Language Materials for Learning Bengali

Reply
#1 Nov 4th, 2011, 16:43
It's all Greek to me, but Benglish will do
Join Date:
Dec 2005
Location:
over a 'wine-dark sea'
Posts:
16,376
  • theyyamdancer is offline
#1
Language Materials Available for Learning Bengali, from English, and from Bengali sources

I wish to share here at IndiaMike, for the use of those who are interested in learning the Bengali language, some helpful teaching material available in book form, CD/DVD, and online:

. "Teach Yourself Bengali" by William Radice

The author of this well-known method is a lecturer at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) in London, as well as being the translator of many of Tagore's poems and of Jibanananda Das' poems.

The book and the accompanying cassettes and/or DVDs place emphasis on learning the Bengali alphabet with a view to (eventually) enjoying the wealth of literature available in Bengali. The introduction of letters is done gradually, and not in the order in which they are taught in Bengali schools. By the time you have progressed to around half-way through the book, you have learned many conjuncts also and should be able to read and write in Bengali. Whether you can also hold a conversation in Bengali is doubtful!

. "Colloquial Bengali" by Mithun B. Nasrin and W.A.M. van der Wurff

This is a newer method and it concentrates more on speaking rather than writing and reading in the Bengali alphabet. It is a great complement to the Radice book.

. "Bornoporichoy's Alphabet Primer"

used in schools in Bengal. A helpful method of learning the alphabet, along with some vocabulary. Each letter is accompanied by a picture (some of which are a trifle obscure to the Western audience). With some input and advice from Bengali friends in deciphering some of the pictures, this is a fun and useful language tool.

. "Tangle of Wires", a blog online about one girl's attempt to learn Bengali, with some help from her (Bengali) family. [She also tells of her struggles to learn Amharic, but there she did not make much progress.]

. Online SAMSAD dictionaries, which in fact are a lot easier to use than the paper and ink variety. In combination with the Bengali Character Picker, you can type in a word - trying out various spellings - and the results will appear showing not just one page of the dictionary, but all the occurrences of the word throughout the dictionary, making it a lot easier to find expressions and compound verbs.

. Bengali Character Picker, a useful way of writing in Bengali without downloading any software. It has all of the compounds too. Pretty miraculous.

. Parabaas.com, a great site for reading materials in translation as well as in Bengali. Has a lot of poetry and short stories.

. Washington Bangla radio online, for music!

. BBC Bangla online, for news:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/bengali/

. Wiktionary online
http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/...
has a lot about Bengali grammar. Many verbs are written out in full, in all tenses. This is very helpful indeed.

"Intermediate Bangla" by Clinton B. Seeley
available for downloading for free. Excellent resource. Very detailed grammatical explanations and many texts in Bengali from well-known authors.

Well, I am sure there are lots more to be added, and I myself have used more than these. But hopefully other members will add to my list. There is also a wealth of material on Youtube, but you have to search for it. For example, children's cartoons and so on.

Then, of course, there are so many books to discover……..as well as films and music.
#2 Nov 4th, 2011, 16:54
Join Date:
Jun 2011
Location:
Calcutta
Posts:
899
  • Calcuttan is offline
#2
Great thread to start. I hope there are people who find it useful. I have just one comment to make about BBC Bengali service. The Bengali that they use is a very artificial politically correct Bengali that hardly anyone speaks in real life either here in India or in Bangladesh. They try to maintain a politically correct balance between the Bangladeshi/Islamic Bengali (which uses a lot of Urdu and Arabic words and do not use some of the words that we use, for religeous reasons) and Indian and mostly Hindu Bengali.
An outsider may not understand this undercurrent of British obsession with political correctness but it is a neither here nor there kind of artificial language that they use.
#3 Nov 4th, 2011, 16:57
Join Date:
Aug 2010
Location:
Pune, Maharashtra, India
Posts:
1,522
  • saugata41 is offline
#3
Quote:
Originally Posted by theyyamdancer View Post I wish to share here at IndiaMike, for the use of those who are interested in learning the Bengali language, some helpful teaching material available in book form, CD/DVD, and online
Or befriend a Bengali IMer.
Wanderlust - My Travel Journals
Leave your footprint as a tiny but precious comment
#4 Nov 4th, 2011, 17:17
Join Date:
Aug 2010
Location:
Bhutan
Posts:
267
  • madascene is offline
#4
Got any good online sources for learning Hindi? Already know Bengali and know a bit of Hindi too but I often face problems understanding & speaking Hindi. This becomes a major problem when touring any part of India.
#5 Nov 4th, 2011, 17:25
It's all Greek to me, but Benglish will do
Join Date:
Dec 2005
Location:
over a 'wine-dark sea'
Posts:
16,376
  • theyyamdancer is offline
#5
Quote:
Originally Posted by Calcuttan View Post Great thread to start. I hope there are people who find it useful. I have just one comment to make about BBC Bengali service. The Bengali that they use is a very artificial politically correct Bengali that hardly anyone speaks in real life either here in India or in Bangladesh. They try to maintain a politically correct balance between the Bangladeshi/Islamic Bengali (which uses a lot of Urdu and Arabic words and do not use some of the words that we use, for religeous reasons) and Indian and mostly Hindu Bengali.
An outsider may not understand this undercurrent of British obsession with political correctness but it is a neither here nor there kind of artificial language that they use.
Thank you for that. It is hard for me to know the difference!

Quote:
Originally Posted by saugata41 View Post Or befriend a Bengali IMer.
Yes of course! I may here and now warmly thank the following IndiaMikers for all (ongoing) help received in teaching me Bengali (and I know that I am a very bad pupil!): Brishti, Nayan, mousourik, Jyotida, Somnath, Kausik, Khak, suricate, and many more as well.

Quote:
Originally Posted by madascene View Post Got any good online sources for learning Hindi? Already know Bengali and know a bit of Hindi too but I often face problems understanding & speaking Hindi. This becomes a major problem when touring any part of India.
Madascene,
I think there are some threads on IndiaMike somewhere on the subject. Let me have a look.

Also, these seem to be good:

http://www.unilang.org/course.php?res=69
http://www.ukindia.com/zhin001.htm

but rather more aimed at complete beginners, which you are not!
#6 Nov 4th, 2011, 17:31
It's all Greek to me, but Benglish will do
Join Date:
Dec 2005
Location:
over a 'wine-dark sea'
Posts:
16,376
  • theyyamdancer is offline
#6
For Hindi language learning, check this thread:
http://www.indiamike.com/india/books...g-hindi-t2346/
#7 Nov 4th, 2011, 17:36
Join Date:
Jan 2008
Location:
india
Posts:
7,790
  • brishti is offline
#7
Quote:
Originally Posted by Calcuttan View Post Hindu Bengali.
what exactly is a hindu bengali language ??



... yyam ... an uuffff and a
:brishti
#8 Nov 4th, 2011, 17:49
Join Date:
Jun 2011
Location:
Calcutta
Posts:
899
  • Calcuttan is offline
#8
Sri Sudipto Roy as opposed to Janab Kader Ali. So BBC Bengali service will call me Mr Sudipto Roy while speaking in Bengali, which sounds totally artificial. This is just a small example.
#9 Nov 4th, 2011, 17:51
Join Date:
Jan 2008
Location:
india
Posts:
7,790
  • brishti is offline
#9
Quote:
Originally Posted by theyyamdancer View Post TI may here and now warmly thank the following IndiaMikers for all (ongoing) help received in teaching me Bengali (and I know that I am a very bad pupil!): Brishti, Nayan, mousourik, Jyotida, Somnath, Kausik, Khak, suricate, and many more as well.
and [everything is dobble dobble right now]



shuricate knows - that aint true
:brishti
#10 Nov 4th, 2011, 17:54
Join Date:
Aug 2010
Location:
Bhutan
Posts:
267
  • madascene is offline
#10
Quote:
Originally Posted by brishti View Post what exactly is a hindu bengali language ??



... yyam ... an uuffff and a
:brishti
I have no idea about that. Last time I checked Bengali dialects don't vary from religion to religion.

The only notable difference in Bengali dialect is between the Bengali spoken in West Bengal and that spoken in Bangladesh. You would however do well to avoid learning the Bangladeshi dialect as its not appreciated by Bengalis in India :P


Quote:
Originally Posted by theyyamdancer View Post For Hindi language learning, check this thread:
http://www.indiamike.com/india/books...g-hindi-t2346/
Thanks. Bookmarked that thread for reference.
#11 Nov 4th, 2011, 18:06
Join Date:
Jan 2008
Location:
india
Posts:
7,790
  • brishti is offline
#11
Quote:
Originally Posted by Calcuttan View Post Sri Sudipto Roy as opposed to Janab Kader Ali. So BBC Bengali service will call me Mr Sudipto Roy while speaking in Bengali, which sounds totally artificial. This is just a small example.
surely, the correct term'd be " bengali as spoken in india " - than describing it as " hindu bengali " ??

frankly my deah - you seem no bettah than the bbc.


Quote:
Originally Posted by madascene View Post You would however do well to avoid learning the Bangladeshi dialect as its not appreciated by Bengalis in India :P
my parents generation ALL spoke in bangal to each other.
and i deeply regret that i havent taught myself to do the same
... and i really couldnt care 2 flying owls WHAT bengalis in india think about that.
if at all they have the potential to 'think' - going by the posts in this thread.



:brishti
#12 Nov 4th, 2011, 18:07
Join Date:
Jun 2011
Location:
Calcutta
Posts:
899
  • Calcuttan is offline
#12
Quote:
Originally Posted by madascene View Post Last time I checked Bengali dialects don't vary from religion to religion.
I don't know who you checked with but the Bengali spoken by Hindus is quite different from the Bengali spoken by Muslims whether in India or Bangladesh.
If you are a foreigner you might not understand all these nuances.
We call water "jol" and a Muslim Bengali calls it "pani". Again this is just one small example. There are millions of such small things. The honourific Shri or Shrimoti before someone's name is just not used by Muslims. For them it is Janab and Bibi. The words Shri or Shrimoti are Sanskrit which is seen as a language of Hindu religion by those who are not Hindu.
Language and accent is not just about a geographical region. It is one's socio-economic and cultural identity.
#13 Nov 4th, 2011, 18:09
Join Date:
Jun 2011
Location:
Calcutta
Posts:
899
  • Calcuttan is offline
#13
Quote:
Originally Posted by brishti View Post surely, the correct term'd be " bengali as spoken in india " - than describing it as " hindu bengali " ??



frankly my deah - you seem no better than the bbc.
:brishti
If Kader Ali was Indian would he write Shri Kader Ali? You seem to think all Indian Bengalis are Hindu. Reality is quite different.
#14 Nov 4th, 2011, 18:15
It's all Greek to me, but Benglish will do
Join Date:
Dec 2005
Location:
over a 'wine-dark sea'
Posts:
16,376
  • theyyamdancer is offline
#14
I love it. I started this thread only a couple of hours ago and already we have an "adda" developing.

Kinship terms are very different in Hindu Bengali and Muslim Bengali; the difference between "baba" and "abba" springs to mind immediately. Greetings are different: nomoshkar or koda hafez.

One of my quibbles with the teaching material I have is that they are somewhat veering towards trying to teach both. They do write which is which. But I am more interested in Paschimbongo version myself.
#15 Nov 4th, 2011, 18:23
Join Date:
Jan 2008
Location:
india
Posts:
7,790
  • brishti is offline
#15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Calcuttan View Post If Kader Ali was Indian would he write Shri Kader Ali? You seem to think all Indian Bengalis are Hindu. Reality is quite different.
is the way one is addressed your wonly bone of contention with bbc-bangla ?
if so... because i sure aint christian when addressed as a Ms / Missy / Miss
i'm curious - in which kind of communication does one address one as Shri Nobeen Hazra ?
wedding invites. what else ??
dont even begin to presume to know what i'm thinking


sylhet - have you ever heard bangla spoken there ??
i wonder what you'd classify that as !!
and do remember - bangals were from the other side of the border - and they werent all muslim either.
dacca bangla is different to chadgai'a bangal [that'd be chittagong for you].
chadgai'a folks said 'phani' - daccai'a's i knew - said 'jawl' water.


suricate and some of us have an ongoing 'discussion' about mashi and masi.
i am hoping he'll join in at some point !!
:brishti
Reply

Similar Threads

Title, Username, & Date Last Post Replies Views Forum
Learning Bengali in Mumbai May 2nd, 2009 13:46 10 3687 Off the Beaten Trail in India
Bengali language tutors in Mumbai Apr 3rd, 2009 01:52 1 1154 Mumbai (Bombay)
learning Bengali Jun 20th, 2008 14:52 6 2540 Moving to Delhi
Learning Bengali in Kolkata Nov 23rd, 2007 00:29 6 3511 Kolkata (Calcutta)


Posting Rules

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
Forum Rules»
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Search Engine Optimization by vBSEO 3.3.2
© IndiaMike.com 2018
Page Load Success