Bangla / Bengali Language & Script Resources
Text Books & Tapes
Yourself Bengali: A Complete Course for Beginners (book only)
Teach Yourself Bengali (book + tapes)
By the eminent Bengali linguist William Radice of the School
of Oriental and African Studies, London.
Essential Everyday Bengali
This is the title of a new Bengali language text by Hanne-Ruth Thompson,
published by Bangla Academy, Dhaka (344pp, March 1999). The first few sentences
of the introduction won me over immediately:
"This is a guide to everyday, spoken, colloquial Bengali. There are two
separate levels of language in Bengali. One is high or standard Bengali, the
other is what people actually say.
"The vocabulary given in this book is that of
the second kind only. To demonstrate this: If you ask a Bengali speaker what
pregnant means in Bengali he will probably tell you gorbhohoti; but when he
talks with his wife he will undoubtedly say pete bacca (a baby in the womb). He
may think that he is doing you a favor by giving you the proper Bengali word.
"The only problem is that though most Bengali native speakers understand the word
gorbhoboti nobody actually uses it in spoken language. . . . Foreigners who come
to Bangladesh . . . need to communicate, but many Bangladeshis seem to think
that their own everyday language is somehow not worthy of being put down in
To order, email email@example.com.
Bengali Script for Learners
Learning Bengali is not inherently difficult if you have the right reference
materials. It's can also be helpful to have a Bengali font on your
computer, that to the extent possible places the Bangla letters at the key
of the phonetically closest Latin alphabet equivalent.
To this end, bicn.com's
Bengali script resources file was prepared. It includes the following:
Bengali alphabet & how to type using Progaty font
Hints on using a Bengali dictionary
Bengali letter names
Progaty keyboard layout graphic (see below)
[Many thanks to Faisal Khan for making Progaty font available as a freeware
- Download the file.
It's a 114kb self-executing zip, consisting of information files in MS-Word
6.0/95 format, the Windows TTF file for Progaty font, and a .gif file
showing the Progaty keyboard map.
- Run the file, whereupon it automatically uncompresses itself into the
directory you specify.
- Install the Progaty font from Windows (Start/Settings/Control
Panel/Fonts/File/Install New Fonts/).
- View the help files in MS-Word. Problems email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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