Published:  01:17 AM, 06 June 2020

Do not mangle the language

A tendency to pronounce Bangla words and sentences with a pronounced English or western accent is doing much harm to the language. It undermines the proper appeal and traditional basis of Bangla.

This tendency to pronounce Bangla with an accent is an offshoot of the efforts among a class of Bengalis who have felt, without any embarrassment, that a dash of things foreign would add glamour to their use of the mother tongue. Such efforts should be discouraged.

 The problem is not just that some people bring foreign accents into their use of the language. It is also that a very good number of people, and we see them among our fellow Bengalis, are inclined to use in their formal and informal use of Bangla a disturbingly large number of terms from the English language.

There should be a clear delineation in the use of language, any language. When English is spoken, we do not expect terms and phrases from other languages to insinuate themselves into it.

The same should hold true of Bangla. Unfortunately, we have observed the various ways in which individuals in public seek to 'glorify' Bangla by intercepting it with English words, particularly on talk shows on television and in their discussions of issues elsewhere.

There is then the matter of how sophisticated our use of Bangla is these days. It is perfectly all right for us to use our local dialects in our everyday use of Bangla at home or among friends.

At the public level, though, there is always a need for proper and sophisticated Bangla to be brought into play. We expect the language used in our cinema, theatre, government departments and social organizations to be above board, without the encumbrances that will likely mar its appeal.

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