Category Archives: Other

Bengali / Bangla vocabulary: war, attacks

Bengali Bangla vocabulary words soldiers war Star Wars Lego

I’ve broadened my approach to learning Bengali since the time when I was over- enamoured by repeated listens of podcasts I struggled to understand.

I still struggle with NHK’s daily Bangla news podcast when I dip into it, but am trying to expand my knowledge of ‘newsy’, hence the recent post on political vocab and this one.

Even before the tragic recent events in Manchester and London this kind of military/warfare vocabulary features in the news from around the world all too often.

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Resolve

Fireworks in Kolkata

Looking back on my posts from last year I see I had great plans (or, plans, at least) for a programme of increasing the pace of my study of Bengali.

But, as with the best-laid plans of mice and men, my study schedule went awry, though not entirely.

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Too much content, too little time

I’m listening to the new Dinosaur Jr album – up there with their best if you like that sort of thing – and wondering how I’ll ever keep up with all the, for want of a better word, ‘content’.

I bought my first Dinosaur Jr album (Green Mind – ok, but not the best one to start with) in a mall in Florida in 1992. Continue reading

The first 1,000 words are the hardest?

Dictionary of the Frisian Language - Word archive

In the flurry of New Year-themed campaigns – drink less, exercise more, be a better person, etc – there was one that particularly caught my eye this year.

International education and cultural charity the British Council put its weight behind a language-learning drive, calling on Brits (notoriously resistant to anything other than the ‘talk slowly and loudly in English’ method of communicating when abroad) to include learning a foreign language in their 2016 resolutions.

There’s no specific Bengali angle of course, but the campaign’ broader message and tips should resonate whatever language you’re studying. Continue reading

Must try harder, or my WordPress 2015 Review

I hate those blog posts that apologise for not having written more/more recently, though it was certainly something I alluded to in yesterday’s post.

Nevertheless, this blog’s sixth year of existence was hardly its greatest one, with a miserly four posts all year thanks to all sorts of valid but mundane reasons.

Naturally the plan for 2016 is to try harder, write more, learn more, do more, but then isn’t it always at this time of the year. Continue reading

Indian film season begins with Qissa and Bhuvan Shome

Bhuvan ShomeThe first of Channel 4’s two Indian film seasons begins tonight/in the early hours of tomorrow with Qissa (2013), an award-winning social drama/fantasy is set at the time of India’s partition in 1947.

It’s the first of six films to be screened over the coming weeks that draw on “moving stories from across the country”, according to the UK television station.

Director Anup Singh’s tale – told in Punjabi with English subtitles – tells the story of Umber Singh (Irrfan Khan), a Sikh forced, with his wife and three daughters, to flee his village in the new state of Pakistan.  Continue reading

The beginning of the end of the road for the Ambassador

Ambassador taxis in Kolkata, India

Early morning wash and check for Ambassador taxis near Kolkata’s New Market (December 2012)

It’s difficult to know how long the decision by Hindustan Motors to close indefinitely the factory where Ambassadors were made will take to bite.

Certainly the iconic cars will hardly disappear overnight from the streets of Kolkata, where they make up most of the city’s taxi cabs, but the decision does mark the beginning of their end. Continue reading