Category Archives: Vocabulary

Weather words and phrases in Bengali (part 1)

Monsoon in Kolkata by Opashona

Monsoon in Kolkata (Flickr: Opashona)

So far I’ve only visited India in December or January, which limits the Bengali words for weather that I need when actually on holiday.

In fact, hot, cold and fog would probably cover those needs – often within the space of the same day. Continue reading


Today’s the day – names of days of the week in Bengali

Days of the week in Bengali / Bangla

Days of the week, like much of my basic Bengali vocabulary, could do with a bit a bit of practice when it comes to their exact spellings.

See, I’ve been spending quite a bit of times recently working at my Quizlet Bengali flashcards and it’s become fairly apparent that while I know, for instance, that ‘tiger’ is ‘বাঘ’ I still um and ah as to whether the word begins with a ব or a ভ and if it should end with গ or ঘ. Continue reading

Bengali vocabulary – more names of animals in Bangla 

Big cats

I had no idea there was a state animal of West Bengal until researching this post, and even if I had, like most, I would have guessed it would be a tiger.

In fact, it’s the fishing cat (whose diet does indeed include fish, alongside birds, insects and small rodents). An endangered species, the fishing cat lives in dense forested regions and wetland areas. Continue reading

হাতের লেখা

Bengali bangla adjectives handwriting

অনেক দিনের থেকে আমি বাংলায় লিখিনি (অন্তত হাতের লেখা করিনি) । গতকাল আমি বিশেষণ পড়ে কিছু কথা লিখলাম । আমি আশা করি আরো বাংলা হাতের লেখে আমার বাংলা আরো ভালো থাকবে । কিন্তু আমি আপিসে এ আমার অভিধান নেই – তবে এহ্কানে সব কথা ঠিক থাকবেনা ।

লমবা ছুতি – long holiday

The National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, UK

The National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, UK

তোমার লম্বা ছুটি আছে? (tomar lōmba chuti ache?) my father-in-law asked me on Boxing Day.

The expression লম্বা ছুটি was new to me and one he explained was a Bengali colloquialism for a ‘long holiday’. Continue reading

Learning Bengali, cooking and a shingara receipe

Shingara are one of my treats whenever I go to Brick Lane in London (along with jalibi and shondesh from Ambala, a Bollywood soundtrack from the compact filmi section in the Bangla music shop, a browse in Rough Trade East and Palanquin spiced tea from Taj Stores).

So I feel heartened that this video has been viewed more than 80,000 times, though whether I’ll have the time to try it out is another matter. Continue reading

বড়দিন (borodin)

Bengali calendar - borodin

I only snapped the above picture on my phone because the calendar, which was hanging on the back of our hotel room door in Kolkata, showed Bengali numbers underneath the Arabic numerals.

What I didn’t realise at the time was that it shows 25th December as বড়দিন (borodin) – literally ‘big day’, and a concept that came up in online conversations recently about whether it was Bengali for Christmas Day. Continue reading