Bengali fonts

I’ve been thinking a lot recently about how I should (re-)structure my Bengali study.

It’s the age old student trick of not studying for an exam until you have produced a colour-coded revision timetable, something that is usually completed the night before the first exam. But no matter.

Reading Bengali websites, and having the right fonts to allow me to do that, will eventually play a part in this. But I’m getting ahead of myself.

Have you ever visit a Bengali website and seen only rows and rows of the same strange character instead of Bengali script?

BBC Bangla page (without fonts installed)

BBC Bangla page (without fonts installed)

Not sure what I’m talking about? The image above and the one below both come from the BBC’s Bengali pages. Compare and contrast.

BBC Bangla page (fonts installed)

BBC Bangla page (fonts installed)

Thankfully there’s a simple solution – you need to install some additional fonts onto your computer.

Trivial Bytes has a good overview of this which, although from 2006,  still holds good. It includes links to Ekushey and two other alternative fonts, information on how install them and also information on how to type in Bengali once you have installed Bengali fonts. There are of course also instructions to be found on Wikipedia.

The fonts I finally got around to installing recently came from Ekushey and I use their Mac Bengali fonts (which can be found here). The Deutsche Welle site likes to two other Bengali fonts, with PC instructions, here.

Once that’s done you’ll be able to view sites produced in Bengali script, rather than an often clumsy transliterated version of the language. (For an example of clumsy transliteration just see one of my vocabulary lists.

8 responses to “Bengali fonts

  1. Pingback: Bengali grammar – obligation (need, must, should, ought etc) « A Tangle Of Wires

  2. Pingback: আমার সপ্তাহ – diary post in Bengali « A Tangle Of Wires

  3. Pingback: আমার সপ্তাহ – diary post in Bengali « A Tangle Of Wires

  4. Pingback: iPhone Bengali script problems | A Tangle Of Wires

  5. Hi, I’ve downloaded from Ekhusey for Macs and when I go to Character Palette and Keyboard Viewer I can’t see the Bangla fonts coming up at the bottom. Do you know what I might have not done? I can see the Union Jack symbol showing ( it wasn’t before) as if there is another language to switch between?
    Unitl I can fix it I’m struggling to post Bangla words. (Generally demoralised with my recent progress I’ve started an online diary. ) I’ve used the transliterator at

    • tangleofwires

      Your blog sounds like a great idea, I hope it goes well. Needless to say I’m a big fan of blogging to aid language learning, whether it’s to maintain motivation or simply to gather your notes together. (I used to have far too many crumpled up bits of paper with word lists and notes on them.)

      Unfortunately it’s difficult to know what to suggest about your Ekhusey problems, as I’ve not downloaded the keyboard myself.

      For my Bengali typing I just downloaded and installed the fonts and then use either Google’s Bengali transliteration website ( or an app on my iPhone – ‘banglaTyping’.

      The Google site is pretty good, often guessing the right conjuncts and – if you back-space after typing – offering a handful of alternative spellings to the word you’ve just typed. Its limitation is it won’t allow you to decide on conjuncts and or add a chondrobindu. The app will allow you to choose when to include the grammatical mark – and in general gives a lot more control over which letters, or versions of letters, to use, but doesn’t let you produce any conjuncts (plus typing on an phone can be a pretty slow process).

  6. Thanks for your advice I did find the options for the spellings which helps a bit. It’s those e vowel signs which annoy me most, it always seems to put the e after the consonant e.g হবে I tried to fool it by putting the vowel first but then it gives you the full vowel as it thinks you mean that!! I do feel a bit more confident seeing how the fonts are working as the strange letters which were displaying on some websites – I thought they were letters I didn’t know…

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