Bangladesh:Formulate nat ’l policy to safeguard indigenous languages

Harold Schiffman hfsclpp at
Fri Jan 4 13:42:04 UTC 2008

Formulate nat'l policy to safeguard indigenous languages

Prof Anisuzzaman tells Asiatic Society Founding Day Lecture
DU Correspondent

A national language policy is needed to help promote the proper use of
Bangla and safeguard endangered languages of indigenous communities in
the country, Prof Anisuzzaman said yesterday. There is a number of
ethnic communities in the country, but their languages are struggling
to survive and many of them do not have written forms, he said while
presenting the keynote paper on 'The state of languages in Bangladesh'
at the 56th Founding Day Lecture of Asiatic Society of Bangladesh in
the city. Prof Anisuzzaman also called for introduction of a proper
system of spelling Bangla words, as some writers and journalists are
creating confusion about correct spelling through their innovative

Speaking on the occasion, Asiatic Society President Prof Emajuddin
Ahmed mentioned the negative impacts of globalisation on languages,
which are being considered as a new threat and has been emerging as
the language imperialism in the world. This might create survival
crisis for many small languages, as over 50 crore people across the
globe use English as the first language, over crore people use it as
the second language and another 100 crore people are desperately
trying to learn English, he added.

Citing statistics of the United Nations, Prof Ahmed said many small
languages are dying fast. If languages of the minority groups in the
country are not preserved, they will become extinct, he observed.
Former chief justice Muhammad Habibur Rahman, University Grants'
Commission Chairman Prof Nazrul Islam, former Bangladesh Bank Governor
Lutfor Rahman Sarker, Prof M Akhtaruzzaman, Prof Sirajul Islam, Prof
Monsur Musa and Prof Momin Chowhdury attended the programme.
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