Bengali character notes

Updated 18 January, 2019 • tags bengali, scriptnotes

This page lists characters in the following Unicode block and provides information about them.

This is not authoritative, peer-reviewed information – these are just notes I have gathered and copied from various places.

For a summary of the script and its use in writing systems, see the page Bengali script summary. For similar information related to other scripts, see this list.

We have usage data for the following 2 languages that use the Bengali script: Assamese, Bangla.

The Bengali text transliterations follow a method used by Radice3, except that conjuncts are not underlined. This transcription method is slightly more indicative of pronunciation than the ISO method.

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Information about languages that use these characters is taken from the list maintained for the Character Use app. The list is not exhaustive.

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Various signs

U+0981 BENGALI SIGN CANDRABINDU

Bengali consonant, ~, cɔndrôbindu চন্দ্রবিন্দু

Appears over the top of an independent vowel, but over the basic consonant when a vowel sign is attached, not over the vowel sign, eg. হ্যাঁ h͓ýɑm̽ hæ̃ yes, হাঁপান hɑm̽pɑn hɑ̃pɑn to pant.

In the sequence of characters, this should occur after any combining vowel sign associated with the same syllable.

ʧɔndrobindu means moon dot.

Refs: [1] [Daniels] p399-402 [2] [Radice] p19-20 [3] Wikipedia: Bengali Script

U+0982 BENGALI SIGN ANUSVARA

Bengali consonant, ɱ, ônusvar অনুস্বার or ônusvôr অনুস্বর

eg. বাংলা bɑŋ̽lɑ bɑŋlɑ Bengali (language).

In the sequence of characters, this should occur after any combining vowel sign associated with the same syllable. It never has a vowel sign.

Sometimes spelling is inconsistent, especially when this or [U+0999 BENGALI LETTER NGA] are used in a conjunct, eg. সাঙঘাতিক ʃ̈ɑŋgʰɑtik or সাংঘাতিক ʃ̈ɑŋ̽gʰɑtik ʃɑŋɡʰɑtik terrible; রঙ or রং rŋ̽ rɔŋ colour.

However, in certain words the spelling is fixed. বাংলা is one such word. However, since this cannot support vowel signs, the word for Bengali nation (rather than language) has to be spelled with [U+0999 BENGALI LETTER NGA], ie. বাঙালী bɑŋɑlī bɑŋgɑlī.

Refs: [1] [Daniels] p399-402 [2] [Radice] p13-14 [3] Wikipedia: Bengali Script

U+0983 BENGALI SIGN VISARGA

Bengali consonant, , bisɔrgô বিসর্গ

This sign has two different effects:

  • Lengthening the following consonant, eg. নিঃশব্দ nih̽ʃb͓d niʃʃɔbdo silence. There is no aspiration.
  • Producing vigorous final aspiration, eg. বাঃ bɑh̽ bɑːɦ left.

The only common colloquial words containing this sign are বাঃ bɑh̽ bɑːɦ left and দুঃখ duh̽kʰ dukkʰo sorrow.

In the sequence of characters, this should occur after any combining vowel sign associated with the same syllable.

Refs: [1] [Daniels] p399-402 [2] [Radice] p255 [3] Wikipedia: Bengali Script

U+09BC BENGALI SIGN NUKTA

• for extending the alphabet to new letters

Bengali mark, nukta

For extending the alphabet to create more characters. Used in the following combinations:

In the sequence of characters in a syllable, this comes before any combining vowel sign or virama.

U+09BD BENGALI SIGN AVAGRAHA

U+09D7 BENGALI AU LENGTH MARK

Bengali mark, length mark

Not used alone. Provided for compatibility with character sets that represent  ৌ [U+09CC BENGALI VOWEL SIGN AU] as two characters.

Refs: [1] The Unicode Standard 5.2 p313

U+09FA BENGALI ISSHAR

= ishvar
• represents the name of a deity
= svargiya
• written before the name of a deceased person

Bengali symbol

Placed before a dead person's name.

Refs: [1] [Bhattacharya]

Virama

U+09CD BENGALI SIGN VIRAMA

= hasant (Bengali term for halant)

Bengali mark, bisɔrgô বিসর্গ

Used between two consonants in a conjunct, in which case it is usually invisible, but sometimes not. Where not, it is usually because the font doesn't have a particular conjunct ligature, but it may also be visible in places where the phonology is unusual, eg. ফ্‌ল্যাট phlæʈ flat; লান্‌চ lanc lunch (though these may also be spelled with conjuncts, eg. ফ্ল্যাট phlæʈ flat). It is also quite common to see উদ্‌যাপন to distinguish it from words like উদ্যান. These words are etymologically related, but distinct phonetically.

This character should always be positioned before any combining vowel mark in memory.

Refs: [1] [Daniels] p399-402 [2] [Radice] p95 [3] Wikipedia: Bengali Script; [4] [Bhattacharya]

Consonants

Basic consonants

U+0995 BENGALI LETTER KA

Bengali consonant, k,

eg. কলম klm kɔlom pen.

Conjuncts with unusual pronunciations:

ক্ষ k͓ʃ̇, when initial, eg. ক্ষুদ্র k͓ʃ̇ud͓r kʰudro small. kːʰ in the middle of a word. Note: this conjunct is called khiyɔ and is often treated as a letter of the alphabet in that some dictionaries give it it's own section.

ক্ষ্ন k͓ʃ͓̇n, kkʰn

ক্ষ্ম k͓ʃ͓̇m, kkʰ

ক্ষ্য k͓ʃ͓̇ý, kkʰ

Refs: [1] [Daniels] p400 [2] [Radice] pp16, 17, 32, 265-270 [3] Wikipedia: Bengali Script

U+0996 BENGALI LETTER KHA

Bengali consonant, kh, khɔ

eg. খবর kʰbr kʰɔbor news.

Refs: [1] [Daniels] p400 [2] [Radice] pp12-13 [3] Wikipedia: Bengali Script

U+0997 BENGALI LETTER GA

Bengali consonant, g,

eg. গতকাল gtkɑl gɔtokɑl yesterday.

Shape variants. When combined with  ু [U+09C1 BENGALI VOWEL SIGN U] the form গু is common in handwriting and older typefaces. The u can also be written below the consonant, especially in newspapers, ie. গ‌ু.

Refs: [1] [Daniels] p400 [2] [Radice] pp3,4 [3] Wikipedia: Bengali Script

U+0998 BENGALI LETTER GHA

Bengali consonant, gh, ghɔ

eg. ঘর gʰr gʰɔr room, house.

Refs: [1] [Daniels] p400 [2] [Radice] p42 [3] Wikipedia: Bengali Script

U+0999 BENGALI LETTER NGA

Bengali consonant, ŋ, uŋɔ

Some speakers will pronounce a hard ɡ in a word like বাঙালী bɑŋɑlī bɑŋɡɑliː Bengali, while others will either soften it or omit it.

Refs: [1] [Daniels] p400 [2] [Radice] pp9, 10 [3] Wikipedia: Bengali Script

U+099A BENGALI LETTER CA

Bengali consonant, c,

eg. চক্র ck͓r t͡ʃɔkro wheel.

Conjuncts with unusual pronunciations:

চ্ছ্ব c͓cʰ͓b, ccʰ

Refs: [1] [Daniels] p400 [2] [Radice] pp35, 265-270 [3] Wikipedia: Bengali Script

U+099B BENGALI LETTER CHA

Bengali consonant, ch, chɔ

eg. ছাতা cʰɑtɑ t͡ʃʰɑtɑ umbrella.

Aspiration is stronger at the beginning of a word than in the middle or at the end.

s when pronounced by some people.

Conjuncts with unusual pronunciations:

চ্ছ্ব c͓cʰ͓b, ccʰ

Refs: [1] [Daniels] p400 [2] [Radice] pp19-20, 265-270 [3] Wikipedia: Bengali Script

U+099C BENGALI LETTER JA

Bengali consonant, j, bôr͟gīyô jɔ বর্গীয় জ

eg. জগৎ ʤgt̽ ʤɔɡot world.

z In Bangladesh this can sound more like z, especially in words of Perso-Arabic origin, eg. নামাজ nɑmɑʤ prayers, pronounced namaz.

Unusual conjunct pronunciations:

জ্ঞ , ɡ at the beginning of a word, eg. জ্ঞান ʤ͓ñɑn knowledge, pronounced ɡæn, or ɡɡ between vowels, eg. বিজ্ঞান biʤ͓ñɑn science, pronounced biɡɡæn. (Note how it also changes a following a to æ.)

জ্জ্ব ʤ͓ʤ͓b, jj

Refs: [1] [Daniels] p400 [2] [Radice] pp 25, 26, 82, 265-270 [3] Wikipedia: Bengali Script

U+099D BENGALI LETTER JHA

Bengali consonant, jh, jhɔ

eg. ঝড় ʤʰɖˑ ʤʰɔɽ storm.

Refs: [1] [Daniels] p400 [2] [Radice] pp 38 [3] Wikipedia: Bengali Script

U+099E BENGALI LETTER NYA

Bengali consonant, ñ, niyô / iyô

It is pronounced the same as .

Its use independently, in words like গাঞি gɑñi ɡɑni, is very rare 4. Usually only used in conjuncts such as ñc, ñj, ñjh, , etc.

Unusual conjunct pronunciations:

জ্ঞ ʤ͓ñ, ɡ at the beginning of a word, eg. জ্ঞান ʤ͓ñɑn knowledge, pronounced ɡæn, or ɡɡ between vowels, eg. বিজ্ঞান biʤ͓ñɑn science, pronounced biɡɡæn. (Note how it also changes a following a to æ.)

Refs: [1] [Daniels] p400 [2] [Radice] pp 44, 82 [3] Wikipedia: Bengali Script; [4] Correspondance [Bhattacharya]

U+099F BENGALI LETTER TTA

Bengali consonant, ʈ, ʈɔ

eg. টাকা ʈɑkɑ ʈɑkɑ money.

Note that Bengali retroflex consonants do not involve the tongue being curled around or pointed vertically upwards, as in other Indic languages. The tip of the tongue is touched against the alveolar ridge.

Refs: [1] [Daniels] p400 [2] [Radice] p 23 [3] Wikipedia: Bengali Script

U+09A0 BENGALI LETTER TTHA

Bengali consonant, ʈh, ʈhɔ

eg. ঠাণ্ডা ʈʰɑn͓̈ɖɑ ʈʰɑnɖɑ cold.

Refs: [1] [Daniels] p400 [2] [Radice] p38 [3] Wikipedia: Bengali Script

U+09A1 BENGALI LETTER DDA

Bengali consonant, ɖ, ɖɔ

eg. ডাক্তার ɖɑk͓tɑr ɖɑktɑr doctor.

ɽ with [U+09BC BENGALI SIGN NUKTA]. See [U+09DC BENGALI LETTER RRA].

Refs: [1] [Daniels] p400 [2] Wikipedia: Bengali Script [3] [Radice] p28, 29

U+09A2 BENGALI LETTER DDHA

Bengali consonant, ɖh, ɖhɔ ɖh

eg. ঢেউ ɖʰeụ ɖʰeu wave.

Rather uncommon, even though it is used in the name of the Bangladeshi capital, ঢাকা ɖʰɑkɑ ɖʰɑkɑ, and some other quite common words4.

ɽ or ɽh with U+09BC BENGALI SIGN NUKTA. See  ঢ় [U+09DD BENGALI LETTER RHA.

Refs: [1] [Daniels] p400 [2] [Radice] pp38, 39 [3] Wikipedia: Bengali Script; [4] Correspondance [Bhattacharya]

U+09A3 BENGALI LETTER NNA

Bengali consonant, ɳ, mūrdhônyô ɳɔ মূর্ধন্য ণ

eg. হরিণ hrin̈ horin deer. This is pronounced exactly the same as dɔntyô nɔ.

Unusual conjunct pronunciations:

হ্ণ h͓n̈, nh or nn

Refs: [1] [Daniels] p400 [2] [Radice] p32 [3] Wikipedia: Bengali Script

U+09A4 BENGALI LETTER TA

Bengali consonant, t,

eg. তারা tɑrɑ tɑrɑ star. The tongue is further forward than the English t.

Unusual conjunct pronunciations:

ত্ম tm,

ত্ব tb,

ত্ম্য tmy̌,

স্ত্য sty̌, stː

Special vowel combinations: The syllable ntu can be written in modern typefaces with the u below the nt conjunct, but in older print a special arrangement incorporates all three sounds together, eg. কিন্তু kin͓tu kintu but.

The combination tru is represented by ত্রু.

Khanda ta In some words a that has no following inherent or other vowel may have a shape like . It is called খণ্ড ত kʰn͓̈ɖ t kʰɔnɖo tɔ. It either comes at the end of words, eg. হঠাৎ hʈʰɑt̽ hɔʈʰɑt suddenly, or before a consonant that doesn't naturally combine with , eg. উৎসব ụt̽ʃ̈b utʃɔb festival. Many such words, however, use . It's not possible to say which will be used.

Unicode 4.1 added a separate character for khɔɳɖȏ tɔ, [U+09CE BENGALI LETTER KHANDA TA], which should be used when this shape is needed. (This replaces a previous approach that required the use of [U+09A4 BENGALI LETTER TA] +  ্ [U+09CD BENGALI SIGN VIRAMA] + U+200D ZERO WIDTH JOINER.)

Refs: [1] [Daniels] p400 [2] [Radice] pp23, 39 [3] Wikipedia: Bengali Script

U+09A5 BENGALI LETTER THA

Bengali consonant, th, thɔ

eg. থামা tʰɑmɑ tʰɑmɑ to stop.

When the English sound 'th' as in 'thin' is transliterated into Bengali, this is the sound that is used.

Unusual conjunct pronunciations:

থ্ব tʰ͓b, ttʰ

Refs: [1] [Daniels] p400 [2] [Radice] pp28, 265-270 [3] Wikipedia: Bengali Script

U+09A6 BENGALI LETTER DA

Bengali consonant, d,

eg. দাদী dɑdī dɑdiː grandmother. Produced with the teeth firmly against the top front teeth.

When the English sound 'th' as in 'then' is transliterated into Bengali, this is the sound that is used.

Unusual conjunct pronunciations.

দ্ম d͓m dd

দ্ব d͓b dd

দ্ব্য d͓b͓ý dd

Refs: [1] [Daniels] p400 [2] [Radice] pp9,10, 265-270 [3] Wikipedia: Bengali Script

U+09A7 BENGALI LETTER DHA

Bengali consonant, dh, dhɔ

eg. ধন্যবাদ dʰn͓ýbɑd dʰonjobɑd thank you.

Unusual conjunct pronunciations.

ধ্ব dʰ͓b, ddʰ

Refs: [1] [Daniels] p400 [2] [Radice] pp42, 265-270 [3] Wikipedia: Bengali Script

U+09A8 BENGALI LETTER NA

Bengali consonant, n, dɔntyô nɔ দন্ত্য ন

eg. নদী ndī nodiː river.

Special vowel combinations. The syllable ntu can be written in modern typefaces with the u below the nt conjunct, but in older print a special arrangement incorporates all three sounds together, eg. কিন্তু kin͓tu kintu but.

Unusual conjunct pronunciations.

হ্ণ h͓n̈, nh or nn

হ্ন h͓n, nh or nn

Refs: [1] [Daniels] p400 [2] [Radice] pp3, 4, 265-270 [3] Wikipedia: Bengali Script

U+09AA BENGALI LETTER PA

Bengali consonant, p,

eg. পথ ptʰ pɔtʰ path, road.

Refs: [1] [Daniels] p400 [2] [Radice] p31 [3] Wikipedia: Bengali Script

U+09AB BENGALI LETTER PHA

Bengali consonant, ph, phɔ

pf or or f, eg. ফটো pʰʈo pfoʈo photo.

Some pronounce as with aspiration, but many (especially in Bangladesh) pronounce more like f. In West Bengal it is more like the pf in the German 'pfennig', and this is a fairly standard rendering.

Refs: [1] [Daniels] p400 [2] [Radice] p28 [3] Wikipedia: Bengali Script

U+09AC BENGALI LETTER BA

= Bengali va, wa

Bengali consonant, b or v,

b when not in a conjunct, eg. বড় bɖˑ bɔɽo big. The v in Sanskrit has disappeared in Bengali, to be replaced by b, eg. বিষ্ণু biʃ͓̇n̈u biʃnu Vishnu.

Called bɔ-pfɔlɑ ব-ফলা when non-initial in conjuncts, when it has one of the following two pronunciations.

in word initial in a conjunct, eg. স্বামী ʃ͓̈bɑmī ʃɑmiː husband, or জ্বর ʤ͓br ʤɔr fever.

Lengthens consonants in conjuncts between vowels, eg. বিশ্ব biʃ͓b biʃʃo universe.

Note that it is still pronounced b sometimes in ম্ব conjuncts in words of English or Sanskrit origin, eg. নম্বর nm͓br nɔmbor number. By contrast, the Bengali word সম্বন্ধে ʃ̈m͓bn͓dʰe about is pronounced ʃɔmmɔndʰe.

Unusual conjunct pronunciations.

চ্ছ্ব c͓cʰ͓b, ccʰ

জ্জ্ব ʤ͓ʤ͓b, jj

ত্ব t͓b, tt

থ্ব tʰ͓b, ttʰ

দ্ব d͓b, dd

দ্ব্য d͓b͓ý, dd

ধ্ব dʰ͓b, ddʰ

ম্ব m͓b, mm or mb

শ্ব ʃ͓b, ʃʃ

হ্ব h͓b, don't quite understand this - seems to be 'v'

Refs: [1] [Daniels] p400 [2] [Radice] pp3, 4, 26, 249, 265-270 [3] Wikipedia: Bengali Script

U+09AD BENGALI LETTER BHA

Bengali consonant, bh, bhɔ

eg. ভাল bʰɑl bʰɑlo good.

Refs: [1] [Daniels] p400 [2] [Radice] p35 [3] Wikipedia: Bengali Script

U+09AE BENGALI LETTER MA

Bengali consonant, m,

eg. মজার mʤɑr mɔʤɑr funny.

Lengthens consonants as the final letter in a conjunct.

Unusual conjunct pronunciations.

ক্ষ্ম k͓ʃ͓̇m kkʰ

ত্ম t͓m tt

ত্ম্য t͓m͓ý tt

দ্ম d͓m dd

ম্ব m͓b mm or mb

ল্ম l͓m ll

শ্ম ʃ͓m ʃʃ

ষ্ম ʃ͓̇m ʃʃ

স্ম ʃ͓̈m ʃʃ with perhaps some nasalisation of the preceding vowel, eg. ভস্ম bʰʃ͓̈m bʰɔ̃ʃʃo XXXX; or with a vocalic r vowel sign s, eg. স্মৃতি ʃ͓̈mr̥ti sriti memories.

হ্ম h͓m mh or mm

Refs: [1] [Daniels] p400 [2] [Radice] pp3, 4, 265-270 [3] Wikipedia: Bengali Script

U+09AF BENGALI LETTER YA

Bengali consonant, , ɔntɔḥsthô y̌ɔ অন্তঃস্থ য

ʤ at the beginning of a word, eg. যখন ýkʰn ʤɔkʰon when. In Bangladesh this can sound more like z, especially in words of Perso-Arabic origin.

When it occurs as the last member of a consonant cluster it has a special shape yaphala, and is called ʤɔ-pfɔlɑ য-ফলা.

Conjunct pronunciations.

  • Lengthens consonants when non-initial in a cluster, eg. জন্য ʤn͓ý ʤɔnno for.
  • æ when followed by the vowel sign a-kar, eg. হ্যাঁ h͓ýɑm̽ hæ̃ yes or ব্যাঙ্ক b͓ýɑŋ͓k bæŋk bank. There are exceptions to the previous rule, when the a-kar produces its normal value, eg. ব্যাখ্যা b͓ýɑkʰ͓ýɑ bækkʰa explanation and সন্ধ্যা ʃ̈n͓dʰ͓ýɑ ʃonddʰa evening.
  • æ when there is no vowel sign and the following syllable is not i, eg. ব্যথা b͓ýtʰɑ bætʰɑ pain.
  • e when there is no vowel sign and the following syllable is i, eg. ব্যক্তি b͓ýk͓ti bekti person.

Unusual conjunct pronunciations.

ক্ষ্য k͓ʃ͓̇ý kkʰ

ত্ম্য t͓m͓ý tt

দ্ব্য d͓b͓ý dd

স্ত্য ʃ͓̈t͓ý stt

হ্য h͓ý jj

Conjuncts formed with y̌ɔ-phɔla are unusual because the y̌ɔ-phɔla is reduced but not the preceding base, eg. + = ক্য. This is the default form when y̌ɔ-phɔla follows  ্ [U+09CD BENGALI SIGN VIRAMA].

Conjuncts with RA.

An exception to the rule for shaping of y̌ɔ-phɔla can occur when [U+09B0 BENGALI LETTER RA] is the first letter in the conjunct. This combination is typically rendered using the reph and a full ɔntɔḥsthô y̌ɔ, ie. র্য, but may be rendered using the ordinary y̌ɔ-phɔla form after a full form , ie.

+ = র্য or র‌্য

The Unicode Standard clarifies how to address this. Use U+200D ZERO WIDTH JOINER to consistently produce the second form, as shown below:

+ virama + = র্য

+ zwj + virama + = র‌্য

Following independent vowels.y̌ɔ-phɔla can also be used after independent vowels, eg. অ্যাটর্নি ɔ̣͓ýɑʈr͓ni ɔæʈorni attorney, হোয়াটসঅ্যাপ hoýˑɑʈʃ̈ɔ̣͓ýɑp hoyɑʈʃɔæp WhatsApp, and এ্যাডভোকেট ẹ͓ýɑɖbʰokeʈ eæɖbʰokeʈ advocate. This creates an independent form of the sound æ, combining the which represents that sound with a base vowel. It appears to be used mostly in transliterations of borrowed words.

With nukta.j, e, w when followed by  ় [U+09BC BENGALI SIGN NUKTA]. See [U+09DF BENGALI LETTER YYA].

Refs: [1] [Daniels] p400 [2] [Radice] pp13, 25-26, 265-270 [3] Wikipedia: Bengali Script

U+09B0 BENGALI LETTER RA

Bengali consonant, r,

eg. রওয়া rọýˑɑ rowɑ to remain. Rolled, but at the end of a word in particular the tongue only flaps once or twice.

Note that there is no decomposition for this character, even though it looks like other characters with nukta.

Conjunct appearance. When it occurs as the second element in a conjunct it is typically written as a wavy horizontal line, so + = ব্র, eg. যাত্রা ýɑt͓rɑ ʤɑtrɑ journey. This mark is called rɔ-pfɔlɑ র-ফলা.

When it occurs as the first element in a conjunct it is typically written as a diagonal stroke above the consonant that follows it, so + = র্য, eg. বর্ণ br͓n̈ bɔrno colour. This mark is called repf রেফ.

Unusual vowel combinations. To avoid clashing with the dot, the vowel sign for u appears to the side when attached to , ie. রু. Similarly, the vowel sign for ū appears to the side, ie. রূ, when attached to , eg. ভুরু bʰuru bʰuru eyebrow.

Refs: [1] [Daniels] p400 [2] [Radice] pp3, 4, 33, 265-270 [3] Wikipedia: Bengali Script

U+09B2 BENGALI LETTER LA

Bengali consonant, l,

eg. লওয়া lọýˑɑ lɔowɑ to take. Never a dark l.

Unusual conjunct pronunciations.

ল্ম l͓m ll

Refs: [1] [Daniels] p400 [2] [Radice] pp3, 4, 265-270 [3] Wikipedia: Bengali Script

U+09B6 BENGALI LETTER SHA

Bengali consonant, ʃ, talôbyô ʃɔ তালব্য শ

eg. শাপ ʃɑp ʃɑp curse.

s possible in Bangladesh, or in English words that use the sound s.

Unusual conjunct pronunciations.

শ্ম ʃ͓m ʃʃ

শ্র ʃ͓rsr

শ্ব ʃ͓b ʃʃ

Unusual vowel combinations. When combining with u the form শু is common in handwriting and older typefaces, eg. শুধু ʃudʰu ʃudʰu only. The u can also be written below the consonant, especially in newspapers.

Refs: [1] [Daniels] p400 [2] [Radice] pp9,10, 265-270 [3] Wikipedia: Bengali Script

U+09B7 BENGALI LETTER SSA

Bengali consonant, ʂ, mūrdhnyô ʂɔ মূর্ধন্য ষ

eg. ষড়যন্ত্র ʃ̇ɖˑýn͓t͓r ʃɔɽod͡ʒɔntro conspiracy.

Unusual conjunct pronunciations.

ক্ষ k͓ʃ̇ kkʰ

ক্ষ্ন k͓ʃ͓̇n kkʰn

ক্ষ্ম k͓ʃ͓̇m kkʰ

ক্ষ্য k͓ʃ͓̇ý kkʰ

ষ্ম ʃ͓̇m ʃʃ

Refs: [1] [Daniels] p400 [2] [Radice] pp9,10, 265-270 [3] Wikipedia: Bengali Script

U+09B8 BENGALI LETTER SA

Bengali consonant, s, dɔntyô sɔ দন্ত্য স s

eg. সকাল ʃ̈kɑl ʃɔkɑl morning.

s possible in Bangladesh, or in English words that use the sound s.

Conjunct pronunciations. Typically pronounced s in the following conjuncts:

স্ত ʃ͓̈t st

স্থ ʃ͓̈tʰ stʰ

স্ন ʃ͓̈n sn

স্ত্র ʃ͓̈t͓r str

স্ম ʃ͓̈m ʃʃ may involve some nasalisation of the preceding vowel, eg. ভস্ম bʰʃ͓̈m bʰɔ̃ʃʃo XXXX; but s when this conjunct is followed by a vocalic r vowel sign , eg. স্মৃতি ʃ͓̈mr̥ti sriti memory.

Refs: [1] [Daniels] p400 [2] [Radice] pp9,10, 265-270 [3] Wikipedia: Bengali Script

U+09B9 BENGALI LETTER HA

Bengali consonant, h,

eg. হল hl hɔl (student) hall.

Unusual conjunct pronunciations.

হ্ণ h͓n̈ nh or nn

হ্ন h͓n nh or nn

হ্ম h͓m mh or mm

হ্য h͓ý jj

হ্ব h͓b hu or ho or hb, depending on the speaker.

Shape variants. hṛ traditionally looks like হৃ, although modern computer typefaces tend to put the normal vowel sign under the consonant, eg. হৃদয় hr̥dýˑ hridɔj heart.

Also, hu traditionally looks like হু.

Refs: [1] [Daniels] p400 [2] [Radice] p25 [3] Wikipedia: Bengali Script; [4] Corrrespondance [Bhattacharya]

Additional consonants

U+09CE BENGALI LETTER KHANDA TA

• a dead consonant form of ta, without implicit vowel, used in some sequences

Bengali consonant, , khɔɳɖȏ tɔ খণ্ড ত্‌

The tongue is further forward than the English t.

This is a variant form of that was added to Unicode 4.1 as a separate character and should be used when this shape is needed. (This replaces an earlier approach that required the use of [U+09A4 BENGALI LETTER TA] +  ্ [U+09CD BENGALI SIGN VIRAMA] + U+200D ZERO WIDTH JOINER.)

In some words a that has no following inherent or other vowel may have this shape. It either comes at the end of words, eg. হঠাৎ hʈʰɑt̽ hɔʈʰɑt suddenly, or before a consonant that doesn't naturally combine with , eg. উৎসব ụt̽ʃ̈b utʃɔb festival or সৎমা ʃ̈t̽mɑ ʃɔtmɑ step-mother. Many such words, however, use , eg. সদাত্মা ʃ̈dɑt͓mɑ. It's not possible to say which will be used.

Refs: [1] The Unicode Standard 5.2 p281 [2] [Radice] p39 [3] Wikipedia: Bengali Script; [4] [Bhattacharya]

U+09DC BENGALI LETTER RRA

≡ 09A1 09BC

Bengali consonant, ɽ, ɽɔ

retroflex flap, eg. ওড়া ọɖˑɑ oɽɑ to fly. Curl tongue as if for ɖ but before making contact with the alveolar ridge flap the tongue down smartly to make audible contact with the bottom of the mouth.

In Sanskrit this was merely an allophone of [U+09A1 BENGALI LETTER DDA] between vowels. The distinguishing dot was added to the Bengali script in the 19th century. Now it is regarded as a letter of the alphabet.

Refs: [1] [Daniels] p399-402 [2] [Radice] p29 [3] Wikipedia: Bengali Script

U+09DD BENGALI LETTER RHA

≡ 09A2 09BC

Bengali consonant, ɽh, ɽhɔ

eg. আষাঢ় ɑʃ̇ɑɖʰˑ ɑʃɑɽ June-July.

Theoretically the aspirated version of [U+09DC BENGALI LETTER RRA], but in practice not normally pronounced with aspiration. Occasionally, however, it may be, as in রাঢ় rɑɖʰˑ Radha.

A very rare letter, the only common word in which it appears is the Bengali month shown in the example above.

Refs: [1] [Daniels] p399-402 [2] [Radice] p39 [3] Wikipedia: Bengali Script; [4] [Bhattacharya]

U+09DF BENGALI LETTER YYA

≡ 09AF 09BC

Bengali consonant, y, ɔntɔḥsthô ɔ অন্তঃস্থ য়

Represents one of the following sounds.

j between i...e, a...u, or e...e.

e after another vowel, particularly after ɔ, a or o, eg. ভয় bʰýˑ bʰɔe fear.

w (light, like French 'oui') between o...a , eg. খাওয়া kʰɑọýˑɑ kʰɑowɑ to eat, drink.

Sometimes it is scarcely pronounced at all, eg. মেয়ে meýˑe mee girl, woman.

The dot was added in the 19th century, to contrast this with ɔntɔḥsthô y̌ɔ ( [U+09AF BENGALI LETTER YA]).

Refs: [1] [Daniels] p399-402 [2] [Radice] p13, 26 [3] Wikipedia: Bengali Script

Additions for Assamese

U+09F0 BENGALI LETTER RA WITH MIDDLE DIAGONAL

= Assamese letter ra

Assamese consonant

Assamese version of Bengali [U+09B0 BENGALI LETTER RA]. Not used in Bengali.

Wikipedia: Bengali Script

U+09F1 BENGALI LETTER RA WITH LOWER DIAGONAL

= Assamese letter wa
= bengali letter va with lower diagonal (1.0)

Assamese consonant

Assamese version of Bengali [U+09AC BENGALI LETTER BA]. Not used in Bengali.

Wikipedia: Bengali Script

Vowels

Independent vowels

U+0985 BENGALI LETTER A

Bengali independent vowel, ɔ or ô, ɔ-kar

ɔ, eg. অঙ্ক ɔ̣ŋ͓k ɔŋko mathematics.

o where the vowel harmony effect applies, if the vowel in the following syllable is one of i or u, eg. অভিধান ɔ̣bʰidʰɑn obʰidʰɑn dictionary.

There is no equivalent vowel sign, since this equates to the inherent vowel when preceded by a consonant.

Refs: [1] [Daniels] p400 [2] [Radice] pp9, 275 [3] Wikipedia: Bengali Script

U+0986 BENGALI LETTER AA

Bengali independent vowel, a, a-kar

eg. আকাশ ɑkɑʃ ɑkɑʃ sky.

Refs: [1] [Daniels] p399-402 [2] [Radice] p2-4 [3] Wikipedia: Bengali Script

U+0987 BENGALI LETTER I

Bengali independent vowel, i, hrɔsvô i হ্রস্ব ই

eg. ইংরেজ ịŋ̽reʤ iŋreʤ English; ভাই bʰɑị bʰɑi brother.

e where the vowel harmony effect applies, if the vowel in the following syllable is one of ɔ, o, e or a.

Refs: [1] [Daniels] p399-402 [2] [Radice] p2, 4-5 [3] Wikipedia: Bengali Script

U+0988 BENGALI LETTER II

Bengali independent vowel, ī, dīrghô ī দীর্ঘ ঈ

eg. ঈদ ị̄d iːd Eid.

Bengali has lost the distinction between short and long i vowels in pronunciation, but retains the difference in spelling.

Refs: [1] [Daniels] p399-402 [2] [Radice] p2, 4-5 [3] Wikipedia: Bengali Script

U+0989 BENGALI LETTER U

Bengali independent vowel, u, hrɔsvô u হ্রস্ব উ

u pronounced with the lips very rounded, eg. উঁচু ụm̽cu ũt͡ʃu height.

o where the vowel harmony effect applies, if the vowel in the following syllable is one of ɔ o e a, eg. উচ্চারন ục͓cɑrn ut͡ʃt͡ʃɑrɔn pronunciation.

Refs: [1] [Daniels] p399-402 [2] [Radice] p2, 5, 11, 275 [3] Wikipedia: Bengali Script

U+098A BENGALI LETTER UU

Bengali independent vowel, ū, dīrghô ū দীর্ঘ ঊ

u pronounced with the lips very rounded.

Bengali has lost the distinction between short and long u vowels in pronunciation, but retains the difference in spelling.

Refs: [1] [Daniels] p399-402 [2] [Radice] p2, 5, 11, 275 [3] Wikipedia: Bengali Script

U+098B BENGALI LETTER VOCALIC R

Bengali independent vowel, , vocalic r

ri pronounced with the lips very rounded, eg. ঋতু r̥̣tu ritu season.

Refs: [1] [Daniels] p399-402 [2] [Radice] p41 [3] Wikipedia: Bengali Script

U+098C BENGALI LETTER VOCALIC L

Bengali vocalic

Historic character, only used to write Sanskrit in Bengali.

Refs: [1] Unicode Standard 5.2 p279

U+098F BENGALI LETTER E

Bengali indepent vowel, e or æ, e-kar

e where the vowel harmony effect applies, if the vowel in the following syllable is one of i u, eg. একটু ẹkʈu ekʈu a little.

æ where the vowel harmony effect applies, if the vowel in the following syllable is one of ɔ o e a, eg. একবার ẹkbɑr ækbɑr once.

Refs: [1] [Daniels] p399-402 [2] [Radice] p12-13, 16-17 [3] Wikipedia: Bengali Script

U+0990 BENGALI LETTER AI

Bengali indepent vowel, , oǐ-kar

oj diphthong.

Refs: [1] [Daniels] p399-402 [2] [Radice] p35 [3] Wikipedia: Bengali Script

U+0993 BENGALI LETTER O

Bengali indepent vowel, o, o-kar

o pronounced with the lips very rounded.

u where the vowel harmony effect applies, if the vowel in the following syllable is one of i u, eg. ওদিকে ọdike odike in that direction.

ɔ if the vowel in the following syllable is one of ɔ o e a, eg. ওড়া ọɖˑɑ oɽɑ to fly.

Refs: [1] [Daniels] p399-402 [2] [Radice] p8, 10, 275 [3] Wikipedia: Bengali Script

U+0994 BENGALI LETTER AU

Bengali indepent vowel, , oǔ-kar

ow diphthong, eg. ঔষুধ ọʷʃ̇udʰ owʃudʰ medecine.

Refs: [1] [Daniels] p399-402 [2] [Radice] p17 [3] Wikipedia: Bengali Script

Dependent vowel signs

U+09BE BENGALI VOWEL SIGN AA

ISO 15919 ā

Bengali vowel sign, a, a-kar

eg. কাটা kɑʈɑ kɑʈɑ to cut.

æ after জ্ঞ ʤ͓ñ, eg. জ্ঞান ʤ͓ñɑn ɡæn knowledge; বিজ্ঞান biʤ͓ñɑn biɡɡæn science.

æ when following y̌ɔ-phɔla, eg. হ্যাঁ h͓ýɑm̽ hæ̃ yes; ব্যাঙ্ক b͓ýɑŋ͓k bæŋk bank.

There are exceptions to the previous rule, when the a-kar produces its normal value, eg. ব্যাখ্যা b͓ýɑkʰ͓ýɑ bækkʰa explanation; another exception would be a word like সন্ধ্যা ʃ̈n͓dʰ͓ýɑ ʃonddʰa evening.

Refs: [1] [Daniels] p399-402 [2] [Radice] p2-4, 26, 82 [3] Wikipedia: Bengali Script

ি

U+09BF BENGALI VOWEL SIGN I

• stands to the left of the consonant

Bengali vowel sign, i, hrɔsvô i

eg. বিড়ি biɖˑi biɽi cigarette.

e where the vowel harmony effect applies, if the vowel in the following syllable is one of ɔ o e or a, বিড়াল biɖˑɑl beɽɑl cat.

This vowel sign appears to the left of the base consonant.

Refs: [1] [Daniels] p399-402 [2] [Radice] p2, 4-5 [3] Wikipedia: Bengali Script

U+09C0 BENGALI VOWEL SIGN II

Bengali vowel sign, ī, dīrghô ī

eg. বীর bīr biːr hero.

Bengali has lost the distinction between short and long i vowels in pronunciation, but retains the difference in spelling.

Refs: [1] [Daniels] p399-402 [2] [Radice] p2, 4-5 [3] Wikipedia: Bengali Script

U+09C1 BENGALI VOWEL SIGN U

Bengali vowel sign, u, hrɔsvô u

pronounced with the lips very rounded, eg. বুক buk buk breast, chest.

o where the vowel harmony effect applies, if the vowel in the following syllable is one of ɔ o e a, eg. বুড়ো buɖˑo buɽo old man.

Shape variants. To avoid clashing with the dot, this vowel sign appears to the side when attached to , ie. রু, eg. রুগী rugī ruɡiː ill, sick/

When combining with [U+09B6 BENGALI LETTER SHA] the form শু is common in handwriting and older typefaces. The hrɔsvô u can also be written below the consonant, especially in newspapers. A similar phenomenon occurs with the letter [U+0997 BENGALI LETTER GA], ie. গু.

Also, hu traditionally looks like হু.

Refs: [1] [Daniels] p399-402 [2] [Radice] p2, 5, 6, 275 [3] Wikipedia: Bengali Script

U+09C2 BENGALI VOWEL SIGN UU

Bengali vowel sign, ū, dīrghô ū

pronounced with the lips very rounded, eg. মূল mūl muːl root.

Bengali has lost the distinction between short and long u vowels in pronunciation, but retains the difference in spelling.

Shape variants. To avoid clashing with the dot, this vowel sign appears to the side when attached to , ie. রূ, eg. রূপ rūp ruːp figure, form.

Refs: [1] [Daniels] p399-402 [2] [Radice] p2, 5, 11, 275 [3] Wikipedia: Bengali Script

U+09C3 BENGALI VOWEL SIGN VOCALIC R

Bengali vowel sign, , vocalic r

pronounced with the lips very rounded, eg. বৃহৎ br̥ht̽ brihɔt huge.

Shape variants. The vowel sign is attached to the bottom of the consonant, but some computer typefaces position it slightly to the right.

hṛ traditionally looks like হৃ, although modern computer typefaces tend to put the normal vowel sign under the consonant, eg. হৃদয় hr̥dýˑ hridɔý heart.

Refs: [1] [Daniels] p399-402 [2] [Radice] p41 [3] Wikipedia: Bengali Script

U+09C4 BENGALI VOWEL SIGN VOCALIC RR

Bengali vocalic

Historic character, only used to write Sanskrit in Bengali.

Refs: [1] Unicode Standard 5.2 p279

U+09C7 BENGALI VOWEL SIGN E

• stands to the left of the consonant

Bengali vowel sign, e, e-kar

eg. বেগ beg beg speed.

e where the vowel harmony effect applies, if the vowel in the following syllable is one of i u, eg. বেগুন begun begun eggplant.

æ where the vowel harmony effect applies, if the vowel in the following syllable is one of ɔ o e a, eg. বেলা belɑ bælɑ time of day.

The pronounciation æ is generally used in common words such as কেন ken kæno why or কেমন kemn kæmɔn how, and certain verb forms. Some speakers in Bangladesh may not clearly distinguish between the æ and e, but they do know which is appropriate if asked.

Shape variants. In higher quality printing the horizontal line may be omitted at the beginning of a word.

This vowel sign is written before its base.

Refs: [1] [Daniels] p399-402 [2] [Radice] p12-13, 16-17 [3] Wikipedia: Bengali Script

U+09C8 BENGALI VOWEL SIGN AI

• stands to the left of the consonant

Bengali vowel sign, , oǐ-kar

oj diphthong, eg. তৈরি toʲri tojri to make.

Note that the sound can also be represented by the inherent vowel plus hrɔʃʃo i, eg. বই bị boi book. The combination of o-kar plus hrɔʃʃo i can also occur, eg. ওই ọị oi demonstrative.

This vowel sign is written before its base.

Refs: [1] [Daniels] p399-402 [2] [Radice] p35 [3] Wikipedia: Bengali Script

Two-part dependent vowel signs

U+09CB BENGALI VOWEL SIGN O

≡ 09C7 09BE

Bengali vowel sign, o, o-kar

o pronounced with the lips very rounded, eg. বোন bon bon sister.

u where the vowel harmony effect applies, if the vowel in the following syllable is one of i u, eg. কোকিল kokil kukil cuckoo.

ɔ if the vowel in the following syllable is one of ɔ o e a, eg. বোকা bokɑ bɔkɑ stupid.

Inconsistent spellings sometimes arise with this letter due to the sound o being also an inherent vowel sound.

Alternative code points. The vowel sign appears on both sides of the base. The vowel sign can also be represented in Unicode by  ে [U+09C7 BENGALI VOWEL SIGN E] +  া [U+09BE BENGALI VOWEL SIGN AA], but this is for compatibility with encodings that represent the vowel in this way. Normally you should not use that approach.

Refs: [1] [Daniels] p399-402 [2] [Radice] p8, 10, 275 [3] Wikipedia: Bengali Script

U+09CC BENGALI VOWEL SIGN AU

≡ 09C7 09D7

Bengali indepent vowel, , oǔ-kar

ow diphthong, eg. নৌকো noʷko nowko boat.

Alternative code points. The vowel sign appears on both sides of the base. The vowel sign can also be represented in Unicode by  ে [U+09C7 BENGALI VOWEL SIGN E] +  ৗ [U+09D7 BENGALI AU LENGTH MARK], but this is for compatibility with encodings that represent the vowel in this way. Normally you should not use that approach.

Refs: [1] [Daniels] p399-402 [2] [Radice] p17 [3] Wikipedia: Bengali Script

Additional vowels for Sanskrit

U+09E0 BENGALI LETTER VOCALIC RR

Bengali vocalic

Historic character, only used to write Sanskrit in Bengali.

Refs: [1] Unicode Standard 5.2 p279

U+09E1 BENGALI LETTER VOCALIC LL

Bengali vocalic

Historic character, only used to write Sanskrit in Bengali.

Refs: [1] Unicode Standard 5.2 p279

U+09E2 BENGALI VOWEL SIGN VOCALIC L

Bengali vocalic

Historic character, only used to write Sanskrit in Bengali.

Refs: [1] Unicode Standard 5.2 p279

U+09E3 BENGALI VOWEL SIGN VOCALIC LL

Bengali vocalic

Historic character, only used to write Sanskrit in Bengali.

Refs: [1] Unicode Standard 5.2 p279

Digits

U+09E6 BENGALI DIGIT ZERO

Bengali digit, sɪfar

U+09E7 BENGALI DIGIT ONE

Bengali digit, æk

U+09E8 BENGALI DIGIT TWO

Bengali digit, dui

U+09E9 BENGALI DIGIT THREE

Bengali digit, tin

U+09EA BENGALI DIGIT FOUR

Bengali digit, car

U+09EB BENGALI DIGIT FIVE

Bengali digit, pãc

U+09EC BENGALI DIGIT SIX

Bengali digit, chɔy

U+09ED BENGALI DIGIT SEVEN

Bengali digit, sat

U+09EE BENGALI DIGIT EIGHT

Bengali digit,

U+09EF BENGALI DIGIT NINE

Bengali digit, nɔy

Historic symbols for fractional values

U+09F4 BENGALI CURRENCY NUMERATOR ONE

• not in current usage

Bengali currency symbol

Part of an additive/subtractive system for specifying the number of ānā in the Bengali notation for currency used up to 1957, eg. ৷৷৴৹ 9 ānā (9 ana); ৸৴৹ 13 ānā (13 ana). There are 16 ana in one rupee, and the system works in multiples of 4. For a detailed explanation of usage, see reference 1.

Refs: [1] Proposal to Encode the Ganda Currency Mark for Bengali

U+09F5 BENGALI CURRENCY NUMERATOR TWO

• not in current usage

Bengali currency symbol

Part of an additive/subtractive system for specifying the number of ānā in the Bengali notation for currency used up to 1957, eg. ৷৵৹ 6 ānā (6 ana); ৸৵৹ 14 ānā (14 ana). There are 16 ana in one rupee, and the system works in multiples of 4. For a detailed explanation of usage, see reference 1.

Refs: [1] Proposal to Encode the Ganda Currency Mark for Bengali

U+09F6 BENGALI CURRENCY NUMERATOR THREE

Description in the Unicode standard:

Bengali currency symbol

Part of an additive/subtractive system for specifying the number of ānā in the Bengali notation for currency used up to 1957, eg. ৷৷৶৹ 11 ānā (11 ana); ৸৶৹ 15 ānā (15 ana). There are 16 ana in one rupee, and the system works in multiples of 4. For a detailed explanation of usage, see reference 1.

Refs: [1] Proposal to Encode the Ganda Currency Mark for Bengali

U+09F7 BENGALI CURRENCY NUMERATOR FOUR

Bengali currency symbol

Part of an additive/subtractive system for specifying the number of ānā in the Bengali notation for currency used up to 1957, eg. ৷৹ 4 ānā (4 ana); ৷৷৴৹ 9 ānā (9 ana). There are 16 ana in one rupee, and the system works in multiples of 4. For a detailed explanation of usage, see reference 1.

Refs: [1] Proposal to Encode the Ganda Currency Mark for Bengali

U+09F8 BENGALI CURRENCY NUMERATOR ONE LESS THAN THE DENOMINATOR

Bengali currency symbol

Part of an additive/subtractive system for specifying the number of ānā in the Bengali notation for currency used up to 1957, eg. ৸৹ 12 ānā (12 ana); ৸৵৹ 14 ānā (14 ana). There are 16 ana in one rupee, and the system works in multiples of 4. For a detailed explanation of usage, see reference 1.

Refs: [1] Proposal to Encode the Ganda Currency Mark for Bengali

U+09F9 BENGALI CURRENCY DENOMINATOR SIXTEEN

Bengali currency symbol

Part of an additive/subtractive system for specifying the number of ānā in the Bengali notation for currency used up to 1957, eg. ৴৹ 1 ānā (1 ana); ৸৶৹ 15 ānā (15 ana). There are 16 ana in one rupee, and the system works in multiples of 4. For a detailed explanation of usage, see reference 1.

Refs: [1] Proposal to Encode the Ganda Currency Mark for Bengali

Currency signs

U+09F2 BENGALI RUPEE MARK

= taka
• historic currency sign

Bengali currency symbol

Denotes rupees in the Bengali notation for currency used up to 1957, eg. ১৲ 1 rupayā (1 rupee). For a detailed explanation of usage, see reference 1.

Refs: [1] Proposal to Encode the Ganda Currency Mark for Bengali

U+09F3 BENGALI RUPEE SIGN

= Bangladeshi taka

U+09FB BENGALI GANDA MARK

references

  1. [ d ] Peter T. Daniels and William Bright, The World's Writing Systems, Oxford University Press, ISBN 0-19-507993-0
  2. [ w ] Wikipedia, Bengali Script
  3. [ r ] William Radice, Teach Yourself Bengali, Hodder & Shoughton, ISBN 0-340-86029-4
  4. [ u ] The Unicode Standard
  5. [ b ] Bhattacharya, Private correspondance with Tanmoy Bhattacharya, July 2004.
  6. [ c ] Ishida, Ready-made Counter Styles
  7. [ p ] Anshuman Pandey, Proposal to Encode the Ganda Currency Mark for Bengali in ISO/IEC 10646
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