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Bengali phrasebook

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Bengali is the sole official language of Bangladesh, and one of the 22 offical "scheduled" languages of India. It is also the state official language of West Bengal, and the most commonly spoken language in India's third largest city, Kolkata.

Grammar

The following is a sample text in Bengali of the Article 1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (by the United Nations):

ধারা ১: সমস্ত মানুষ স্বাধীনভাবে সমান মর্যাদা এবং অধিকার নিয়ে জন্মগ্রহণ করে। তাঁদের বিবেক এবং বুদ্ধি আছে; সুতরাং সকলেরই একে অপরের প্রতি ভ্রাতৃত্বসুলভ মনোভাব নিয়ে আচরণ করা উচিৎ।
— Bengali in Bengali script

Dhara êk: Shômosto manush shadhinbhabe shôman môrjada ebong odhikar nie jônmogrohon kôre. Tãder bibek ebong buddhi achhe; shutorang shôkoleri êke ôporer proti bhrattrittoshulôbh mônobhab nie achorôn kôra uchit.
— Bengali in Transcription, faithful to pronunciation.

Clause 1: All human free-manner-in equal dignity and right taken birth-take do. Their reason and intelligence is; therefore everyone-indeed one another's towards brotherhood-ly attitude taken conduct do should.
— Word to word gloss.

Article 1: All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience. Therefore, they should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.
— Translation.

Pronunciation guide

The phoneme inventory of Bengali consists of 29 consonants and 14 vowels, including the seven nasalized vowels. Vowel sounds can either be independent or hooked on to the consonant in the form of diacritics.

Vowels

The independent vowel is on the left, the diacritic (which is hooked on to the consonant) is on the right.

আ া 
Like "a" in "cat" (a).
এ ে 
Like "e" in "bed" (e).
আ া 
Like "a" in "rather" (ā).
ঐ ৈ 
Like "i" in "nile" (æ).
এই 
Like "ay" in "may" (ay).
এ ে 
Like "e" in "red" (e).
ঈ ী 
Like "ee" in "reed" (í).
ই ি 
Like "i" in "rid" (i).
ও ো 
Like "o" in "hot" (o).
ও ো 
Like "oa" in "boat" (ó).
ঘ় 
Like "oy" in "boy" (oy).
উ ু 
Like "u" in "put" (u).
ই ি 
Like "ui" in "quick" (wi).

Consonants

ব 
Like "b" in "boy" (b).
চ 
Like "ch" in "cheat" (ç).
দ 
Like "d" in "doubt" (d).
ফ 
Like "f" in "frog" (f).
গ 
Like "g" in "go" (g).
হ 
Like "h" in "hit" (h).
জ 
Like "j" in "juggle" (j).
ক 
Like "k" in "skin" (k).
ল 
Like "l" in "loud" (l).
ম 
Like "m" in "man" (m).
ণ 
Like "n" in "no" (n).
ঙ 
Like "ng" in "king" (ng).
প 
Like "p" in "spit" (p).
র 
Like "r" in "run", but slightly trilled (r).
স 
Like "s" in "so" (s).
ত 
Like "t" in "talk" (t).
য 
Like "y" in "yes" (y).

Aspirated consonants

Aspirated consonants are pronounced with a puff of air.

ভ 
Like "b" in "blight" (b').
ছ 
Like "ch" in "cheese" (ç').
ধ 
Like "d" in "din" (d').
ঘ 
Like "g" in "language" (g').
ঝ 
Like "j" in "jam" (j').
খ 
Like "k" in "kick" (k').
ফ 
Like "p" in "pit" (p').
ঠ 
Like "t" in "tin" (t').

Retroflex consonants

Retroflex consonants are pronounced with the tip of the tongue flapping against the roof of the mouth.

ড 
Like "d" in "doubt" but retroflex (đ).
ড় 
Like "r" in "run" but slightly trilled retroflex (ŗ).
ত 
Like "t" in "talk" but retroflex (ţ).

Aspirated retroflex consonants

Aspirated retroflex consonants are pronounced with the tip of the tongue flapping against the roof of the mouth and a puff of air.

ঢ 
Like "d" in "din" but retroflex (đ').
থ 
Like "t" in "tin" but retroflex (ţ').

pagol gujju puro gujrat bhore

Phrase list

Basics

Common signs

OPEN 
খোলা (khola)
CLOSED 
বন্ধ (bôndho)
ENTRANCE 
দরজা (dôrja)
EXIT 
বাহির (bahir)
PUSH 
ঠেলা (thela)
PULL 
টানা (tana)
TOILET 
টয়লেট (toilet), পায়খানা (paykhana)
MEN 
পুরুষ (purush)
WOMEN 
মহিলা (mohila)
FORBIDDEN 
নিষিদ্ধ (nisiddho), নিষেধ (nishedh)


Greeting

Hello. (Muslim)

Assalamualaikum.

Hello. (Hindu)

Nômoshkar

How are you?

(Apni) kêmon achhen? (formal)
(Tumi) kêmon achho? (informal)
(Tui) kemon acchish? (implying in no respect)

(I'm) fine.

(Ami) bhalo (achhi).

Good morning.

Su probhat. (highly formal)
Shubho Shokal (formal)

Good evening.

Subho shôndha. (highly formal)

Good night.

Subho ratri. (highly formal)

Meeting

What is your name?

Apnar nam ki? (formal)
Tomar nam ki? (informal)
Tor naam ki? (childish phrase)

My name is ______ .

Amar nam ______ .

Nice to meet you.

Apnar shathe porichôe hoe amar khub-i bhalo laglo. (formal)
Tomar shathe porichôe hoe amar khub-i bhalo laglo. (informal)
Tor shathe porichôe hoe amar khub-i bhalo laglo. (phased to a childhood friend/junior family member)

Please.

Dôeakore. (formal)
Ektu. (lit. a little)

Thank you.

Dhonnobad. (formal)

You're welcome.

Tomake shagoto janai
Kichhu mone korben na. (formal) (lit. please don't mind;)
Kichhu mone koro na. (informal) (lit. please don't mind;)

Yes.

Ji. (formal)
Hê. (informal)

No.

Ji na. (formal)
Na. (informal)

Excuse me. (getting attention)

Ei-je! (formal)
Ei! (informal)

Bhai (when addressing a man)
Apa (when addressing a lady)
Excuse me. (to pass by someone)

Dekhi?

I love you

Ami tomake bhalobashi

I like you

Ami tomake pochondo kori
Amar bhalō legeche tōmake

I'm (very) sorry.

Ami (khub-i) dukkhito.

Forgive me.

Maf korun. (formal)
Maf kôro. (informal)

Goodbye

Khoda Hafez / Allah Hafiz (Muslim)

Problems

Problem(s)

shomosha

I can't speak [name of language] (that well).

(Ami) [_____] (eto bhalo) bolte pari na.

Do you speak English?

Apni-ki Ingreji bolte paren? (formal)
Tumi-ki Ingreji bolte paro? (informal)

Is there someone here who speaks English?

Ekhane keu achhe, je Ingreji bolte paren?

Help!

Bachao!
Shahajyo korun!

Can you help me?

Apni ki amake shahajyo korte parben?

Look out!

Shabdhan!

I don't understand.

(Ami) bujhte parchi na.
(Ami) bujhte parlam na.
(Ami) bujhlam na.
(Ami) bujhini.
(Ami) bujhinai.

Where is the toilet?

Tôelet ta kothae?
bathroom ta kon dike?

Numbers

0 Shunno
1 Êk
2 Dui
3 Tin
4 Char
5 Pãch
6 Chhôe
7 Shat
8 At
9 Nôe

10 Dôsh
11 Êgaro
12 Baro
13 Têro
14 Chouddo
15 Pônero
16 Sholo
17 Shôtero
18 Atharo
19 Unnish

20 Bish / Kuri
30 Trish
40 Chollish
50 Pônchash
60 Shat
70 Shottur
80 Ashi
90 Nobboi

100 Êk sho
1000 Êk hajar
10,000 Dôsh hajar
100,000 Êk lakh
10,00,000 Dôsh lakh
100,00,000 Êk kuti

Time

Time

Shomoy

Clock time

9:45

Pouune Dosh ta

10:00

Dosh ta

10:15

Show-aa-Dosh ta

10:30

Share Dosh ta

Duration

Week

Monday

Shombar

Tuesday

Monggolbar

Wednesday

Budhbar

Thursday

Brihoshpotibar

Friday

Shukrobar

Saturday

Shonibar

Sunday

Robibar

Months

Bengali calendar

Gregorian calendar

Writing time and date

Colors

black

kalo

white

shada

red

lal

pink

golapi

orange

kômla

yellow

holud

green

shobuj

blue

nil

purple

beguni

Transportation

Bus and train

Directions

here

eikhane

there

oikhane

(on/to the) right

dan (dike)

(on/to the) left

bã (dike)

(on/to the) north

uttor (dike)

(on/to the) south

dokkhin (dike)

(on/to the) east

purbo (dike)

(on/to the) west

poshchim (dike)

straight

shoja

in front

shamne

behind

pichhe
pichhon dike

Go (___).

(___) jan. (formal)
(___) jao.

Turn around (___).

(___) Ghurun. (formal)
(___) Ghoro.

Keep going (___).

(___) Jete thakun. (formal)
(___) Jete thako.

Stop (___).

(___) Thamun. (formal)
(___) Thamo.

Taxi

Lodging

Money

Taka : Poysha

Eating and drinking

Eating:

eating

Khabar

rice

bhaat

curry

torkari

egg

deem

meat:

maangsho:
  • beef: _____
  • pork: _____
  • mutton: _____

poultry:

_____:
  • chicken: murg
  • duck:hash
  • goose:_____
  • quail:_____

fish:

mach:
  • Hilsha: Ilish

vegetables:

shobji:
  • carrots: gajor
  • potatoes: aloo
  • onions: piyaj

friuts:

fol:
  • tomatoes: _____
  • banana: kola
  • oranges: komla lebu
  • lemon: lebu

Drinking/Bars:

drinking

pan

tea

cha

coffee

Kofee

water

Pani (Bangladesh)
Jol (More commonly used in Kolkata)

alcohol

mod

Shopping

Shopping

Bajar

Clothes

clothe(s)

kapor

Driving

Authority

Learning more

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Variants

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