In this chapter, we shall discuss how to simply greet people and to discuss simple affairs. Read the following dialogue, and then see the translations of phrases below.

কথা - DialogueEdit

মানুষ - Person বাংলা - Bengali
বলা - Pronunciation
ইংরেজি - English
ইরম: আসসালামু আলাইকুম! assalamu alaikum! Peace be upon you!
শ্রেয়: নমস্কার, ইরম! nômôskar iram! Hello, Iram!
ইরম: আপনি কেমন আছেন, শ্রেয়? apni kêmon achhen, shrey? How are you, Shrey?
শ্রেয়: আমি ভালো আছি। আর আপনি? ami bhalo achhi. ar apni? I am fine. And you?
ইরম: হ্যাঁ, ভালো, ধন্যবাদ। hê, bhalo, dhônnobad. Yes, fine, Thank you.
শ্রেয়: আচ্ছা, খোদা হাফেজ। achchha, khoda hafej. Okay, May God be your protector.
ইরম: আল্লাহ হাফেজ, শ্রেয়। allah hafej, shrey. May God be your protector, Shrey.

মানে - MeaningEdit

This passage contains the basics of greeting other people.

If the person being spoken to is a Muslim, আসসালামু আলাইকুম and আল্লাহ্‌ হাফেজ should be used. If the person is a Hindu (or something else, or you don't know), it is polite to use নমস্কার and খোদা হাফেজ.

Notice that sentences end in a । (called a দন্ড), as opposed to a period. All other punctuation is the same as in English.

আর আদেশ - More wordsEdit

Some more expressions for common use:

বাংলা - Bengali বলা - Pronunciation ইংরেজি - English
ভালো থাকবেন। bhalo thakben. good-bye (literally "stay well")
পরে দেখা হবে। pôre dekha hôbe. good-bye (literally "another encounter will happen later")
কি অবস্থা? ki obostha? how are you? (literally "what's the status?")
আপনার নাম কি? apnar nam ki? what is your name?
আমার নাম ... amar nam ... my name is...
বাংলা - Bengali বলা - Pronunciation ইংরেজি - English
কেমন kêmon how
ভালো bhalo good, fine, well
হ্যাঁ yes
না na no
ধন্যবাদ dhônnobad thank you
আর/আরও ar/aro and/more

ব্যাকরন - GrammarEdit

The sentence in Bengali is like any other SOV language. This is in contrast to regular English, where a clause is formed like this:

I opened the box.

Bengali forms sentences with the object interchanged with the verb, like this:

আমি বাক্স খুলেছি।
ami baksho khulechhi.

Notice how বাক্স translates to box and খুলেছি is the present perfect of খোলা, to open.

Speaking of pronouns, it would be wise to learn them now, as they will become useful in a short while:

person singular plural
1st আমি (ami) I আমরা (amra) we
2nd আপনি (apni) you (formal)
তুমি (tumi) thou (common)
তুই (tui) thou (informal)
আপনারা (apnara) ye (formal)
তোমরা (tomra) you (common)
তোরা (tora) you (informal)
3rd এ (e) this here (common)
ও (o) that there (common)
সে (she) that somewhere (common)
ইনি (ini) this here (formal)
উনি (uni) that there (formal)
তিনি (tini) that somewhere (formal)
এরা (era) these here (common)
ওরা (ora) those there (common)
তারা (tara) those somewhere (common)
এঁরা (êra) these here (formal)
ওঁরা (ôra) those there (formal)
তাঁরা (târa) those somewhere (formal)

As in quite a few other languages, including the Romance family and Japanese, there exists formality levels in most of the pronouns. Consider the 2nd person pronouns: the first is used towards strangers, elders, and parents (akin to usted in Spanish), the second is used towards people of a similar class, age, or familiarity to the speaker (akin to ), and the third is used to those considered inferior to the speaker, such as children and objects.

The third person pronouns are a much different story. Just as in Korean, they are used relative to the speaker. The first is used where the person being referred to is closer to the speaker, the second where the person is closer to the listener, and the third where the person is closer to neither the speaker nor the listener. The fourth, fifth, and sixth pronouns are formal equivalents to the first, second, and third respectively. One is likely to hear এনারা and ওনারা in place of এঁরা and ওঁরা in daily conversation.

Notice how the plurals end in -রা (ra). This construct can be used with any noun.

হওয়া - to beEdit

The form of a verb given with the English equivalent is technically a verbal noun, but that doesn't matter at the moment. What matters is that Bengali is a zero copula language: one does not use 'to be' in the simple present tense.

আমি সালমান। আমি সিলেট থেকে। ওটা খুবই বড়। পারিস ফ্রান্সের মধ্যে।
I am Salman. I am from Sylhet. That is very large. Paris is in France.

There is of course a conjugation scheme for the verb 'to be', but we defer to the Wiktionary page for this.

চর্চা - ExercisesEdit