Bengali phrasebook

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Bengali is the sole official language of Bangladesh, and one of the 22 official languages of India. It is spoken as a first language by the majority of the population in Bangladesh, as well as people in the Indian state of West Bengal, which includes Kolkata (Calcutta), India's third largest city. It is the sixth most spoken language in the world.

Grammar[edit]

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[edit]

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[edit]

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[edit]

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[edit]

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[edit]

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[edit]

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[edit]

Basics[edit]

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[edit]

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[edit]

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[edit]

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[edit]

Bengali numerals


০ 
0
১ 
1
২ 
2
৩ 
3
৪ 
4
৫ 
5
৬ 
6
৭ 
7
৮ 
8
৯ 
9
শূন্য Shunno
এক Êk
দুই Dui
তিন Tin
চার Char
পাঁচ Pãch
ছয় Chhôe
সাত Shat
আট At
নয় Nôe
10 
দশ Dôsh
11 
এগার Êgaro
12 
বারো Baro
13 
তের Têro
14 
চৌদ্দ Chouddo
15 
পনের Pônero
16 
ষোল Sholo
17 
সতের Shôtero
18 
আঠার Atharo
19 
ঊনিশ Unnish


20 
বিশ Bish
21 
একুশ Ekus
22 
বাইস Bais
23 
তেইশ Teis
30 
ত্রিশ Trish
40 
চল্লিশ Chollish
50 
পঞ্চাশ Pônchash
60 
ষাট Shat
70 
সত্তর Shottur
80 
আশি Ashi
90 
নব্বই Nobboi


100 
এক শো Êk sho
1000 
হাজার Hajar
10,000 
দশ হাজার Dôsh hajar
1,00,000 / 100,000 
লাখ Lakh
10,00,000 / 1,000,000 
দশ লাখ Dôsh lakh
1,00,00,000 / 10,000,000 
কোটি Kuti

Time[edit]

Time

Shomoy

Clock time[edit]

9:45

Pouune Dosh ta

10:00

Dosh ta

10:15

Show-aa-Dosh ta

10:30

Share Dosh ta

Duration[edit]

Week[edit]

Monday

Shombar

Tuesday

Monggolbar

Wednesday

Budhbar

Thursday

Brihoshpotibar

Friday

Shukrobar

Saturday

Shonibar

Sunday

Robibar

Months[edit]

Bengali calendar[edit]

Gregorian calendar[edit]

Writing time and date[edit]

Colors[edit]

black

kalo

white

shada

red

lal

pink

golapi

orange

kômla

yellow

holud

green

shobuj

blue

nil

purple

beguni

Transportation[edit]

Bus and train[edit]

Directions[edit]

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[edit]

Lodging[edit]

Money[edit]

Taka : Poysha

Eating and drinking[edit]

Eating:[edit]

eating

Khabar

rice

bhaat

curry

torkari - thick gravy / sometimes no gravy, just a spiced coating over the key ingredients. Torkari, default, is understood to be vegetables based, unless specified. For example, in a restaurant, if you ask for just "torkari", the waiter might just bring you some potatoes dish that has been prepared today. On the other hand, if you want to have a liver based dish, then you need to say "metTer torkari". (metTe means liver)
jhhol - more liquid gravy. Typically fish curry is called maacher jhhol

egg

deem

meat:

maangsho:
  • beef: _____
  • pork: _____
  • mutton: _____
maangsho literally means meat. So in a restaurant where multiple types of meats are available, you may have to qualify this word with the animal or bird of your choice. Generally, words like 'beef' and 'pork' are well understood. 'Mutton' that is served in India is usually goat meat.

poultry:

_____:
  • chicken: murgi
  • 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:[edit]

drinking

pan

tea

cha

coffee

Kofee

water

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

alcohol

mod

Shopping[edit]

Shopping

Bajar

Clothes[edit]

clothe(s)

kapor

Driving[edit]

Authority[edit]

Learning more[edit]

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