How to Learn the Bengali Language

by Cecelia

A list of materials and resources to learn the Bengali language

Learning the Bengali language can be difficult because of a lack of suitable learning materials. But there are some good books, CDs and software products available that you can use to learn. I will point you to some free and paid resources to learn Bengali.

Bengali, also known as Bangla, is the language spoken in Bangladesh and the state of West Bengal in India. More than 200 million people speak Bengali making it the 7th most widely spoken language in the world.

Bengali Tutorials

Complete Bengali: A Teach Yourself Guide by William Radice is a great place to start learning Bengali. There is a version that comes with two CDs that can be harder to find. But even without the CDs, this is still a very good introductory book. It starts by teaching the phonetic sound of each letter in the Bengali alphabet. It also has grammar and conversations.

A somewhat similar book is Colloquial Bengali by Mithun B. Nasrin and W.A.M Van Der Wurff.

Introduction to Bengali by Edward Dimock is an excellent tutorial that can either be purchased or downloaded for free (see below for the link).

Complete Bengali: A Teach Yourself Guide (Teach Yourself Language)

It's easy to teach yourself Bengali with this clear and comprehensive approach.

Only $166.98

View on Amazon

Boy in Bangladesh
Boy in Bangladesh

Language Lizard Bengali Products

Language Lizard has a lot of Bengali books and learning products for children, including dual language English Bengali books. Children's foreign language learning materials can be very useful to adult learners as well. Language Lizard has lots of Bengali books and CDs. Exploring Bengali is a Bengali learning DVD for children and My Talking Dictionary: Book and CD Rom is good for both child and adult learners. The website also offers dual language English and Bengali books and stories on CDs.

Software Products

Software is a great way to work on your Bengali pronunciation because you can usually click on a word over and over until you get the sound right. Two decent Bengali software products are 101 Languages of the World by Transparent Language and Talk Now! Bengali by Eurotalk Interactive.

Hindi, Urdu & Bengali Phrasebook

Lonely Planet phrasebooks give you a comprehensive mix of practical and social words and phrases.

$6.96  $9.99

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Bengali (Bangla) Dictionary & Phrasebook (Bengali Edition)

$9.99  $3.59

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101 Languages of the World

Includes the Bengali language.

Only $9.99

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Phrase Books

Phrase books are a great way to learn day-to-day phrases and are very helpful if you plan to travel to a Bengali speaking area. There are a few different options for phrase books:

Hindi, Urdu & Bengali: Lonely Planet Phrasebook by Richard Delacy and Shahara Ahmed.

Bengali (Bangla) Dictionary & Phrasebook by Hanne-Ruth Thompson

Bengali Phrasebook by Bimal Maity. This is a great little book but it's now out of print. You can still buy it from from third party vendors.

Free Bengali Learning Resources - this is a free flashcard software that supports dozens of languages including Bengali. Download the free working copy of Byki Express, which does not expire. Go to List Central in the top menu to find even more flashcards, which can be downloaded and installed.

Introduction to Bengali: This is a free online version of Introduction to Bengali by Edward C. Dimock. This is an excellent Bengali grammar tutorial. is a free website that has an excellent introduction to Bengali grammar. It is the best place for new learners to start.

Bengali Word of the Day
Receive a word of the day by email. This is a very good way to help build your vocabulary. It includes audio pronunciation.

Bengali Travel Phrases
Click on the Bangladeshi flag to find the Bengali phrases.

Learn Bengali Blog
This blog has Bengali vocabulary and sentences.

YouTube has several Bengali learning videos. Simply type Bengali into the search.

Updated: 02/10/2013, Cecelia
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