First News
Volume:8, Number:04
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COVER STORY
THIS WEEK

Messing With Mother Tongue

Spelling mistakes and grammatical errors pervade the use of language in this country that threaten to undermine the mother tongue for which martyrs have laid their lives

| Khondoker Tazuddin |

The connecting road between Farmgate Chowrangi and Farmview Super Market was inaugurated in 2009, but the Bangla word for inauguration is still seen wrongly inscribed on the plaque as. On the nameplate of the Registration Complex at 446 Tejgaon Industrial Area, the word(registration) has been spelled in Bangla with 'w' (şa) in a plaque on the office building’s wall, whereas the word is written with 'x' (sa) at the main entrance.

Not only in government establishments, spelling mistakes are rampant on billboards, signboards, and road instructions as well as in public transports, marketplaces, and other places. Misspelling exists also in textbooks, correct spelling is ignored on social media, while the FM radios are distorting Bangla language in absence of authorities to protect Bangla spelling and language.

Rampant misspellings. Visiting the city from Arong to AR Plaza on Mirpur Road, the Bangla words for ‘pharmacy’, ‘photostat’ and ‘store’ were seen written 'lJPotxL' 'lPaJÓqJa' and 'PÓJr' instead of correct words- lJPotKx, lPaJˆqJa, and ߈Jr respectively. The word ßrˆáPr≤ (restaurant) or ‘ßrP˜JrÅJ’ was seen mistakenly written as ‘ßrÓMPr≤’ or ‘ßrÅP˜JrJ’ on the signboard of many restaurants on Mirpur Road. The misspelled word ‘octJe’ (modern) should be replaced by ‘ocJjt’ on the signboard of Anwer Khan Modern Medical College Hospital in Dhanmondi. On a billboard of traffic police, two words are misspelled as ‘hKãj’ and ‘KréJ’. As per the revised edition of Bangla dictionary published by the Bangla Academy in 2012 (page 581 and page 1033 respectively), the words should be ‘hKãe’ (south) and ‘KrTvJ’ (rickshaw). On a bus, operating on Gabtoli- Sadarghat route, the word ‘IJvLmtJh’ was seen distorted as ‘IJvtLmJh’. Misspelled words in the sentences like pJ©JkPg ‘Kjrm’ gJTáj; ‘xJmhJPj’ YuJPlrJ TrΔj; ‘nJAPr fJTJPmj jJ are prevalent in the instructions painted on the body of public transports. The correct words are jLrm, xJmiJPj, and mJAPr.

Government offices are no exception

The name of the Bangla language authority, Bangla Academy, also could not get rid of spelling mistake. Its misspelled name ‘mJÄuJ FTJPcoL’ should be replaced with ‘mJÄuJ FTJPcKo’ as per its own spelling rules. The name of the Children’s Academy also should be properly written as ‘KvÊ FTJPcKo’ in Bangla, instead of the existing spelling ‘KvÊ FTJPcoL’. At Dhaka Medical College and Hospital, the name of its Burn and Surgery Unit should be Burn and Plastic Surgery Unit, and the emergency complex should be ‘AoJrP\K¿ ToPkäé’, not ‘AoJrP\¿L ToPkäé’. The Bangla spelling of Supreme Court should be xMKk´o ßTJat, not xMk´Lo ßTJat.

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Asaduzzaman Noor Minister for cultural affairs

Misspelling and distortion in Bangla writing have been there for many years because of our lack of attention. Misspelling can be easily avoided by following the spelling standard set by Bangla Academy. Some people boast of talking in Bangla spiked with foreign words and affected pronunciations. We should get rid of this mentality. Rampant spelling mistake is disrespect for language, and it is not acceptable since the government has given highest priority to the dignity of Bangla language.

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Professor Anisuzzaman Emeritus professor of Bangla Department at Dhaka University

We cannot deny that there are plenty of spelling mistakes in Bangla writings. Creating people’s awareness through social movement is the main remedy for overcoming such flaws and distortions in the use of our mother tongue. Learning how to spell correctly should be ensured at school, college and university levels, especially at the primary level. Concerned quarters should play a more cautious role in their respective areas. The government should play a strong role in this regard making incorrect spelling a serious offense.

Distortions on social media

The distortion of Bangla spelling on social media online has reached a dangerous level. Wanton joining of words and introduction of weird words have turned into a fashion online. The Bangla clauses ‘oj YJ~’(want to) is written by netizens as ‘oMûJ~’, mqJkT KmPjJhj’ (great entertainment) is distorted into mqJkMT KmjMhj’, ‘nJPuJ uJVPZ’ (liked it) has been written as ‘nJuäJVPx’, while ‘ßoPr ßlu’ (kill) has been twisted into ‘oJArJuJ’.

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