The Bengali Language
Estimated to be around the sixth most spoken ‘first language’ in the world, there are over 200 million Bengali speakers worldwide.
Often quoted as the second most beautiful language after French, Bengali is the official language of Bangladesh. Also used in Nepal, India and Singapore, Bengali is the easternmost Indo-European language.
Origins and History:
- The language, also known as Bangla, originates from the Middle Indo-Aryan languages or Prakrits, spoken around 1000-1200 AD.
- Bengali is an Indo-Aryan language primarily spoken in Bengal, which comprises present-day Bangladesh and the Indian states of West Bengal, Tripura, and the Barak Valley region of Assam.
- The first literary works in Bengali, the Charyapada, are believed to be written during the 10th and 11th centuries.
- Over the centuries, due to various socio-political changes, Bengali evolved under the influence of Sanskrit, Persian, Arabic, Portuguese, and English.
- The influence of Bengali extends beyond its immediate geographic boundaries. Its diaspora, spread worldwide, including the UK, the USA, Canada, and the Middle East, uses Bengali daily, preserving and promoting the language in various ways.
Number Of Speakers:
With more than 228 million native speakers and another 37 million as a second language, Bengali is the seventh most spoken language globally by the total number of speakers as of 2021.
- The Bengali language is the national and official language of Bangladesh.
- In India, it’s one of the 22 scheduled languages and is the official language of the states of West Bengal, Tripura, and the Barak Valley in Assam.
Example of Text:
- Bengali text uses the Bengali script derived from the ancient Brahmi script. For example, “আমি বাংলা ভাষা ভালবাসি” translates to “I love the Bengali language.”
- Bengali audio pronunciation is known for its soft and melodic tones. A simple greeting “Hello” would be “নমস্কার” (Nomoshkar) in Bengali, pronounced as No-mo-shkar.
Bengali is used in various fields, such as Literature, cinema, music, and science. Rabindranath Tagore, the first non-European Nobel laureate in Literature, wrote his works in Bengali. The work of filmmakers like Satyajit Ray and Ritwik Ghatak has brought global recognition to Bengali cinema.
Bengali Words in English and English Words in Bengali:
- Some English words that are used in Bengali include “doctor” (ডাক্তার), “engineer” (ইঞ্জিনিয়ার), and “bus” (বাস). These words, among others, have been incorporated into everyday Bengali vocabulary, primarily due to British colonial influence and the ongoing process of globalisation.
- The English language, on the other hand, has absorbed words from Bengali too. “Jute,” the name of a plant used to make burlap and twine, comes from the Bengali word “জুট” (juto). Another example is “bungalow,” which derives from “বাংলা” (Bangla), meaning a house in the Bengal style.
The rich history and widespread use of Bengali showcase its importance and influence. From the literary masterpieces of Rabindranath Tagore to the sweet sounds of its everyday use, the Bengali language continues to be a vital part of the cultural fabric of the regions where it’s spoken and far beyond.
Bengali translation is essential for businesses looking to communicate with the millions of people whose first language is Bengali who live in Bangladesh and throughout India.
Brightlines offers a range of Bengali translation services, from translators who have worked with brands such as Land Rover, Microsoft and Thomas Cook, who want to convey their brand to the 200 million Bengali speakers living all over the world. We offer many Bengali translation services, including quality assurance, voiceovers and copywriting.
Our translation services - FAQ
Do you use native translators?
Yes, always. All our translators are native speakers and most are still resident in their native country. We pride ourselves on ensuring that all Brightlines’ translators are native. We do not accept applications from non-native candidates or allow them to register on our online recruitment database. All our translators are rigorously tested.
How long will the translations take?
The turnaround for the translation will depend on the word count. As a rough guide, assume that the translators can comfortably process about 2500 words of non-specialised text per day. Proofreading can effectively be completed on a basis of 4000-6000 words a day. Our minimum turnaround time is usually about three days, although it is possible to shorten this if you are in a rush for the final files and we will always be happy to discuss this with you.
What is the variation in your translators’ experience and qualifications? Are they native speakers? Will the cost increase if we use a more experienced translator?
All our translators have to go through a series of tests to make sure they are as good as they say they are, and only if they pass are they allowed to work for Brightlines. There is quite a range of experience and qualifications, but all translators have a minimum of five years’ experience. All translators translate into their mother-tongue without exception and are generally based in-country so they are up-to-date with the local language. We match translators with projects/clients depending on the subject matter, and most of our translators have industry experience in their speciality – there is no better experience than being immersed professionally in the industry they specialise in. Our costs are based on translator experience, speciality (i.e. medical, creative, scientific) and the language choice.
Which languages can you translate into?
We have an extensive database with hundreds of trusted and tested translators covering all commercial languages. If you cannot see the language or dialect you need please ask.
I don’t know the word count; can you base the quote on the number of pages?
Our pricing structure is based on a rate-per-word, but we can estimate from a page count. If we can’t see the source document then we would usually estimate between 300 – 500 words a page depending on the density of the text and the presence of photos and images.
Does the translation need to be proofread?
Brightlines is an ISO 9001:2015 certified company. This means that quality is safeguarded. We adhere to the “four-eyes principle” and translations are always checked by a second professional proofreader (who is not the translator). If the translation is for internal use and reference purposes only (i.e. not to be published, distributed or used in a court of law), or you simply don’t wish to have proofreading, we can remove the proofreading stage.