Don’t distort Bangla: PM


Criticising the young generation’s latest trend of using Bangla language in English accent, prime minister Sheikh Hasina on Tuesday urged all to be careful about its distortion.
‘These days, we’re witnessing a trend of speaking Bangla in English accent using a bizarre sound. I don’t know why this is spreading among the young people in an epidemic form, she said while inaugurating a five-day Ekushey programme organised by International Mother Language Institute marking the Martyrs Day and International Mother Language Day.
Hasina said that the trend evolved in such a way that the young people thought they might have nothing if they did not speak ‘Bangreji’ (Bangla in English accent).
She said that the young generation must distance themselves from this attitude. ‘They must speak rightly when they say anything in any language. They have to pronounce that properly and use the language correctly.’
She urged all, including academics, linguists, teachers and guardians, to pay a special attention to this matter.
Noting that she is not against the learning of foreign languages, the prime minister said, ‘If anybody has the ability, he or she should learn more languages. But everybody should learn the mother language first. Knowledge in other languages will be the additional quality of an individual.’
Listing her government’s initiative for ensuring extensive use of Bangla in studies, daily activities and research on science, knowledge and technologies, she said that Bangla keyboard had been introduced in mobile phone as well as dot.bangla domain for internet browsing.
She also mentioned that Bangla-speaking people will be able to open web addresses in Bangla alphabet and use internet in Bangla very soon.
Hasina also said that an app had been developed through which people could learn nine languages.
Mentioning that the country’s founding president Sheikh Mujibur Rahman had delivered his address in the UN General Assembly in Bangla, Hasina said that she was also delivering speeches in Bangla in the UN General Assembly following his footprint.
The government is also making its constant endeavour to establish Bangla as one of the official languages of the United Nations, she said.
The prime minister underscored the need for massive projection of the history of Bengali’s Language Movement and their huge sacrifices for the mother tongue like shedding blood and giving away lives.
She said Bengali was the only nation in the world who shed their blood on the streets to protect the dignity of mother tongue.
Hasina stressed the need for spreading the practice and use of Bangla and Bengali culture all over the world with greater efforts to enrich the language and traditions of Bengali people.
Mentioning February 21 as a day enlightened with the pride of thousand years, she said that 190 countries from around the world were now observing the International Mother Language Day in memories of the language martyrs.
At the outset of the discussion, a one-minute silence was observed as a mark of profound respects to the memories of the martyrs.
Education minister Nurul Islam Nahid presided over the function while Indian linguist and scholar of minority languages Anvita Abbi presented the keynote paper.
International Mother Language Institute director general Zinaat Imtiaz Ali, head and representative of UNESCO in Dhaka office Beatrice Kaldun and Education Secretary M Sohrab Hossain also spoke. – See more at:

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