ESOL language B artx.fhmx - English Language Partners

46 downloads 176 Views 153KB Size Report
Bengali. Bengali is the main language of Bangladesh where it is spoken by approximately 100 million people and another around 68 million speak it in India, .

Bengali Bengali is the main language of Bangladesh where it is spoken by approximately 100 million people and another around 68 million speak it in India, predominantly in West Bengal. It is estimated that as it has spread throughout the world a further 200 million speak Bengali as either a first or second language. The language, written in the Bengali alphabet is diglossic which means there are two very distinct forms of the language – High and Low. High, or Sadhu Bhasa which contains many words derived from Sanskrit is used in formal contexts such as sermons, lectures and speeches and Low, known as Calit Bhasa, is more for everyday conversation, modern literature and other informal situations. Gradually Calit Bhasa is becoming the more accepted form of the language. Bengali contains a large number of loanwords from Portuguese, English, Arabic, Persian and Hindi. Written in a cursive script below an imaginary line Bengali has 52 consonants and 12 vowels in its alphabet. Vowels are made by placing symbols or vowel marks around the consonant. While English numbers are now common in Bengali script it’s worth noting that the symbol 8 in Bengali equates to the number 4. Bengali is a phonetic language and has similarities with other Indian languages. Verbs are changed or modified by appending a suffix to a word. There is no verb to be in Bengali so they may say I student for I am a student. Sentence structure is usually subject–object–verb. Statements are turned into

negatives by adding Na (literally meaning no) at the end of the sentence. In Bengali the word ki means what? It can turn a statement into a question, e.g. Ami chhAtro is I am a student and Ami ki chhAtro means Am I a student? While Bengali is phonetic, there is a tendency to speak vowel sounds, particularly o, that are not written, e.g. ngr, which means town, is pronounced nogor. English pronunciation and word stress can be difficult for Bengali speakers to learn, as is the Latin based alphabet. There is no gender distinction in pronouns but there are polite and familiar forms. When addressing someone, elders are addressed as Apni by younger people and younger people are addressed as Tomi by older people. The majority of Bangladeshis are Muslim and a common greeting would be As-salaa-mu-alaikum meaning Peace be upon you. They would also touch the forehead with the right hand. Though there are no strict rules for naming, the family name comes first and is followed by a given name. An older person would be addressed by their given name followed by a suffix such as older sister even if they are not related. When speaking to an older person it would be rude for Bangladeshis to maintain eye contact, but at other times eye contact is desirable. Whistling and winking in public is considered impolite, and it is also considered impolite to cross one’s legs while sitting. Giving the thumbs up sign is undesirable

and so is beckoning with the index finger. It is common for Bangladeshis to eat with the hand, the right one, though spoons are used for desserts. Men and women may eat separately at large gatherings. White is worn for mourning.

© 2000 NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF ESOL HOME TUTOR SCHEMES (INC). PO Box 12-114, Wellington 6038, New Zealand. Ph 64-4 471 2382, Fax 64-4 471 2383, Email: [email protected]











How are you?

Kamon aso?

Fine/Well, and you?

Valo abong tomi?

Not so good

Toto valo noy

What’s your name?

Tomar nam ki?

My name is

Amar nam _____________


Ki bolasan?





I don’t know

Ami janina


Doya koro

Thank you

Tomaka dhonnobad



Do you understand?

Tomi ki bojho?

Try again

Abar chesta koro

Do you want some help?

Tomi ki shajjo chao?

Don’t worry, learning takes time

Chinta koro na, shakhai shomoi laga

Shall we take a break now?

Amra ki akhon biroti nabo?

Let’s finish (the lesson) now

Cholo (porati) shash kori

You’re doing well

Tomi valo korso

Can you say it now?

Tomi ki akhon iha bolta paro?

Can you answer (the question)?

Tomi ki ottor dita paro?

Now you ask me

Tomi akhon amaka jiggesh koro

See you next week

Porar shoptaha dekha hoba