Bengali is an Indo-Aryan language spoken in South Asia. It is the national and official language of the People's Republic of Bangladesh, and an official language of several northeastern states of the Republic of India, including West Bengal, Tripura, Assam (Barak Valley) and the Andaman and Nicobar Islands.
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- Like many other Indian languages, Bengali has three levels of second-person pronouns: tui, tumi and apni, in increasing order of formality.
- In the nineteenth century Bengali replaced Sanskrit as the literary language of Bengal; the novelist Chatterjee was its Boccaccio, the poet Tagore was its Petrarch.
- Will Durant, Our Oriental Heritage : India and Her Neighbors.
- The system of learning Bengalee among the natives .... their notion of learning Bengalee was by learning Sanscrit. If you make a man a good Sanscrit scholar he will be able to write Bengalee with perfect accuracy and elegance.... Bengalee is the language most akin to Sanscrit. I have taken pains to ascertain the proportion of Sanscrit in the first 500 words... they amount to 350.... Sanscrit forms the very body of most of the dialects, particularly of Upper India, and though it is not so essentially a part of the languages of Southern India, yet it enters so largely into the composition of even the language of Malabar, that four-fifths of the words are Sanscrit.
- H.H. Wilson quoted in Shourie, Arun (1994). Missionaries in India: Continuities, changes, dilemmas. New Delhi : Rupa & Co, 1994