguished from international language; linguist Eric Lenneberg makes use of second language in his vital interval speculation to imply a language consciously discovered or utilized by its speaker after puberty. Typically, folks by no means obtain the identical stage of fluency and comprehension of their second languages as of their first language.

Traditionally in Europe, essentially the most extensively used second language (or lingua franca) was Latin. It was utilized by the Church; by the Legislation (because it nonetheless is as we speak); in Medication (beginning a lot later); Horticulture and organic classification of crops, animals, fruits, nuts, and so forth.

Latin was used a lot throughout Europe that it was referred to as the vulgar (or frequent tongue); that is why the Latin model of the Bible is known as the Vulgate.

These days, English is taken into account the world’s most widespread second language; it’s utilized in areas as various because the web, tv and radio, and worldwide aviation.

The success of English all through the world stems from two main causes: the far reaching affect of the British Empire, and the twentieth century (and persevering with) dominance of america within the fields of enterprise and leisure.

French was for a time the lingua franca (the origin of time period) in Europe. In historical past, each England and France had been dominated by a single crown – the language utilized by the royal court docket was French (English was thought-about “the peasant’s language”). Afterwards, as was the case with English, the French empire unfold its language via colonization. French continues to be one of many world’s most generally spoken languages. (Supply: Wikipedia)

If we have a look at the definition of second language then we will simply say that English is the second language of Bangladesh. It’s extensively utilized in many elements of our nationwide life. Many individuals watch English tv channels and likewise use Web. The scholars have to review it for twelve years and people who wish to be part of civil service by attending BCS examination even have to sit down for English examination. The one factor that’s lacking from the above definition is the truth that aside from formal events nobody speaks in English in Bangladesh. It’s not the language utilized in residence amongst members of the family and amongst mates in casual dialog.

Overseas language:

A international language is a language not spoken by the indigenous folks of a sure place: for instance, English is a international language in Japan. It is usually a language not spoken within the native nation of the particular person referred to, i.e. an English speaker dwelling in Japan can say that Japanese is a international language to her or him.

Some youngsters be taught a couple of language from delivery or from a really younger age: they’re bilingual. These youngsters may be mentioned to have two mom tongues: neither language is international to that little one, even when one language is a international language for the overwhelming majority of individuals within the kid’s delivery nation. For instance, a baby studying English from her English mom in Japan can converse each English and Japanese, however neither is a international language to her. (Supply- Wikipedia)

From the above definition, it’s seen that international language refers to a language that’s not native to an individual. From this viewpoint English may be thought-about as a international language in Bangladesh since it’s not native in our nation. Hardly any Bangladeshi particular person speaks in English though lots of them use it in training and enterprise.

Official language:

An official language is one thing that’s given a novel standing within the nations, states, and different territories. It’s usually the language utilized in a nation’s legislative our bodies, although the legislation in many countries requires that authorities paperwork be produced in different languages as nicely.

Formally acknowledged minority languages are sometimes mistaken for official languages. Nonetheless, a language formally acknowledged by a state, taught in faculties, and utilized in official communication just isn’t essentially an official language. For instance, Ladin and Sardinian in Italy and Mirandese in Portugal are solely formally acknowledged minority languages, not official languages within the strict sense.

Half of the nations on the earth have official languages. Some have just one official language, resembling Albania, France, or Lithuania, even supposing in all these nations there are different native languages spoken as nicely. Some have a couple of official language, resembling Afghanistan, Belarus, Belgium, Bolivia, Canada, Eritrea, Finland, India, Paraguay, South Africa, and Switzerland.

In some nations, resembling Iraq, Italy, Russia and Spain, there may be an official language for the nation, however different languages are co-official in some essential areas. Some nations, resembling Australia, Sweden, Tuvalu, and america don’t have any official languages.

The official languages of some former colonies, usually French or English, are usually not the nationwide languages or essentially the most extensively spoken language.

In distinction, as a consequence of nationalism, Irish is the “nationwide language” of the Republic of Eire and its first official language, though it’s spoken by solely a small fraction of its folks. English, which is spoken by the bulk, is described solely because the second official language (Structure of Eire, Article 8).

In some nations, the difficulty of which language is for use in what context is a significant political subject.(Supply-Wikipedia)

From the above definition, it’s seen that the notion of official language is difficult. Based on our structure English cannot be termed because the official language of Bangladesh because it has no standing in our structure. The one language that’s talked about in our structure is Bangla. However English is allowed in our parliament and plenty of authorities occasions. For instance, when there’s a authorities occasion wherein some foreigners attend then in lots of circumstances the audio system use English language. Many essential authorities paperwork are written each in Bangla and English. The parliament proceedings are stored into these two languages. When a authorities physique organizes a good then usually the memento is revealed in English.


In regards to the language of the nation the Bangladeshi structure clearly states:

“The state language.

The state language of the Republic is [Bangla].”

(Supply: [].)

Within the structure nothing is talked about in regards to the standing of English. English just isn’t talked about as a second language or official language. So if we take the standing of English in our structure then we can not declare that English is a Second language or Official Language in Bangladesh.

English in Legislation court docket in Bangladesh:

After Independence the federal government took the initiative to implement Bangla language in legislation court docket. Consequently, now the decrease courts perform their actions in Bangla however English is but very influential in Excessive Courtroom and Supreme Courtroom. If a lawyer desires to observe in Supreme court docket then he should have a superb command over English language. Most of the judges nonetheless give their verdicts in English language. Evidently this pattern of utilizing English will stay for the forcible future.

English in Training sector in Bangladesh:

Formal and institutionalized training system began in Bangladesh through the British rule. At the moment Bangladesh was a part of British India. There was a debate in regards to the medium of training. Raja Rammohan Roy argued that the medium ought to be English reasonably than Sanskrit or Persian. Throughout the British interval the medium of training was largely in English. Calcutta College took an initiative in 1935 to introduce Bangla as a medium of training together with English. In Bangladesh using Bangla in school stage began within the Nineteen Sixties. Now college students can reply within the examinations in Bangla or English. Within the school stage and college stage after 1971 the federal government tried to patronize Bangla and implement it by changing English within the training sector however this didn’t got here into actuality due to some fundamental issues. The primary drawback is that there have been not sufficient books of any discipline in Bangla language. This drawback is extra acute in science and expertise. For instance, there are nearly no books in Bangla about pc expertise that can be utilized as a reference e-book within the College stage.

Truly there are three sorts of training methods in our country- Bangla medium, English medium, and Madrasa system. Bangla medium faculties may be divided into two sections- authorities faculties, and kindergarten faculties. Within the kindergarten faculties extra emphasis is given on English language than authorities faculties. Among the well-known kindergarten faculties of Dhaka are Vikarounnesa, Holycross, Willes Little Flower, and so forth. Though these faculties belong to Bangla medium the scholars have to review 3-4 English books like: Radiant Method, Lively English, Desk Work, Basic English, Brighter Grammar, and so forth. However within the authorities faculties there may be primarily one English e-book (English for In the present day) which is revealed by Bangladesh Textual content E book Board. The English medium faculties don’t observe Bangladeshi training system and are underneath the supervision of British Council. The medium of instruction in these faculties is English and most of the college students of English medium are even very weak in Bangla language. There are two sorts of Madrassas – Dakhil and Kawmi. The Kawmi Madrassas are usually not acknowledged by the federal government and don’t obtain any help from the federal government. On this Madrassas emphasis is given on studying Arabic, Persian, and Urdu whereas Bangla and English are uncared for. However in Dakhil Madrassas emphasis is especially given on Arabic and Bangla and English are usually not a lot uncared for.

So we will clearly see that the distinction in training system in Bangladesh is solely based mostly on the distinction within the medium of training. Though Bangla is the Nationwide-Official language of Bangladesh it’s the English medium training institutes who get more cash. The rise of personal universities has solely elevated the standing and significance of English language in Bangladesh. There at the moment are greater than 50 personal Universities in Bangladesh and the medium of training in all of them is English. These universities cost 2 lakh to five lakh taka for Bachelor course. If the medium of training was in Bangla then hardly any scholar or dad and mom would get to pay such large cash for the training in personal universities.

From the above dialogue it’s clear that in our basic training system English has equal if no more significance than Bangla. In our training system English is de facto the Second language as all the scholars have to review it as a obligatory topic for twelve years.

English and Administration:

Throughout the language motion the folks of Bangladesh had been afraid that if Urdu was established because the State Language of Pakistan then all the federal government actions will probably be carried out in Urdu and our folks will endure. On account of the language motion, the Pakistani Regime stored on finishing up authorities actions in English language. After Bangladesh turned unbiased the federal government of Awami League determined to exchange English with Bangla in administrative works however after the dying of Sheikh Mujib this course of got here to a halt and English continued to stay because the dominant language. It was through the rule of Ershad Bangla Procholon Aeen of 1987 was created and carried out. From that point English began to lose its significance in administration. Nonetheless, it needs to be talked about that each one the worldwide communication of Bangladesh authorities is carried out via English.

English in Financial actions:

The economic system of Bangladesh relies on international aids and export of some frequent objects like prepared made clothes, jute, tea, fish and so forth and likewise we import a whole lot of issues. Bangladesh just isn’t autonomous economically. Buying and selling is extra widespread than manufacturing. Buying and selling requires fixed communication with international firms. Most of the firms who’re concerned in buying and selling have to make use of English in coping with foreigners. Suppose, an organization is doing buying and selling with China which isn’t an English talking nation. Then the corporate has to contact the Chinese language firm in English. If we have a look at the commercials of the personal sector jobs then we will simply discover that a lot of the job commercials are posted in English. Even a lot of the personal sector job commercials which are posted in Bengali newspapers are posted in English. Nearly all of the personal jobs state that the candidates should have good proficiency in English language. Nearly all the general public restricted firms publish their annual studies in English. A few of these firms produce a Bangla model of their annual report however the emphasis is all the time on English. So it’s clear that English is the dominant language in our financial actions.

Comparability of English with Arabic, Sanskrit, and Pali in Bangladesh:

Arabic, Sanskrit and Pali are the spiritual languages of Muslims, Hindus and Buddhists respectively. Even the uneducated folks attempt to be taught these languages as they’re thought-about to be holy. If we evaluate the training of English with these languages then we will see that English is given extra significance. For instance, the schooling charge of a English teaching heart is way increased than that of an Arabic teaching centre. English personal tutors get 4-5 occasions more cash than Arabic personal tutors (Huzur). So though Arabic has spiritual sentiment hooked up to it English is taken into account to be extra essential because it has financial profit.

Comparability of English international languages like French, German, and Farsi:

French and German have turn into extremely popular for financial causes in our nation. Studying these languages assist us to extend our risk to get a UN job. Studying French can also be useful for getting immigration to Canada. Additionally there are good services to be taught these languages in Dhaka College, Alliance Francaise, and Goethe Institute. Just lately, the English Institute of North South College has launched French course. However through the Muslim reign Farsi was the language of the Royal administration and legislation court docket in Bangladesh. At current, a scholar can attend Farsi course for one semester by simply paying tk. 250 in Iran Cultural Heart however there are usually not many college students who’re to be taught Farsi, French, and German. However, tons of of scholars every year seem for TOEFL and IELTS exams in English language.

From the above image it’s clear that the standing of English is way increased than international languages like German, French, and Farsi. We cannot deny the fact that if an individual is nice at English then he can earn cash in any a part of Bangladesh but when an individual is nice at French, German, or Farsi he has hardly any scope to earn cash through the use of his expertise in these languages.


From the dialogue to date there isn’t any doubt that English is the second language of Bangladesh however this actuality just isn’t mirrored in our structure. Formally Bangladesh just isn’t often called an ESL nation to the skin world. So Bangladesh ought to be declared as an ESL nation by the federal government with none delay. We be taught English not as a result of we like Shakespeare or Dickens. We be taught English from out of on daily basis necessity. If Bangladesh is said as an ESL nation and English language is given a transparent standing within the structure then it is not going to solely mirror the fact but additionally it can assist us internationally. Now Bangladesh is desperately making an attempt to draw international traders. Earlier than any firm involves Bangladesh for exploring the funding alternatives one of many key areas they might search for is the provision of pool of English graduates and so they additionally anticipate that the conventional staff may have fundamental understanding of English language. If we turn into an ESL nation then these international firms whereas looking out about Bangladesh will get assured in regards to the sturdy presence of English language on this nation.

The identical image is there about instructional sector. Many Bangladeshi college students wish to go to developed nations like USA, UK , Canada, and Australia for increased training. If Bangladesh is said as an ESL nation then these college students will probably be benefited as a result of then the Universities of these nations will get the concept that English has particular significance in Bangladesh.

So I like to recommend to the federal government of Bangladesh that English ought to be declared because the second language of the nation by amending the structure.


Bangladesh is the one nation on the earth whose folks sacrificed their lives for the language. Now the historic language motion of 1952 is acknowledged internationally because the Worldwide Mom Language Day. It’s true that our persons are emotional about their language, Bangla. Nonetheless, it’s equally true that now our folks have turn into determined about getting expert in English language. Consequently, there are greater than fifty personal universities now in Bangladesh. If North South Provided BBA and Pc Science programs in Bangla medium then they might not get even 10% of the variety of college students they’ve now. It’s now good time that we end the nice contradiction in regards to the language subject and declare Bangladesh as an ESL nation for our personal profit.


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