With almost 200 million speakers, Bangla is the sixth most widely spoken language worldwide. Although it is a derivative of Sanskrit and therefore has its closest ties to Hindi, today’s modern Bangla also incorporates a mishmash of influences that represent the region’s history. The script is written from left to right and top to bottom, and thus reads the same as English. Linguists note three major periods in the evolution of the language, with the majority of its modern forms being derived during the 15th–18th centuries. Until the 18th century, there were simply no attempts to document the grammar of Bangla.