Bengali: Can you read Bengali?

linguist786

Senior Member
English, Gujarati & Urdu
How do you say the following in Bengali please?:

Can you read Bengali?
I can read Bengali but I don't understand it.
I can read Bengali because it's similar to Hindi.
I don't speak Bengali.

If possible, can you write it in Devanagari so I know exactly how to pronounce it? (transliterations sometimes tend to confuse things!)

Thanks!
 
  • linguist786

    Senior Member
    English, Gujarati & Urdu
    Oh hello. I've just found a three year-old thread of mine!
    It would be interesting to see any responses, although there doesn't seem to be many Bangla speakers here.
     

    capsi

    Member
    Bengali,Hindi,English
    Can you read Bengali? > Tumi bangla porte paro? / bangla porte paro? /tumi bangla porte jano?

    The Hindi, 'tu'/ 'tum'/ 'aap' equivalent in Bangla are 'tui' / 'tumi' / 'aapni' ; the sound of 't' is similar as in Hindi.

    I can read Bengali but I don't understand it. > aami bangla porte pari kintu bujhte parina.

    I can read Bengali because it's similar to Hindi. > aami bangla porte pari karon ot'a hindir moton. [t' sounds like t in talk]


    I don't speak Bengali. > aami bangla bolte parina.
     
    Last edited by a moderator:

    stormmaashrooms

    New Member
    Bengali-Standard (Muslim) & English-USA
    How do you say the following in Bengali please?:

    Can you read Bengali?
    I can read Bengali but I don't understand it.
    I can read Bengali because it's similar to Hindi.
    I don't speak Bengali.


    If possible, can you write it in Devanagari so I know exactly how to pronounce it? (transliterations sometimes tend to confuse things!)

    Thanks!
    Sorry, I was basically a foetus when this was written, but I am one no longer :cool:
    As OP has listed that they know Gujarati, I would advise that the transcriptions be read in a manner similar to Gujarati (by that, I mean to not differentiate between long and short vowels apart from short and long a). I will first write the actual Bengali, a Devanagari transliteration with irregular pronunciations of certain words in brackets, a word-by-word analysis in Hindi, and finally an explanation for the differences between the transliterations and transcriptions.
    Without further ado, here are the various possible translations transcribed into Devanagari for your reading pleasure:
    • Can you read Bengali?
      • আপনি কি বাংলা পড়তে পারেন? आपनि कि बांला(बाङ्ला) पड़ते(पोड़ते) पारेन? (आप - क्या - बंगाली - पढ़ - सकतेहैं); For reasons too complicated to explain here, the short a sound in the verb is harmonised so that it becomes an o. Also, I would just like to make sure that you are familiar with the letter ङ, which I know does not occur in Hindi; it makes the sound that 'ng' makes in English, kind of like the final sound in रंग minus the ग. In Bengali, our anuswara always takes this 'ng' sound, rather than just assimilating to the following consonant or nasalising the preceding vowel. Furthermore, do keep in mind that in Bengali, pronouns can often be dropped (but the number of people will then remain ambiguous).
      • তুমি কি বাংলা পড়তে পার? तुमि कि बांला(बाङ्ला) पड़ते(पोड़ते) पार(पारो)? (तुम - क्या - बंगाली - पढ़ - सकतेहो); Another anomaly occurs when writing the verb পার (2nd person informal conjugation), as its final syllable is written as the short a, but because it is syllable-final, it is pronounced o by Bengalis. Please note that the schwa deletion that occurs in Hindi is not as frequent in Bengali (as evidenced by this verb).
      • তুই কি বাংলা পড়তে পারিস? तुइ कि बांला(बाङ्ला) पड़ते(पोड़ते) पारिस(पारिश)? (तू - क्या - बंगाली - पढ़ - सकताहै); Keep in mind that in standard Bengali, स, श, and ष are all pronounced श (most of the time).
    • I can read Bengali but I don't understand it.
      • আমি বাংলা পড়তে পারি কিন্তু বুঝতে পারি না, आमि बांला(बाङ्ला) पड़ते(पोड़ते) पारि किन्तु बुझते पारि ना (मैं - बंगाली - पढ़ - सकताहूँ - लेकिन - समझ/बूझ - सकताहूँ - नहीं); No new phonological irregularities here!
    • I can read Bengali because it's similar to Hindi.
      • আমি বাংলা পড়তে পারি কারণ/কেননা হিন্দীর সঙ্গে এর অনেক মিল আছে, आमि बांला(बाङ्ला) पड़ते(पोड़ते) पारि कारण(कारोन)/केनना(कॅनोना) हिन्दीर सङ्गे(शंगे) एर अनेक मिल आछे (मैं - बंगाली - पढ़ - सकताहूँ - क्योंकि - हिन्दीके - साथ - इसका - बहुत - मेल - है); Keep in mind that Bengalis do not pronounce the 'hard N' like Gujarati or Marathi speakers do. Furthermore, in the case of the word কেননা, one must first realise that this word is actually a combination of two components, কেন (pronounced कॅनो) and না(ना). The former demonstrates the use of an unwritten 'open e' sound which we do not have a letter for (sort of). The rest of the irregularities have been previously summarised.
    • I don't speak Bengali.
      • আমি বাংলা বলি না, आमि बांला(बाङ्ला) बलि(बोलि) ना (मैं - बंगाली - बोलताहूँ - नहीं); The short a sound in বলি becomes an o sound due to the following i, which causes vowel harmonisation. It would be less common to say this sentence as directly translated, leading us to the second translation!
      • আমি বাংলা বলতে পারি না आमि बांला(बाङ्ला) बलते(बोलते) पारि ना (मैं - बंगाली - बोल - सकताहूँ - नहीं); The word বলতে is harmonised for the same 'reasons too complicated to explain here' mentioned in the first sentence! By the way, this version of the translation is more like saying 'I cannot speak Bengali', it's just nicer for us to say it like that.
    That about wraps it up for the Bengali translations. If OP happens to still be on, I would like to ask if they would like me to write these in Gujarati or Urdu or something as well, as I believe I am capable of accomplishing such a feat.
     

    swatshak

    New Member
    Hindi/Urdu
    @stormmaashrooms Thank you for that wonderful analysis! Not sure if OP is still around, but other Bangla learners such as myself appreciate your efforts.

    A related query: How would you translate "I only speak/read/understand a little Bangla"? Google suggests using the word একটু (so the whole sentence would read আমি একটু বাংলা পড়তে পারি, but I am not entirely sure if that's the literal translation of the word "little" or the idiomatic way to say it (similar to the Hindi version मैं थोड़ी...सकता हूं). Adding on to it, does Bangla have a colloquial equivalent to the Hindi ही in the sentence मैं थोड़ी ही...सकता हूं, or would you just use কেবল to represent that idea?
     

    Dib

    Senior Member
    Bengali (India)
    আমি একটু বাংলা পড়তে পারি is grammatical, but আমি একটু একটু বাংলা পড়তে পারি is probably more idiomatic. Hindi ही usually corresponds to Bengali -ই। (थोड़ी) थोड़ी ही पढ़ पाता/सकता हूँ = (একটু) একটুই পড়তে পারি।
    For me, শুধু and খালি are colloquially slightly more natural than কেবল and স্রেফ in the sense of "only", though none of them would sound really off. In my natural speech, I'd be likely to add one of these words to your previous sentence: আমি খালি/শুধু একটু একটুই পড়তে পারি।
     

    stormmaashrooms

    New Member
    Bengali-Standard (Muslim) & English-USA
    আমি একটু বাংলা পড়তে পারি is grammatical, but আমি একটু একটু বাংলা পড়তে পারি is probably more idiomatic. Hindi ही usually corresponds to Bengali -ই। (थोड़ी) थोड़ी ही पढ़ पाता/सकता हूँ = (একটু) একটুই পড়তে পারি।
    For me, শুধু and খালি are colloquially slightly more natural than কেবল and স্রেফ in the sense of "only", though none of them would sound really off. In my natural speech, I'd be likely to add one of these words to your previous sentence: আমি খালি/শুধু একটু একটুই পড়তে পারি।
    Seconded, but in my own personal idiolect, I would prefer phrasing which uses অল্প or কিছুটা instead of the একটু, but it is the same essentially. I was also going to talk about how কেবল is a bit more bookish than শুধু, but you beat me to it! :D
     
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