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What's on Website

This website is intended to teach, and facilitate the use of, the বাংলা Bangla (Bengali) language
  1. On any "computer" with an internet browser like a Desktop or Laptop (PC, Mac, Linux), Tablets or Smartphones (iOS or Android)
  2. At anytime,
  3. From anywhere
    with an Internet Connection or WIFI access
  4. With NO software/fonts to install and maintain on your computer.

Stages of Learning Bangla

The site now covers different phases of a journey in learning Bangla.
On the site, you will find 4 sections - Posts, Learn, Write and Practice. Clicking the corresponding buttons will show/hide the contents of the section.

Posts on Bangla

Learn Bangla

Write Bangla

Practice Bangla

Online vs Classroom

The usual process of learning a language includes classroom time and often being surrounded by others proficient in the language.

For those who try to learn, say Bangla, over the Internet on a computer/tablet/smartphone have these factors in common:

  1. They have to be disciplined and self-motivated because there are no scheduled classes
  2. When they learn something, they cannot instantly verify comprehension because they may not have a dedicated teacher to communicate with. All learning must be self-verifiable.
  3. Study of Bangla takes 4 to 5 years in school. Online users expect to see results in weeks and months. The urgency means that the course material needs to include methods to leverage the student's understanding of other languages and the use of the computer's ability to assist the learner.
  4. Traditional books used to teach Bangla to Bengali children like BornoPorichoy (Introducing the Alphabet) by Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar (1780) were written in Bangla and therefore needed to be taught by a parent or Bangla teacher if the student was not yet proficient in Bangla. The teaching materials for today's online student must be rethought so that students can teach themselves without knowing the Bangla alphabet. In this website, every Bangla word is accompanied by its phonetic English representation.
What do YOU mean when you say you want to "learn Bangla"?

Traditionally, native speakers grow up surrounded by Bangla speaking parents and family, then they go to school and are taught Bangla from books written in Bangla by Bangla speaking teachers. This site was expressly developed for people who want to learn Bangla over the Internet. They will probably not have a native Bangla teacher at hand. So I want to make it possible for anyone who knows English to be able to read the content on the site including Bangla words in Bangla script. This is accomplished using a technique called "transliteration". Every Bangla letter is represented by its equivalent phonetic sound in English. So the Bangla consonants and are represented by their respective sound k and kh. To read আমি বাংলা শিখব you would simply read the phonetic ami bang‧la shi‧kho‧bo which are also shown here with syllable markers.

You will seeing a lot of phonetic representation on this site. Reading out the phonetic English aloud will det you to feel the Bangla language quickly, even while you are learning the Alphabet.

Introduction to Bangla

Classroom teaching of Bangla starts by teaching the Alphabet, followed by some common words and finally some simple sentences. After that, it is expected that immersion in the language will quickly get the student to start reading books written for children. More difficult words and sentence construction will follow as the student gains familiarity with the language.

On the internet, you do not have the luxury of a dedicated teacher guiding the student while they learn. Also, since the teacher is not directly supervising and since any questions cannot be immediately answered, the students' attention could waver. Online learning starts with the course material written in such a way that the student is given enoug material to cover in a single session, but not too much that will cause loss of interest.

So what is the best way for someone to learn the language? On this site, I have evolved a practical way of learning Bangla, based on the learner's motivations and expected investment of time.

To get a quick positive re-informent of your desire to learn about Bangla conversation, invest some time to learn what a 3-day tourist should know before they arrive at a Bangla speaking part of the world. You could expand this with some more words and phrases to gain some confidence.

As you read the phrases and conversation snippets, notice the structure of the sentences you are reading, and pronouncing. A grammatically correct sentence in all languages have 3 parts - a Subject, a Verb and an Object. The order of Subject, Object and Verb will vary. In English, the sequence is S-V-O as in "I eat bread" while in Bangla the sequence is S-O-V as in "আমি রুটি খাই" "ami bhat bhalObasi" or "ami ruTi khai". This grammatical shift is the key for an English speaker to learn Bangla.

To gain some familiarity with the sounds of common Bangla Words and Phrases, you need to read, hear and speak (by reading the Phonetic spelling). With the investment in Words and Phrases, you will begin to get a feel for the language and, I hope want to incest more effort in really learning from the material provided to learn the alphabet and then start learning Bangla to a conversational level.

Wordlists and Phrasebooks

Learning e-Books

Two e-books have been created for teaching the Bangla Language.
  • Learn the Bangla Alphabet — the Bangla alphabet and their phonetic English representation using সুবর্ণ suborNo Bangla Phonetic method
  • Introduction to Conversational Bangla — a grammar based approach to conversational Bangla for casual non-native learners who have a knowledge of English. 400+ word vocabulary and 12 rules of grammatical sentence construction
Bengali native speakers will recognize the next two e-books, as they are used to teach Bangla to Bengali children. To make it useful to learners, these books are annotated in English and phonetic transliteration in English is provided.

Quizzes to Help Retention and Validate Learning

Repetition and recall aid understanding of the new concepts and words you learn.

A Complete Course for Learning Conversational Bangla

The Learning Bangla section of this website contains instructional material to help a new student to learn Conversational Bangla.

The teaching method in this site emulates how a child would learn their "Mother Tongue". A grammar framework is established early. Then vocabulary words are introduced within this framework. This approach is different from the popular Bangla textbooks/web resources used by students trying to learn Bangla. By developing rules based on patterns, and using the computer to assist in some repetitive parts, students who know English can quickly pick up enough Bangla to be able to participate in Bangla conversation.

With intense study, and spending about 20 hours a week, I believe the curriculum can be covered in 14 weeks, at end of which the student will have a basic vocabulary and will be capable of make grammatically correct sentences to carry on a conversation. Without a teacher who can enforce discipline, it will take longer. The course has embedded quizzes in each chapter to test comprehension and learning. I have also put in videos that will help in proper pronunciation, something that is a problem with many "computer courses".

  • Guided Course Curriculum — Guided Course including 'Learning the Bangla Alphabet' and 'Introduction to Conversational Bangla'

Write Bangla Section

Writing in Bangla on a PC or Mac used to require a user to memorize a keyboard layout for Bangla letters. The English keyboard that comes with most computers and smart devices, does not contain any Bangla characters. So to type Bangla with an English Keyboard, you have to memorize a keyboard layout where you may have to click on multiple keys simultaneously. The keyboard layouts are sometimes called Input Method Editors or IMEs. IMEs are different in different platforms and they have to be installed on each computer that the user uses. So if you have a PC desktop, a Mac laptop and an iPad, you will have to learn a different IME for each platform. In addition, since the IME has to be installed, you will not be able to use this method to write Bangla on, say, a library computer.

I believe that it is time to use Phonetic English to create Bangla text on computers. With Phonetic English and a set of Bangla Unicode fonts, even a casual user can easily write Bangla characters. All modern platforms let you write in Unicode. Text created in Unicode will be easily readable on all computers from powerful desktops to small smartphones.

If you have an English/European keyboard and do not want to memorize multi-finger keyboarding, this site presents two different ways of writing Bangla quickly:

  • If you know Bangla, can recognize proper Bangla Spelling, and want to maintain the flexibility of occasionally forming Bangla Compound consonants, the fastest input method is Google Phonetic & Visual Keyboard
  • For the new learner, who wants to maintain the Phonetic English and the generated Bangla, and would like to see spellcheck prediction, there is the app called Phonetic Bangla Writing.

Writing in Bangla also requires access to tools to Spellcheck, Word Lookup in English and Bangla, an Online Dictionary (Samsad Bengali-English) and a Translator for Simple Sentences.

Writing Aids - Dictionary and Word Glossary

Correct spelling and accurate word meanings are essential as you start expanding your knowledge of Bangla. These tools are the stand-alone versions of what you will find in the Write Phonetic Bangla section

Translation - English to Bangla

The Anubadok Bangla Translator is usually more accurate than Google Translate. The webpage was designed to provide a complete translation workflow, to allow the user to tune the machine translation for their own use. Google Translate was offered here as an option, but Google's current version cannot be run from an independent site, and has been removed
  • Anubadok Bangla Translator — Anubadok, an experimental machine English to Bangla translator, developed by Golam Mortuzza Hossain

Software Wizards - Extending the Role of a Teacher

Verb Conjugation Wizard

As you learn about Verbs and conjugated Verb forms, you may be overwhelmed by how many new words you have to memorize. Verbs in Bangla change forms (are conjugated) based on Person (First, Second and Third) and Tense (Past, Present and Future). There are rules that govern the conjugation. This "Wizard" is designed to show you the patterns and examples of the conjugation rules. You can select any of about 100 common verbs and see a compact table showing you all 24 conjugations of each verb. An example of a complete sentence is shown for each conjugated form.
  • The Verb Conjugation Wizard Verb Conjugation Wizard currently conjugates 100+ Bangla Verbs. It may be the only such wizard available online.

Sentence Construction Wizard

Once you have a good understanding of Verbs and their conjugations, you will want to create complete grammatical sentences. In the Learn Bangla section, we have covered the rules for using various Parts of Speech like Nouns, Pronouns, Verbs, Adjectives and Determiners. The Sentence Construction "Wizard" leads you step by step through constructing grammatically correct Bangla Sentences. This may be an unique functionality as I have not come across anything similar in books or websites.

Pronunciation Wizard

Bangla words can be broken down into syllables. When we pronounce a word, we are speaking out the syllables in order. In standard Bangla, the primary stress falls on the initial syllable of the word, while secondary stress often falls on all odd-numbered syllables. If the syllables and pronunciation rules are applied and text shows the syllables, you will find it much easier to determine which syllables require stress when pronouncing words.

Practice Bangla Portal

After you have learnt the Bangla Alphabet, acquired a small vocabulary and learnt how to construct and speak conversational Bangla, many Internet Learners of Bangla find that they lack access to resources to practice what they learn and continue to grow their Bangla skills.

In this section we want to get you the experience of an immersive environment by setting up access to curated multimedia content. Now you can Read Newspapers, Magazines, Books and Blogs; Hear performances of Songs, Recitations, Audiobooks and See Cartoon Clips, Videos Clips and Youtube. As you learn Bangla, especially if you are not in an immersive environment, you need access to curated multimedia content to enhance your learning. The Bangla Practice Resources section of the website offers you a variety of content that can be easily obtained online.

Practice Bangla

  • Assisted Mouseover Bangla Reading
  • My Favourites
    • My Favourites Contains: 1)The Golden Boat সোনার তরী , 2) Where the Mind is Without Fear চিত্ত যেথা ভয় শূন্য , 3) If They Answer Not To Thy Call যদি তোর ডাক শুনে কেউ না আসে , 4) Krishnokoli কৃষ্ণকলি , 5) Oh My Bangla! আ-মরি বাংলা ভাষা , 6) I Sing in Bangla আমি বাংলায় গান গাই , 7) The Captive Hero বন্দী বীর , 8) Indian National Anthem জন গন মন , 9) Bangladeshi National Anthem আমার সোনার বাংলা , 10) Twinkle Twinkle Little Star ঝিক্ মিক্ ঝিক্ মিক্ ক্ষুদ্র তারা , 11) To Be a Hindu is Great Fun হিন্দু হওয়া বড়ই মজা , 12) Lullaby - There was once a Billy Goat এক যে ছিল রামচাগল , 13) Lullaby - Godai who lives near the Ganges গঙ্গাপারের গদাইবাবু
  • Great Literature in Bangla
  • Bangla Video Collections
    • International Children's Stories with Bangla Subtitles - 3 videos This includes: The Turtle's Flute, Santa's Christmas, The Little Pianist
    • Stories from Grandma's Knapsack - 15 videos These Children's stories are from the ever-popular Thakuromar Jhuli (Grandma's Knapsack). This collection has the following stories:
      Two Crows, The Ugly Tree, The Two Beggars, The Greedy Dog, Lion and Mouse, Fox and The Crow, The Clever Crow, Fox and Grapes, Lion and Cows, The Crow Who Pretended, Hare and Tortoise, Two Silly Goats, The Clever Cap Seller, Clever Donkey, Monkeys Justice
    • Fairy Tales - 10 videos Includes: Little Mermaid, The Frog Prince, Hansel & Gretel, The Beauty & The Beast, Snow white & Seven Dwarfs, Pinocchio, Rapunzel, Thumbelina, Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty
    • Tales from Panchatantra - 20 videos The Panchatantra is an ancient Indian collection of inter-woven fables, many of which involve animals exhibiting animal stereotypes. According to its own narrative, it illustrates, for the benefit of three ignorant princes, the central principles for 'the wise conduct of life'. This collection includes: Tortoise and Geese, The Wise Old Bird, The Stork and the Crab, The Boat, Monkey and Crocodile, The Blue Jackal, The Horse and the Donkey, The Clever Bull, The King and The Noble Deer, Crow and Snake, The Four Friends, Grateful Ant, The Mouse Maid, The Magic Stick, The Lion Makers, Wise Little Rabbit, The Loyal Mongoose, Three Fish, Talking Cave, Union Is Strength
    • Birbal in Akbar's Court - 19 videos Birbal was a Hindu Brahmin advisor in the court of the Mughal Emperor Akbar. He is mostly known for the folk tales which focus on his wit. Birbal was appointed by Emperor Akbar as a poet and singer in around 1556–1562. He had a close association with the Emperor, being part of his group of most important courtiers called the navaratna or nine jewels. This collection includes: A True Merchant, Akbar, Birbal And Mangos, Counting The Blind People, Unlucky Person, Birbal And Singer, Birthday Party, A Floating Palace, Honesty Is The Best Policy, Test For Wisdom, Half Light, Half Shadow, A Furious Horse, Birbal's Khichuri (The Palace Light), A Magic Stick, Bird Census, All Happens For Good, Treat For Fools, Mother Tongue, Tamarind Tree As A Witness, A Small Line
    • Moral Stories - 8 videos Moral Stories in Bengali Includes the following Bengali stories:
      Crow and Snake (2), Mighty Elephant, Foolish Donkey, Hare and Tortoise, Clever Jackal, Lion and Jackal, Monkey's Sacrifice
    • Jungle Stories - 7 videos Includes: The Foolish Crane, A Proud Bee, The Brahmin and the Goat, The Foolish Brahmin, The Dog and The Donkey, The Tiger and the Traveller, The Foolish Fox
    • Tenali Raman Moral Stories - 20 videos Includes: Jar with Seeds, Hungry Horse, Horse Free with Cat, Ramans Clever Son, Raman and Magician, Precious Ring, Thief Behind the Bush, Nothing for Nothing, Sharing the Reward, Delhi Yatra, Never Lie, Cat Fears Milk, Krishna Tests Ramkrishna, Raman Steals Brinjal, Born to be Free, King Punishes Tenali, A Lesson with Interest, Free Labour, Art Sense Common Sense, Raman Enters Court
    • Fairy Tales in Bangla with English Translations - 32 videos Includes: সিনডরেলা। - Cinderella, লায়ন এবং মাউস গল্প - Lion and the mouse, লিটল রেড রাইডিং হুড - Little Red Riding Hood, লিটল মারমেড - Little Mermaid, ব্যাঙ রাজকুমার - Frog Prince, রাজকন্যা - স্লিপিং সৌন্দর্য - Sleeping Beauty, অরুপ হংসশাবক - The Ugly Duckling, শহরে মাউস এবং দেশ মাউস - Town Mouse and Country Mouse, জিনজার ব্রেড মানুষ - Gingerbread Man, হ্যানসেল ও গ্রেটেল - Hansel and Gretel, থাম্বেলিনা - Thumbelina, হেইডি - Heidi, নেকড়ে আর সাতটি বাচ্চা - Wolf and Seven Goats, রূপান্জেল - Rapunzel, জ্যাক ও সিম - Jack and the Beanstalk, সৌন্দর্য এবং জন্তু - Beauty and the beast, স্নো হোয়াইট ও সাত বামুন - Snow White, তিনটি ছোট শূকরছানা - Three Little Pigs, Pinocchio, পিটার প্যান - Peter Pan, আলিবাবা ও চল্লিশ চোর - Alibaba
    • Adventures of Pandob Goenda (Five Spies) - 10 videos Includes: Mittir Barir Rahashyo, Jipsi Nacher Arale Part1, Jipsi Nacher Arale Part2, Jipsi Nacher Arale Part3, Brishtimukhor Sondhya Part1, Brishtimukhor Sondhya Part2, Brishtimukhor Sondhya Part3, Surongo Rohosyo, Kalitolar Baganbari, Puri Dhame Dundhumar
    • Hajabarala by Sukumar Ray HAJABARALA is a Nonsense story by the great children's storyteller Sukumar Ray. The story starts with a child who suddenly wakes up from sleep to find strange things happening - A talking cat; a raven - Kakeshwar, Gechodada, Heejibeeji and Byakran Shing are some of the funny and crazy characters in this unique story written by Sukumar Ray
    • Abol Tabol by Sukumar Ray Songs: Aay Re Bhola Kheyal-Khola, Gaan Jurechhen Grishmakaale, Keu Ki Jano Sadai Keno, Thas Thas Drum Dram, Ramgarurer Chhana, Pyancha Koy Pyanchani, Dada Go! Dekhchhi Bhebe, Shunte Pelam Posta Giye, Jodi Kumropatash Naache, Sab Likhechhe Ei Ketabe
  • More Bangla Videos
  • Glimpses of Tagore Videos
    • Rabindranath Tagore Documentary by Satyajit Ray The documentary details the life and work of the celebrated Bengali writer Rabindranath Tagore (1861-1941). He was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1913 "because of his profoundly sensitive, fresh and beautiful verse, by which, with consummate skill, he has made his poetic thought, expressed in his own English words, a part of the literature of the West." Rabindranath Tagore was the youngest son of Debendranath Tagore, born in Calcutta. He was educated at home. At seventeen he was sent to England for formal schooling, which he did not complete. Tagore was knighted by the ruling British Government in 1915, but within a few years he resigned the honor as a protest against British policies in India.
      The documentary was made to celebrate Tagore's birth centenary in May 1961. Ray was conscious that he was making an official portrait of India's celebrated poet and hence the film does not include any controversial aspects of Tagore's life. However, it is far from being a propaganda film.
      The film comprises dramatized episodes from the poet's life and archived images and documents.
      The dramatized sequences of boy Rabi (Rabindranath Tagore) and young Tagore in his twenties are moving and lyrical. Ray has been reported to have said, "Ten or twelve minutes of it are among the most moving and powerful things that I have produced".
      Awards - President's Gold Medal, New Delhi, 1961; Golden Seal, Locarno, 1961; Special Mention, Montevideo, 1962
    • Timeless Gitanjali Gitanjali is a collection of 103 poems of the Bengali poet Rabindranath Tagore in English, translated by the poet himself. This volume became well known in the West, and was widely translated into other languages. In England a slender volume was published in 1913, with an exhilarating preface by W. B. Yeats. In the same year, Rabindranath became the first non-European to win the Nobel Prize. His work, thus became a part of the English literature.
      Gitanjali is a blend of a number of themes and ideas. It explores the relationship between the creator, nature, individual and humanity. The book becomes a revelation, and incantation, like mantras and the poem as a whole opens the closed petals of our lotus heart. It is an X'ray of our inner reality. The poems of Gitanjali are the offerings of the finite to the infinite. Gitanjali is Tagore's autobiography. At the same time it is the voice our own soul.
      The India Bangladesh Foundation (IBF) and Shurolok Bangladesh pay tribute to the great poet through the publication of this documentary that traces the history of Gitanjali and its continued relevance in the World we live in. LM Ericsson Bangladesh Limited lent its support toward the production of the DVD for wider dissemination of Timeless Gitanjali, as a learning object for Bengalis and non-Bengali speakers alike all over the World.
      The Concept designer, Director and script writer- Dr. Chanchal Khan Language: English Duration: 47:19 Minutes
    • The Story of Gitanjali: Song Offerings It is common knowledge that Rabindranath Tagore won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1913 for his Gitanjali. In what language did the Bengali poet write? The Gitanjali we know was in English, but why did Tagore almost never write any subsequent poetry in that language? When he was awarded the Nobel, the slim volume of Gitanjali was the only major literary work in English that the poet had to his credit. Yet the Nobel committee passed over luminaries like Thomas Hardy to award the prize to Tagore. What did the West find in Tagore?
      Release date:2008 ; Running time:29:59 ;Language:English ;Director:Malay Bhattacharya
    • Tagore Tunes in Hindi Films Gitanjali is a collection of poems by Gurudev Rabindranath Tagore. The original Bengali collection of 157 poems was published on August 14, 1910. The English Gitanjali or Song Offerings is a collection of 103 English poems of Tagore's own English translations of his Bengali poems first published in November 1912 by the India Society of London. It contained translations of 53 poems from the original Bengali Gitanjali, as well as 50 other poems which were from his drama Achalayatan and eight other books of poetry - mainly Gitimalya (17 poems), Naivedya (15 poems) and Kheya (11 poems). The translations were undertaken prior to a visit to England in 1912, where the poems were extremely well received. In 1913, Tagore became the first non-European to win the Nobel Prize - specifically the Nobel Prize for Literature - largely for the English Gitanjali. The Nobel Prize was awarded to Rabindranath Tagore "because of his profoundly sensitive, fresh and beautiful verse, by which, with consummate skill, he has made his poetic thought, expressed in his own English words, a part of the literature of the West".
      Doordarshan brings to you a lyrical version of the aforesaid collection in a melodious avatar in the voices of - Jagjit Singh, Anuradha Paudwal, Kavita Krishnamurti, Suresh Wadkar, Vinod Rathod, Kumar Sanu, Anup Jalota, Sunidhi Chauhan. A fitting tribute to the legendary poet...
      All 30 Episodes of GITANJALI are available on YouTube. This is Episode 5. The entire set of episodes can be viewed by clicking on Playlist for All Episodes of Gitanjali
  • Books and Text Books
  • Newspapers
  • Magazines
  • Cooking Blogs
  • Bangla Learner Blogs
  • Blogs on Tagore
  • Songs and Lyrics

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