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  #1  
Old December 27, 2007, 10:16 PM
Arnab Arnab is offline
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Default Learn Bengali

This Bengali lessons thread is meant to get you up and running in Bengali quickly. By "you" I mean someone who doesn't know how to speak or write Bengali. Someone who considers himself/herself poor at Bengali.

Before you start, think a little bit about what learning a language means. The immediate and basic purpose of a language is to communicate. Speaking a language is basically being able to describe actions or events or objects/animals/persons around us to other human beings. To describe an action, an event or an object/animal/person using Bengali language, you need to know the words in Bengali that let you describe Actions, Events and Objects/Animals/Persons.

Actions are things that are done by some agent. Sentences about actions answer this question: Who did what, to whom, with what, why, when, where and how?

Events are things that happen by themselves, without any agent. Sentences about events answer this question: What happened, when, where, why, and how?

Of course, we can choose to describe just Objects/Animals/Persons as well. Statements about objects answer mainly this question: What kind of Object/Animal/Person?

The three scenarios above pretty much nail down the very essence of any language.

You need to simultaneously learn two kinds of things to express yourself in Bengali: words, and the rules that let you string together words into sentences.

We will first start by introducing the different kinds of words.

Last edited by Arnab; December 27, 2007 at 10:34 PM..
  #2  
Old December 27, 2007, 11:06 PM
Arnab Arnab is offline
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The words of Event

These are the verbs "to be", "to become", "to happen" in English.
There are mainly three verbs in Bengali for this: হওয়া, থাকা and ঘটা
Just like the verbs to be, to become, to happen are the most important verbs in English to describe an event, similarly, the Bengali verbs হওয়া, থাকা and ঘটা are very important.

So, to recap:

to be = হওয়া, থাকা
to become = হওয়া, থাকা
to happen = হওয়া, ঘটা

The words of action


These are the rest of the verbs which describe actions done by some agent. There are many hundreds of them. We do many kinds of basic actions, and we have a verb for each of them in Bengali.

Here are some very familiar action words in Bengali:

to do = করা
to make = বানানো
to have/possess = থাকা

to give = দেওয়া
to throw = ছোঁড়া
to take = নেওয়া
to hold/catch = ধরা

to pull = টানা
to push = ঠেলা
to lift = তোলা, উঠানো
to put sth. down = নামানো

to wake up = জাগা
to sleep = ঘুমানো

to lie (as in lie down) = শোওয়া
to get up/go up = উঠা

to sit = বসা
to stand = দাঁড়ানো

to go = যাওয়া
to come = আসা
to walk = হাঁটা
to run = দৌড়ানো
to jump = লাফানো

to go down = নামা
to fall = পড়া

to fly = ওড়া
to swim = সাঁতরানো

to wear = পরা

to eat = খাওয়া
to drink = খাওয়া
to cook = রাঁধা

to see/look = দেখা
to touch = ছোঁয়া
to smell = শোঁকা
to taste = স্বাদ নেওয়া, চাখা
to listen/hear = শোনা
to speak = বলা
to read = পড়া
to write = লেখা

to beat = মারা
to cut = কাটা
to choose = বাছা

to want = চাওয়া
to search = খোঁজা
to get = পাওয়া

to live = বাঁচা
to die = মরা

to buy = কেনা
to sell = বেচা

to smile/laugh = হাসা
to cry = কাঁদা

Last edited by Arnab; December 28, 2007 at 07:02 PM..
  #3  
Old December 27, 2007, 11:47 PM
Arnab Arnab is offline
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The Who words

You now know quite a number of basic action words. Well, right now, you just know their basic infinitive or dictionary form. The Bengali action words, however, changes their form depending on

-Who is doing the action
-When is the action taking place
-Whether the action is completed, ongoing, or habitual.

But we are not going to worry about all of those at the moment. We will focus, for now, on the "Who is doing the action" part.

In order to use the action words properly in Bengali sentences, we will have to learn the essential Who words.

Who words can be any noun/pronoun that has the ability to do something. These include:

a) Some person's name: Tehsin, Rana, Zunaid, etc. These are trivial. These are equivalent of he/she/they type of pronouns.
b) All the pronouns that can be used as Who words: I, you, he/she, we, they, etc. in English. What are the pronouns in Bengali, then?

I = আমি
You (someone close, someone "equal to you") = তুমি
You (elders, honorable persons, or someone "above you") = আপনি
You (someone very close, or someone "beneath you") = তুই
He/She = সে
He/She (honorable) = তিনি

We = আমরা
You (close) = তোমরা
You (elder/honor) = আপনারা
You (very close/beneath) = তোরা
They = তারা
They (honor.) = তাঁরা

Each of the pronouns/Who words above affect the form of any verb/action word.

Last edited by Arnab; December 28, 2007 at 01:30 AM..
  #4  
Old December 28, 2007, 12:11 AM
Arnab Arnab is offline
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Ok, so now you know a bunch of essential Who words and a bunch of essential Action words (in their dictionary form).

Let's put these two types of words together to build some very simple Bengali sentences. But remember the catch: The Actions word change their endings depending on the nature of the Who word. So what you need to know first is how to get the root of an Action word and then attach the correct ending to those roots, depending on the Who word.

How to get the root of an Action word from its dictionary form:

It's quite straightforward.

1. If the dictionary form of an Action word ends in -আ (excluding those ending with ওয়া), then strip that to get the root.
2. If the dictionary form of an Action word ends in -ওয়া, strip that ওয়া.
3. If the dictionary form of an Action word ends in -নো, strip that নো.

Example 1: করা --> কর
Example 2: খাওয়া --> খা
Example 3: উঠানো --> উঠা

That's it. Here are the same essential Action words I gave before, but now they are categorized according to their endings. See if you can find the root for them.

Ending in আ:
to do = করা
to have/possess = থাকা
to throw = ছোঁড়া
to catch = ধরা
to pull = টানা
to push = ঠেলা
to lift = তোলা
to wake up = জাগা
to get up/go up = উঠা
to sit = বসা
to come = আসা
to walk = হাঁটা
to go down = নামা
to fall = পড়া
to fly = ওড়া
to wear = পরা
to cook = রাঁধা
to see/look = দেখা
to smell = শোঁকা
to listen/hear = শোনা
to speak = বলা
to read = পড়া
to write = লেখা
to beat = মারা
to cut = কাটা
to choose = বাছা
to taste = চাখা
to search = খোঁজা
to live = বাঁচা
to die = মরা
to buy = কেনা
to sell = বেচা
to smile/laugh = হাসা
to cry = কাঁদা

Ending in -ওয়া:
to give = দেওয়া
to take = নেওয়া
to lie (as in lie down) = শোওয়া
to go = যাওয়া
to eat = খাওয়া
to drink = খাওয়া
to touch = ছোঁয়া
to taste = স্বাদ নেওয়া
to want = চাওয়া
to get = পাওয়া

Ending in -আনো:
to make = বানানো
to lift = উঠানো
to put sth. down = নামানো
to sleep = ঘুমানো
to stand = দাঁড়ানো
to run = দৌড়ানো
to jump = লাফানো
to swim = সাঁতরানো

Last edited by Arnab; December 28, 2007 at 07:03 PM..
  #5  
Old December 28, 2007, 01:27 AM
Arnab Arnab is offline
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So let's see if you have correctly found the roots of the Action words using the techniques I gave above. Match your attempts with the solutions given below. The following are all the correct roots for all the Action words I have given so far.

Group 1 (ending with আ): কর, থাক, ছোঁড়, ধর, টান, ঠেল, তোল, জাগ, উঠ, বস, আস, হাঁট, নাম, পড়, ওড়, পর, রাঁধ, দেখ, শোঁক, শোন, বল, পড়, লেখ, মার, কাট, বাছ, চাখ, খোঁজ, বাঁচ, মর, কেন, বেচ, হাস, কাঁদ

Group 2 (ending with ওয়া): দে, নে, শো, যা, খা, ছোঁ, স্বাদ নে, চা, পা

Group 3 (ending with নো): বানা, উঠা, নামা, ঘুমা, দাঁড়া, দৌড়া, লাফা, সাঁতরা

How did you do? Hopefully, it was easy.

Now, here's the fun part. Using only and only these Action word roots, you can actually say one-word sentences in Bangla! It just so happens that when you order someone subordinate to perform some action, you use the root of the Action word. Look at these examples:

Do (it)! = কর!
Throw (it)! = ছোঁড়!
Sit! = বস!
Give (it)! = দে!
Hold (it)! = ধর!
Run! = দৌড়া!

etc.

Last edited by Arnab; December 28, 2007 at 07:07 PM..
  #6  
Old December 28, 2007, 01:56 AM
Arnab Arnab is offline
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But language isn't always about giving subordinates orders, is it? Remember what our original goal was. We wanted to make simple sentences by combining Who words and Action words. And in order to do that, we needed to find the root of an Action word, so that when we combine them with certain Who words, we can attach the appropriate ending to these roots. Let's get on with that.

The endings also change for two other things:
- when the action is being done (present, past, future)
- whether the action is completed, ongoing, or habitual.

For simplicity, let's build our simple sentences so that the action is being done in the present and the action is habitual. In this way, we can just focus on exactly how the nature of the Who word affects the ending that is to be attached to the Action word.

Let's start with a very simple Action word root: do = কর

I do = আমি করি; We do = আমরা করি
You (close) do = তুমি করো; You (close)(pl) do = তোমরা করো
You (honor) do = আপনি করেন; You (honor)(pl) do = আপনারা করেন
You (subord) do = তুই করিস; You (subord)(pl) do = তোরা করিস
He/She does = সে করে; They do = তারা করে
He/She (honor) does = তিনি করেন; They (honor) do = তাঁরা করেন

One thing to note here that the Action word forms don't change for singular and plural.

But they do change for the first person (I/we), second person(you) and third person (he/she/they) of the Who words.

Can you figure out which ending attaches to the Action word root for each kind of Who word?

For the first person, it's -ি (কর + ি = করি)
For the second person (regular), it's -ো (কর + ো = করো)
For the second person (honor), it's -েন (কর + েন = করেন)
For the second person (subordinate), it's -িস (কর + িস = করিস)
For the third person (regular), it's -ে (কর + ে = করে)
For the third person (honor), it's -েন (কর + েন = করেন)

The process of attaching different endings to Action word roots is called conjugation.

Above, I have shown you the conjugation for the Action word root কর.

There are a few other conjugation patterns for Action word roots. I am going to give them below and you will have to figure out how they are subtly different from each other.

Last edited by Arnab; December 29, 2007 at 01:15 AM..
  #7  
Old December 29, 2007, 01:31 AM
Arnab Arnab is offline
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Pattern 1: কর-type roots

আমি/আমরা করি
তুমি/তোমরা করো
আপনি/আপনারা/তিনি/ তাঁরা করেন
তুই/তোরা করিস
সে/তারা করে


Similar roots: ধর, বস, পড়, পর, বল, মর, ...

Pattern 2: তোল-type roots

আমি/আমরা তুলি
তুমি/তোমরা তোলো
আপনি/আপনারা/তিনি/ তাঁরা তোলেন
তুই/তোরা তুলিস
সে/তারা তোলে


Similar roots: ছোঁড়, ওড়, শোঁক, শোন, খোঁজ, ...

Pattern 3: টান-type roots

আমি/আমরা টানি
তুমি/তোমরা টানো
আপনি/আপনারা/তিনি/ তাঁরা টানেন
তুই/তোরা টানিস
সে/তারা টানে


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