The vast majority of the people of Bangladesh speak Bangla (Bengali). Bangla is an Indo-Aryan language and evolved from Sanskrit. English is also used as a second language among the middle and upper classes and is also widely used in higher education and the legal system.
The language plays an extremely important role in the hearts and minds of Bangladeshis. The Independence struggle and the subsequent liberation from Pakistani domination draw inspiration from the struggle by Bengalis to prevent Urdu being declared the state language of Pakistan. The struggle for Bangla gave impetus to the nascent Bangla nationalism which saw fruition in the advent of Bangladesh as a free nation after a nine month long War of Independence.