Sunday 27 November 2022 ,
Sunday 27 November 2022 ,
Latest News
18 September, 2019 11:20:51 AM

The question of standard Bangla

It is undeniable that the nature of language is to undergo modification. However, the modification needs to be characterised by order and proper planning
The question of standard Bangla

“In our days we used to enjoy the best of the dramas, how erudite and well- spoken the actors were and look how the actors talk these days’’. Many of us have heard this type of statements mostly from the elderly people of our surroundings.  Hence, it is high time to dive into this topic a little to comprehend if this modification of Bangla language reinforces an optimistic change or a glimpse of an upcoming menace in the territory of standard Bangla language.
A few days back a video clip of a fifteen year old girl from a national level debating competition became viral on social media. The reason of that video to gain such applause from the mass is that, the debater’s posture of the speech in a debating competition back in 1993. The debater is Rebecca Shafee, a BUET graduate, doctoral student in the USA.
On the contrary, after a social media influencer known as Raba Khan wrote a book named ‘’Bandhobi‘’, a tide of criticism stormed the social media. This time the reason was, the book has been written by amalgamating Bangla and English together and this type of language is widely known as “Banglish’’ here.
Therefore, generally question arises whereas this type of video that shows how beautifully a language can be used without any “adulteration”, gets vast attention from the mass, why this generation is ignorant to recognize the value of standard Bangla and put utmost emphasis on that? The article will try to unfold this issue a bit.
Now, what could be the possible factors that are catalysing the trend of speaking by mixing two languages or speaking in colloquial Bangla? One cannot refuse to grant the influence of media in our lives. If someone tries to compare Bangla dramas of 1990’s with dramas of these days, the one difference anyone could easily spot i.e. - the language is rather informal in the dramas of this generation.
Moreover, this generation is often referred by many as “Candid generation’’ because they prefer everything that is characterised by directness in manner. Hence, while speaking also, they like to talk in a way that everyone follows in general while considering the standard way of speaking Bangla outdated. In television dramas and telefilms, often it seems that there are no written, structured dialogues even. It’s more like the actors are directed to create a scene that has to look natural. Therefore, in order to make it  “straight from the shoulder’’, they end up using colloquial language.
Sociolinguists will categoriee this phenomenon as “code switching’’. Here code is referred as language. Thus, code switching generally means the inclination towards mixing two different languages while conversing. This scenario is also highly visible among the radio or video jockeys of this age.
“Hello listeners, what’s up’’ is the common dialogue of most of the radio jockeys in Bangladesh. Nevertheless, it was not an issue if they would use English for the rest of the time. But unfortunately, all they do is switching the code and ultimately it results in making place for this pattern in our own language by free choice. Furthermore, the social media is also a provenance of the origin of a variety of acronyms like- LOL,G2G, BRB, BTW, IMO etc. which generally means, laughing out loud, got to go, be right back, by the way, in my opinion respectively. So, it will not be surprising to if people start using these words in their real life conversations too.
Another aspect where this change of language is noticeable is the widespread and cynical use of  “Mama’’ to address someone. Youth delightedly addresses everyone; from a street vendor, rickshaw puller to friends as “Mama’’. Hence it creates much disarray regarding why people are in comfort to adopt this.
The issue is multifaceted and its result has far reaching consequences.  Firstly, if the contamination that is occurring by these type of use of Bangla continues, the ‘incorrect’ use will ultimately become the norm or standard with the passage of time.  For example, the mostly new invention of words by this generation in the Bangla words dominion are, ‘’Jotil’’, ‘’Osthir’’, ‘’Byapok’’, Matha nosto’’ etc. If someone unaware of the use of these words like the elderly members we all have in our families, opts for doing the literal meaning, he/she will be in deep soup. The reason is, an elderly person will never be in accord with the thing that “matha nosto’’ can be the substitute for describing something that is utterly beautiful (!). This impurity of language is not supported by most of the linguists because informal way cannot be the touchstone by any means.  
Undoubtedly, language is not unvarying in nature and the language which is now standard to us; has also passed a long way to reach this level of standardization over the period of time. However, if the language used for casual conversation, used in the formal ambience and books ultimately, the distortion might not be accepted by the intellectuals or even general people gladly.
This epidemic of using this type of Bangla or “Banglish’’ is sort of alarming for the school going children since they only learn best from their surroundings.  They neither have the knowledge of standard language nor the ability to differentiate between the correct and incorrect one. The future generation will be influenced by them because they are in charge of shaping what the future generation will adopt eventually.
Thus, it is pivotal to make sure they are learning the proper usage of Bangla. One photo was floating in the social media a few days back that a child has written ‘’ pyara ‘’ in his examination script. Apparently, it arises light humour but it should also be taken into consideration that why the child used that as a replacement of something difficult? He/she could infer the meaning for sure but failed to differentiate because the word ‘’ pyara’’ is vastly used in his/her surroundings.
Partly, parents also share blame on this because the more we are developing and the more we are trying to keep pace with the present world, the more we are convincing ourselves to learn English. Everyone thrives for better opportunities because English dominates the territory of world languages and thus majority of the parents want their child to learn proper English but not the proper Bangla.
Thus, the children ultimately end up learning the vernacular from everyone around them and never learn the appropriate use of standard Bangla.
Bangla is in the process of undergoing changes, it is jeopardising the standard Bangla language. It is also undeniable that the nature of language is to undergo modification. However, the modification needs to be characterized by order and proper planning to determine what words can be included and which words need to be omitted. Till then, it is best to use the standard form of Bangla since it is an integral part of Bangladeshi culture and there is an anonymous quote ‘’ If we are to preserve culture, we must continue to create it.’’

The writer is a journalist working for The Independent


Most popular  
On Opinion
More Opinion Stories

Copyright © All right reserved.

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.

Disclaimer & Privacy Policy
About Us
Contact Us

Powered by : Frog Hosting