To visit Brick Lane once a year or so is to watch the tide recede on the East London area’s Bengali culture.
It’s not a particularly new observation to point out its hipster feel, but it feels so much pronounced in the area these days, or it did today. Continue reading
Once on a school trip a friend of mine, whose mother was from Holland, refused to share his sweets unless I learned the Dutch for ‘can I have a sweet?’.
It may have pushed the boundaries of friendship but, decades later, I still remember most of ‘kan ik een snoepje hebben?’. Continue reading
Picture: Ben Dalton
Although this blog is been rather quiet of late, I’ve been keeping up with learning Bengali via the vocabulary lists on Quizlet that I and others have created.
The Quizlet app makes the lists ideal for dipping into on my hour-long commute and continuing with at least a baseline of efforts to learn the language – even if we don’t currently have any plans to visit India.
So, to continue this – and breathe a little life back into this blog, here’s another Bengali vocabulary list based around quantities and measurements. Continue reading
Random Ink by Sankarshan Mukhopadhyay @Flickr
Google recently made some improvements to its search app that should allow Bengali dictation, raising interesting possibilities for those of us learning the language.
Whilst I can’t currently get the changes to work on my iPhone, seeing as the update is Android-only for now, if you can do so then the change could provide a useful way to work on your pronunciation. Continue reading
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.
Picture by drcw @ Flickr
So far this year I’ve managed to be surprisingly disciplined with my Bengali study – something that usually only happens in the immediate run-up to one of our every-five-years trips to Kolkata.
One of the things I’ve found particularly helpful for is an iPhone app I’ve dabbled with before.
It’s not, sadly, a really great mobile app for learning Bengali, though I suppose Duolingo for Bengali may one day be available and that could fit the bill. Continue reading
গত শোনিবারে ওযারংতনে জন্য আমার প্রিয় বন্দুয়ের জন্মদিন গিয়েছিলাম – এই জন্মদিন তার চত্বারিংশত্তম ছিল । সেখানে ট্রেন করে গিয়ে আমার বই পরা সময় ছিলাম ।
দশটার বছরে পরজন্ত সেটা আমার প্রথম উত্তর দিকে দেখতে গিয়েছি । আমি ওযারংতনে আগে না গিয়ে লিভারপুল খুব ভালো জানি (সেখানে বিসবিদালযে গিয়েছি) ।
আমার দেখতে যাওয়া খুবই মোজা ছিল – বন্দুদের দেখে কথা বলেছিলাম । তারা কারায়কায় করেছিল কিন্তু আমি গান করেনি (সমস্ত সময় না হয়ে মন খারাপ হয়নি । তাপর আমরা নাছ করেছিলাম, হয়ত দুই-এক মদ খেয়েছিলাম ।
Oh me of little faith; It turns out that Google hasn’t been dragging its feet when it comes to bringing its latest translation advances to Bengali.
The language is one of nine Indian tongues, alongside Hindi, Marathi, Tamil, Telugu, Gujarati, Punjabi, Malayalam and Kannada, to benefit from the search giant’s ‘neural machine translation’ approach. Continue reading
It’s a subject that features on most news broadcasts, but it’s particularly timely given the snap general election that was called earlier this week here in the UK.
I’ve come across many of these words before on the daily news (in Bengali) podcast from Japan’s NHK state media. (And perhaps we should pause for a minute to consider how cool it is that NHK puts out the news in Bengali.) Continue reading
Whether you’re looking for Pather Panchali or a macher johl recipe, the chances are that if you’re googling for it in Bengali your search will now be easier.
The search giant this week added the language to its ‘knowledge graph’ so, to cut a long explanation short, searches should be much quicker and more the results more useful. Continue reading