Bengali is spoken is the region known as Bengal which lies in both the West Bengal province of India (70 million speakers) and Bangladesh (120 million speakers). Only 5 other languages in the world can claim as many as 190 million speakers.


Like Hindi, Bengali is descended from Sanskrit and is written in a script closely related to the Devanagari alphabet, from which it began to diverge in about the 11th century. Bengali literature is dominated by Rabindranath Tagore (1861-1941) who won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1913.

The spoken part of the Bengali corpus consists in large part of a Bengali dialect known as Sylheti.

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