Tag Archives: Language

Bengali links – Sunil Gangopadhyay, Sheikh Hasina, Ghautam Ghose and ‘Banglish’

This selection of Bangla links from my Twitter feed covers features Bengali author Sunil Gangopadhyay, the continuation of Sheikh Hasina’s language campaign, Ghautam Ghose on films and the perceived problem of ‘Banglish’.

All the links in the tweet images work, allowing you to click through to view the links, follow me on Twitter or even re-tweet any of the links.

Continue reading

5 Bengali words – time expressions (part 1)

This week’s 5 Bengali words collects together some useful conversational expressions about time.

It ran on a bit so I split it in half, and will post part 2 next week.

Time n – সময় (sōmōy) Continue reading

Google and language

Google BanglaIs there anything Google can’t do these days? My admiration for the company’s products is tinged by just a hint of conspiracy paranoia that it’s all a prelude to a world takeover.

But seriously, is there anything Google can’t do? It’s already, amongst other things, improved immeasurably the way the world searches the internet, changed the way we use maps, begun digitising the world’s creative resources, forced every website to go 2.0 with the release of sidewiki and is now, apparently, about to kill email with Google Wave.

Looking at language there are plenty of very clever things the company is doing. Although my interest is what these allow you to do in Bengali, for which most require the right fonts, they apply to many other languages as well. Continue reading

Language and children

K is six weeks old now and a great listener, particularly when I’m looking for someone to practice speaking Bengali to. Granted, he can’t tell me to “stop talking to me …” but let’s ignore that for the time being.

It does mean that I can practice speaking aloud, which is vital to hearing how you form the words and for thinking on your feet about how sentences should be constructed.

It may also be that K picks up Bengali quicker than A. My older son was two-years old by the time I started teaching myself the language, so he’s aware that I haven’t always spoken it, am learning myself and knows there was a time when he wasn’t being made to learn it. Continue reading

Teaching children a second language

As the summer holidays drew to a close and A’s new school term begun I had a flurry of conversations with other parents about teaching children languages.

Over the course of a couple of weeks these encompassed French, Turkish, Russian and, of course, Bengali.

But regardless of the language, we had broadly the same thoughts, namely: it’s difficult, kids probably don’t want to learn a second language. Their friends don’t speak it, perhaps they hear a handful or relatives using it, but that doesn’t make them want to learn it. Continue reading