Sylheti phrasebook

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In Sylheti: ছিলটী /ꠍꠤꠟꠐꠤ Silôṭi; in Bengali: সিলেটী Sileṭī is the language of Sylhet (the Surma Valley), located in the north-eastern region of Bangladesh, and also spoken in parts of the Northeast India states of Assam (the Barak Valley and the Hojai district) and Tripura (the North Tripura district). It is also spoken by a significant population in the other north-eastern states of India and amongst the large expatriate communities in the United Kingdom, United States, and countries of the Gulf States.
Sylheti is often considered a dialect of Bengali, but due to significant differences between them and lack of mutual intelligibility, a strong argument can be made for them to be considered different languages. Sylheti has not been given an official status by the government of Bangladesh, and there is much debate to whether it should be so recognized. There are greater differences between Sylheti and Bengali, than between Assamese and Bengali, which are recognised as separate languages. Most Sylhetis are bilingual to at least some degree, as they are taught Bengali at all levels of education in Bangladesh. Sylhet was part of the ancient kingdom of Kamarupa, and has many common features with Assamese, including the existence of a larger set of fricatives than other East Indo-Aryan languages. According to George Abraham Grierson, "the inflections also differ from those of regular Bengali, and in one or two instances assimilate to those of Assamese".




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