See language map.
[See also SIL publications on the languages of Bangladesh.]

People’s Republic of Bangladesh, GaNa Prajãtantrï Bangladesh. Formerly East Pakistan. 153,281,000. Population density 2.467 per square mile. 814,000 speakers of Tibeto-Burman languages, 185,000 speakers of Austro-Asiatic Languages, 47,000 speakers of Dravidian languages. National or official language: Bengali. Literacy rate: 42%. Immigrant languages: Eastern Panjabi (23,700), Gujarati (250), Hindi (346,000), Oriya (32,500). Information mainly from B. Comrie 1987; J. Matisoff, S. Baron and J. Lowe 1996. Blind population: 880,416. Deaf population: 7,596,511. Deaf institutions: 14. The number of individual languages listed for Bangladesh is 42. Of those, all are living languages.

Assamese[asm] 9,000 in Bangladesh. Alternate names: Asambe, Asami, Ahomiyo. Classification: Indo-European, Indo-Iranian, Indo-Aryan, Eastern zone, Bengali-Assamese
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A’tong[aot] 5,400 in Bangladesh. Northern Netrokona District. Alternate names: Attong. Classification: Sino-Tibetan, Tibeto-Burman, Jingpho-Konyak-Bodo, Konyak-Bodo-Garo, Bodo-Garo, Koch
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Bengali[ben] 110,000,000 in Bangladesh (2001 census). 250,000,000 including L2 speakers. Population total all countries: 181,272,900. West. Also in Canada, India, Malawi, Nepal, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United States. Alternate names: Banga-Bhasa, Bangala, Bangla. Dialects: Languages or dialects in the Bengali group according to Grierson: Central (Standard) Bengali, Western Bengali (Kharia Thar, Mal Paharia, Saraki), Southwestern Bengali, Northern Bengali (Koch, Siripuria), Rajbanshi, Bahe, Eastern Bengali (East Central, including Sylheti), Haijong, Southeastern Bengali (Chakma), Ganda, Vanga, Chittagonian (possible dialect of Southeastern Bengali). Classification: Indo-European, Indo-Iranian, Indo-Aryan, Eastern zone, Bengali-Assamese
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Bihari[urd] 250,000 in Bangladesh (2003 SIL). Mainly refugee camps in 13 districts. Alternate names: Urdu. Classification: Indo-European, Indo-Iranian, Indo-Aryan, Central zone, Western Hindi, Hindustani
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Bishnupriya[bpy] 40,000 in Bangladesh (2003). 1% monolingual. Sylhet Division, Moulvibazar District; southern Habiganj District, Sylhet City, 1 village; Sunamganj District, 2 villages. Alternate names: Bishnupria, Bishnupuriya, Bisna Puriya. Dialects: Rajar Gang, Madai Gang. Classification: Indo-European, Indo-Iranian, Indo-Aryan, Eastern zone, Bengali-Assamese
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Burmese[mya] 300,000 in Bangladesh (Johnstone and Mandryk 2001). Myanmar border area. Alternate names: Bama, Bamachaka, Myen. Dialects: Bomang. Classification: Sino-Tibetan, Tibeto-Burman, Lolo-Burmese, Burmish, Southern
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Chak[ckh] 5,500 in Bangladesh (2002). Arakan Blue Mountains, Baishari, Bandarban, south Naikhongchari area, Bishar Chokpra. Alternate names: Sak, Tsak. Classification: Sino-Tibetan, Tibeto-Burman, Jinghpo-Konyak-Bodo, Jinghpo-Luish, Luish
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Chakma[ccp] 150,000 in Bangladesh (2007). Population total all countries: 550,000. Southeast, Chittagong Hills area, and Chittagong City. Also in India. Alternate names: Sangma, Sakma, Takam. Dialects: Chakma of India [ccp] understood with difficulty. Lexical similarity: 58%–67% with Tanchangya [tnv]. Classification: Indo-European, Indo-Iranian, Indo-Aryan, Eastern zone, Bengali-Assamese
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Chin, Asho[csh] 2,340 in Bangladesh (1991 census). Bandarban, Chittagong, and Rangamati districts. Alternate names: Khyang, Khyeng, Qin, Sho, Shoa. Classification: Sino-Tibetan, Tibeto-Burman, Kuki-Chin-Naga, Kuki-Chin, Southern, Sho
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Chin, Bawm[bgr] 13,500 in Bangladesh (1991 census). Chittagong Hills. Alternate names: Bawm, Bawn, Bawng, Bom. Classification: Sino-Tibetan, Tibeto-Burman, Kuki-Chin-Naga, Kuki-Chin, Central
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Chin, Falam[cfm] Alternate names: Falam, Fallam, Halam, Hallam Chin. Dialects: Chorei, Zanniat. Classification: Sino-Tibetan, Tibeto-Burman, Kuki-Chin-Naga, Kuki-Chin, Northern
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Chin, Haka[cnh] 1,260 in Bangladesh (2000). Alternate names: Baungshe, Haka, Lai. Dialects: Klangklang (Thlantlang), Zokhua, Shonshe. Classification: Sino-Tibetan, Tibeto-Burman, Kuki-Chin-Naga, Kuki-Chin, Central
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Chin, Khumi[cnk] 2,090 in Bangladesh. Bandarban District, Thanchi, Ruma, and Rowanchari subdistricts. Alternate names: Kami, Khami, Khumi, Khuni, Khweymi, Kumi. Dialects: Khimi, Yindi (Yindu), Khami. Classification: Sino-Tibetan, Tibeto-Burman, Kuki-Chin-Naga, Kuki-Chin, Southern, Khumi
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Chittagonian[ctg] 13,000,000 (2006 SIL). Chittagong region. Alternate names: Chatgaiyan Buli, Chatgaya, Chittagonian Bengali. Dialects: Not inherently intelligible with Bengali [ben], although considered a nonstandard Bengali dialect. Dialects form a contiuum from north to south, with a larger religious distinction between Muslim and others. Rohingya in Myanmar is similar to the southern dialect of Chittagonian. Lexical similarity: 43%–64% with Bangla [ben]. Classification: Indo-European, Indo-Iranian, Indo-Aryan, Eastern zone, Bengali-Assamese
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Garo[grt] 120,000 in Bangladesh (2005). Mymensingh plains, Tangail Sherpur, Madhupur, Jamelpur, Netrakona, Sylhet, Dhaka. Alternate names: Garrow, Mande, Mandi. Dialects: Abeng, Achik, Brak, Chibok, Dual. Classification: Sino-Tibetan, Tibeto-Burman, Jingpho-Konyak-Bodo, Konyak-Bodo-Garo, Bodo-Garo, Garo
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Hajong[haj] 8,000 in Bangladesh (2005). Dhaka Division, Rangpur District east to Sunamganj District. Alternate names: Hajang. Classification: Indo-European, Indo-Iranian, Indo-Aryan, Eastern zone, Bengali-Assamese
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Indian Sign Language[ins] Classification: Deaf sign language
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Khasi[kha] Very few speakers. Alternate names: Cossyah, Kahasi, Khasie, Khasiyas, Khassee, Khuchia, Kyi. Classification: Austro-Asiatic, Mon-Khmer, Northern Mon-Khmer, Khasian
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Koch[kdq] 6,000 in Bangladesh (2006 SIL). Alternate names: Koc, Kocch, Koce, Kochboli, Konch. Dialects: Tintekiya, Chapra. Classification: Sino-Tibetan, Tibeto-Burman, Jingpho-Konyak-Bodo, Konyak-Bodo-Garo, Bodo-Garo, Koch
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Koda[cdz] 1,300 in Bangladesh (2005). Population total all countries: 1,600. Rajshahi Division, Puthia and Mundumala areas. Also in India. Dialects: Lexical similarity: 49%–55% with Santali [sat]; 61%–67% with Mundari [unr], 57%–60% with Kol [biw]; wordlist contained 19% Bengali [ben] words. Classification: Austro-Asiatic, Munda, North Munda, Kherwari, Mundari
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Kok Borok[trp] 5,000 in Bangladesh. Alternate names: Debbarma, Tipura, Tripura, Tripuri. Classification: Sino-Tibetan, Tibeto-Burman, Jingpho-Konyak-Bodo, Konyak-Bodo-Garo, Bodo-Garo, Bodo
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Kurux[kru] 40,000 in Bangladesh, decreasing. Ethnic population: 50,000. Alternate names: Kurukh, Oraoan, Uraon. Classification: Dravidian, Northern
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Marma[rmz] 150,000 in Bangladesh (2007). Population total all countries: 166,500. Rangamati, Bandarban, and Khagrachari districts. Also in India. Alternate names: “Mogh”. Dialects: Related to Rakhine [rki]. Classification: Sino-Tibetan, Tibeto-Burman, Lolo-Burmese, Burmish, Southern
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Megam[mef] 6,870 (2000). Netrokona District, Kalmakanda Subdistrict. Alternate names: Migam, Negam. Dialects: Lexical similarity: 7%–9% with Abeng [grt], 60% with Lyngngam [lyg]. Classification: Sino-Tibetan, Tibeto-Burman, Jingpho-Konyak-Bodo, Konyak-Bodo-Garo, Bodo-Garo, Garo
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Meitei[mni] 15,000 in Bangladesh (2003). 2% monolingual. Sylhet District, Moulvi Bazar District (Kamalganj Subdistrict) and Sylhet City. Alternate names: Kathe, Kathi, Manipuri, Meetei, Meiteiron, Meithe, Meithei, Mitei, Mithe, Ponna. Dialects: Hindu Meitei, Pangan (Pangal). Classification: Sino-Tibetan, Tibeto-Burman, Meitei
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Mizo[lus] 250 in Bangladesh (1991 census). Rangamati, Sajek. Alternate names: Hualngo, Lei, Lusai, Lushai, Lushei, Sailau, Whelngo. Dialects: Ralte, Dulien, Ngente, Mizo, Le. Classification: Sino-Tibetan, Tibeto-Burman, Kuki-Chin-Naga, Kuki-Chin, Central
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Mru[mro] 30,000 in Bangladesh (2007). Population total all countries: 51,230. Bandarban District. Also in India, Myanmar. Alternate names: Maru, Mrung, Murung. Dialects: Lexical similarity: 13% with Mro Chin [emr]. Classification: Sino-Tibetan, Tibeto-Burman, Mru
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Mundari[unr] 2,500 in Bangladesh (2005 Caritas). Ethnic population: 5,000. Rajshahi Division, Dinajpur and Naogaon districts; Sylhet Division, various tea estates. Alternate names: Colh, Horo, Mandari, Mondari, Munari, Munda. Dialects: Hasada’, Latar, Naguri, Kera’. Classification: Austro-Asiatic, Munda, North Munda, Kherwari, Mundari
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Pangkhua[pkh] 2,500 in Bangladesh (2007). Population total all countries: 2,730. Rangamati Dustrict. Also in India, Myanmar. Alternate names: Pangkhu, Pankho, Panko, Pankhu. Classification: Sino-Tibetan, Tibeto-Burman, Kuki-Chin-Naga, Kuki-Chin, Central
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Pnar[pbv] 4,000 in Bangladesh (2002). Northeast along India border; Sylhet Division, Sylhet District, near Jaflong, Tamabil, Jaintiapur, and north of Raipur; Moulavi Bazar District, near Fenchuganj, Madhabkunda, Barlekha, Goalbari, Fultala, Alinagar, Islampur, Khajori, Rashidpur, Satgoan, and Kamalganj. Classification: Austro-Asiatic, Mon-Khmer, Northern Mon-Khmer, Khasian
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Rakhine[rki] 35,000 in Bangladesh (2007). Cox’s Bazaar, Patuakhali, and Barguna districts. Alternate names: Rakhain, Rakkhaine, Mogh. Dialects: Rakhine, Sitwe. Classification: Sino-Tibetan, Tibeto-Burman, Lolo-Burmese, Burmish, Southern
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Rangpuri[rkt] 10,000,000 in Bangladesh (2007). Population total all countries: 15,000,000. Rajshahi Division north from Bogra, also known as the greater Dinajpur and Rangpur areas, now subdivided into Rangpur, Lalmonihat, Nilphamari, Gaibanda, Panchagar, Thakurgaon, and Dinajpur districts. Also in India. Alternate names: Bahe Bangla, Anchalit Bangla, Kamta, Polia. Classification: Indo-European, Indo-Iranian, Indo-Aryan, Eastern zone, Bengali-Assamese
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Riang[ria] 500 in Bangladesh (2007). Rangamati District. Alternate names: Kau Bru, Reang. Classification: Sino-Tibetan, Tibeto-Burman, Jingpho-Konyak-Bodo, Konyak-Bodo-Garo, Bodo-Garo, Bodo
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Rohingya[rhg] 200,000 in Bangladesh (2006). Cox’s Bazaar District. Alternate names: Rohinga, Rohinja. Classification: Indo-European, Indo-Iranian, Indo-Aryan, Eastern zone, Bengali-Assamese
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Sadri, Oraon[sdr] 166,000 (2000). Throughout Rajshahi Division; Sylhet Division, Moulvibazar and Habiganj districts; Khulna Division, Jhenaidah District (Jhenaidah Subdistrict, Moheshpur Subdistrict), Kushtia District (Mirpur Subdistrict), Magura District (Magura Subdistrict). Dialects: Borail Sadri, Nurpur Sadri, Uchai Sadri, Mokkan Tila Sadri. Dialects may need separate literature. Inherent intelligibility of 7 Sadri varieties on Borail ranges from 70%–93%; of 8 varieties on Nurpur from 78%–94%. Lexical similarity: of 14 Sadri varieties with the Borail Sadri dialect ranges from 88%–97%. Classification: Indo-European, Indo-Iranian, Indo-Aryan, Eastern zone, Bihari
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Santali[sat] 157,000 in Bangladesh (Johnstone and Mandryk 2001). Alternate names: Har, Hor, Sandal, Sangtal, Santal, Santhali, Satar, Sonthal. Dialects: Santali, Mahali (Mahle). Classification: Austro-Asiatic, Munda, North Munda, Kherwari, Santali
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Sauria Paharia[mjt] 7,000 in Bangladesh (2007). Alternate names: Malto, Paharia. Classification: Dravidian, Northern
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Sylheti[syl] 7,000,000 in Bangladesh. Population total all countries: 10,300,000. Districts of Sylhet, Sunamganj, Habiganj, Moulvibazar. Also in Australia, Canada, India, Italy, Malaysia (Peninsular), Myanmar, Singapore, United Kingdom, United States. Alternate names: Sileti, Siloti, Sylhetti, Sylhetti Bangla, Syloti, Syloty, Srihattia. Dialects: Similar to Bengali [ben], Assamese [asm]. Lexical similarity: 70% with Bengali. Classification: Indo-European, Indo-Iranian, Indo-Aryan, Eastern zone, Bengali-Assamese
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Tangchangya[tnv] 21,600 (1991 census). Chittagong Hills. Alternate names: Tanchangya. Dialects: 90% intelligibility of Chakma [ccp]. Lexical similarity: 58%–67% with Chakma. Classification: Indo-European, Indo-Iranian, Indo-Aryan, Eastern zone, Bengali-Assamese
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Tippera[tpe] 85,000. Chittagong Hills, Khagrachari District, Chittagong District, Fatikchari Subdistrict. Alternate names: Kok Borok, Tipperah, Tippurah, Tipra, Tipura, Triperah, Tripura. Dialects: Naitong, Dendak, Gabing, Khali, Phatung, Tongpai, Anok, Kewa, Kema, Aslong. 36 dialects. Lexical similarity: 56%–85% between dialects, 61%–74% with Kok Borok [trp], 53%–65% with Riang [ria], 37%–59% with Usoi Tripura [usi]. Classification: Sino-Tibetan, Tibeto-Burman, Jingpho-Konyak-Bodo, Konyak-Bodo-Garo, Bodo-Garo, Bodo
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Usoi[usi] 22,400. Bandarban District. Alternate names: Kau Brung, Tippera, Tripura, Unshoi, Unsuiy, Ushoi. Dialects: Lexical similarity: 88% between Panji and Joloi dialects, 59%–67% with Riang [ria], 47%–58% with Kok Borok [trp], 37%–59% with Tippera [tpe]. Classification: Sino-Tibetan, Tibeto-Burman, Jingpho-Konyak-Bodo, Konyak-Bodo-Garo, Bodo-Garo, Bodo
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War-Jaintia[aml] 16,000 in Bangladesh (2003 SIL). 25% monolingual. Population total all countries: 28,000. Northeast along India border; Sylhet Division, Sylhet District, near Jaflong, Tamabil, Jaintiapur, and north of Raipur; Moulavi Bazar District, near Fenchuganj, Madhabkunda, Barlekha, Goalbari, Fultala, Alinagar, Islampur, Khajori, Rashidpur, Satgoan and Kamalganj. Also in India. Dialects: War-Jaintia, War-Khasi. Not intelligible with Lyngngam [kha], Khasi War [aml] or Jowai, partially intelligible with Synteng [pbv], Standard Khasi [kha] 55% (acquired); sufficient to understand complex and abstract discourse with War-Jaintia in India. Lexical similarity: 86%–92% between dialects in Bangladesh; 83%–89% between War-Jaintia in India and Bangladesh; India variety 41%–45% with Pnar [pbv] (from scant data); 27%–35% with standard Khasi [kha]; 24%–28% with War dialect of Khasi. Classification: Austro-Asiatic, Mon-Khmer, Northern Mon-Khmer, Khasian
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