A whopping 228 million people across the world speak Bengali as a first language, making it the seventh most spoken language in the world.
Bengali like most other Indian languages is rich and diverse. It is the primary language spoken in the Indian state of West Bengal and also is the national language of Bangladesh. A whopping 228 million people across the world speak Bengali as a first language, making it the seventh most spoken language in the world. Bengali and Assamese use the same script which is the Eastern Nagari script. Bengali is the grandchild of Sanskrit and Magadhi Prakrit. Listed below are some interesting facts about Bengali which tell us why people are fascinated with Bengali.
Exposure to volumes of rich Bengali literature
Learning Bengali is also an opportunity to venture into the deeply enriching world of Bengali literature, music and cinema. Wouldn't it be a pleasure to read Tagore in Bengali or watch Satyajit Ray's films without subtitles? Do you know that the Indian national anthem, 'Jan Gan Man' is composed in Bengali?
Bengali is as quirky as it gets when it comes to idioms
Many of them have their origins in things that are integral to Bengali culture. The saying 'karor poush maash, karor sorbonash' means 'someone's happiness is someone's sadness. It is used across dialects and your chances of hearing it on the streets of Kolkata are quite high! Winters are charming in Bengal, and the Bengali month of Poush is a month full of festivities. In this saying, 'poush mash' stands for the month of poush — a reason for happiness as opposed to 'sorbonaash' which implies, 'everything destroyed). Isn't it fascinating? Baro maashe, tyaron parbon Also, have you heard this saying about Bengal. ‘baro maashe, tyaron parbon’! It means 12 months and 13 festivals! Bengal is known for its year-round festivals and so this saying came about.
Bengali words are included in the OED (Oxford English Dictionary)!
India was under British rule for almost 200 years — which led to the inclusion of many English words in our local languages. However, the exchange of vocabulary was not just in one direction. Like other Indian languages, several Bengali words became a part of English and were later included in the Oxford English Dictionary!
The word 'dinghy' for example is an integral part of the English vocabulary but it is actually a Bengali word that denotes a specific type of boat.
The word 'bhadralok', which means 'rich, successful or educated people' actually came from the English-educated Bengali middle class in the 19th century!
Actually, Retroflex sounds are viewed as harsh and tough. These sounds are avoided by Bangla thereby making it sound soft and free-flowing. Also, at a UNESCO Survey, Bangla has been voted by people as the sweetest language in the world, ranking Spanish and Dutch as the second and third sweet tongues. So as it really does turn out, the language from the land of Bengal sweets was also voted the sweetest!
Bengali slang words are super cool. You can check them out here. One famous slang word is aatel marka - This word is used for people who feel they are too out of this world or artistic with deep thoughts which are better than the thoughts of all other people. Basically, one who thinks of self as an 'intellectual'! The person is said to ateel marka and it's meant to be a taunt!