Numerical Classifiers in Bengali
theyyamdancer
India > Indian Culture and Traditions > Community Forums > Languages in India
#1
| It's all Greek to me, but Benglish will do

Numerical Classifiers in Bengali

A have a query regarding classifiers added to numbers in Bengali.

The famous film by Satyajit Ray "Teen Kanya" তিন কন্যা does not add any classifier to the number three in the title "Three Daughters".



Yet, in everyday usage we say "teente meye" তিনটে মেয়ে for "three girls", and the addition of -te টে is mandatory.

Is it because the noun 'kanya' comes from Sanskrit?

Is it because it is a film title?

Can anyone help me to understand this?

71 Replies

#2
| Abra-ca-Dabra
The reason is 'divergence' or 'Bibhokti' as we call in Bengali.
Both Hindi and Bengali inherits a lot from Sanskrit, yet they do differ a lot at translational levels to denote grammatical relations.

A close example from English would be:

Five people
Fifth person
#3
| Member
The difference is in personal choice -- teen kanya is 'three girls', tin-Te meye is 'the three girls'

next, 'kanya' is a more conservative usage, whereas 'meye' is colloquial ... it could as easily have been tinTe kanya and tin meye ... please do not take it so seriously :)
Trust not the man that does not drink ... he will remember next morning what the rest of us said last night.
#4
| It's all Greek to me, but Benglish will do
But…. Bengali grammar is a very serious matter.


:rofl:
#5
| Member
Beg to differ Mr Dipyamanbasu --- tinte meye is not the equivalent of the 'third girl' ... cheers
Trust not the man that does not drink ... he will remember next morning what the rest of us said last night.
#6
| Love for the rain, again ..

Originally posted by: theyyamdancer View Post

A have a query regarding classifiers added to numbers in Bengali.

The famous film by Satyajit Ray "Teen Kanya" তিন কন্যা does not add any classifier to the number three in the title "Three Daughters".

missing attachment 59082

Yet, in everyday usage we say "teente meye" তিনটে মেয়ে for "three girls", and the addition of -te টে is mandatory.

Is it because the noun 'kanya' comes from Sanskrit?

Is it because it is a film title?

Can anyone help me to understand this?


Hi TD,

What a question .. Mind blowing .. Never thought of it ..

Anyway I'm trying to answer ..

When ever We are saying " Teen-te Meye " ("Three Girls") , there might not be any affinity among them .. Like when we say : " Teen-te Meye Delhi Jachche" ( Three Girls are going to Delhi) , they may be Three Different Girls without any CLOSE Relation Among them.

But when there is CLOSE Relation OR Affinity among them , We omit " Te / Ti" . Like : " Amar Teen meye " ( I've Three Daughters) . OR when we say " Teen Bondhu Cinema dekhte jachche " (Three Friends are Going to see a Movie" ) .. In this case also we omit " Ti /te " .

I think there is an inherit relation among the three Women of " TEEN KANYA" by Ray. They represent Childhood , Teenage & the young ages respectively ( & the 3 stories "Monihara", "Postmaster " & "Samapti" are also written by Same writer, Tagore. ) So Ray Used "TEEN KANYA" instead of " TEEN-te KANYA".. :)
#7
| It's all Greek to me, but Benglish will do
Thanks everybody. It is very enlightening !

[I will probably be back with more questions like this….]
#8
| Love for the rain, again ..

Originally posted by: theyyamdancer View Post

Thanks everybody. It is very enlightening !

[I will probably be back with more questions like this….]


You are always welcome, TD ! :)
#9
| Abra-ca-Dabra

Originally posted by: Lone Yeti View Post

Beg to differ Mr Dipyamanbasu --- tinte meye is not the equivalent of the 'third girl' ... cheers

I never said it was equivalent but had no other option to denote a similarity in English language.
#10
| Abra-ca-Dabra
Sorry Mr. Ghosh, but I would beg to differ with you here.

We can say that this chair has 4 legs and this is a 4 legged chair.

Nowhere does this imply any close affinity between the 4 legs of the chair.
:D:D:D:D
#11
| It's all Greek to me, but Benglish will do

Originally posted by: Lone Yeti View Post

The difference is in personal choice -- teen kanya is 'three girls', tin-Te meye is 'the three girls'

next, 'kanya' is a more conservative usage, whereas 'meye' is colloquial ... it could as easily have been tinTe kanya and tin meye ... please do not take it so seriously :)



meye tin-Te - the three girls

BUT

tin-Te meye - three girls



Look at this example:

jodi duTo chhattro ashe, ami parabo - If two students come, I will teach

BUT

jodi chhattro duTo ashe, ami parabo - If the two students come, I will teach
#12
| Member
Ms theyyamdancer, I looked for the 'like' button below your comment above but could not find it ... :)
Trust not the man that does not drink ... he will remember next morning what the rest of us said last night.
#13
| Love for the rain, again ..

Originally posted by: dipyamanbasu View Post

Sorry Mr. Ghosh, but I would beg to differ with you here.

We can say that this chair has 4 legs and this is a 4 legged chair.

Nowhere does this imply any close affinity between the 4 legs of the chair.
:D:D:D:D


Yeah .. Dipyaman .. You have every right to differ .. But There is a clear affinity , 4 Legs of the "Same Chair " .. :)

& one request : Please Do not call me " Mr." Only "Arupratan" will be nice ! :)
#14
| It's all Greek to me, but Benglish will do
#15
| Abra-ca-Dabra
Now you are speaking like Yoda.

The example given by you needs to be differentiated on the basis of which one sounds more appeasing to the ears.

Ami Porikhkha-te prothom howechi.
Ami Porikhkha-e prothom howechi.

Both can be translated to the same sentence in English.

I stood first in the examination.