The objective of the present book is to acquaint the leaner with Bengali in a simple way. The book is meant for those students who have taken up Bengali as their third language. It can also be used by a beginner working alone.
Standard colloquial Bengali, which is a literary language as well, has been dealt with in this book. The chaste language or Sadhu-Bhasa has not been included in this book to avoid complication during the primary stage of learning. For the same reason the conjunct consonants have not been introduced in this book. Sentence-construction has been given priority in this book to facilitate easy access to the language. Special attention has been given to the pronunciantion of the characters, especially to that of and which varies according to the position of the character in a word. Spelling of Bengali words may seem arbitrary due to lack of awareness of the relevant rules. It is hoped that a learner working through the book will be able to read and writer simple Bengali sentences and to express himself in Bengali.
The book consists of six chapters. The first chapter familiarizes a learner with the Bengali characters and their pronunciation through their English equivalents. The method of writing characters and the post-consonantal forms of the vowels have been discussed in two chapters so that a learner can be aware of the actual shape of a character. The examples followed by exercises will acquaint a learner with the essential vocabulary and the application of words in a sentence. The subsequent two chapters deal with conjugation followed by writing drill and the reading material to provide a learner with writing skill. The last chapter makes available a vocabulary which is essential for a beginner.
Diacritical makes have generally been avoided in this book for obvious reasons. But to Indicate a difference between (a) and (a) and to point out the actual pronunciation of some words a few diacritics had to be used. Words in italics and within brackets point out that there are differences between the spelling and the pronunciation of those words. Since Bengali and are stops their English equivalents give in Chapter-I will have to be realized as stops and not as fricatives.
I am indebted to Professor Naresh Chandra Jana of the Department of Bengali and to Professor Subhadra Kumar Sen of the Department of Linguistics at the University of Calcutta and also to Mr. Sumants Sen, former Resident Editor, The Time of India (Patna) for their encouragement and help. I convey my thanks to Mrs. Chandana Datta and to Mr. Debajyoti Datta for their consent to publish the book. My thanks are also due to Mr. Arunesh Pal and others for their Cooperation in the publication of this book.
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