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The sounds of letter of the Alphabet in Bangla are quite different from English. In many cases, more than one English letter may be required to correctly simulate the sound of a Bangla Alphabet. So how do you input Bangla letters into a computer with an English keyboard?
There are two approaches:
As you can see, the user now has to memorize the positions of all the Bangla Letters.
The Phonetic scheme described here is based on the second alternative.
Radice’s book was typeset, so many symbols are used that do not appear on a modern computer keyboard. We want to make it easy to type Bangla using a standard keyboard found in Personal Computers (Windows, Apple and Linux) as well as on today’s mobile devices like smartphones and tablets. ￼
| ক |
| খ |
| গ |
| ঘ |
| ঙ |
| চ |
| ছ |
| জ |
| ঝ |
| ঞ |
| ট |
| ঠ |
| ড |
| ঢ |
| ণ |
| ত |
| থ |
| দ |
| ধ |
| ন |
| প |
| ফ |
| ব |
| ভ |
| ম |
| য |
| র |
| ল |
| শ |
| ষ |
| স |
| হ |
| য় |
| ড় |
| ঢ় |
| ৎ |
| ং |
| ঃ |
| ঁ |
| ্ |
|Vowel||Similar sound to||Assign|
|awe 'অ'||sounds like a short o||‘o’|
|owe 'ও'||similar to ‘o’||capitalized ‘O’|
|long i 'ঈ'||long ‘i’ sound||capitalized ‘I’|
|long u 'ঊ'||long ‘u’ sound||capitalized ‘U’|
|dipthong oi 'ঐ'||oi sound, but would conflict with 'o'+'i' as in বই (boi)||capitalized 'OI'|
|dipthong ou 'ঔ'||ou sound, O already assigned to ‘ও'||capitalized ‘OU’|
|rri ‘ঋ'||rri sound||‘rri’|
Some authors have used 'ii', 'uu' and 'oo' to represent the long 'i', long 'u' and the vowel 'owe' respectively. I felt that words like দীর্ঘ (long), দূর (far) and দোলা (to swing) are better represented as 'dIrgho', 'dUr' and 'dOla' than 'diirgho', 'duur' and 'doola' when actually pronounced by an English speaker.
|Consonant Sign||Similar sound to||Assign|
|khondo-taw 'ৎ'||sounds like a truncated taw as in হঠাৎ (suddenly)||assign ‘t^’, with ^ showing abrupt ending|
|anuswar 'ং'||ng sound, commonly used in spelling বাংলা||‘ng’|
|bisorgo 'ঃ'||abrupt h sound as in দুঃখ (sorrow)||‘H^’|
|chondrobindu ' ঁ '||nasal n sound as in চাঁদ (moon)||‘n^’|
|hosonto ' ্'||stops pronunciation of inherent vowel after a consonant.
In Unicode, hosonto is used to join two consonants eg 'ন' ্ 'ত'='ন্ত'
|Consonant||Similar sound to||Assign|
|ungaw 'ঙ'||Used to spell বাঙালি (Bengali), has a ng sound||‘Ng’|
|ingaw 'ঞ'||ng sound, but ng and Ng already assigned||‘NG’|
|chaw 'চ'||Assigned a 'c' by Radice. In most English words, c has a k sound as in cat. |
c has a "chaw" sound in a few cases like the Italian word "Ciao",
and in the pronunciation of Radice which is pronounced as radichi.
This problem also exists in the AVRO phonetic scheme.
|chhaw 'ছ'||an aspirated ch, was assigned 'ch' by Radice||'chh'|
|taw(hard) 'ট'||hard taw sound, must be consistent with taw(soft), already assigned 't'||‘T’|
|ttaw 'ঠ'||aspirated version of previous letter, assihned 'T'||‘Th’|
|daw(hard) 'ড'||must be consistent with daw(soft), already assigned 'd'||‘D’|
|dhaw(hard) 'ঢ'||aspirated version of previos letter||‘Dh’|
|moddenno-naw 'ণ'||same sound as donte-naw, already assigned 'n'||‘N’|
|ontesto-jaw 'য'||same sound as borgiyo-jaw,already assigned 'j'||‘J’|
|doye-sunno raw 'ড়'||same sound as raw, already assigned r. Associated with daw 'D'||‘R’|
|ddoye-sunno raw 'ঢ়'||same sound as raw, already assigned r. Associated with dhaw 'Dh'||‘Rh’|
|talibo-shaw 'শ'||same sound as donte-shaw, already assigned 's'. |
This letter is associated with the word শান্তি (peace)
and is spelt in English translations as shanti.
Taking common usage into account
|moddheno-shaw 'ষ'||similar sound to the donte-shaw, already assigned 's' and talibo-shaw, |
already assigned 'sh'. Used in many Sanskrit derived words like
কৃষ্ণ (a Hindu God), and is usually translated as Krishna.
Since, 'sh' is already assigned, we use a capitalized S
|Additional, J in conjuncts||When used in consonant conjuncts, the sound of a trailing |
'J' sounds like 'yaw', as in ব্যাথা (pain). 'y' is already assigned.
|Additional, baw in conjuncts||When used in consonant conjuncts, the sound of a trailing |
'b' sounds like 'waw', as in God ইশ্বর (ishwor).
Example: To write আমার নাম সুপ্রিয়, you would enter amar nam supriyo.
|Bangla Letter||Avro Keyboard||suborNO||Comments|
|'চ'||c||ch||Pronunciation matched ch more closely than c|
|'ছ'||ch||chh||Aspiration matches chh, takes into account assignment of ch above|
|'য'||z||J,Y||Jaw is more correctly pronounced with letter j|
|'শ'||sh,S||sh||secondary S dropped because there are 3 shaw sounds|
|'ৎ'||t``||t^||^ adopted for abrupt sound endings|
|'ঃ'||:||H^||Wanted to avoid punctuation signs in phonetic representation|
|' ঁ '||^||n^||The nasal sound is better represented by including the n|
|J-phola [cons]+J||y,Z||Y||Consistent with J as single letter|
|reph [vow]+r+[cons]||[v]rr[c]||Not Reqd||Normal rules take care of reph|
|hosonto '্'||',,'||backtick '`'||Avoid use of punctuation|
|colon :||':'||Not Reqd||Necessary because of assignment of : to bisorgo 'ঃ'|
For a learner of Bangla, It is important to simultaneously see both the source English and the generated Bangla. This way, all errors can be corrected in the Phonetic English version and the correct way to render a Bangla word will be made more memorable. At the expense of some speed in entry, the website implements a 2 panel input area, with the user entering Phonetic English and the "system" rendering it into Bangla.