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Bengali vocabulary

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Bengali vocabulary


Bengali (বাংলা Bangla) is one of the Magadhan languages, evolved from Magadhi Prakrit and Pali languages. The core of Bengali vocabulary is thus etymologically of Magadhi Prakrit and Pali languages. However, centuries of major borrowing and reborrowing from Sanskrit, Arabic, Persian, Turkish, Austroasiatic languagess and other languages has led to the adoption of a wide range of words with foreign origins. Thus making the origins of borrowed and reborrowed words in the Bengali vocabulary numerous and diverse, due to centuries of contact with various languages.

Classifications of origin types

Sources of modern literary Bengali words
  তদ্ভব Tôdbhôbô (native)
  তৎসম Tôtsômô (Sanskrit reborrowings)
  দেশী Deshi (indigenous loans) and বিদেশী Bideshi (foreign loans)

The typical Bengali dictionary lists 75,000 separate words, of which 50,000 (67%) are considered তৎসম tôtsômô (words directly reborrowed from Sanskrit), 21,100 (28%) are তদ্ভব tôdbhôbô (native Bengali vocabulary with Sanskrit cognates), and the rest being borrowings from দেশী deshi "indigenous (Austroasiatic)" and বিদেশী bideshi "foreign" sources.

However, these figures do not take into account the fact that a huge chunk of these words are archaic or highly technical, minimizing their actual usage. The productive vocabulary used in modern literary works, in fact, is made up mostly 67% of native tôdbhôbô words, while tôtsômô reborrowings only make up 25% of the total. Deshi and bideshi borrowings together make up the remaining 8% of the vocabulary used in modern Bengali literature.

Bold text==Differences in Vocabulary==

This table below compares the differences of spoken and used vocabularies in Bangladesh and West Bengal.

word Bangladesh West Bengal
water পানি pani জল jôl
salt লবণ lôbôn নুন nun
invitation দাওয়াত daoat নিমন্ত্রণ nimôntrôn
chili মরিচ môric লঙ্কা lôngka
home বাসা basha বাড়ি bari

Examples of borrowed words

Due to centuries of contact with Europeans, Mughals, Arabs, Persians, and East Asians, The Bengali language has absorbed countless words from foreign languages, often totally integrating these borrowings into the core vocabulary. The most common borrowings from foreign languages come from three different kinds of contact. After centuries of contact from Persia and the Middle East, followed by the invasions of the Mughal Empire, numerous Turkish, Arabic, and Persian words were absorbed and fully integrated into the lexicon. Later, East Asian travelers and European colonialism brought words from Portuguese, French, Dutch, and most significantly English. Some very common borrowings are shown below.

Austroasiatic languages (দেশী Deshi)

আলু alu potato
কালা kala deaf
কুড়ি kuŗi twenty
খুকি khuki girl
খোকা khoka boy
খোঁচা khõcha poke
খোঁজ khõj notice
চাল chal
চাউল chaul
rice grains, rise
চিংড়ি chingṛi shrimp
চুলা chula oven, stove
ঝিনুক jhinuk shell
ঝোল jhol gravy
ঠ্যাং ṭhæng leg
ঢোল ḍhol dhol
পেট peṭ belly
বোবা boba muteness
মাঠ maṭh field, open land
মুড়ি muṛi puffed rice

Sanskrit (সংস্কৃত Sôngskritô)

Word Meaning Original form
চাহিদা chahida demand चाहिदा chāhidā
স্বাগতম্ shagôtôm welcome स्वागतम् Svāgatam
নির্বান nirbanô Nirvana निर्वाण Nirvāṇa
যোগ jogô Yoga योग yóga
যোগী jogi practicer of Yoga योगिन् yogin
যৌন joun sex, sexual act यौन Yauna
আর্য্য arjyô Aryan आर्य ārya
আসন ashôn seat आसन āsana
আশ্রম ashrôm hermitage or monastery आश्रम āśrama
অবতার ôbôtar Avatar अवतार avatāra
আয়ুর্বেদ ayurbedô Ayurveda आयुर्वेद āyurveda
বন্ধন bôndhôn bondage बन्धन bandhana
বাসমতী bashmôti Basmati rice वास vāsa
ভাং bhang Bhang भङ्ग bhangga
খাট khat cot खट्वा khatvā
ধুতি dhuti Dhoti धुनोति dhunoti
লুঠ luth Looting लुण्टा luṇtā
মায়া maya Maya माया māyā
স্বামী shami master स्वामी svāmī
লাখ lakh Lakh लाक्षम् lākṣam
লক্ষ্মী lôkkhi Lakshmi लक्ष्मी lakṣmī
লক্ষ্মণ lôkkhôṇ Lakshmana लक्ष्मण lakṣmaṇa

Arabic (আরবি Arôbi)

Word Meaning Original form
আক্কেল akkel wisdom عقل ‘aql
আসল ashôl real أصل ’aṣl "root"
এলাকা ælaka area أﻻﻛﺔ ilākah
ওজন ojôn weight وزن wazn "scale"
কবর kôbôr grave قبر qabr
খবর khôbôr news خبر khabar
খালি khali empty خالي khālī
খেয়াল khæyal consideration خيال khyal
গরিব gôrib poor غريب gharīb "strange"
জবাব jôbab answer جواب jawāb
জমা jôma collect جمع jam‘
জিনিস jinish thing جنس jins "type, sex"
তারিখ tarikh date تاريخ tārīkh "history, date"
দুনিয়া duniya world دﻧﯿـا dunya
নকল nôkôl fake نقل naql
ফকির fôkir poor person فقير faqīr
বদল bôdôl exchange بدل badl
বাকী baki remaining بقي baqīy
সাহেব saheb sir صاحب ṣāḥib "friend"
হিসাব hishab calculation حساب ḥisāb

Persian (ফার্সি Farsi)

Word Meaning Original form
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আয়না ayna mirror آینه āynah
আরাম aram comfort آرام ārām
আস্তে aste slowly, softly آهسته āhistah "slowly"
কাগজ kagôj paper كاغذ kāghaz
খারাপ kharap bad خراب xarāb
খোদা khoda god خدا xoda
খুব khub very خوب xūb "good"
গরম gôrôm hot گرم garm
চশমা chôshma glasses چشم chashm "eye"
চাকুরি chakuri job چاکر chākar
চাদর chadôr blanket چادر chādur
জান jan dear جان jān
জায়গা jayga place جايگاه jāegāh
ডেগচি ḍegchi pot ديگچه dēgchah
দম dôm breath دم dam
দেরি deri late دير dēr
দোকান dokan store دكان dukān
পর্দা pôrda curtain پرده pardah
বদ bôd bad بد bad
বাগান bagan garden باغان bāghān
রাস্তা rasta road راسته rāstah
রোজ roj everyday روز rōz "day"
হিন্দু hindu Hindu هندو hindū
পছন্দ pôchhôndô like, appreciate پسند pasand

Turkish (তুর্কি Turki)

Word Meaning Original form
কোরমা korma korma korma
চকমক chôkmôk sparkle çakmak "flash"
দাদা dada elder brother dede
নানী nani maternal grandmother nine
বাবা baba father baba
বাবুর্চি baburchi cook, chef baburchi
বেগম begôm lady begüm

Japanese (জাপানি / নিহোঙ্গো Japani / Nihonggo )

Word Meaning Original form
বোকা boka Fool ばか "baka"
হাশি hashi Chopsticks hashi
ৎসুনামি tsunami Tsunami つなみ tsunami
আনিমে anime Anime アニメ anime
মাঙ্গা manga Manga マンガ manga
রিক্সা riksha Rickshaw 力車 rikisha
ওরিগামি origami Origami おりがみ origami
সুদোকু sudoku Sudoku 数独 sudoku
কারাওকে karaoke Karaoke カラオケ karaoke
হাইকু haiku Haiku 俳句 haiku
সুশি sushi Sushi すし sushi
রামেন ramen Ramen ラーメン ramen
কাবুশিকি গাইশা kabushiki gaisha stock exchange company 株式会社 kabushikigaisha

Dutch (ওলন্দাজ Olôndaj)

Word Meaning Original form
ইস্কাবন iskabôn
ইশকাপন ishkapôn
spades schoppen
ইস্ক্রুপ iskrup screw schroef
টেক্কা ṭêkka ace teca
তুরুপ turup trump troef
রুইতন ruitôn diamonds ruiten (lit. "windows")
হরতন hôrtôn hearts harten

Portuguese (পর্তুগিজ Pôrtugij)

Word Meaning Original form
আলমারি almari closet, cupboard armário
ইস্ত্রি istri
ইস্তিরি istiri
to iron estirar
ইস্পাত ispat steel espada "sword"
কামিজ kamij shirt camisa
গামলা gamla basket gamela "wooden trough"
চাবি chabi key chave
জানালা janala window janela
তাবাক tabak tobacco tobacco
পেরেক perek nail prego
ফিতা fita lace, ribbon fita
বারান্দা baranda verandah varanda
বালতি balti Bucket balde
বেহালা behala viola viola
বোতাম botam button botão
মেজ mej table mesa
সাবান saban soap sabão
কেদারা kedara chair cadeira
আতা ata custard apple ata
আনারস anarôs pineapple ananás
কাজু kaju cashew caju
কপি kôpi cabbage, cauliflower couve
পাউ pau sliced bread pão "bread"
পেঁপে pẽpe papaya papaia
পেয়ারা peyara guava pera "pear"
সাগু sagu sago sagu
সালাদ salad salad salada
ক্রুশ krush cross cruz
গির্জা girja church igreja
যিশু Jishu Jesus Jesu
পাদ্রি padri Catholic priest padre
ইংরেজ ingrej English inglês

French (ফরাসি Fôrasi)

Word Meaning Original form
আঁশ ãsh plant fiber asch
ওলন্দাজ olôndaj Dutch hollandaise
কার্তুজ kartuj cartridge cartouche
রেস্তোরাঁ restorã restaurant restaurant
শেমিজ shemij chemise chemise "shirt"
পাতি pati small petit

English (ইংরেজি Ingreji)

Word Original form
অফিস ôfis office
জেল jel jail
ডাক্তার ḍaktar doctor
পুলিশ pulish police
ব্যাংক bêngk bank
ভোট bhoṭ vote
ইস্কুল iskul
স্কুল skul
school
হাস্পাতাল haspatal hospital
কাপ kap cup
গ্লাস glas glass
চেয়ার cheyar chair
টেবিল ṭebil table
বাক্স baksô box
লণ্ঠন lônṭhôn lantern
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