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Vowels in Bengali[edit | edit source]

The Bengali for 'vowel' is 'স্বরবর্ণ' (sbôrô bôrnô, /sbɔrɔ bɔrn̪ɔ/). Bengali alphabet has eight vowels, a semi vowel and two diphthongs. According to linguistic study, spoken Bengali actually has seven vowels, অ, আ, ই, উ, এ, ও and অ্যা. There pronunciation and transliteration of the vowels as used in this wikibook are given in the following table. This is the same transliteration scheme that is used in Wikipedia.

Bengali Vowel Pronunciation in IPA Transliteration Sample audio
/ɔ/ or /o/ ô or o

/a/ a
/i/ i
/i/ or /i:/1 i or ee Same as ই.
/u/ u
/u/ or /u:/1 u or oo Same as উ.
2 /ri/ ri Same pronunciation as রি or রী (ri, /ri/ or /ri:/). See Consonants, Part Two.
/e/ e
/oi/ oi Pronounced as the diphthong of ও and ই. Pronounce ও and ই together.
/o/ o
/ou/ ou Pronounced as the diphthong of ও and উ. Pronounce ও and উ together.
অ্যা /æ/ æ

^1 ঈ used to be the longer version of ই. However, this distinction is almost lost in present day Bengali. The same can be said about উ and ঊ.

^2 Although ঋ is a composite sound, /ri/, in modern Bengali, it is conventionally included in Bengali alphabet as a semi-vowel. ঋ used to be a exact semi vowel in Sanskrit.

Bibliography[edit | edit source]

Romanisation of Bengali - This page compares the different transliteration schemes of Bengali language. You may also like to read more about Bengali Vowels in this Wikipedia article : Bengali Vowels