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POST TIME: 22 February, 2021 07:19:07 PM
Are we using our mother tongue properly?
Md. Ziaul Hoq

Are we using our mother tongue properly?

The recognition of 21st February as the International Mother Language Day by UNESCO obviously testifies the fact that the history of Bangla language is exceptional from the history of other languages through which people around the globe express their thoughts and feelings. The global communities know it very well that Bangla is a language achieved through bloodshed and, therefore, they respect and honour the language and the sacrifice of the language martyrs from the core of their heart. Many citizens of different countries in the world learn this glorious language as a token of love and respect to the language. But as native speakers and people of this language how much are we aware of using our mother tongue? Are we using our Bangla language properly in every sphere of life?
Look at the speaking pattern of radio jockeys (RJs) of different FM radio stations of Bangladesh; look at their pronunciation of Bangla words. Didn’t you notice it earlier? No problem, listen to them again. Are they speaking Bangla? Obviously not. Are they speaking English? No, they are neither speaking Bangla nor speaking English. They are using a different type of language that is called Banglish (Bangla+English). While speaking, they are unnecessarily inserting English words in Bangla sentences. The sentences, therefore, lose their linguistic beauty. They belong to neither Bangali identity nor English identity. Not only that, have you noticed their pronunciation of Bangla words? Hmm, they are articulating Bangla words in English accent. The matter is really strange! It does not sound good.
We, the people of Bangladesh, cannot deny the fact that we are intentionally or unintentionally distorting our mother tongue by our useless and unnecessary activities. Nowadays, dramas, drama serials, movies, vlogs, web series and many video contents found in YouTube and Facebook are now full of slangs and some of them are full of vulgar language. These videos also include peculiar acting with weird language that endangers Bangla language. When those videos are telecast in television or social media platform, people are greatly influenced by this type of weird language. Those videos, no doubt, are misleading the young generation. They, therefore, learn that uncanny language and use it in their friend circle. The so-called Banglish language with foreign accent is cordially accepted by the young of country as they find the language used in different platforms without any restriction. In this way, they try to imitate the language in their own life. And it is enough to demolish a nation and its language.
The High Court repeatedly directed programme producers and directors of television channels to stop using distorted form of language in dramas, movies, talk shows. But the directives are being violated in the name of dramatizing the real and the practical condition of life and life style to the audiences.
Vlogs created as YouTube and Facebook content have also become mediums of distortion of Bangla language. As the government has no control over YouTube and Facebook, anyone can upload any type of video. Some youths influenced by Banglish distorted language create vlogs using Banglish language. Though they are praised and appreciated by the people, they are indirectly destroying our mother tongue gained through a great struggle in 1952. Those youths must be brought under monition and they must be warned strictly to avoid using this sort of language in their contents. On the contrary, there are some vloggers who use Bangla language very nicely in their content. They are really worthy of praise and appreciation. They really uphold the glory of our mother tongue.
Foreigners who come to visit our country become astonished noticing people speaking in Bangla and English mix-up (Banglish) language. From the news of television channels, it is known that in Japan and China, there are some universities where students study four years honours course in Bangla. When those students come to Bangladesh, they become shocked noticing the speaking pattern of Bangladeshi people. They have learnt Bangla language living far away from Bangladesh in their mother land but here in Bangladeshi people speak in foreign language leaving their mother tongue. They are really shocked and surprised. Surprisingly, a British woman while speaking to a TV reporter did not use a single English word in her speech. She always uses complete Bangla or complete English. She requested the Banglees to speak Bangla properly as it is a very rich language.
Language is that important part of a nation without which a nation cannot be imagined. Every nation is proud of their language. Every nation around the world speaks in their own mother tongue. But, we, the people of Bangladesh, evaluate English as a superior language. By thinking that way, we actually devaluate our native language. We may someday understand the value of our mother tongue like Michael Madhusudan Dutt but it will be too late. There is a proverb that ‘We never know the worth of water till the well is dry’. Our mother tongue is a blessing of the Almighty for us.  We must value this blessing before it is gone.
Individual initiative cannot stop inappropriate use of Bangla language in different spheres of life. It needs a strict state strategy along with public awareness. There are thousands of social welfare and volunteer organizations. They can contribute in this regards. They can conduct awareness campaign to build up awareness of the general people. In many countries, there is an organization that monitors the language and makes a counter part of a foreign word that enters into the language. We have an international language institution but it does not play its active role. United effort is essential to achieve the goal. So, let’s promise not to use a mixed-up language; let’s promise to uphold the glory of the Bangla language.

The writer is Lecturer of Accounting, Department of Business Studies, Principal Kazi Faruky College, Lakshmipur. Email: [email protected]