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To which language should you translate to localize in Bangladesh?

What we know from our community

Bengali and English are mostly used in official and business sectors. Bengali is the first language. People who use the internet use both languages, but prefer to use Bengali as their language of communication. Bengali language is also a matter of pride as Bangladesh witnessed the Language movement and that is why we all are very emotional about the language and it is an integral entity of the culture. People can speak various dialects of Bengali but when it comes to publishing any content or writing, standard Cholito bhasha is used. For Bangladesh, products being localized in Bengali will definitely help to bridge the gap for people who are willing to use the internet but cannot do so as most of the content and products are in English or other foreign languages. That is why Bangladesh is definitely a potential market for localization.

What the 150 top websites do

Of the top 150 website (Global by design ranking):

  • 48/150 translate into English.
  • 4/150 translate into Bengali.

If you need others information, below you can find a selection of economic/social/cultural data



Official language
Bangla or Bengali 98%

Other languages
Chittagonian, Rangpuri, Sylheti, Bangla Sign Language, Rohingya, Bihari, Santhali, Rakhine, Oraon Sadri, Marma, Chakma, Garo, Tippera, Kurux, Bishnupuriya, Mru, Usoi, Tangchangya, War-Jaintia, Meitei, Bawn Chin, Hajong, Sauria Paharia, Megam, Koch, Atong, Kok Borok, Pnar, Asho Chin, Chak, Mahali, Mundari, Pangkhua, Khumi Chin, Kol,Koda, Lyngngam


T-Index ranks countries according to their potential for online sales.

Most studied languages
Private schools tend to make use of English-based study media while government-sponsored schools use Bangla

Very low proficiency (EF) – 60 of 113 countries/regions in the world- 8/23 position in Asia.


Capital: Dhaka
Currency: Bangladeshi taka
Population: 171,18 m
Population density: 1.301/km2


GDP: 460.2 billion USD (2022)
GDP per capita: 2,688.3 USD ‎(2022) ‎
Exports: $41.2 billion (2020)


Internet users: 38.9% penetration, 66.94 million
Unemployment rate: 5.3% (2020)
Urbanisation: 40% (2022)
Literacy: 75% (2020)


Numbering system
numbering system based on groups of two decimal numbers, instead of three as it happens in the West world. Arabic numerals and dot as decimal separator.

Date format: dd – mm – yyyy
Time: 24h time system
Country code: 00880

Language data sources: Worldatlas/Britannica//EF/Wikipedia; Demography data sources: IMF/Worldometers; Conventions data source: Wikipedia; Economy data sources: WTO/OEC/CIA/Esomar/Datareportal; Statistics data sources: Datareportal/WorldBank/UN/UNESCO/CEIC/IMF/Culturalatlas/Commisceoglobal

Facts and data


$48.5 billion (2020).  Refined Petroleum ($2.64B), Raw Cotton ($1.8B), Wheat ($1.28B), Light Rubberized Knitted Fabric ($1.09B), and Heavy Pure Woven Cotton ($975M), importing mostly from China ($15B), India ($7.91B), Singapore ($2.29B), United States ($1.79B), and Indonesia ($1.69B).

Financial inclusion factors (over 15 years of  age)
• 37.7% have an account with a financial institution
• 24% have a credit card
• 29% have a mobile money account
• 19% make online purchases

Ease of doing business
Ease of conducting business is below average (rated 45 out of 100) ranked 7th out of 8 South Asian countries ranked 168th out of 190 countries worldwide (2022, World Bank).

$41.2 billion (2020). Non-Knit Men’s Suits ($5.75B), Knit T-shirts ($5.74B), Knit Sweaters ($4.91B), Non-Knit Women’s Suits ($4.63B), and Knit Women’s Suits ($2.45B), exporting mostly to Germany ($6.59B), United States ($6.25B), United Kingdom ($3.05B), Spain ($2.95B), and Poland ($2.27B).

Main local online stores,,,,,,,, Clickbd,

Economic freedom
‘Mostly not free’ (rated 54.4 out of 100) ranked 26th out of 39 countries in Asia Pacific ranked 123rd out of 186 countries worldwide (2023, Heritage Foundation and Wall Street Journal).

Economy data sources: WTO/OEC/CIA/Esomar/Datareportal

Service Imports (2020)
Service Exports

Source: OEC

Trade balance of goods from 2012 to 2022

Source: Statista

Historical Data Trade Imports

The following section uses historical trade data imports from partners of Bangladesh.

Historical Data Trade Exports

The following section uses historical trade data exports from partners of Bangladesh.

Source: OEC

The Top Export Opportunities for Bangladesh by Relatedness

Relatedness measures the distance between a country's current exports and each product by showing only products that Bangladesh is not specialized in.

Bangladesh's Most Complex Exports

The Product Complexity Index (PCI) measures the knowledge intensity of a product by considering the knowledge intensity of its exporters.

Source: OEC

Bangladesh's Most Specialized Products

Specialization is measured using Revealed Comparative Advantage (RCA), an index that takes the ratio between Bangladesh observed and expected exports in each product.

Source: OEC

Market Growth Imports (2020)

This score represents the likelihood that the given country will start importing that product in the next few years. It forecasts the opening of a new specific market.

Market Growth Exports (2020)

This score represents the likelihood that the given country will start exporting that product in the next few years. It forecasts the opening of a new specific market.

Source: OEC



Reach most of the online purchasing power

T-Index ranks countries according to their potential for online sales. It estimates the market share of each country in relation to global e-commerce.

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Media language Bangla, English

Information channels
TV is the most popular medium. State-owned BTV is the sole network with national terrestrial coverage. Satellite and cable channels and Indian TV stations have large audiences. State radio covers almost the entire country. BBC World Service in English and Bengali is heard on 100 FM in Dhaka. Newspapers are outspoken and privately-owned. English-language titles appeal mainly to an urban readership. Media tend to be polarised, aligning themselves with one or other of the main political factions. Freedom House says journalists and media face lawsuits, harassment and physical attacks.  A 2018 digital security law allows for prison terms for “negative propaganda”. Access to social media, messaging platforms and news sites has occasionally been blocked by the authorities. Some prominent bloggers who have written about Islamic fundamentalism have been murdered for their writing. Bloggers and social media users have been arrested on blasphemy-related charges.

The press

The Daily Star – English-language
New Age
– English-language daily
Daily Sun – English-language
Holiday – English-language weekly
Prothom Alo – Bengali daily, online pages in English
Dainik Ittefaq – Bengali daily, online pages in English
Dainik Jugantor – Bengali daily


Bangladesh Television (BTV) – government-run
ATN Bangla – private, via satellite and cable
Channel i
– private, via satellite and cable
NTV – private, via satellite and cable
RTV – private, via satellite
Ekushey TV – private, via satellite


Betar-Radio Bangladesh – government-run, operates networks A, B and C from Dhaka and local services
Radio Today FM – privately-owned
Radio Foorti FM – privately-owned
ABC Radio – privately-owned

News agency

Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha (BSS) – official, English-language pages
bdnews24 – private – private

Media data source: BBC

Internet Data

Internet users
38.9% penetration, 66.94 million

Share of web traffic by device
69.36% mobile phones, 29.97% computers (laptops and desktops), 0.68% tablet devices.

Median speed of mobile Internet connection
13.95  Mbps

Median speed of fixed Internet connection
34.85 Mbps

Mobile connection as a percentage of total population: 104.6%

Percentage of mobile connections that are broadband (3G-5G): 58.9%

Most popular web search engines
Google (98.07%), Bing (1.38%), Yahoo (0.25%), DuckduckGo (0.1%), Petal Search (0.06%), Other (0.14%).

Most used social media
Facebook (93.6%), YouTube (4.58%), Instagram (0.64%), LinkedIn (0.43%), Twitter (0.35%), Pinterest (0.29%), reddit (0.08%), Other (0.04%).

Internet data sources: Datareportal/Statcounter

Social statistics

Life expectancy
72 yrs (2021)

Corruption perceptions Index
Bangladesh scored 25 out of 100, ranked 147 out of 180 countries worldwide.

Current health expenditure
2.63% of GDP

CO2 emissions
0.5 metric tons per capita

Current education expenditure
71% of total expenditure in public institutions

In Bangladesh, religion is quite openly practiced but not fanatical. It is advisable not to talk about religion.

The consequences and also causes of women’s low status are high levels of poverty, illiteracy, poor health, lack of marketable skills, unemployment, and a general lack of access to social and economic opportunities to participate in the development process of society.

World Happiness Index
Bangladesh ranked 94 out of 137 countries, with a score of 5.155.

Social statistics sources: WorldBank/UN/UNESCO/CEIC/IMF

Social statistics sources: WorldBank

Bangladesh urban-rural 2018

Sources: Britannica

The Data Factbook is a work in progress project. Our community is helping us to fill it up always with new and updated data. Your contribution is precious. If you want to help us, please write your advices at

Languages research

The “other” languages of Bangladesh

Bengali or Bangla is spoken by 98% of the population, but what is the weight of the other languages in Bangladesh?


Bangla, or Bengali is a member of the Indic group of the Indo-Iranian or Aryan branch of the Indo-European family of languages.
Bengali is the most widely spoken language of Bangladesh and the second most widely spoken of the 22 scheduled languages of India. In 1999, UNESCO recognised 21 February as International Mother Language Day in recognition of the language movement when the people of Bangladesh (then East Pakistan) fought for recognition for the Bangla language.

Bengali is the official and national language of Bangladesh, and the official language of the states of West Bengal, Tripura and the Barak Valley region of the state of Assam. It is the most widely spoken language in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands as well in the Bay of Bengal and is spoken by significant populations in other states including Arunachal Pradesh, Delhi, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland and Uttarakhand. Bengali is also spoken by the significant global Bengali diaspora (Bangladeshi and Indian Bengalis) communities in Pakistan, the United Kingdom, the United States, and the Middle East.

The history of Bengali language and Literature is usually divided into three major successive stages of development:

(i) Old Bengali Language & Literature

(ii) Middle Bengali Language & Literature

(iii) Modern Bengali Language & Literature

 The modern Bengali vocabulary contains the vocabulary base from Magadhi Prakrit and Pali, also tatsamas and reborrowings from Sanskrit and other major borrowings from Persian, Arabic, Austroasiatic languages and other languages.The immediate predecessor was the spoken Apabhramsa-Avahatta, prevalent in the eastern region.
The two main forms of written Bengali:
a) Sadhubhasha; Sanskritised form of Bengali.Shadhu bhasha was a historical literary register of the Bengali language most prominently used in the 19th to 20th centuries during the Bengali Renaissance.
b) Chôlitôbhasha; colloquial form of Bengali using simplified inflections.Cholito-bhasha ,is considered by linguists as Standard Colloquial Bengali, is a written Bengali style using colloquial idiom and shortened verb forms, and is the standard for current written Bengali and is based on the dialect spoken in the Shantipur region in Nadia district, West Bengal, India.

The are many dialects in Bengali language, but the four main dialects roughly approximate the ancient political divisions of the Bengali-speaking world, known as Radha (West Bengal proper); Pundra, or Varendra (the northern parts of West Bengal and Bangladesh); Kamrupa (northeastern Bangladesh); and Bangla (the dialects of the Khulna, Barisal, Dhaka, Mymensingh, Sylhet and Comilla Divisions of Bangladesh)
The south-western dialects (Rarhi or Nadia dialect) form the basis of modern standard colloquial Bengali.

Photo credit: Salman Preeom, Unsplash