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25 February, 2020 00:00 00 AM
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No more language distortion

Though the linguists and conscious people of the country have been talking and writing against pollution and distortion of Bangla language years after years, it has not stopped
Our Correspondent
No more language distortion

This is the month of language, art and literature generally for the people all over the world and especially for the people of Bangladesh. February is the month of sacrifice. Sacrificing lives for mother tongue is a rare incident in history. People of this land sacrificed their lives for the sake of establishing Bangla as their mother tongue. Their sacrifice did not go in vain. We achieved freedom to express our thoughts in our mother language. We speak Bangla; we express our thoughts and emotions in Bangla. February is the month of awareness of linguistic diversity and promoting multilingualism.  February is also a month in which people learn how to respect each and every language of the globe including regional dialects.

It was the 21st February, 1952 when our language martyrs Salam, Rafiq, Barkat, Jabbar, and Shafiur were killed and many students were critically wounded only because they demanded Bangla as their mother tongue. Was the demand illegal? Don’t the people have right to speak in their mother tongue? Their demand was undoubtedly logical and true. But Pakistani government misused their power. It was their transgression.

But it is the matte of regret that the language we achieved shading blood in 1952 is now constantly being distorted in different sectors in the country. We know about air pollution, water pollution, and environment pollution. But we hardly know about language pollution. Like other pollution, a language can also be polluted if it is pronounced with foreign accent, style and tone leaving its own characteristics. A language can also be polluted by switching codes unnecessarily.

Though the linguists and conscious people of the country have been talking and writing against pollution and distortion of Bangla language years after years, it has not stopped. Rather, it is increasing day by day as the concerned authority did not take any strict action against the language distorters.

Bangla accent, stress and pronunciation are different from many other languages. The way RJs (Radio Jockeys) of private radio channels pronounce Bangla language is really peculiar ad eccentric. They distort the language basically two ways: when they articulate any Bangla word, they articulate Bangla in foreign tone. Secondly, they unnecessarily switch codes. Let’s see an example.

Hi shuru hoye gelo adda. Next ek ghonta jure amra jiboner potential akta event niye discuss korbo ebong motamot exchange korbo. Ghotona gulu amader life e ghote thake. Most of the time nijeder ekta bokamir jonno embarrassing situation e amra pore jai thokhon brain stops working altogether. Shock and surprise theke emon ekta situation create  hoye jay je ki rokom react korbo heta possible korai difficult hoye jay. Tai Dove apnar kase niye ashese Dove Damage Control. Now you can know how can tackle the situation.

Translation: Hi, chatting has started. We will discuss about an event of our life in next two hours and we will exchange our views. The events are very common in our life. Most of the time we fall in an embarrassing situation for our own foolishness and then our brain stops working altogether. A situation can be created from shock and surprise and it becomes difficult to think that how we react in this situation. So, Dove has introduced to you Dove Damage Control. Now you can know how can tackle the situation.]

The extract has been taken from the speech of a radio jockey (RJ) of a private radio station while she was advertising a product of a company. It can be seen from the excerpt that the speaker is  inserting English words in Bangla sentence such as “hi”, “next” ,“potential” , “ event”,  “discuss”, “exchange” etc. This kind of language is called Banglish (Bangla + English). Using this kind Banglish language in any media is very dreadful for our language as well as for our young generations because they follow and imitate them. If it continues restlessly, one day we will notice that we lose the originality of our language. This kind of Banglish language is totally unexpected from our educated class.  English words which are in the aforementioned passage must have equivalent in our language. Instead of saying ‘discuss’, we must use the equivalent Bangla word.  Sometimes it is thought that if Bangla is spoken admixing English words, people’s attention can easily be drawn. This is a concept borrowed from other country. If Bangla language is presented in a beautiful way, people must accept it eagerly. The evidence of this is the different famous programs of our country. The programs still have the appeal to the people. People still watch ‘Ettadi’ (a popular program) on the TV screen with whole family. So strategy must be changed. Producers must think positively and create excellent programs in Bangla language with a view to protecting Bangla language from being spoiled.

Media plays an important role in forming the listeners’ habits. Listeners follow the way the media shows them. So, the people working in different media or related to media must be aware of using Bangla language.  They must do something that is better for the listeners and for the language as well as for the country.  If they think that they can win the hearts of listeners and viewers by using improper Bangla in media, their conception is totally wrong. Honour consists in purity. To make something impure to achieve something is not honorable. So, popularity and fame can be achieved respecting the originality. Let’s see another example taken from a talk show:

Amader economics er je condition at present tate disappointed hoya chara upay nai. jonogon cannot buy their daily necessities. Ei obostay amra ki decision nibo seta obviously a matter of thinking. Share Bazar dhos, inflation, and price hike sadharon manusher life difficult kore tulche. Opposition party bolche government kisu korchee na, tara bertho. Sorkar bolche opposition parties are lying. Ete common people jata kole ache. Tara ki korbe?

[Translation: The condition of our economics is like that we have nothing to do without being disappointed. Common people cannot buy their daily necessities. In this situation what kind of decision can be taken it is obviously a matter of thinking.  Share Bazaar disaster, inflation, and price hike are making life of common people very difficult. Opposition party says that government is doing nothing, they are failure. The government is saying that opposition party is lying. The common people are between them. What should they do?]

Once in Bangladesh there were very good number of dramas written in beautiful Bangla language. But, today the language used in dramas and movies are very offensive. They are directing our young generation to the wrong direction. The youth are learning that offensive and abusive language.

This is our earnest request to our government that they should keep a tight rein on such way of using our language, which can lead our country to destruction. Let’s promise from today that we will protect our language for protecting ourselves.

The writer is Assistant Professor, Department of English

Principal Kazi Faruky College, Lakshmipur

anis0167111@gmail.com

 

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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman

Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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