The Bangla alphabet has 11 vowels in common usage.

The first vowel is called the inherent vowel in Bangla. All consonants are pronounced as if they had a "o" sound at the end. Also, the letter does not have a corresponding vowel sign like the other 10 vowels.

Two vowel sounds have short and long forms. For example, the normal "i" sound is called the short i (hroswo-i) and the letter is the long i (dIrgho-i). Similarly, the letters and represent the short and long "u" sound, respectively. These reflect Bangla's Sanskrit origin. In modern Bangla usage, the short and long forms have similar pronunciation. These vowels are shown here because they are still used in spelling Bangla words.

Non-native speakers may find that spelling of words becomes a challenge when choosing between the long and short forms of the "i" and "u" sounds as they are pronounced similarly in common modern usage.