Hey all, I thought that since today is Hortal, sorry I have been mis-spelling hartal until this week when I found out the Bangla can’t pronounce some letters and its pronounced Har-tal. SMH (that’s for you Alex and Rochelle). As I promised here is a list of some common words we have been getting to know while we are here. Some basic rules on pronunciation, every time you see a letter S you pronounce it sh. There are four different ways to pronounce the letter D and T, and there are a total of 49 letters, we think, its hard to draw a line. The script looks like Arabic and Mandarin mixed together, it’s quite beautiful.
Vowels
Consonants
Conjuncts
Modifiers
This is an example of a good portion of the letters and conjuncts in the Bangali language. There are many more characters, well over 100 that combine multiple letters into one. Its daunting enough to learn the pronunciations let alone ways to pronounce the letter "D" four different ways by altering your tongue position slightly.
Colors aren’t too bad, they use the color green and red a lot to describe different foods like lal shak is red spinach (even though it isn’t spinach at all its amaranth, same family but still) and shobuj kola for green banana.
English
Red 
Orange 
Yellow
Bright Green
Green 
Terquoise 
Blue 
Purple 
Brown 
White 
Black 
Bangla
Lal 
Komola 
Holud 
Tia 
Shobuj 
Firoza 
Neel 
Begun 
Badami 
Shada 
Kolo 
Pronunciation

Ko-mo-la 
Hoe-lud 

Show-boo-j 
Fear-o-za 

Bay-goon 
Ba-dam-i 
Sha-da 

The days of the week are a little off especially Thursday. The work week here is six days Saturday-Thursday as Friday is the Muslim holy day. Some people in really good jobs get Saturday off too but it’s kind of rare. Every Friday we get our housekeeper flowers as she is Muslim and has to work, we call them flower Fridays or Fol (pronounced fool) Shokrobar in Bangla; she gets the biggest smile.
English
Saturday 
Sunday 
Monday 
Tuesday 
Wednesday 
Thursday 
Friday 
Bangla
Shonibar 
Robibar 
Shombar 
Mongolbar
Budhbar
Brioshpoti bar 
Shukrobar 
Pronunciation
Show-nee-bar 
Roe-bee-bar 
Shom-bar 
Mongol-bar 
Bood-bar 
Bree-osh-poe-t bar 
Shoe-crow-bar 
Food is interesting, they eat very few raw fruits and veggies as you can get really sick if you don’t sanitize them properly, refer to the poo post a few weeks back. Here is a list of common fruits and veggies. Something we have been becoming aware of is the use of Formalin in fruits to preserve them. Formalin is a derivative of formaldehyde. It’s a common practice in Asia to use small amounts to help the fruits stay fresh on their way to market as refrigeration is a rare and unreliable thing here. When used in larger quantities (there is not FDA to regulate food safety here) it can cause extreme sickness, liver failure, and death. There was a big problem a few years ago and a few people were tried and put to death actually to make an example. It wasn’t an issue any more until this year when in Dhaka there was a terrible formalin poisoning event where a bunch of people became violently ill from eating lychees and other fruits loaded with the stuff. Anyway be glad you are in the states and don’t have to think twice about how your food is preserved, I’ll take food grade wax any day. BTW the veggie above is called cicinga or snake gourd in English, its awesome.
English
Cucumber 
Potato 
Garlic 
Onion 
Indian Spinach 
Green Bean
Okra 
Tomato 
Eggplant 
Chili 
Banana 
Papaya 
Pineapple 
Mango 
Watermelon 
Coconut 
Bangla
Sosha 
Aloo 
Rosun 
Piaj 
Shobuj Shak 
Barboti 
Dherosh 
Tomato 
Begun 
Lonka 
Kola 
Pepe 
Anarosh 
Am
Tarmuj 
Narikel 
Pronunciation
So-sha 
Al-loo 
Ro-soon 
P-yaj 
Show-boo-j Sh-aak 
Bar-bo-ti 
Dher-osh 

Bay-goon 
Lon-ka 
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-
Ana-rosh 

Tar-muj 
Nar-i-kel  
Some helpful phrases we have come to know and love. The bangle have no use for pleasantries, so you don’t say, “May I please have a cup of coffee,” you say, “I require coffee.” It’s really odd and I find myself saying thank you whenever we leave a store only to have the shop keeper look at me like I’m even more of a bedeshi (not from this country, or as I like to think of it, outlander).
English
How much? 
I require coffee/tea 
What is your name 
My name is ____
Cold/hot water 
Very hot water 
lukewarm water 
Hello (Hindu) 
Hello (Muslim) 
No 
Yes 
Thank you 
I don’t understand 
I don’t need  
Bangla
Dom koto 
Coffee/ch lagbe
Apnar nam ki 
Apni nam ____
Tanda/gorum pani 
Beshi gorum pani 
Com gorum pani 
Nomoshkar 
Assalam aleikum 
Na 
Ji 
Dhonnobad 
Bhuji na 
Lagbe na 
Pronunciation

 -
 -
 -
 -
 -
 -
 No-mo-shkar 
 As-a-lam wal-lie-kum 
 - 
 Gee 
 Dough-no-baad 
 Bu-gee na 
 Log-bay na 
The numbers for some reason are proving to be quite a challenge for some reason. The most interesting thing is that there is some odd pattern to number names. In English it’s just the 10’s place + the one’s place. Here the numbers follow a rough pattern, for example, 29, 39, 49, 59 are unotrish, unochollish, unoponchash, unoshayt; however, 99 isn’t part of that pattern it’s not unoeksho like the rest of the _9’s but rather its niranobboi. Go figure.
English
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
20
30
40
50
60
70
80
90
100
200
300
400
500
600
700
800
900
1000
Bangla
Ek 
Sho 
Tin 
Char 
Pach 
Choy 
Shat 
At 
Noi 
Dosh 
Bish 
Trish 
Chollish 
Ponchash 
Shayt 
Shottor 
Ashi 
Nobboi 
Ek-sho 
Dui-sho 
Tin-sho 
Char-sho 
Pach-sho 
Choy-sho 
Shat-sho 
At-sho
Noi-sho 
Ek-hazar 
Pronunciation
 - 
 - 
 - 
 - 
 Posh 
 - 
 - 
 Ot
 No-e 
 - 
 Bee-sh 
 - 
 Cho-lish 
 Pon-cha-sh
 Sha-yacht 
 Show-tor 

No-boi 
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-
-
-
-
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Comments

10/04/2013 9:03am

Winning is a habit.

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