Why is Bengali not in the list of classical languages of India?

At present there are 6 languages which are marked as classical language in India.

  • Tamil (declared in 2004)

  • Sanskrit (2005)

  • Kannada (2008)

  • Telugu (2008)

  • Malayalam (2013)

  • Oriya (or Odia) (2014)

The reason why Bengali is not in this list is - Bengali has been derived from Magadhi-Apabhransha which is again derived from Sansrit-Prakrit. Unlike the classic languages which predates bengali and are more of a direct language.

According to information provided by the Ministry of Culture in the Rajya Sabha in February 2014, the guidelines for declaring a language as ‘Classical’ are:

“(i) High antiquity of its early texts/recorded history over a period of 1500-2000 years;

(ii) A body of ancient literature/texts, which is considered a valuable heritage by generations of speakers;

(iii) The literary tradition be original and not borrowed from another speech community;

(iv) The classical language and literature being distinct from modern, there may also be a discontinuity between the classical language and its later forms or its offshoots.”

Bengali does not satisfy all the criteria mentioned above.


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What is body language?

Every day, you use your arms and hands and head or other parts of your body to help you say things. Sometimes your actions say things almost better than words can.

In school, you raise your hand. This tells the teacher you are asking for a turn to speak. When riding a bicycle, you let others know you are going to turn by signalling with your arm. Once in a while, you might shrug your shoulders to tell someone, “I don’t know,” or “Hmmm, maybe”.

Babies “speak” almost from birth. They frown, laugh and snuggle. Their mothers and fathers respond to every “word”.

Everyone around the world uses body languages to speak. We all greet a friend with a smile, and we all frown or cry when we are sad. But be careful! Some body language means different things in different places.

Did you stick out your tongue? In Tibet, you’re saying, “I respect you”. In Western countries, you’re saying just the opposite!

Did you tap your forehead? In the U.S.A., you are saying “smart”. In the Netherlands, you are saying “crazy”.

Did someone tell you “Shhh”? In Australia, you need to be quiet. In Germany, you’d better “hurry up”.

Did you nod your head, then shake your head? In most countries, you said “Yes”, then “No”. In Bulgaria, you said “No”, then “Yes”.

Saying good-bye? Wave to the English with your palm facing out, fingers waving. Wave to Italians or Peruvians with your palm facing in.

Are you making a circle with your forefingers and thumb? In most countries, that means “Okay!” In France, it means “It’s worthless”. In Greece and Italy, it’s an insult.

Want to point to something? In most countries, you use your finger. In Thailand, you use your chin.

A pinch on the cheek is a friendly greeting and a sign of affection in some parts of Eastern Europe.


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What are the different ways to say hello?

How many different ways can you say hello? Here are seven different ways. Try them!

  • In French, you say Bon jour

  • In Portuguese, you say Ola

  • In Turkish, you say Merhaba

  • In Vietnamese, you say Xin Chao

  • In Spanish, you say Hola

  • In Lithuanian, you say Labas

  • In Swahili, you say Jambo

Now, how do you “see” hello? It depends on who’s writing it! Try copying some of these friendly written greetings from around the world.

Do you want to learn more words in another language? Find a radio station or TV channel on which people are speaking another language. Listen for a while. See if you can work out what some of the words mean. Practise saying them. Or read product labels and public signs that include your language and another language. Compare the words and see how much you can understand.


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Why do children speak more than one language?

How many ways can you say “Hello”? Some children speak more than one language, because the people they live with speak different languages. Children who live in places like Western Europe, where many countries and cultures are close together, often learn a second language.

Even people who speak the same language don’t always say words the same way. In the U.S.A., people in the northeastern states may say “dahg”. People in the southeastern states may say “dawg”. They are all saying the word dog, but they have different ways of saying it.

There are about 6,000 languages in the world, and most people speak and understand only one or two. People who know more than one language can become interpreters. Interpreters are people who translate words from one language into another. When world leaders meet, they often exchange ideas through an interpreter.

When people who do not speak the same language get together, they talk through interpreters.

Canada has two official languages, English and French. Many children there learn to speak both.


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Braille is a system of writing that uses raised dots, punched into paper or plastic. It enables people with little or no vision to read with their fingers. The system was invented in the first half of the nineteenth century by Louis Braille (1809-52), a Frenchman who had him been blind since the age of three.

Braille is a system of touch reading and writing for blind persons in which raised dots represent the letters of the alphabet.  It also contains equivalents for punctuation marks and provides symbols to show letter groupings.

Braille is read by moving the hand or hands from left to right along each line.  The reading process usually involves both hands, and the index fingers generally do the reading.  The average reading speed is about 125 words per minute. But, greater speeds of up to 200 words per minute are possible.

By using the braille alphabet, people who are blind can review and study the written word.  They can also become aware of different written conventions such as spelling, punctuation, paragraphing and footnotes.

Most importantly, braille gives blind individuals access to a wide range of reading materials including recreational and educational reading, financial statements and restaurant menus.  Equally important are contracts, regulations, insurance policies, directories, and cookbooks that are all part of daily adult life.  Through braille, people who are blind can also pursue hobbies and cultural enrichment with materials such as music scores, hymnals, playing cards, and board games.

Various other methods had been attempted over the years to enable reading for the blind. However, many of them were raised versions of print letters.  It is generally accepted that the braille system has succeeded because it is based on a rational sequence of signs devised for the fingertips, rather than imitating signs devised for the eyes.

At eleven years old, Braille found inspiration to modify Charles Barbier’s “night writing” code in an effort to create an efficient written communication system for fellow blind individuals. One year earlier he was enrolled at the National Institute of the Blind in Paris. He spent the better part of the next nine years developing and refining the system of raised dots that has come to be known by his name, Braille.

After all of Braille’s work, the code was now based on cells with only 6-dots instead of 12. This crucial improvement meant that a fingertip could encompass the entire cell unit with one impression and move rapidly from one cell to the next. Over time, braille gradually came to be accepted throughout the world as the fundamental form of written communication for blind individuals. Today it remains basically as he invented it.

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