Bengali Language

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বাংলা ভাষা
Baang•laa Bhaa•shaa

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This course is intended to teach the Bengali language. The Bengali taught here is (unless mentioned otherwise) the standard colloquial version of the Bengali language that is widely used in the media both in the country of Bangladesh and in the Indian state of West Bengal.

Who is this course for?[edit]

The principal Bengali-speaking area of the world
Bengali letters and digits

This is a comprehensive course for people who want to develop linguistic (lexical, grammatical and phonetic) and communication skills in the Bengali language. It assumes familiarity with the Bengali alphabet and its intricacies.

First contact[edit]

Let's dive straight into some simple Bengali sentences to give you a first impression of how Bengali is structured.


Sentence 1: I speak Bengali.

আমি
aa•mi
বাংলা
baang•laa
বলি
bo•li
I Bengali (Language) speak.
Subject Direct object Verb
aa = আ
m = ম
mi = মি
aami = আমি
b = ব
baa = বা
baang = বাং
l = ল
laa = লা
baanglaa = বাংলা
b = ব
bo = ব
l = ল
li = লি
boli = বলি

Note:

  1. The simple affirmative present tense Bengali sentence follows the Subject-Object-Verb (SOV) word order. To learn more about this, see Bengali Word Order.
  2. The inherent vowel অ is pronounced as "o" in বলি, rather than "ô", since the next syllable has an ই sound. In practice, the difference may not be easily discernible.


Sentence 2: I do not speak Bengali.

আমি
aa•mi
বাংলা
baang•laa
বলি
bo•li
না
naa.
I Bengali (Language) speak not.
Subject Direct object Verb Negative marker for present indicative
aa = আ
m = ম
mi = মি
aami = আমি
b = ব
baa = বা
baang = বাং
l = ল
laa = লা
baanglaa = বাংলা
b = ব
bo = ব
l = ল
li = লি
boli = বলি
n = ন
naa = না

Note: The simple negative present tense in Bengali simply adds the negative marker না ("naa") after a verb to make it negative.


Sentence 3: (Informal you) Do you speak Bengali ?

তুমি
tu•mi
কি
ki
বাংলা
baang•laa
বল?
baw•lo?
You (informal) [no meaning] Bengali (Language) speak?
Subject Yes-No question marker
without a direct translation
Direct object Verb
t = ত
tu = তু

m = ম
mi = মি
tumi = তুমি

k = ক
ki = কি
b = ব
baa = বা
baang = বাং
l = ল
laa = লা
baanglaa = বাংলা
b = ব
baw = ব
l = ল
lo = ল
bawlo = বল

Note:

  1. The dummy yes/no question marker কি ("ki") is placed right after the subject pronoun.
  2. As the subject changes from আমি (I) to তুমি (You), observe that the present tense verb ending changes. This is further explored in a later chapter (see Verbs).
  3. The ব in বল is pronounced as "baw" instead of "bo", since the next syllable doesn't contain an ই or উ sound.

List of Grammar Lessons (not in order)[edit]

List of Vocabulary Lessons (not in order)[edit]

Appendices[edit]