The Central Institute of Indian Languages was established on 17th
July 1969 to help evolve and implement the language policy of the
Government of India and to co-ordinate the development of Indian
languages through research, training and material production for their
use in education, administration and other public domains. The Institute
has seven Regional Language Centres to impart intensive training in
modern Indian languages to the teachers deputed by their respective
State Governments and Union Territories.
Teaching of vocabulary is an integral part of teaching a language in
any situation. Usually, language courses present the use of vocabulary
in context. There is a need to provide certain supplementary materials
including lists of lexical items, glossaries, vocabularies and dictionaries
in the target language.
The Institute has prepared different types of supplementary materials
including common vocabularies and recall vocabularies. The Recall
Vocabulary in Bengali is prepared keeping in view the needs of second
language learner in Bengali. It is hoped that the learners of Bengali will
find this book useful.
The acquisition of vocabulary by the native as well as non-native speakers continues all
through their life. It is not only acquired but also retained with equal importance. The vocabulary
of any living language keeps on changing either by addition or by assigning new meanings to
the existing vocabulary or by deletion of certain words or meanings of the words. The availability
of vocabulary items of an individual speaker depends upon one’s experience and exposure to
the language, education background, socio-economic group to which he/she belongs, the dialect
he/she speaks, I.Q., sex etc. The quantum and range of the vocabulary acquired in a language
and the quality of their use are certainly a mark of the level of attainment of the speakers/the
learners of that language. Language teachers are, therefore, required to teach the language learners
sufficiently enough vocabulary and contents for their usage. Here, a vocabulary list consisting
of 5856 vocables have been presented as a ready reference which the learners can use for their
day to day learning in the introductory stage and also in later stages for reference.
This book has been divided into two parts. Part I consists of 4186 words and they belong
to the grammatical category of Noun and are represented under 44 semantic sub-groups. Part
II consists of 1670 words and they belong to the other grammatical categories such as adjectives
and adjective like words, adverbs and adverb like words, Verb and verb like words, pronouns,
interrogative words and other function words such as post positions, interjections, onomatopoeic
The words have been recalled under different broad semantic groups, such as man, plants,
animals, physical world etc. Within each broad group several sub-groups were identified thus
arriving at 44 semantic sub-groups for the category of nouns and 7 grammatical types for the
rest. The semantic subgroups in this vocabulary list is so chosen as to include vocabulary items
relating to familiar objects and day to day experiences.
The vocabulary recalled in this book consist of both the active and some of the passive
vocabulary. Some of the words were recalled under more than one category on the basis of
their nature and function, under various semantic categories. Many words reflecting the cultural
items have also been taken care of as they come naturally in the recall process. Some of the
vocables may be noticed under different semantic subgroups. It may also be observed that some
of the words of English and Sanskrit origin also and included in the list as these vocabularies
have also been naturally recalled as they are part and parcel of Bengali language now. All
these characteristics reflect the reality of the present day Bengali language and hence will be
useful for teaching and learning Bengali vocabulary and also for the preparation of instructional
The arrangement and presentation of words within each subgroup is done alphabetically.
The contents given in the begining of this book show the various semantic subgroups in the
order of their occurrence. It may be mentioned here that the numerals are not alphabctised but
are presented in their sequential numerical order of occurrence. The vocabulary items arc presented
in three columns. The first column gives the words in Bengali script, in the second column
these are given in Roman transliteration. The equivalents of Roman letters for individual Bengali
letters are given in a chart appended to this introduction. The third column lists meanings in
English. However, the meanings do not indicate all the different shades of meanings for the
given Bengali words but gives the most approximate and frequently used mcaning/meanings.
This book is thus a supplementary material for the second language learners of Bengali. It can
also be innovatively used by materials producers as an additional tool to choose appropriate
vocabulary for preparing different kinds of instructional and testing materials.
Comments and constructive suggestions for the improvement of this book are welcome.
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