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Dhaka



How much of the local language do you need for daily living? Are local language classes/tutors available and affordable?

Given the security restrictions, US embassy staff have almost no opportunity or need to use Bangla for daily living. Quite honestly, most embassy staff will never even meet any Bangladeshis except for their household staff and the local staff at the embassy, and they all speak English. While Bangla is an interesting language, there is really no point in bothering to learn it. One simply won't have the opportunity to ever use it since the embassy staff are completely isolated from the local population and have virtually no opportunity to meet or interact socially. - Apr 11, 2017
Most people get by without any Bengali. - Jun 17, 2016
None. - May 18, 2016
Limited - Jun 20, 2015
I know none and get around fine. - Sep 29, 2014
None. You won't be around people who don't speak English. - Aug 3, 2014
None, unless you want to go rural or really native. - Jul 28, 2014
English is not as well-spoken or widespread as in India. I learned Bangla for my job, so have had no trouble getting around. Lots of people get by with English, but they don't stray to far out of the dip zone that often. - Aug 9, 2013
I speak Bengali at a 2/2 level. That makes living here easy. Not sure what it would be like if I didn't speak the language. - Apr 11, 2013
None if you are in Dhaka, pretty much everyone can speak English or grab someone else who can. In the outlying countryside, though, Bangla would be needed. - Aug 14, 2011
None. Haven't learned a single word of the local language. - Jun 25, 2011
There's a large enough community of house staff who speak English (to some extent) that you probably wouldn't need any Bangla at all - just send your housekeeper to do the local shopping. If you leave Dhaka or the diplomatic zone, though, you may experience difficulties. - Feb 8, 2011
Zero. Most people speak at least a little English. - Jan 29, 2011
It would be useful to speak as much Bangla as possible. Most people, even professionals and intellectuals, as well as government officials up to the highest level struggle in English. People of lower socio-economic status typically speak no English at all. - Jan 7, 2011
At the U.S. Embassy, none, but those who choose to study the language will find it helpful, in all aspects of life. - Oct 25, 2010
Some for daily life, but it is not essential for embassy personnel. - Apr 27, 2010
Many expats get by with none, and certainly many people here think they speak English. But learning Bangla can be very helpful in certain situations, and it certainly opens doors and builds goodwill. - Oct 30, 2009
None, but learning the niceties will earn you a smile at the local shops. - Aug 6, 2009
Not much. You can get by in English, but Bangla does make things easier. - Mar 13, 2009
Learn as much as you can. They'll love you for it. - Nov 20, 2008
None. - Mar 2, 2008
None. People get really excited if you speak to them in Bangla but it is not necessary to live here. - Feb 24, 2008