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How to tell time in Bengali

Learning to tell time is an important part of learning a language!

Telling Time in Bengali!

A bengali couple in traditional attire, performing a prayer dance

As the proverb goes ‘time and tide wait for none', following the proverb not only reminds us of the vitality of time and what’s the time however it also repeatedly warns us to be disciplined and punctual, to be organized and on time. While writing essays on ‘Importance of Time’, during our school time, often our teachers remind us that the one who does not care about time is likewise undervalued by time as well. Of course, admiration of time notifies self-admiration. He who has patience during tough times is sure to be welcomed by beautiful times in his life.

hourglass set to sunset background with 'time is precious' written on image

Somoy choliya jaye, nodir sroter praye, je jon na buje, tare dhik soto dhik' is a proverb in Bangla that means that 'time and tide waits for none and the ones who do not realize its importance should be ashamed of it'.

Bengal is not just known for being a Land of sweets, it is also a land of festivals. ‘Baro mashe tyaro parbon’ means a land where 13 festivals are celebrated within 12 months per year. The clock of seasons brings colourful times, teaching its importance while keeping lively hearts, positive attitude, and welcoming gestures.

Let’s understand how we follow time in Bangla:

Time-related vocabulary and phrases

ENGLISH - Bangla

Time Somoy

Hour Ghonta

Morning Sokal

Afternoon Dupur

Evening Bikal

What time is it? Ekhon koto somoy holo?

What’s the time? Ekhon kota baje?


If the time is on the hour

Telling time in Bengali

English to Bangla

t’s one o’clock - Ekhon Ek ta baje

It’s two o’clock - Ekhon Du to Baje

It’s three o’clock - Ekhon teen te baje

It’s four o’clock - Ekhon char te baje

It’s five o’clock - Ekhon Panch ta baje

It’s six o’clock - Ekhon Chau ta baje

It’s seven o’clock - Ekhon Sat ta baje

It’s eight o’clock - Ekhon Aath ta baje

It’s nine o’clock - Ekhon Nau ta baje

It’s ten o’clock - Ekhon Dosh ta baje

It’s eleven o’clock - Ekhon Aigaro ta baje

It’s twelve o’clock - Ekhon baro ta baje

Hours+minutes in Bengali

If dealing with the first half of the Hour like 9.05, we will say ekhon Nau ta beje panch holo

If dealing with the second half of the Hour like 3.55, we will say ekhon teen te beje ponchanno baje

Use of half-past, quarter-past, and quarter to in Bengali

Quarter past is called as Soa, Quarter to is Poune and something 30 is called sare as shown below.

English time example in example in Bengali
Half-past 4.30  Sare Char 
Quarter-past 5.15 will be Soa Panchta
Quarter-to 6.45 will be Poune sat ta

The exceptions are 1:30 and 2:30 and they are called derh ta and ahrahite respectively.

The First half an hour is called Shurur Aadh Ghonta and the Second half an hour will be shesher Aadh ghonta.

Points to remember

There is an exception for saying 1.30 and 2.30 in (Bengali). For 1.30 we use Der ta and for 2.30 we use the term Aah rai te The Twelve-Hour Clock – Due to the prevalence of the twelve-hour clock in India rather than the twenty-four-hour clock, (Bengali) as well use the phase of the day to describe the hour rather than am or pm.

For instance:

5 p.m. would be expressed as Bikel Panchta

6 a.m. would be expressed as Sokal Chau ta

2 p.m. would be expressed as Dupur Du to 

Working perfectly on time needs practice, perseverance, and patience while knowing the time in the vernacular languages greatly helps in unfamiliar or novel places. India having geographical variations dictates the exact time as per its direction. For e.g. West Bengal, Tripura, Assam, and Sikkim being the East of the country witnesses the Sun when it is at its dawn, faster than Gujarat, Maharashtra, and Rajasthan in the West, which is lucky to view the beautiful dusk post half past 6 in the evening. Hence nature might take a little longer to absorb complete darkness pan country /subcontinent but the earth rotates on its axis on time.

We observed and found the nouns are similar in Bangla to Hindi like Ek, Du, Teen, char, Panch, etc however there is an adverb added after every noun like ek (noun) ta, du (to), teen (te), panch(ta), so on and so forth. The only differences lie within pronunciation in the adjectives before the nouns like Paune sat in Hindi is Poune Sat ta in Bangla, Sawa Panch is Soa Panchta, Sare Aath is Sare Aath ta so on and so forth. So here we come with our enthusiastic approach towards learning and telling Time in Bangla.

haathiTo become fluent in Bengali knowing how to tell the time alone is not enough. It is important that you have a complete learning plan with the vocabulary, simple grammar explanations speaking practice and Language Curry offers you all this under one learning umbrella!

Language Curry is an app you can trust for language learning. It provides the most relevant Bengali words and phrases voiced out by native speakers, so you won't have to waste time learning unimportant ones. The "Time" and “Number and Denomination” tab in the Vocab section will help you gain a better understanding of how to tell the time in Tamil by giving you phrases and examples.  Most of all, learn conveniently because, with Language Curry App, you don't have to be worried about strict schedules. You can learn anywhere and anytime you want!

Cover image: Town Clock, Kolkata, West Bengal


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