‘There is no denying that language changes in course of time’
At the roundtable, Professor Salimullah Khan of University of Liberal Arts of Bangladesh (ULAB), said : “There is no denying that language changes in course of time. People use language in their own ways. People of each community follow a unique style to interact among themselves. However, language is not static, it has a steady flow. For example, the water in the river swells and recedes but it keeps flowing. An individual cannot create a language alone, it requires two persons at least. That means language is the medium through which the two persons interact with each other.”
He said those who post status in Bangla on Facebook with flowery language in their own ways should be given freedom.
Prof Salimullah further said every newspaper follows a particular style of language. The style changes in course of time. Some newspapers used to write editorials in Sadhu ( an archaic form of written Bangla language), now they do not. “That’s how language experts have made reforms in letters, spellings and words on various occasions. Language goes through evolution and that is an ongoing process. Bangla language is a mixing/hybridization of a few languages. So I think we cannot go against reforms in this language. There will be regional forms of a language, yet uniformity is a must through which people can communicate with each other.”
‘Bangla language faced distortion earlier’
Academic and author Ahmad Mostafa Kamal said: “That Bangla is being used in a distorted way in Facebook is not new. Earlier the language faced distortion in other media like dramas and movies. This is high time to prevent distortion of language.”
He said people come to Dhaka from different regions of the country. They use their local dialects while interacting among themselves. There is also difference in the use of language used by people belonging to higher socioeconomic class and lower class.
That Bangla is being used in a distorted way in Facebook is not new. Earlier the language faced distortion in other media like dramas and movies. This is high time to prevent distortion of language
“There is a uniqueness in Bangla language. The language changes within a short physical distance. I consider these diversities an asset. Sometimes we use these diversities in novels and stories. But there is no problem there. The main thing is that there should be a common form of language through which 160 million people of the country can communicate with one another.”
He said: “The current generation is using Bangla mixing with Hindi and English. For example, on radio or television presenters address viewers in English (dear viewers) as they think it would not be smart manner to address the viewers in Bangla. This has led to a mixing or hybrid situation.”
Mostafa Kamal further said: “An individual learns language in the school. There was a time when cultural events were held in schools and neighbourhoods. But these programs are not held nowadays.”
‘We do not have our own form of language’
Writer and journalist Mahbub Morshed said: “There are 20 million Facebook users in Bangladesh. This online social media has created a new dimension and new audience as well. The news shared on Facebook is considered information for the users. They lack awareness about news. This generation lacks awareness of news and language as well. Maybe that’s why the language is embellished and sometimes even distorted.
He said: “I do not think that we have our own form of language. People from various regions of the country have come to Dhaka and created a mixed form of language for communication.”
‘Distortion of Bangla and failure to speak it correctly cannot be justified’
Radio Swadhin’s RJ and Associate Executive Director Mir Fazle Rabbi said: “There was a time when those who could speak good Bangla and those who had a recitation quality would get invitations to programs. Do we practise these now? Does anyone have any idea whether the cultural organisations in district towns organise cultural programs? We used to sit in front of TV sets to know the meaning and pronunciation of a word. Do we do the same now?”
He further said: “It is important to notice how much influence the language used in TV dramas and advertisements has on the people. However, I personally do not justify distortion of Bangla and the failure of speaking the language properly or correctly.”
‘If language changes every day it really causes trouble’
Referring to a recent trend in Facebook, Bangla Tribune’s Chief Reporter Udisa Islam said: “One of my colleagues asked me why Facebook users write France in their status. Those who do not know about the background are curious about it. It means addressing a friend and asking him/her about something.”
She said: “The distortion of Bangla language has been criticised for long. A group of people say this is not supposed to happen while the other group says this was inevitable. We have noticed the debate on the matter in blogs. If language changes every day it really causes trouble in communicating with one another-- there is no doubt on that.”