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  • Bengali or Bangla is the language native to the region of Bengal, which comprises present-day Bangladesh and the Indian states West Bengal, Tripura and southern Assam. It is written using the Bengali script. With about 220 million native and about 250 million total speakers, Bengali is one of the most spoken languages, ranked seventh in the world. The National Anthem of Bangladesh, National Anthem of India, National Anthem of Sri Lanka and the national song of India were first composed in the Bengali language. Along with other Eastern Indo-Aryan languages, Bengali evolved circa 1000–1200 CE from eastern Middle Indo-Aryan dialects such as the Magadhi Prakrit and Pali, which developed from a dialect or group of dialects that were close, but not identical to, Vedic and Classical Sanskrit. Literary Bengali saw borrowings from Classical Sanskrit, preserving spelling while adapting pronunciation to that of Bengali, during the period of Middle Bengali and the Bengali Renaissance. The modern literary form of Bengali was developed during the 19th and early 20th centuries based on the dialect spoken in the Nadia region, a west-central Bengali dialect.

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