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Introduction to Common Bangla Words, Phrases and Sentences

Sometimes, people want to get a taste of Bangla before they enter a more rigorous study of the language.

Phrasebooks developed by the US Army and one by US Peace Corps are useful references. This is meant to be used by a person who is visiting a Bengali City (like Kolkata or Dhaka) for a few days. I have used an English Phonetic represention with the Bangla text so that you can follow the Bangla sounds even before you have mastered the Bangla Alphabet.

I hope that these few basic words will interest you into undertaking a more detailed study of the Language. You can take a Guided Course which covers the Alphabet and Learning Conversational Bangla.

I expect many people to go through this introduction before they have fully mastered the Bangla alphabet. For this reason, all Bangla words are also shown in English Phonetic notation. The phonetic form presented for the Bangla is also broken down by syllables. This will be helpful in pronunciation later.

What you will see are, for example:

  1. English - I want to learn Bangla
  2. Bangla - আমি বাংলা শিখতে চাই ।
  3. Phonetic - ami bang‧la shi‧kho‧te cha‧i.
In this example, you will note the following:
  1. The English sentence has the form
    SubjectVerbObject
    Iwant to learnBangla
    while the Bangla sentence is formed as
    SubjectObjectVerb
    amibanglashikote chai
    Remember-The verb comes at the end of the sentence in Bangla

  2. The Bangla words are pronounced the same way as they are written in the Phonetic form. The videoclip will let you hear the pronunciation of words as I, a native Bangla speaker, would pronounce the word.

    For example, the word বাংলা bangla is pronounced with 2 syllables as bang+la. The primary stress always falls on the first syllable, with secondary stress on the subsequent odd numbered syllables.

  3. In the snippets of conversation shown below, I have used the polite form of address for second person pronouns, as this is the preferred form for adult strangers. So we will use আপনি aponi (pronounced ap‧ni) rather than the normal তুমি tumi.

Common Bangla Words and Phrases for Visitors

Chapter TextVideo Chapter TextVideo
1: Basic Expressions
2: Asking Questions
3: Numbers and Counting
4: Days of the Week
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  5: Making Friends
6: Around Town
7: Eating Out
8: Leisure Activities
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