One of the challenges of learning a new language is pronunciation. There will usually be some words that you just can’t get quite right because of the way your mother tongue has conditioned you to speak.
For me, Bengali words requiring a nasalised sound, that is, those using the চন্দ্র বিন্দু (condro-bindu) grammatical mark, are difficult. I’ve also long preferred to say আসতে-আসতে (aste-aste) rather than ধীরে-ধীরে (dhire-dhire) when needing a word for ‘slowly’. Partly that’s because of the aspiration required by the letter ধ (dh) and partly because I so mispronounced the word once to my father-in-law that my confidence never quite recovered.
One way to get an idea of how words should sound is of course to listen to a native Bengali speaker. If you don’t know anyone from a Bengali family, then podcasts are one way to hear the language, another is to see what’s on YouTube.
The following videos concentrate more on the basics, rather than pronunciation, but provide a good starting point.
First up is the Bengali equivalent of an A-Z book, with the names of the letters given first, and then words beginning with those letters:
Then numbers up to ten:
And finally some basic Bengali: