Full length Indian films have been available on YouTube for nearly two years now, but it was only recently that I noticed a classic Bengali movie among them.
Satyajit Ray is India’s most famous director and his 1955 film Pather Panchali (above with English subtitles) is easily the best known Bengali film. Continue reading
Bengali numbers are pretty irregular, with only a little relation between, say, the words for 23, 33, 43 etc, compared to English or French. Because of this I’d only learnt from 1-30 until recently. Continue reading
I’ve been tidying up my blog a little this week. Nothing too strenuous mind, that would require a surfeit of spare time, something I don’t yet have.
Nonetheless I’ve added a little to the About page concerning my aim to blog at least once a week, with posts related to Bengali on Fridays and/or posts on any other subject that appeals to me on Tuesdays.
More importantly though I’ve also cleaned up the Learning Bengali page, adding in information from recent posts about Bengali fonts, Google’s language tools, Bengali grammar, YouTube and the Bengali phrase book you can find on Google Books. Continue reading
One of the challenges of learning a new language is pronunciation. There will usually be some words that you just can’t get quite right because of the way your mother tongue has conditioned you to speak.
For me, Bengali words requiring a nasalised sound, that is, those using the চন্দ্র বিন্দু (condro-bindu) grammatical mark, are difficult. I’ve also long preferred to say আসতে-আসতে (aste-aste) rather than ধীরে-ধীরে (dhire-dhire) when needing a word for ‘slowly’. Partly that’s because of the aspiration required by the letter ধ (dh) and partly because I so mispronounced the word once to my father-in-law that my confidence never quite recovered.
One way to get an idea of how words should sound is of course to listen to a native Bengali speaker. If you don’t know anyone from a Bengali family, then podcasts are one way to hear the language, another is to see what’s on YouTube. Continue reading
An unusual twist on ‘boy meets girl’, Mr & Mrs ’55 is more ‘boy meets girl, boy paid to marry girl, boy loses girl, girl loses boy, boy and girl reconciled’.
The film is directed by Guru Dutt, who cast himself to star as the unemployed cartoonist Preetam Kumar alongside Madhubala’s young heiress Anita.
The plot sees Preetam contracted by Anita’s feminist aunt Sita Devi to marry Anita, thus saving her inheritance, but only on the understanding he will divorce Anita when asked to. Continue reading