POST TIME: 21 February, 2018 00:00 00 AM
Bangla facing distortion
Say experts as nation observes Shaheed Dibas and Int’l Mother Language Day today
Saugato Bosu

Bangla facing distortion

The language martyrs laid down their lives for Bangla in 1952, defying the diktats of the West Pakistan government. But the mother tongue is now being used in a distorted form, especially in pronunciation by the young generation, experts have said. The use of the Bangla language in a distorted way on the social media and regular lifestyle has crossed all normal limits. The distorted way seems to have become the new style. Advertisements of various shops these days say “dukan bara hobe”. This, however, is not the only glitch, as many more can be seen on the social media and in many places of the public sphere.

Most of the time we borrow from other languages, but do not use it properly. Rather, we create our own brand of a ‘mongrel’ language, which is meaningless. Language researchers say this kind of distortion will be the biggest obstacle for us as a civilised nation. "We observe 21 February as Mother Language Day and forget about it the very next day," one such researcher told The Independent.

Many do it without knowing the proper meaning. Many others  rejoice at this distortion. The biggest reason for this is the lack of vocabulary as most do not value their mother tongue.

Our language has progressed through many acquisitions and

achievements. New things will come in the language and old things will be missed. This is the process for living languages, said Dr Soumitra Shekhar, professor of Bangla at Dhaka University.

“But it’s very sad that the new materials supposed to enrich the language are being distorted by our new generation,” he added.

On his point of reference while talking to some youths on their opinion on the use of the Bangla language in the social and electronic media, they said that a word suddenly becomes the buzzword and epitomises a style. The youngsters know that the blending of Bangla and English, popularly known as “Banglish”, is being used deliberately. The language used by them comprises of distorted Bangla words and wrongly used English expressions.

The word “frand” is mostly used in Bangla, which means “friend”. And there are other examples too, said Shanto Kairy, a youth from Dhaka University. He runs a Facebook page where he makes fun of those who write Bangla in a distorted way.

Dr Soumitra Shekhar spoke to this correspondent about the cause and the solution to the recent evolution of the Bangla language.

He said: “We use Arabic and Persian words in our mother tongue. This is being done for a long time and the words have meanings. When English arrived, many English words were also received. But most recently, some English words are being used in a distorted way in Bangla. And because of this infiltration, the language has lost its character. Some new words are being created which have no real meaning and the young generation is responsible for it.”

He said there is a way to escape from distortion of the language. “But we are blocking it,” he lamented.

“Our state language is Bangla, and the Constitution is also written in Bangla. But the language of our lifestyle is not Bangla. I want Bangla to be the medium of communication everywhere—from the High Court to the classroom,” he said. Japan is advanced because it relies solely on the Japanese language. It has embedded the language in their lives, he added.

“Although our state language is Bangla, we do not use it officially. It has to be confirmed. At the beginning of school or education, the importance of language should be emphasised more strongly,” also mention Dr. Soumitra.  Prof Dr Khalad Hossain of Department of Bangla at Jahangirnagar University put emphasis on the practice of the mother tongue and said February 21st will always be respected like everyone respects his or her mother.

“As a mother is not loved for a day, love for our mother tongue should also not be contained just within a day or a year,” Prof Hossain said.  Prof Hossain, however, said that in present time, some educated young people are basically responsible for the distorted evolution of Bangla.  He mentioned that this distortion will last for a short period and that the distorted evolution of the language will never be correct and never match the individuality of Bangla as a language.

“So, the distorted versions will eventually be destroyed. Language will change over time. There are many languages in the world that are dead now. But, in case of Bangla, it is being enriched day by day,” said the professor.