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In Sylheti: ছিলটী/ꠍꠤꠟꠐꠤ Silôṭi; in Bengali: সিলেটী Sileṭī is the language of Sylhet (the Surma Valley), located in the north-eastern region of Bangladesh, and also spoken in parts of the Northeast Indian states of Assam (the Barak Valley and the Hojai district) and Tripura (the North Tripura district). It is also spoken by a significant population in the other north-eastern states of India and some citizens in the United Kingdom, United States, and amongst the expatriate communities in South-east Asia (Malaysia, Singapore) and the Middle East.

Travel guides:


Pronunciation guide[edit]

Pronouncing Syloti words will be much easier if you note:

Vowels[edit]

/i/ (ꠁ)

Press
sif [siɸ]

/ɛ/ (ꠄ)

Spit
sef [sɛɸ]

/ɔ/ (ꠅ)

Snack
sof [sɔɸ]

/a/ (ꠀ)

Pressure
saf [saɸ]

/u/ (ꠃ)

Quite
suf [suɸ]

Consonants[edit]

Fricative:


Sylheti is distinguished by a wide range of fricative sounds, which correspond to aspirated stops and a lack of the breathy voiced stops; word-final stress. It is characterised by a loss of breathiness and aspiration contrasts, leading to a significant reduction in its phoneme inventory and development of tones. For example - (p → ɸ; pʰ → ɸ), (k → x; kʰ → x) and (tʃ → s; tʃʰ → s; dʒ → z; dʒʱ → z).

Fricative[edit]

/k~x/ (ꠇ/ꠈ)

Room
Kuta (kúʈá) with high tone.
Taunting
Kuta (kùʈà) with low tone.
Stick
Kuta (kūʈā) with mid tone.
Deaf
Xal (xál) with high tone.
Skin or Canal
Xal (xàl) with low tone.
Bad-time
Xal (xāl) with mid tone.

/ɸ~f/ (ꠙ/ꠚ)

Goat
Fata (ɸáʈá) with high tone.
Torn
Fata (ɸàʈà) with low tone.
Grindstone
Fata (ɸāʈā) with mid tone.
Fan
Faxa (ɸáxá) with high tone.
Empty
Faxa (ɸàxà) with low tone.
Ripe
Faxa (ɸāxā) with mid tone.

Voiced fricative[edit]

/z/ (ꠎ/ꠏ)

Net
zal (z̀al) with low tone.
Spicy
zal (zál ) with high tone.

/ɦ/ (ꠢ)

Lid
hora (hòra) with low tone
Move it
hora (hóra) with high tone

Flap[edit]

/ɾ/ (ꠞ)

Stay
ro (rò) with low tone.
Cultivate
ro (ró ) with high tone.

Approximant[edit]

/l/ (ꠟ)

Take, Catch
lo (lò) with low tone.
Purchase
lo (ló ) with high tone.

Nasals[edit]

/m/ (ꠝ)

I
mui
Mom
mai
Mom's elder sister (aunty)
moi

/n/ (ꠘ)

Take a bath
nao (náo) with high tone.
Boat
nao (nāo) with mid tone.

/ŋ/ ( ꠋ )

Dizziness
un(g)ani
River
gan(g)

Plosive/Affricate[edit]

/b/ (ꠛ/ꠜ)

Bangle
bala (bàlà) with low tone.
Good, Welfare
bala (báĺá) with high tone.

/d̪/ (ꠖ/ꠗ)

Donation
dan (dàn) with low tone.
Paddy
dan (dán) with high tone.
Damn
dur (dúr) with high tone.
du-ro-reba (m), dur-rego (f)
Far
dur (dūr) with mid tone.
dur-oi, dur-duran
Go-away, get lost
dur (dùr) with low tone.
dur-za

/ɡ/ (ꠉ/ꠊ)

Scolding
gail (g̀ail) with low tone.
Beater
gail (gáil) with high tone.

Other charecteristic correspondences include:


the /e/ at the near end of a Bengali word
to the /o/ at the near end of a Sylheti word

1st e.g: Name of the place

Sileṭ [See-leṭ]
Siloṭ [See-lôṭ]

2nd e.g: For what

(in Bengali) Kisher [Kee-sheh-r]
(in Sylheti) Kior

3rd e.g: (_____'s)

(in Bengali) _____er (_____'s)
(in Sylheti) _____or

Tones[edit]

There are three tones in Sylheti that must be followed for proper pronunciation. Never underestimate the importance of these tones. Change of tone changes the meanings in Sylheti.

1. first tone ( "high tone" )
á
2. second tone ( "low tone" )
à
3. third tone ( "mid tone" )
ā

Writing[edit]

Although not widely known, Sylheti was formerly written in its own script, Syloti Nagri (ꠍꠤꠟꠐꠤ ꠘꠣꠉꠞꠤ), or Sylhet Nāgrī, the name of its parent writing system similar in style to Kaithi but with differences, though nowadays it is invariably written in Bengali script without matching the Sylheti sounds, tones or pronunciations.

In the 19th century, the British tea-planters in the area referred to Sylheti as Sylhettia. In Assam, the language is still referred to as Srihattiya, the name used in ancient literature. Sylhet has a rich heritage of literature in the Syloti Nagri script going back at least 200 years. The Sylheti script includes 5 independent vowels, 5 dependent vowels attached to a consonant letter and 27 consonants. The Syloti Nagri alphasyllabary differs from the Bengali alphabet as it is a form of Kaithi, a script (or family of scripts) which belongs to the main group of North Indian scripts of Bihar. The writing system's main use was to record religious poetry, described as a rich language and easy to learn.

During the 1971 Liberation War, when all Syloti Nagri printing presses were destroyed, the writing system came to a halt. After Bangladesh gained independence, the government of the newly formed Bangladesh mandated Bangla studies and the use of the Bengali alphabets as a curriculum to be taught at all levels of education. Efforts to establish Sylheti as a modern language were vigorously opposed by political and cultural forces allied to successive Bangladeshi governments.

Devanagari देवनागरी characters for Sylheti writing[edit]

Transcript faithful to pronunciation


Sylheti phrases will be written in Transcription faithful to pronunciation. Therefore, although the 'क' (ch) is equivalent to the English "chemist" and to the Scottish "Loch", its transcript will be written as either [keh-mee-ist] or [lôkh]. To remove confusion, the same will apply to all corresponding words and phrases.

Note that these characters are not used in writing Sylheti: Bengali alphabets lack similarity to Syloti Nagri script. Due to this, below are the Devanagari scrip representing the Syloti Nagri. To see Syloti characters visit www.omniglot.com.

Note that a few characters below have dual pronunciation:

  • The (ch) is equivalent to the English "chemist" and to the Scottish "Loch".
  • The (c) is equivalent to both "centimeter" and "change"
  • The (s) is equivalent to both "Scene" or "Schist"
  • The (h/ħ mute) is equivalent to "host or "honour".

Note that the following characters below have triple pronunciation:

  • The (o/v/w) is equivalent to "Odin" "Versus" "Woden"
  • The (k/kh/x) is equivalent to "Kahn", "Khan" or "Xan".
  • The (sh/x/ħ mute) is equivalent to "shush"& "hush", or to "Xan" & "Han", or else to "hour".
Independent vowels[edit]
Dewnagri alphabets Transliteration Equivalent/Comments
a as in Apple
i as in Ink
u as in Oops!
e as in Eggs
o or w as in Odin or Woden
Dependant vowels[edit]
Consonant + Dependant vowel Transliteration Equivalent/Comments
पा ph+a as in phantom
पी ph+i as in Phoenix
पु ph+u as in Phut
पे ph+e as in Pheasant
छो s+o/ou as in Sop or Soup
Grapheme signs[edit]

The Dvisvara symbol:

Consonant + Doishor Transliteration Equivalent/Comments
पै ph+oi the 'oi' as in (the sarcasm greeting) ahoy! Or as in oil or ointment

The Anusvara symbol:

Consonant + Anushor Transliteration Equivalent/Comments
पं ph+ŋ / ph+ng the 'ŋ' in knot, knowledge, gnat or the 'ng' in English & Bangla
Consonants[edit]
Dewnagri alphabets Transliteration Equivalent/Comments
ch as in Chemist or Loch
k, kh/x as in Kahn, Khan or Xan
g as in Goat
gh as in Ghee
c as in Centimeter or Change
s as in Science or Schist
z as in Zeus
j as in Jason
like a Tick-tock clock
ṭh as in Treasure!
as in Dream
ḍh as in Drought
t as in Tintin
th as in Tight
d as in Door
dh as in Dough
ph as in Phone
f as in First
b as in Bon
bh as in Boohoo
m as in Money
n as in Nice!
r as in Raw
l as in Law
ड़ wr as in Writing
sh, x/ħ mute as in Shush, Xan or Hour
h, ħ mute as in Host or Honour


Phrase list[edit]

Basics[edit]

Cultural notes on greetings:


There are no greetings based on time elements in Sylheti such as in English good morning, good afternoon, etc. Each religion has its own greetings. Muslims and Hindus greet each other by sharing "Adab" meaning "Greetings" and everyone keeps to their own religious greetings, exchanging them among their own religion. As a custom, both Muslims and Hindus alike greet by "the touching of the feet" of their elder family members. The Hindu "Pronam" meaning "Greetings" also has the same meaning to "Nomoskar" and to "the touching of the feet" while the Muslim "Adab" has two meanings, "Geetings" and "Humblest respect".

Greeting[edit]

Cultural notes on greetings:


It would be recommended to use formal phrases in general

Hello in Sylheti

oba (formal for male)/ogo (formal for female)
oi (gender neutral informal)
omae (very informal, to express irritation or anger)
Muslims etiquette is to say 'may peace be upon you'.
"Assalamu alaikum" in Arabic
In reply Muslim etiquette is to say 'may peace be upon you too'.
"Wa alaikum assalam" in Arabic
Hindu etiquette is to say 'humble welcome'.
"Nomoshkhar" in Sanskrit
Body language - folded hands touching the forehead while saying the word/s
Inter-religious etiquette
Saying "Adab", means 'take my regards'.
Common traditional etiquette
Fao-dori salam/adab
Body language - the touching of the feet of elderly person and saying following word/s

Bye

zaiargi bala taxba
Te bala taxba, rakidei (in Telephone)

How are you (as good-are-you?)?

bála ni afne? (formal)
bála ni tumi? (informal)
bála ni tui? (very informal)

Welcome

aioukka, aioin (very formal)
aukka, ain (formal)
ao, aore, aogo (f), aoba (m), aiore, aiogo (f), aioba (m) - (formal/informal)
ae, ai-o (informal)
aebe, aere (very informal)
aome (very informal and expressing anger, frustration or irritation, basically not so welcome)

Congratulations

Shabash

Have a blessed Eid

Eid Mubarokh

Happy Anniversary

Shalgira Mubarokh

Farewell

Allahr Haola. (lit. [with] God's Authority)

Good bye.

Khuda/Allah Hafiz. (Muslim lit. God/Allah protect you)

Forms of Address[edit]

Mr _____. (Muslim)

_____ Miah.
Miah _____.

Mr _____. (Hindu)

Sri _____. [Shee-ree]

Ms _____. (Muslim)

_____ Begum.
Begum _____.

Ms _____. (Hindu)

Srimoti _____. [Shee-ree-mô-tee]

Sir (Muslim)

Jonab [Jô-nah-b]
Huzur [Hooh-zooh-r]

Sir (Hindu)

Babu Moshai [Bah-booh Môshah-ee]

Respectable _____. (Muslim)

_____shaheb.

Respectable _____. (Hindu)

_____babu. [bah-booh]

Dr (Muslim)

Dakhtor shaheb

Dr (Hindu)

Dakhtor babu [Dah-kh-tôr bah-booh]

Meeting[edit]

Cultural notes on formalities:


In Western cultures, using phrases like “please, thank you, you're welcome, excuse me, sorry”, etc. are so ingrained that saying them is done without a second thought. Not so for the people of the Indian subcontinent. Saying such phrases in an inappropriate circumstance might embarrass the person, or change the gravity of the phrase itself. Some of these phrases are only said in a sincere sense. Don’t let this lead you to believe people of the Indian Subcontinent are bad mannered – nothing could be further from the truth. Instead of "please" and "thank you" use formal phrases and words; it replaces the western culture into Indian (sub-continental) good manners. Some sentiments are communicated through body language rather than verbally. To show your sincerity, a smile can be just the same. Despite all this, the use of verbal formalities in Sylhet is far more used than other places in Bangladesh.

Hello. (lit. How are you?)

Bhala ni? [Bah-lah nee?] (informal)

Are you good?

(Aphne) bhala asoin ni? (formal)
(Tumi) bhala aso ni? (informal)
(Tui) bhala asos ni? (very informal)

I'm good, thanks be to God.

Bhala asi, Shukur Allahr.

(I'm) fine, and are you good?

(Ami) bhala asi, ar aphne bala asoin ni?

What is your name?

Aphnar nam kita? (formal)
Tumar nam kita? (informal)
Tor nam kita?

My name is ______ .

mor nam oilo ______ . (formal)
nam oilogi ______ . (informal)

Nice to meet you.

bála laglo afnar log faia. (formal)
bála laglo tumar log faia. (informal)
bála laglo tor log faia. (very informal)

Notes on corresponding words to English:


Sylheti does have corresponding words to English, but this does not mean that the context in which it is used always correspond likewise. Phrases such as “thanks” (shukria) are use but they are not replied back to like in English; “you’re welcome”. English words are sometimes used the same, but remember just like the French have trouble with pronouncing the English 'th' - so do the Sylhetis, and therefore the 'th' is pronounced as 't'.

Same here.

Ami hoi o. [Ah-mee ô-ee-yô] (lit. me too)

Long time no see!

Oto buile na dekhlam! [ô-tô booh-ee-leh nah deh-kh-lah-m!]

What?

Ji? [Jee?] (formal - as in pardon?/sorry?)
Kita? [Kee-tah?] (informal - as in come-again?/what?)
Khixor? [Kee-hôr] (implying in no respect - as in what nonsense?)
Hi? [Hee?] or He? [Heh?] (extremely rude - as in What? Err!)

What is this?

Okhṭa kita? [ôkh-ṭah kee-tah?]

Using "Ji" as yes or affirmative:


With the words for "yes" and "no" - "ji" is added before it to make polite formalities. Sometimes, listeners simply reply with ji, as an acknowledgment to the speaker.

Yes.

Ji hoe. [Jee ôh-eh] (formal)
Hoe. [ôh-eh] (informal)

No.

Ji na. [Jee nah] (formal)
Na. [Nah] (informal)

The word 'please'.


'Please' is a bad expression when requesting a grocer for a grocery bag. Please is only used when you (plea to a) request for an aid: e.g. "Please, complete this for me." i.e. "Doea-khori amar o khan ta adae khori laiba?”

Please.

Doea-khori. [Dô-yah khô-ree] (informal)

Thank you.

Shukria. [Shooh-k-ree-yah] (highly formal)
Doniobad. [Dô-een-yôbah-d] (formal)

You're welcome. (lit. It was nothing)

Kichchu hoito nae [Kee-ch-chooh ôh-ee-tô nah-eh]

You're welcome!

Marhaba [Mah-r-hah-bah]

Welcome (lit. Please come in.)

Aoka [Ah-ô-kah]

You're most/always welcome.

Aphnar phroti marhaba. [Ah-f-nah-r frô-tee mah-r-hah-bah] (formal)
Tumar phroti marhaba. [Tooh-mah-r frô-tee mah-r-hah-bah] (informal)

Excuse me. (getting attention)

E-re! [eh-reh!]
  • Bhai-sahab [Bah-ee sah-b] (when addressing a man)
  • Apha [Ah-fah] or Boin [Bô-een] (when addressing a lady)

The phrase "I'm sorry".


I'm Sorry (Ami dukhkhito) is never verbally said in Sylheti but instead sorrow is expressed with a humble prayer. When 'sorry' is said in English it is understood only as forgive me.

Excuse me/Pardon me (to pass by someone)

Maf khorba ami rasta sai. [Mah-f khôr-bah ah-mee rah-s-tah sah-ee]
Dekhi. [Deh-kee]

Sorry (forgive me)

Maf khorba [Mah-f khôr-bah] (highly formal)
Maf khoroka [Mah-f khôrooh-kah] (formal)
Maf khorbae [Mah-f khôr-bah-eh] (informal)

I love you.

Ami tumare bhalaphai. [Ah-mee tooh-mah-reh bah-lah-fah-ee]

I like you.

Tumare amar bhala lage. [Tooh-mah-reh ah-mah-r bah-lah lah-geh]
Tumare amar phosond aise. [Tooh-mah-re ah-mah-r fôsôn ah-ee-seh]

See ya!

Dekha hoibo. [Deh-khah ôh-ee-bô]

See you later.

Bade dekha hoibo. [Bah-deh deh-khah ôh-ee-bô]

See you later, then.

Te ar dekha hoibo. [Teh ah-r deh-khah ôh-ee-bô]

People and places[edit]

People[edit]

Boy

Phua [Fooh-wah]

A boy's...

Ekh Phuar ___. [Eh-kh fooh-wah-r]

Girl

Furi [Fooh-ree]

A girl's...

Ekh furir ___. [Eh-kh fooh-ree-r]

Man

Beṭa [Beh-ṭah]

A man's...

Ekh beṭar ___. [Eh-kh Beh-ṭah-r]

Woman

Beṭi [Beh-ṭee]

A woman's...

Ekh Beṭir ___. [Eh-kh Beh-ṭee-r]

A person

Ekh manush/manux [Eh-kh mah-nooh-sh/mah-nooh]

A person's...

Ekhu manshor/manxor [Eh-gooh mah-n-shôr/mah-nôr]

Someone

Ekh-zon [Eh-kh zôn]

Someone's

Ekh-zonor [Eh-kh zônôr]

Human-kind

Manshor zat [Mah-n-shôr zah-t]

Swordsman

Axaidri [Ah-heh-ee-dah-ree]

Hinduism

Hinduana [Een-dooh-ah-nah]

Hindu

indu [In-dooh]

People of Hind (Indian)

industani [Een-dooh-stah-nee]
Bharotia [Bah-rô-tee-yah]

People of Sylhet

Silhoṭia [See-lôh-ṭee-yah]

People of Assam (Assamese)

Ahomia [Ah-hô-mee-yah]

People of Assyria (Assyrian)

Ahura [Ah-hooh-rah]
Ahuria [Ah-hooh-ree-yah]

People of the Dhaka region

Daxaia [Dah-khah-ee-yah]

Everyone

Hokhol [Hô-khôl] (all)
Hokkol [Hôk-kôl] (each and everyone)

Places[edit]

Everything

Xokholta [Hô-khôl-tah]

Dhaka

Dhakha [Dah-khah]

Assam

Axom [Ah-hôm]

Sylhet

Silhot [See-lôh-t]

Shallow wetland

Haor [Ah-wôr]

Wetland

Bil [Beel]

Seven wetlands

Xat bila [Hah-t bee-lah]

Family relationship[edit]

Paternal Grandparents

Dadu [Dah-dooh]

Maternal Grandparents

Nanu [Nah-nooh]

Paternal Grandfather

Dadazi [Dah-dah-zee]
Dada [Dah-dah]

Paternal Grandmother

Bibizi [Bee-bee-zee]
Bibi [Bee-bee] (means my dad's mother)
Dadi [Dah-dee] (means my granddad's wife)

Maternal Grandfather

Nanazi [Nah-nah-zee]
Nana [Nah-nah]

Maternal Grandmother

Nanizi [Nah-nee-zee]
Nani [Nah-nee]

Father

Baba [Bah-bah] (formal)
Baph [Bah-f] (informalt)

Dad

Abba [Ah-b-bah]
Bazan [Bah-zah-n]
Babazi [Bah-bah-zee]
Abbazan [Ah-b-bah-zah-n]

Mother

Ma [Mah]
Mai [Mah-ee]

Mum

Maizi [Mah-ee-zee]
Amma [Ah-m-mah]
Ammazan [Ah-m-mah-zah-n]

Son

Fut [Fooh-t]

Daughter

Zi [Zee]
Khonia [Khôn-yah] (also means bride)

Big brother

Bhaisahab [Bah-ee-sah-b] (Muslim)
Dada [Dah-dah] (Hindu)

Little brother

Huru/Geda Bhai [hu-ru/ge-da Bah-ee]

Brother

Bhai [Bah-ee]

Big sister

Buai [Booh-wah-ee]
Boro apha [Bôrô ah-fah]
Apha [Ah-fah]
Didi [Dee-dee] (Hindu)

Little sister

Boni [Bô-nee]

Sister

Boin [Bô-een]

Husband

Zamai [Zah-mah-ee] (Muslim)
Beṭa [Beh-ṭah]
Bor [Bôr] (Hindu)

Wife

Bow [Bôw] (Mislim)
Bhodu [Bôh-dooh] (Hindu)
Stri [Stee-ree] (formal)

Maternal uncle

Mamuzan [Mah-mooh-zah-n]
Mamuzi [Mah-mooh-zee]
Mama [Mah-mah]

Maternal uncle's wife

Mamani [Mah-mah-nee]
Mami [Mah-mee]

Maternal aunty/Auntie

Moi [Mô-ee]
Moizi [Mô-ee-zee]
Khala [Khah-lah]
Khala-amma [Khah-lah Ah-m-mah]

Maternal aunty's husband

xalu [Khah-looh]

Paternal uncle

Sasa (bafor-baekur)
Sasazan [Sah-sah-zah-n]
Sasazi [Sah-sah-zee]
Sasa [Sah-sah]

Paternal uncle's wife

Sasi-amma [Sah-see ah-m-mah]
Sasizi [Sah-see-zee]
Sasi [Sah-see]

Paternal aunty/Auntie

Fufu-amma [Fooh-fooh ah-m-mah]
Fufuzi [Fooh-fooh-zee]
Fufu [Fooh-fooh]

Paternal aunty's husband

Fufazi [Fooh-fah-zee]
Fufa [Fooh-fah]

Father-in-law

hour [Hô-ooh-r]
Abba [Ah-b-bah] (dad)

Mother-in-law

hoṛi [Hô-ṛee]
Amma [Ah-m-mah] (mum)
Bride's Brother to Father/Mother in law
Futra [similiar to Putra in Sanskrit for son]

Brother-in-laws:

  • Big sister's husband: Dulha-bhai [Dooh-lah bah-ee]
  • The husbans's older brother: Bhawor [Bah-ooh-r]
  • The husband's younger brother: Dewor [Deh-wôr]
  • The wife's older brother: Shomondik [Shômôn-deek]
  • The wife's older sister's husband: Zeṭa [Zeh-ṭah]
  • The wife's younger brother: Xala [hah-lah]

Sister-in-laws:

  • Big brother's wife: Bhabhi [Bah-bee]
  • The husband's older brother's wife: Zaal [Zah-l]
  • The husband's older sister: Nonhori [Nônôh-ree]
  • The husband's younger sister: Nonond [Nônôn]
  • The wife's's older sister: Zeṭali [Zeh-ṭah-lee]
  • The wife's younger sister: Xali [Hah-lee]

Son-in-law

Damand [Dah-mah-n] (Muslim)
Zamai [Zah-mah-ee] (Hindu)

Daughter-in-law

Phuar-bow [Fooh-wah-r bôw] (Muslim)
Bohu [Bôh-ooh] (Muslim)
Phutro-bhodu [Fooh-t-rô bô-dooh] (Hindu)
Bowma [Bôw-mah] (Hindu)

Friend

Bondu [Bôn-dooh] (male)
Dusto [Dooh-s-tô] (male)
Bandobi [Bah-n-dô-bee] (female)

Boyfriend/girlfriend

Shuna-bondu [Shooh-nah bôn-dooh]

Occupations[edit]

Teacher

Ustad/Mashtor (উছতাদ/মাস্টর)

Student

Shagred (শাগরেদ)

Doctor

Dakhtor (ডাখতর)

Butcher

Khoshai (খসাই)

Housekeeper

Daroan (দারোয়ান)

Lawyer

Ukil (উকিল)

Judge

Kazi (কাজি)

Fireman

Domkolwala (দমকলওয়ালা)

Postman

Fion (ফিওন)

Milkman

Goala (গোয়ালা)

Rickshaw driver

Rikshawala (রিক্সাওয়ালা)

Scientist

Biggani (বিজ্ঞানী)

Businessman

Bebshai (ব্যাবসাঈ)

Horseman

Gurasowar (ঘোড়া ছওয়ার)

Trader

Befari/Soudagor (বেফারি / সওদাগর)

Tailor

Dorzi (দর্জি)

Chef

Babursi (বাবুর্চি)

Poet

Shayer (শায়ের)

Fisherman

Maimol (মাইমল)

Waiter

Oitar (ঐটার)

Barber

Hajjam (হাজ্জাম)

Wrestler

Faluwan (ফালোয়ান)

Cobbler

Musi (মুছি)

King

Bashsha (বাশশা)

Queen

Rani (রাণী)

Prince

Shahozada (শাহজাদা)

Peasant

Fokir (ফকির)

Princess

Shahozadi (শাহজাদী)

Slave

Gulam (গুলাম)

Landlord

Zomidar (জমিদার)

Dealer

Kharbari (খারবারি)

Unemployed

Bekhar (বেখার)

Problems[edit]

Leave me alone.

Amare ekhla takhte deoka/diba. [Ah-mah-reh eh-kh-lah tah-kh-teh deh-ooh-kah/dee-bah] (formal)
Amare ekhla takhte deo. [Ah-mah-reh eh-kh-lah tah-kh-teh deh-oh] (informal)
Amare ekhla takhte de. [Ah-mah-reh eh-kh-lah tah-kh-teh deh] (implying in no respect)

Leave me alone, will you?

Amare ekhla takhte dibe ni?. [Ah-mah-reh eh-kh-lah tah-kh-teh dee-beh nee?] (implying in no respect)

Get lost!

Dur hor [Dooh-r-hô-r]

Let me go!

Amare saro! [Ah-mah-reh sah-rô!]

I said, don't touch me!

Amare sois na khoisi! [Ah-ma-reh sô-ee-s na khô-ee-see!]

I'll call the police.

Ami phulish dakhmu. [Ah-mee fooh-leesh dah-kh-mooh]
Ami phulish daki laimu. [Ah-mee fooh-leesh dah-khee lah-ee-mooh]
Ami phulish daki dimu. [Ah-mee fooh-leesh dah-khee dee-mooh]

Police! Officer!

Phulish! Daroga! [Fooh-leesh Dah-rô-gah]

Look out!

Dhekio ! [Deh-kee-yoh]

Stop! Thief!

Sur! Sur! [Sooh-r! Sooh-r!]
Ubais! Sur! [Ooh-bah-ee-sss! Sooh-r!]
Rakis! Sur! [Rah-kee-sss! Sooh-r!]
Uba-rakh! Sur! [Ooh-bah-Rah-kee-sss Sooh-r]

Help!

Basao! [Bah-sah-ô!]

I need (some) help.

Amar (tura) shaejjo lage. [Ah-mah-r (tooh-rah) sha-eh-j-jô lah-geh]

I need your help.

Aphnar shaejjo lage. [Ah-f-nah-r sha-eh-j-jô lah-geh]

Please, help me.

Amare shaejjo khorba. [Ah-mah-reh shah-eh-j-jô khô-r-bah] (formal)

Please, can you help me?

Aphne amar shaejjo khorba ni? [Ah-f-neh ah-mah-r shah-eh-j-jô khô-r-bah nee?] (formal)

It's an emergency.

Ekhṭa aphot goṭi gese. [Eh-kh-ṭah ah-fôt gô-ṭee-geh-seh]

Please, come quick!

Zoldi aoka [Zôl-dee ah-oo-kah]

I'm lost.

Ami Harai gesi. [Ah-mee ah-rah-ee geh-see]

I lost my bag.

Amar beg/sola ṭa harai laise. [Ah-mah-r beh-g/sô-lah ṭah ah-rah-ee lah-ee-see]

I lost my wallet.

Amar woleṭ/toli ṭa harai laise. [Ah-mah-r wô-leh-ṭ/tô-lee ṭah ah-rah-ee lah-ee-see]

Where is the toilet? :

  • Where is the flush toilet? : Bideshi ṭoeleṭ kun khano?
  • Where is the squat toilet? : Lefṭin kun khano?
  • Where is the washroom? : Hosailoe kun khano?
  • Where is the bathroom? : Ghusol-khana/Henan kun khano?
  • Is there a loo? : Fae-khanar bebosta ase ni?

Where is the _______?

_______ khun khano?

Can I use your phone?

Aphnar phon ṭa bebohar khortam phari ni?

How do you say _____?

_____ khemne khoin?
_____ khemola(n) khoin?

What is this/that called?

Okhṭar/Xokhṭar nam kita?

I don't understand.

mui (ami) buziar na.
mui (ami) buzlam na
mui (ami) buzram na
mui (ami) bujchi na.

I can't speak Sylheti (that well).

mui (ami) siloti (bála ṭike) mattam fari na.

Do you speak English?

Afne Ingrezi matta faroin ni? (formal)
Tumi Ingrezi mattae faro ni? (informal)

Is there someone here who speaks English?

Oxano kheu asoin ni ze Ingrezi matta faroin?

Learn

hikba [Heek-bah]

I'm not well. (I'm sick)

Ami bemar.

I've been injured.

Ami dukh phaisi.

I've injured my [name of the body part].

Ami amar [_____] o dukh phaisi.

I need a doctor.

Amar dakhtor lage.

Before the doctor came, the patient had died.

Ḍakhtor awar ageu bemari mori gese.

Going to the doctor[edit]

I am in _____.

Amar _____ khorer.
  • Pain : Bish
  • Pain (as in muscle pain) : Bish/Bedna

It's _____ here.

Ono _____
  • Sore (resulting from an injury) : Duk phai.
  • Itching : Khaozwar.
  • Tickling : Khetkhuti khorer.
  • Tingling : Zinzini khorer.
  • Numb : Set phai na

I've catched a cold.

Amar ṭanḍa lagi gese.

I've got a _____.

Amar _____ hoi gese. [Ah-mah-r _____ oh-ee geh-seh]
  • Fever. : Taph
  • Cough. : Khawwani
  • Phlegm. : Khash
  • Running nose. : Nakh doria/shordi
  • Diarrhoea. : Pheṭ lama
    Dasto

I'm _____.

Ami _____.
  • Coughing. : Khawwaiar. / Khawwairam.
  • Sneezing. : Esiar. / Esram.

I'm feeling _____.

Amar _____ lager.
  • Uncomfortable. : Oshanti
  • Shy. : Shorom

Body-parts[edit]

Body

Shoril

Skin

Samra

Hair

Sul

Head

Mata

Mouth

Mukh

Face

Cheyara

tongue

Zifra

Tooth, Teeth

Daat

Gums

Zami

Eyelash

Sukor bui [Soh-ooh-koh-r booh-ee]

Eyebrows

Sukor bua [Soh-ooh-koh-r booh-wah]

Eyes

Suk [Soh-ooh-k] / Noeon [Noh-yoh-n]

Eyelids

Sukor phatta [Soh-ooh-koh-r fah-t-tah]

Ears

Khaan

Earlobes

Khaanor loti

Cheeks

Gaal

Nose

Nakh

Armpits

Bogol

Arms

Dakhna

Elbow

Khoni

Wrist

Hator ghonṭa {Ah-toh-r goh-n-ṭah]

Hand

Hat [Ah-t]

Palm

Hator gata [Ah-toh-r gah-tah]

Finger, toe

Anguil

Nails

Nukh [Noh-ooh-kh]

Neck (rear end)

Gordona

Throat

Gola

Shoulder

Khand

Chest

Buk

Back

Phiṭ

Side

Muka

Hip

Khomor

Waist

Bazu

Heart

Dil


Leg(s)

Ṭeng

Thigh

Urat

Knee

Aṭu

Blood

Khun

Calf

Gusari

Ankle

Gonṭa

Foot

Phaw

Soles

Phawor tola

Numbers[edit]

Number gestures:


For plants and vegetables

-gesa

For objects

-gu

For time

-ta

0

shuinno (also means: hovering/on air)

1

ex

2

dui

3

tin

4

sair, sari

5

fas

6

soe

7

hat

8

aṭ

9

noe

10

dosh

11

egaro

12

baro

13

tero

14

souddo

15

fondro

16

shullo

17

hotro

18

aṭaro

19

unnish
Numeral Transliteration
Numeral Transliteration
Numeral Transliteration
Numeral Transliteration
20 bish
30 tish
40 sallish
50 phoinchash
21 ekhuish
31 ekhtish
41 ekhtallish
51 ekhanno
22 baish
32 bottish
42 boeallish
52 bawanno
23 teish
33 tettish
43 tetallish
53 tewanno
24 sobbish
34 sowtish
44 sowallish
54 sowanno
25 fochish
35 phoetish
45 foesallish
55 phasphanno
26 sabbish
36 soetish
46 soeallish
56 saphphanno
27 hataish
37 hattish
47 hattallish
57 hattanno
28 ataish
38 attish
48 attallish
58 attanno
29 untish
39 unsallish
49 unphonchiash
59 unshait


Numeral Transliteration
Numeral Transliteration
Numeral Transliteration
Numeral Transliteration
60 shait
70 hottoir
80 ashi
90 nobboi
61 ekhshait
71 ekhhottoir
81 ekhashi
91 ekhannobboi
62 baishait
72 bahottoir
82 biashi
92 bawannobboi
63 teshait
73 tehottoir
83 tirashi
93 tewannobboi
64 sowshait
74 sowhottoir
84 sowrashi
94 sowannobboi
65 phoishait
75 phas'hottoir
85 phasashi
95 phasannobboi
66 soeshait
76 sihottoir
86 siashi
96 siannobboi
67 harshait
77 hathottoir
87 hatashi
97 hattannobboi
68 arshait
78 at'hottoir
88 attashi
98 attannobboi
69 unhottoir
79 unashi
89 nirashi
99 nirannobboi


1,00 Êkh sho
1,000 Êkh hajar
10,000 Dôsh hajar
1,00,000 Êkh lakh
10,00,000 Dôsh lakh
1,00,00,000 Êkh kuti
10,00,00,000 Dosh kuti
1,00,00,00,000 Êkh arob
10,00,00,00,000 Dosh arob
1,00,00,00,00,000 Ekh kharob
10,00,00,00,00,000 Dosh kharob

Measurement[edit]

whole

asta

half

aada

one third

tin bagor ekh baag

two third

tin bagor doi baag

one quarter

sair bagor ekh baag

___ quarter

sair bagor ___ baag

less

khom

more

beshi

Weight[edit]

Kilogram/s (Kg)

Khezi
Kilo

Metaphors[edit]

Bus number eleven. (Meaning: "Your two legs")

Egaro nombor baas

Did you catch the bus number 11 to here? (Meaning: "Did you walk it here?")

Egaro nombor baas dori aisoin ni? (formal)
Egaro nombor baas dori aiso ni? (informal)

Calendar[edit]

Past present future[edit]

before

age [ah-geh]

now

ongkhu [on-kooh]
one [oh-neh]

later

bade [bah-deh]

day

din [deen]

yesterday

gese khail [geh-seh khah-ee-l]

today

aizku [ah-eez-kooh]
aiz [ah-eez]

tomorrow

khailku [khah-ee-l-kooh]
khail [khah-ee-l]

day before yesterday

gese phorxu [geh-seh foh-rooh]

day after tomorrow

phorxudin [foh-rooh-deen]

fortnight

soddo rait [soh-d-doh rah-eet]

nowadays

aizkhailku [ah-eez-khah-ee-l-kooh]
aizkhail [ah-eez-khah-ee-l]

time

bela [beh-lah]
buil [booh-ee-l]
okht [oh-kh-t]
bar [bah-r]

seven-times (lots of time)

hat-bar [hah-t-bah-r]

every time

hara buil [hah-rah booh-ee-l]

last time

agor bela [ah-goh-r beh-lah]

this time

ebuil [eh-booh-ee-l]

daytime

dinor bela [dee-noh-r beh-lah]

nighttime

raitkur bela [rah-ee-t-kooh-r beh-lah]

last week

agor haphtah [ah-goh-r hah-f-tah]

this week

ow haphtah [oh-oo hah-f-tah]

next week

bador haphtah [bah-doh-r hah-f-tah]

Morning to night[edit]

dawn (the beginning of day)

fota

morning

bian(i)
biyaal

noon

duiphor

afternoon

madhan

evening (the beginning of night)

hainja

dusk

beil

night

rait

midnight

maz-rait

late night

hesh-rait [heh-sh rah-eet]
  • "Hesh" is a Syloti pronunciation of the Bengali "Shesh"

end of the night

shesh-rait
  • There's no difference in "Xesh"-rait [Heh-sh rah-eet] and "Shesh"-rait [Sheh-sh rah-eet] but only in accent. Literally, they are both the same, but note that "xesh" [heh-sh] is applied to 'late' and "shesh" [sheh-sh] is referred to 'end' quite often in Syloti.

Weeks[edit]

Sunday

Roibbar

Monday

Shombar

Tuesday

Mongolbar

Wednesday

Budbar

Thursday

Bishudbar

Friday

Jummabar

Saturday

Shonibar

Months[edit]

Gregorian calendar Transliteration pronunciation
Hijri calendar Transliteration pronunciation
Bengali calendar Transliteration pronunciation
January Janwari
মহররম Mohorrom
বৈশাখ Bahag
February Februari
ছফর Sofor
জৈট Zoiht/Zet
March Maach
রবীউল আওয়াল Robiul-Aowal
আড় Ahŗ/Aar
April Ephril
রবীউছ ছানী Robius-Sani
হাওন Haon/Shaon
May Me'e
জমাদিউল আওয়াল Jomadiul Aowal
ভাদো Bhado
June Jun
জমাদিউছ ছানী Jomadius-Sani
আশ্বিন Ashin
July Julai
রজব Rojob
খাত্তি Khatti
August Aagost
শাবান Shaban
আগন Aghon
September Sephtembor
রমজান Romzan
ফুষ Fush
October Okhtubor
শাওয়াল Showal
মাঘ Magh
November Nowembor
যিল কদ Zil Kod
ফাল্গুন Fagun
December Disembor
যিল হজ্জ Zil Hojj
ছৈত Soit
  • Note that these Calendar months do not fall in as January being Mohorrom or Boishakh. All calendars consists of different number of days per month; some are lunar calendars while some are solar calendars.

Seasons[edit]

Season(s)

Moushum (মৌসুম)

[name of the season] time

[____] Khal (কাল)

Summer

Grishsho (গ্রীষ্ম)

Rainy (Monsoon)

Bôrsha (বর্ষা)

Autumn

Shôrot (শরৎ)

Dry

Hemonto (হেমন্ত)

Winter

Sheet (শীত)

Spring

Bôshonto (বসন্ত)

Time[edit]

What time is it?

Khoe ṭa bazro?
Khoe ṭa bazer?

dawn.

fota bala.

one AM.

rait kur ekh ṭa.

two AM.

rait kur dui ṭa.

noon.

duiphori bala.

one PM.

duiphori balar ekh ṭa.

two PM.

duiphori balar dui ṭa.

midnight.

maz rait.


9:45 Quarter to ten

Phone Dosh ṭa

10:00 Ten O'Clock

Dosh ṭa

10:15 Quarter past ten

Shuwa Dosh ṭa

10:30 Half past ten

Share Dosh ṭa

1:30 Half past one

Ḍeṭṭa (avoid saying share ekh ṭa)

2:30 Half past two

Aṛaiṭa (avoid saying share dui ṭa)

Duration[edit]

minute(s)

miniṭ (both singular and plural)

per minute

photi miniṭ
phoittekh/phortekh miniṭ

hour(s)

gonṭa (both singular and plural)

hourly

photi gonṭa
phoittekh/phortekh gonṭa

day(s)

din (both singular and plural)

daily

ruz

week(s)

haphtah (both singular and plural)

weekly

photi haphtah
phoittekh/phortekh haphta

month(s)

maash (both singular and plural)

monthly

photi maash
phoittekh/phortekh maash

year(s)

bosor/shal (both singular and plural)

yearly

photi bosor/shal
phoittekh/phortekh bosor/shal

Writing time and date[edit]

Time is written in both 12 hour clock and 24hr clock. Only the 12-hour clock is verbally used, to say the clock time, AM or PM, the cycle of day to night and night to day is said before the hour. For example:

AM - PM and o'clock

ta

At

kur

7:40 AM is said: (at morning seven - forty)

bian kur (s)hat ta - sallish

4:45 AM is said: (at dawn quarter to five)

rait phuwae phone phash ta

3:10 AM is said: (at late night three - ten)

hesh rait kur tin ta - dosh

12:00 AM is said: (at midnight twelve)

maz rait kur baro ta

10:20 PM is said: (at night ten - twenty)

rait kur dosh ta - bish

7:05 PM is said: (at dusk seven - five)

beil kur (s)hat ta - phas

3:20 PM is said: (at day three - twenty)

dinor tin ta - bish

From noon to midday, PM is said as: (at day _____ - _____)

dinor _____ - _____

Date is written by day first, then the month and last is the year. For example: Day / Month / Year is in writing as 23 [MONTH] 2012, but when speaking one can take the liberty to phrase a certain date as how they like: e.g.

12 Robiul Aowal

Robiul Aowalor 12 (baro) tarikh
12 (baro) wi tarikh Robiul Aowal.

25 December

Disemboror 25 (phochish) tarikh
25 (phochish) shi tarikh Disembor.

Animals[edit]

Lion

Sher (শের)

Tiger

Bagh (বাঘ)

Cow

Gai (গরু)

Elephant

Atti (আত্তি)

Fox

Hiyal (হিয়াল)

Pigeon

Khoitor (কৈতর)

Parrot

Tutafaikka (তোতা ফাইক্কা)

Rabbit

Khorgush (খরগোশ)

Colours[edit]

Miscellaneous[edit]

Are there any other types of colour?

Ar khunu zatir rong ase ni?

colour

rong

colourless

berong

colourful

rongila, rongbirongi, rangi

shiny

zokhmokh

dark

ghono

light

fatla

Primary colours[edit]

red

lal

green

khosua

blue

nil

Secondary colours[edit]

pink (rosy)

golaphi

orange

khomla

yellow

oilda

purple

baingoni

Brown

bhuramaṭi

Hueless colours[edit]

black

khala

gray

meghla

white

dhola

Jewellery colours[edit]

gold

shuna

silver

rupha

bronze

phitol

Traveling/Commuting[edit]

Translations of common signs:


PLEASE NOTE: Sylheti language has not been given an official status by the government of Bangladesh. Therefore, all signs are written in the Bengali language; Learn more from the Bengali phrasebook.
OPEN

kula

CLOSED

bondo

ENTRANCE

hamani

EXIT

barani

PUSH

ṭela, dekka

PULL

ṭan

TOILET

hosailoe, lefṭin

MEN

beṭain

WOMEN

beṭeen

FORBIDDEN

phare-na

Travel Queries[edit]

How much is a ticket to ___?

___or ṭikeṭor daam khemolan?

One ticket to ___, please.

___or lagi ekh ṭa ṭikeṭ diba. (formal)
___or lagi ekh ṭa ṭikeṭ dibae. (informal)

Where does this train/bus go?

Ow train/bus khoi zaibo?

Where is the train/bus to ___?

___or train/bus khun khano?

Does this train/bus stop in ___?

Ow train/bus ___o bond oi ni?

When does the train/bus for ___ leave?

___or train/bus khoe ṭa baze sarbo?

When will this train/bus arrive in ___?

Ongkhur train/bus khoe ṭa baze ___o aibo?

Directions[edit]

Which way to Silchar?

Hilsor kun baidi phorse?

How do I get to _____?

Ami Khemola(n) _____o zaimu?

How do I get to the train/bus station?

Ami khemola(n) train/bus station o zaimu?

How do I get to the airport?

Ami khemola(n) iarphuṭo zaimu?

How do I get to downtown?

Ami khemola(n) ṭawno zaimu?

How do I get to the youth hostel?

Ami khemola(n) iuth hushṭelo zaimu?

How do I get to the _____ hotel?

Ami khemola(n) _____ huṭelo zaimu?

How do I get to the American/Australian/British/Canadian consulate?

Ami khemola(n) American/Australian/British/Canadian consuleṭo zaimu?

Are there a lot of _____

_____ bohut ta ase ni?

Are there a lot of hotels?

Huṭel bohut ta ase ni?

Are there a lot of restaurants?

reshṭurent...

Are there a lot of bars?

baar...

Are there a lot of sites to see?

hokhol zagah dekhbar ase ni?

Can you show me the _____ ?

Amare _____ khanta dekhaiba ni?

Can you show me the map?

Amare meph khanta dekhaiba ni?

street

rasta

towards the _____

.... ow dikhe, omne di

past the _____

... phalaia

before the _____

... or aage

watch for the _____.

....ow ṭukhu mono khori dekhba.

intersection

cross junction

here

ono

there

hono

(on/to the) right

ḍain (e)

(on/to the) left

bau (e)

(on/to the) north

uttor (e)

(on/to the) south

dokkhin (e)

(on/to the) east

phub (e)

(on/to the) west

phoschim (e)

straight

shoi

in front

aag (e)

uphill

usa ṭila (e)

downhill

nisa ṭila (e)

behind

khor (e) / phis (e)

Go (___).

(___) zauka. (formal)
(___) zao.(informal)

Turn around (___).

(___) Ghuraoka. (formal)
(___) Ghurao.(informal)

Keep going (___).

(___) zaite thakhba. (formal)
(___) zaite thakho.(informal)

Stop (___).

(___) Tamuka. (formal)
(___) Tamo.(informal)

Taxi[edit]

The only taxi found in and around Sylhet is the auto-rickshaw or baby-taxi (pronounced bebi-teski)

Taxi !

Bebi-teski !

Are you going

(Aphne) zaira ni?

Take me to _____, please.

_____ loia zauka (formal).
_____ loia zao. (informal)

How much does it cost to get to _____?

_____ zaite khoto loiba?

Take me there, please.

Hono loia zauka. (formal)
Hono loia zao. (informal)

Keep on driving

Salaite takhuka

Stop

Rakh ouka

Driving[edit]

I want to rent a car.

Ami ekhta gari barati loitam sai.

Can I get insurance?

(Ami) bima loitam phari ni? <be>
(Ami) inshorens loiltam phari ni?

Driving

Salanit

I'm driving

Ami salanit
Ami salaiar
Ami salairam

Do you want to go for a drive?

Salanit zaiba ni? (highly formal)
Salanit zaita ni? (formal)
Salanit zaitae ni?(informal)
Salanit zaibe ni? (implying in no respect)

Do you drive?

Aphne salain ni?

Please go for a long drive

Lamba sofor khorouka

I'm going for a long drive

Ami garidi lamba soforo zaiar/zairam

one way

ekh muka

yield

axite deuka [ah-ee-teh deh-ooh-kah] (formal)
axite dewo [ah-ee-teh deh-w] (informal)
axite de [ah-ee-teh deh] (implying in no respect)

no parking

rakhoin na

speed limit

ispidor shima

petrol/gas station

pheṭṭul/gesh ishtishon

petrol

pheṭṭul
kheras tel (kerosene oil)

diesel

ḍizel

Transportation[edit]

Stations[edit]

Station

Ishṭishon, Bondor

Bus Stop

Bas Isṭoph

Bus station

Bas istishon

Airport

Biman bondor

Rail station

Rel istishon

Train station

Relgari istishon
Road[edit]

Bus

Baas

Rickshaw

Rishka

Auto Rickshaw

Bebi-ṭeski

Taxi

Ṭeski

Car

Gaṛi

Motorbike

Baik

bicycle

saikel
Rail[edit]

Train

Relgari
Sea or river[edit]

Boat

Nao, Nouka

Ship

Zahz
Air[edit]

Aeroplane

Biman

Lodging[edit]

Do you have any rooms available?

"Ekhod koddha khali ase ni?

How much is a room for one person/two people?

Ekhzon / duizon manshor lagi kuṭar daam khoto?

Does the room come with bedsheets?

Kuṭat bisna-saddor phaimu ni?

Does the room come with _____

Kuṭat _____ phaimu ni?
  • bedsheets? : bisna-saddor
  • a bathroom? : gusol-khana
  • a telephone? : ṭeliphon
  • a TV? : ṭelibhishon

May I see the room first?

Ami kuṭa ṭa phoela dekhtam phari ni?

Do you have anything cheaper?

Aphnar kichcho xosta ase ni? [Af-nah-r kee-ch-chooh hoh-stah ah-seh nee?]

Do you have anything _____.

Aphnar kichcho _____ ase ni?
  • quieter? : nirai
  • bigger? : boro
  • cleaner? : saf
  • cheaper? : xosta [hoh-stah]

OK, I'll take it.

Ṭik ase, ami loimu.

I will stay for _____ night(s).

Ami _____ rait takhmu.

Can you suggest another hotel?

Bhala ekhod hoṭel sajeshṭ khorba ni?

Do you have (a) locker(s)

lokar ase ni?

Do you have (a) ______(s)

______ ase ni?
  • safe? : seif
  • lockers? : lokar

Is breakfast or supper included?

Nasta kiba bhat-salon loge ni?
Nasta ba raikur khani loge ni?

What time is breakfast or supper?

"Breakfast" kiba ḍinar khun bela?
Biankur nasta ba raikur khani khun bela?

Please clean my room.

Amar kuṭa ṭa saf khori diba.

Can you wake me at _____?

Amare _____ṭat hozag khori diba ni?

I want to check out.

Ami chek-auṭ khortam sai.

Eating and drinking[edit]

I'm hungry.

Amar bhuk lagse.

Bon appétit.

Bhalaṭike khauka.

Have a good appetite.

Bhuk taza rakhuka.

A table for one person/two people, please.

Ekhan tebul ekhzon/duizon mainshor lagi diba (formal).

Please bring a menu.

Ekhan "menu" anba.

Do you have an English menu?

Ingrezi "menu" ase ni?

Can I look in the kitchen?

Ami fakh-ghor / undal ṭa dekhtam phari ni?

Are there any paper towels? (can I have some)

Khagozor tawal ase ni? (diba)

Is there a house specialty?

"House specialty" ekhod ṭa ase ni?

Is there a local specialty?

"Local specialty" ekhod ṭa ase ni?

Please choose for me.

Amar lagi khichchu basia dilaoka.

baked; grilled

Agniphura

roasted

baza

dry roasted vegetables

bhuna tarkhari

Fixed-price meal.

khanir daam fiks khora.

I'm a vegetarian.

Ami khali tarkhari khai.

I don't eat [pork].

Ami [shuoror ghus(t)] khai na.

I want a dish containing _____.

Amar "dish"/khani ṭa _____r hoito hoibo.
  • vegetable: tarkhari
  • meat: gusto
  • chicken: murug
  • fish: maas

Please do not use too much oil.

Doea-khori tel beshi bebohar khorba na.

Please bring the _____.

_____ṭa anba.

Excuse me, waiter?

E-re bhai?

I'm/We're finished.

Ami/Amra shesh.

The food was delicious

Ze mozar khani

I loved the meat curry

Ami gustor salonṭa balaphaisi

I loved the ____ ____.

Ami ____ ____ṭa balaphaisi

I liked the meat curry

Gustor salonṭa amar bala lagse

I liked the ____ ____.

____ ____ṭa amar bala lagse

Please clear the plates.

Borton ogun/okhol neuka gi

Can you please clear the plates?

Borton ogun horai-ba ni? [borton o-gun hoh-rah-ee-bah nee?]

The check please

bill anba

Meal times[edit]

Breakfast.

Nasta.

Lunch.

Duiphori belar khani.

Teatime.

Sa-nasta.

Supper/Dinner.

Raitkur khani.

Non vegetarian[edit]

non-mixed curry or dish

nillar salon
  • Most household curries are cooked with a choice of meat, poultry, or fish with a mixture of any particular vegetable. This is why nilla is to be noted.

not-mixed.

nilla
  • The word nilla applie to both meat and vegetarian dishes

chicken

murgor gus(t)

beef

gorur gus(t)

mutton

berir gus(t)

fish

maas

hilsa fish

ilish maas

rohu fish

rui maas

climbing perch

khoi maas

wallago catfish

gual maas
(boal in Standard Bengali)

batasio fish

ghungi maas
(tengra in Standard Bengali)

ompok fish

fabiya maas
(pabda in Standard Bengali)
spotted snakehead

ladi maas dry fish soup/broth

huṭkir shira
huṭkir shira comes in as both roasted curry (Nilla) and with vegetables.
huṭki
hukṭi

curry

salon
tarkhari

dry roasted meat

bhuna gust

meat sour soup

tenga
gus(t)

meatballs

kufta

scotch egg

nargisi kufta

egg

enḍa

sausages

sosij

meatball

Kufta kobab

shish kebab

shik kobab

burger shaped kebabs

shami kobab

non-mixed soup

nillar shira
  • meat soup: ghustor shira
  • chicken soup: murgor shira

meat pilau

akhni phulab

biryani

birani
(similar to pilau rice, but cooked in layers of meat, fried onions, boiled eggs and rice, instead of having everything mixed in all together.)

Vegetarian[edit]

cooked rice

bhat

fried rice

bhat biran

fried starchy rice

biroin bhat

noodle

nudul

bread loafs (brioche loafs)

luf

toast (toasted brioche loafs)

tus

vegetables

tarkhari

only vegetables

nillar tarkhari

Mixed vegetable curry

nira mishar salon

spinach or any leafy dish

haag

mustard

lai

malabar spinach

foi/koi haag

salad

salat
  • tomatos
ṭomeṭu
bilati baingoin
  • cucumber
kira / howa
  • radish
mula
  • turnip
shalgom
  • okra
bhendi
  • taro
khosu
  • Ceylon olive
belfoi
  • bottle gourd
khodu
  • chichinda/snake gourd
sisinga / poita
  • cucurbita moschata
hofri khodu / kumra
  • pointed gourd
fotol
  • carrots
gazor
  • onions
phiaiz
  • bean
uri
  • black-eyed pea
ramai uri / lubi
  • garlic
roshun
  • eggplant/aubergine
baingoin
  • bell peppers
khephsikom
  • cabbages
phata khobi
  • cauliflower
phul khobi

vegetable curry

tarkharir salom/salon

vegetable soup

tarkharir shira

lentil soup

ḍailor shira

lentil(s)

ḍail

beans

urir bisi

mashed potatoes

alur borta

Chotpoti

soṭ-phoṭi

oil

tel

clarified butter

gi
(gi made from cow's milk is known as xaṭi-gi (pure-gi).

vegetable ghee

ḍalḍa

butter

makhon

cheese

phonir

Seasoning[edit]

salt

nun [noon]

salty

nunta

ground black pepper

gul morisor gura

crushed pepper corn

kuṭail gul moris

pepper corn

gul moris

mustard

xoirox [hoh-ee-roh]

chili

moris
  • green chili: khasa moris
  • sweet chili: lal moris
  • chili pepper: naga moris (above a million scoville units)

bell pepper

kephsikom
anaz(al)or moris (zero scoville units)

spice(s)

moshla

hot n spicy

zal moshla
gorom moshla

hot (fire)

gorom

hot (chili)

zal (also meaning heat)

heat the curry, please.

salon ṭare zal diba.

Fruits[edit]

fruit(s): fol-fruit

  • banana: xola (খলা)
  • young banana: xas xola (খাছ খলা)
  • pomelo: mattu (মাতু)
  • clementines, mandarines, tangerines, satsumas and citruses: zamir (জামির)
  • lemon: lembu (লেম্বু)
  • lime: lembura (লেম্বুরা)
  • macroptera citrus fruit: hatkhora (হাতখরা)
  • oranges: xomla (খমলা)
  • pineapple: anarosh (আনারস)
  • apple: sheb (সেব)
  • custard apple: ataphol (আতাফল)br>
  • papaya: xoiphol (খইফল)
  • coconut: naikkol / naikol / nairol (নাইক্কল / নাইকল)
  • rambai: bubi (বুবি)
    (lotkon in Standard Bengali)
  • chebulic myrobalan: ortoki (অরতকি)
  • Country gooseberry: leboi (লেবই)
  • emblic: eola (এওলা)
  • young coconut: dab (ডাব)
  • longan fruit: ashphol (আশফল)
  • jackfruit: khaṭhol (খাঠল)
    (kathal in Standard Bengali)
  • lychee: lesu (লেছু)
    (lichu in Standard Bengali)
  • mango: aam (আম)
  • starfruit: khafrenga (খাফরেঙ্গা)
    (kamranga in Standard Bengali)
  • garcinia xanthochymus: dephol (ডেফল)
  • pomegranate: anar (আনার)
  • grape: angur (আঙ্গুর)
  • raisin: kishmish (কিসমিস)
  • apricot: khubani (খুবানি)
  • guava: hofri (হফরি)
    (peyara in Standard Bengali)
  • pear: nashfatti (নাশফাত্তি)
    (nashpati in Standard Bengali)
  • hog plum: amra (আম​ড়া)
  • otaheita apple: bilati amra (বিলাতী আমড়া)
    (jamrul in Standard Bengali)
  • prunes / plums: alu buxara (আলু বুখারা)
  • java plum: zam (ঝাম)
  • indian apple: bel (বেল)
  • olives: belkhoi (বেলখই)
  • oenaplia zuzube: hiakul boroi
  • ziziphus zuzube: kul boroi/sini boroi
  • xylopyrus zuzube: ghat boroi
  • tamarind: tetoi (তেতই)
  • dates: xazur (খাজুর)
  • stem amaranth: denga

Refreshment/Bar[edit]

à la carte.

khani ṭa alag khori diba.

light meal/snack.

haba-luba.

tea

sa

dehydrated milk powder

nido / dano

turmeric powder

oloid

whole fresh milk

phegeṭor taza dudh

lemon juice

lembur/zamiror rosh

rose water

gulaph phani

ginger

adrokh

cinnamon stick

ḍalsini (lit. ḍal: tree-branch + sini: sugar) also pronounced as ḍailsini

bay leaves

tez phata

cardamon

elais

sugar

sini

without sugar

ana-sini-e

date syrup

khazuror ghur

coffee

kofi

fresh lemonade

lembur shorbot

sparkling lemonade

lembur shorbot

7up

seven up

Sprite

sprit

water

phani

ice

borof

ice-cream

kulfi

ice-lollie

ice-cream (Just as mango achar is called mango chutney!)

coconut water

naikolor phani

young coconut juice

ḍabor phani

sugarcane juice

kuiaror rosh

mango milkshake

aam dudh

yogurt drink

lassi

yogurt

doi

sweet yogurt

miṭa doi

Bars

Modor ghor

Alcoholic drinks

Mod

Cigarette(s)

Sigreṭ

Tendu leaf cigarette(s)

Biri

Shredded Tobacco

Tomakh

Betel leaf

faan
Although faan is used to refer to the leaves of the betel vine, the use of this word means to chew areca nut and other condiment called faan moshla wrapped with a betel leaf. Below are a list of phan variety, consisting of the phan moshla ingredients to make a (samosa-like) phan wrap:
  • Guwa faan:
  • Betel leaf: Faan
  • Areca nut: Guwa
  • Soon faan:
  • Betel leaf: Faan
  • Areca nut: Guwa
  • Calcium hydroxide (Caustic lime paste): Sun
  • Shada faan: (a common household phan)
  • Betel leaf: Faan
  • Areca nut: Guwa
  • Dried whole Tobacco leaf: Shada
  • Calcium hydroxide (Caustic lime paste): Sun
  • Tomakh Faan:
  • Betal leaf: Faan
  • Areca nut: Guwa
  • Shredded Tobacco: Tomakh
  • Dried whole Tobacco leaf: Shada
  • Sweet and scented Tobacco: Zorda
  • Calcium hydroxide (Caustic lime paste): Sun
  • Meeṭa Faan:
  • Betel leaf: Faan
  • Sweet and Saffron dyed Areca nut: Miṭa shuphari
  • Sweet mouth freshener: Mukhwosh (lit. mukh: mouth + ooshma: stench) is made of colorful sugar coated herb-seeds scented with aromatic essential oils and peppermint oil.
  • Sweet cumin (Aniseed): Barik guamuri bakhor
  • Fennal seeds: Guamuri bakhor
  • Shredded coconut: Kuṭa naikol
  • Glace/Maraschino cherry: Sini soṛail "cherry"
  • Zordari Faan:
  • Betel leaf: Faan
  • Sweet and scented Tobacco: Zorda
  • Sweet and Saffron dyed Areca nut: Miṭa shuphari
  • Catechu (an extract from the acacia tree): Khoe'er
  • Powdered caustic lime: Hukna sun
  • Fennal seeds: Guamuri bakhor
  • Mint leaves: Phudina
  • Cardamon: Elais
  • Sini Faan: (lit. sugar betel-leaf) refers to chewing on engagement ceremonies.
  • Betel leaf: Faan
  • Sweet and scented Tobacco: Zorda
  • Sweet and Saffron dyed Areca nut: Miṭa shuphari
  • Sweet mouth freshener: Mukhwosh (lit. mukh: mouth + ooshma: stench) is made of colorful sugar coated herb-seeds scented with aromatic essential oils and peppermint oil.
  • Sweet cumin (Aniseed): Barik guamuri bakhor
  • Fennal seeds: Guamuri bakhor
  • Coriander seeds: Dhonia/Dula bakhor
  • Cumin seeds: Zira bakhor
  • Sesame seeds: Til
  • Shredded coconut: Kuṭa naikol
  • Glace/Maraschino cherry: Sini soṛail "cherry"

Shopping[edit]

Commercial spot/Market

Bazar

Shop

Dukan

Expensive

Daami

Cheap

Hosta

Free

Magna

I'm buying

Ami kiniar
Ami kinram

Do you have this in my size?

Okhṭa amar saizor milbo ni?

I want to buy _____.

Ami _____ kintam sai.
  • This: Okhṭa
  • That: Hokhṭo

How much is this?

Okhṭar daam khoto?

How much is _____?

_____r daam khoto?

That's too expensive.

Itar daam beshi.

Give me a deal.

Daam khomauka.

Would you take _____?

_____ niba ni?

I'll give you §_____, and no more.

Ami §_____ dimu aphnare, ar beshi na.
  • This much: Oto Khanta

§ [amount] Taka

§ [_____] Ṭekha

§ [amount] Poysha

§ [_____] Phoesha
  • Phoesha also means money.
  • A hundren phoesha makes a ṭekha.

I can't afford it.

Kinbar khemota nae.

I don't want it.

Ami sai na.

You're cheating me.

Aphne amare ṭogra.

I'm not interested.

Ar kham nae.

OK, I'll take it.

Ṭik ase, ami loimu.

Please give me a carrier-bag.

Ekhṭa kisa diba.

Do you ship overseas?

Bidesh maal phaṭain ni?

I need...

Amar... lage.
  • toothpaste. : datpest
  • a toothbrush. : datborash
  • a broom. : huroin
  • a large broom. : khorkhora
  • a kite. : guddi
  • tampons. : mashik fed
  • soap. : shaban
  • shampoo. : shabun
  • spoon. : sif/samos
  • spoon. : sif/samos
  • pain relievers. : bish bednar duwai
  • e.g. paracetamol or ibuprofen
pherasiṭamol / aibiphren
  • medication for cold relief.
shordir duwai
  • medicines for stomach relief.
pheṭor duwai
  • razors / blades
khamaibar baaṭ
  • an umbrella. : satti
  • sunblock lotion.
"sunblock lotion"
  • a postcard. : "postcard"
  • postage stamps.
siṭi sarbar ishtemph
  • batteries. : beṭari
  • writing paper.
lekhbar khagoz
  • a pen.
kholom
  • a pencil.
sheesh kholom
  • reading glasses.
phorbar choshma
  • books in English-language.
Ingrezi boi
  • Magazines in English-language
Ingrezi megezin
  • Newspaper in English-language
Ingrezi photrika
  • a Bengali-English dictionary.
Bangla-Ingrezi dikshonari/abhidhan
  • an English-Bengali dictionary.
Ingrezi-Bangla dikshonari/abhidhan

Clothes[edit]

clothes

khaphor

pyjama

phaezama, phainjabi

shorts, underwear

anḍar

saree

shari

asian kilt

longi

western trouser(s)

phent

baggy drawstring trouser(s)

selwar

long shirt(s)

khamiz

western shirt(s)

shat

t-shirt(s)

genji

vest

bogol khata genji

hat(s)

toki

shoes

zuta

sandals and flip-flops

sendel

socks

phawor muza

gloves

aator muza

scarfs

maflar

headscarf

rumaal (Muslim)
bondona (Hindu)

shawl(s)

urna

Finger-ring

Anguṭi
Angṭi

Money[edit]

Do you accept American/Australian/Canadian dollars?

"American/Australian/Canadian" dolar loin ni?

Do you accept British pounds?

"British pound" loin ni?

Do you accept credit cards?

"Credit card" loin ni?

Do you accept debit card?

"Debit card" loin ni?

Can you change money for me?

Amar lagi phoesha bodlaita pharba ni?

Where can I get money changed?

Ami phoesha Khun Khano bodlaitam phari?

Can you change a traveler's cheque for me?

Amar "traveller cheque" khaan bodlaia diba ne?

Where can I get a traveller's cheque changed?

(Ami) "traveller cheque" khuno bodlaitam phari?

What is the exchange rate?

"Exchange rate" khemola(n)?

Where is an automatic teller machine (ATM)?

"ATM" khuno phaimu?

Authority[edit]

I haven't done anything wrong.

Ami khunu bad kham khorsi na.

It was a misunderstanding.

Bhul bhuza oi gesil.

Where are you taking me?

Aphne amare khun khano luia zaira?

Am I under arrest?

Ami giriftar ni?

I am an American/Australian/British/Canadian citizen.

Ami ekh zon "American/Australian/British/Canadian" nagri.

I want to talk to the American/Australian/British/Canadian embassy consulate.

Ami "American/Australian/British/Canadian" embasi konsulet or loge maattam sai.

I want to talk to a lawyer.

Ami wokil or loge maattam sai.

Can I just pay a fine?

Ami fain or bill boridei?

There is no authority except from God

maola/banaora sara r kunta nai
(Muslim etiquette is to recite from an Arabic statement "لا حول ولاقوة إلا بالله")

Political authority in Bangladesh

Bangladeshor raznitir aaola

Good Luck.

mongol ouk
(Muslim etiquette is to say in Arabic: Allahr Haola, meaning God's Authority)

Conflicting phrases[edit]

(Indo-Aryan lexicons in similar languages with different meanings.)

Hungry vs starving

  • "bhuk" ভুক in Sylheti means hungry.
  • "bhukh" ভূখ in Bengali means starving.
  • In Sylheti starving is uphash উফাশ.
  • In Bengali hungry is kkhida ক্ষিদা.

Love affection vs love illusion

  • "moho maea" মোহ মায়া in Sylheti means love affection.
  • moho māyā" মোহ মায়া in Bengali means love illusion.

Cloud vs rain

  • "megh" মেঘ in Sylheti means rain.
  • "mēgh" মেঘ in Bengali means cloud.
  • In Sylheticloud is called badol বাদল or ashmani haz আসমানী হাজ (decor of the sky).
  • In Bengali rain is called badol বাদল or Br̥ṣṭi বৃষ্টি.

What vs yes

  • "he?!" হ্যাঁ! [heh?!] in Sylheti, means what?! and is just as rude as it is in English.
  • "hyām̐" হ্যাঁ [heh] in Bengali is an formal yes.
  • "hyām̐" হ্যাঁ (ह्यँा) [heh] in Bengali is an informal yes.
  • "he?!"/"hi?!" हे?!/ही?! [heh?!/hee?!] in Syloti, means what?! and is just as rude as it is in English; "Ji?" [Jee?] is formal.
  • "ôm̐yā" অঁ্যা (अँ्या) [ôeh] in Bengali mean "hey".'
  • "ħôe" हए [ôh-eh] in Syloti is an informal yes.
  • "ēi" এই (एइ) [eh-ee] in Bengali is an informal "excuse me" (for getting attention).'
  • "ħei" हेइ [eh-ee] in Syloti means hey you! (implying in no respect)
  • In Syloti excuse me (for getting attention) is e-re एरे [eh-reh] or o-go वगो [ô-gô] or o-ba वबा [ô-bah].

Later vs laughing

  • "xeshe" হেসে or "bade" বাদে in Sylheti means later.
  • "heshe" হেসে [heh-sheh] in Bengali means laughing.
  • laughter in Syloti is called ashi আসি
  • later in Bengali is called pore পরে.

Pomegranate fruit vs lighting

  • "'anwar"' अनवार [ah-n-wah-r] in Syloti means pomegranate fruit
  • "anōyar" আনওয়ার [ah-nô-wah-r] in Bengali is a male name meaning lighting
  • anar अनार [ah-nah-r] in Syloti refers to the legendary slave girl named anarkoli अनारकली [ah-nah-r-kô-lee] meaning pomegranate-blossom.
  • anar আনার (आनार) [ah-nah-r] or ḍalim ডালিম (डािलम) [ḍah-leem] in Bengali means pomegranate fruit.
  • In Urdu anwar انور means light borrowed from the Arabic nūr نور meaning illuminate.

To cheer vs to move

  • "naṛa" नारा [nah-ṛah] in Syloti means to cheer:
    1. Hip hip - Hooray!
    2. Narae Takbir - Allahu Akbar!
    3. Joy Bangla!
    4. Jay Hind! etc.
  • "naṛa" নাড়া (नाड़ा) [nah-ṛah] in Bengali means to stir or to move.
  • A waist drawstring acting as a belt is also called a nara [nah-rah].

Vegetables vs curry

  • "torkhari" तरकारी [tôr-khah-ree] in Syloti, means vegetables.
  • "torkāri" তরকারি (तरकारि) [tô-r-kah-ree] in Bengali, means curry.

Girl vs fried food

  • "furi" (from Sanskrit "पुरी") in Sylheti means girl along with original Sanskrit meanings.
  • "Puri" (from Sanskrit "पुरी") in Hindi and Bengali means fried food along with original Sanskrit meanings.

Many-times vs Seven-times

  • Hatbar হাতবার in Sylheti means Many-times, Several times, again-and-again, and literally Seven times.
  • Shaat/Saat baar সাতবার/सातबार in Bengali/Hindi means Seven times.

Learning more[edit]

See also[edit]

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