Finding my way back to a learning plateau

Dual language English-Bengali books

There’s no getting around it. I’ve reached what My Bangla Diary recently described as a ‘learning plateau’.

Worse, I think I’ve probably reached several such plateau over the last six years of learning Bengali and descended from each one.

This year’s study started out well with my 5 Bengali Words series of posts, which aimed to help enlarge my vocabulary but the summer and autumn has been a deadloss.

There has been the small matter of changing jobs for the first time in 12 years, school summer holidays and that 10k run, but still, my Bangla study has not been going well.

In an attempt to reinvigorate things I borrowed some new dual language books from the library, but sadly the time kept slipping away from me.

Thankfully I’ve got just a couple more days of my notice period to work and then have a week off before starting at the new place, so that looks like a good time to think again about doing more, and more structured, Bengali study.


9 responses to “Finding my way back to a learning plateau

  1. Hi there, I felt a bit better again. Gone back to text book but I had the idea of getting bits of paper and putting the words on them and sticking them round the house e.g. tebil on the table (I guess maybe bit less obvious ones?) Is your wife’s first language English??

    • Her first, and only language, is English – her parents decided against teaching her Bengali in case it hindered her learning English and thus integrating over here (needless to say all now regret they missed the window of opportunity childhood presents for learning languages). That said, she understands more than she lets on and has been known to correct my Bengali pronounciation.

  2. আবহাওয়া looks a mouthful to pronounce, does this mean weather? I guess it does?
    I can only get Elmer’s friends of the Elmer series. But I did the same thing day before yesterday as part of restarting my enthusiasm. I got out Floppy’s Friends, The Leopards Drum, Farmer Duck and Celebrating. The first two esp are not as easy as I’d like. But mainly the typeface is soo small!!

    It’s funny how your mind blocks things out when you’re not trying to learn.
    I first met my MIL 19 years ago but I’ve only been learning seriously for a year! (13 months now) But their (তার এবং তার বন্ধু) conversations are so dull. My husband was really put off learning when he heard that talking about your ailments in Bengali is like talking about the weather here. He thought it was just them!

    I did find a Star Mark in Kolkata (kind of like an Indian WHSmiths) and I did get some books. Two the usual fruit and flowers, one a finding Nimo type book about a fish, a comic style one which looks like a kind of Top Cat and two thriller cartoon type books which have got Satyajit Ray’s name at the top. They look like the sort of books a 13 or 14 year old Bengali boy might like. I think comics might be the answer. I couldn’t face Tin Tin or Asterix there were lots of those translated, never really got them in English. I think you either liked them or you didn’t. Hopefully by Christmas I will have found time to go through the comics, I could lend you the 3 more useful ones SRay and the Top Cat if you are interested (I could post them) I’ll let you know when I’ve managed to read through them..

    Actually, I was thinking we could do a Pooh project sometime as an exercise, not sure when there would be time maybe 2012?! work through translation of one of the books then get a native speaker to correct it all. Actually if we posted it on here a bit at a time, then anyone could offer improvements and corrections. The bits about food would be easy. But I’m not sure how you’d translate Cottleston Pie?!

  3. Probably it would be the same transliterated but there’d be no fun in that!
    Beatrix Potter would be awful in Bengali. That really wouldn’t work (maybe it exists) But Pooh def has potential. I wonder if there is a professional translation in print.

    • Thanks for the comments – so much to respond to 🙂

      I don’t recall seeing a Star Mark when I was in Kolkata. Instead I got a few Bangla books from the book stalls around the university (explaining I wanted kids books in Bengali did confuse some of the stall holders) – and the Oxford Bookstore/Bookshop on Park Street, which had a smallish Bengali section.

      Thanks for the kind off to borrow the books, the Satyajit Ray ones in particular sound interesting (and I love the film Joi Baba Felunath), but currently my problem is time rather than lack of materials, so it’s probably best if I take a rain check.

      The translation project sounds interesting though (even if we both have time issues). Something to think about for 2012 perhaps.

  4. Have another 6 posts to do on Dreaming in Hindi series – so can start Pooh in Jan – happy to do on mine, will contact Andea Allen and another learner too can’t remember her name, nearer the time and it shouldn’t take too long, I’ll just post the English chapter and ask for suggestions for the Bengali I think it would be fun (e.g. how to translate WOL, we’d have to come up with modifications of the Bengali for owl etc.!!)

  5. BTW have you seen new Bengali blog (Bengali girl and Jewish husband – has some info on learning Bengali – re flash cards)
    She has put your site on her blogroll!

  6. Thanks, I hadn’t come across that blog before but will give it a read now.

    BTW This Saturday’s ‘Bollywood’ film on Channel 4 – Padatik – is in Hindi and Bengali film. I’ll post more details shortly.

  7. Great, thanks. (The blog is v new, only found it yesterday and I think it was only linked to yours today)

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