Course Details

 What Can We Offer?

► An introduction to the Bengali culture and tradition

► How to greet and meet in Bangla

► How to ask questions in Bangla

► How to conduct a meeting/dialogue in Bangla

► What questions are to ask

► How to communicate with grassroots and government counterparts during field visits if you represent a donor organization

► What are the factors to consider before asking questions in Bangla (e.g. age, gender, religion etc.)

► How to haggle in Bangla

► And of course a tailor made program for an individual

 

The Course Covers

► All essential, common, and necessary Bangla courses.

► Well trained and efficient Bangla language teachers.

► Continually revised edition, original print course materials.

► How to greet and meet in Bangla

► Supply of dictionary, flash cards, and CD’s to enhance learning.

► Well-furnished class rooms.

► Convenient location and secure class rooms.

► Flexible class-time, class-day, or class duration.

► Options for course basis learning or hourly basis learning.

► Options for course basis payment or hourly basis payment.

► Purified water, tea, coffee, and snacks provided.

► Cultural tour or village tour for immersion learning.

► Arrangement for cultural programme in Bangla by foreign nationals

 

Importance of Bangla

WHY SHOULD YOU LEARN BANGLA?

About 250 million people speak Bangla mainly in Bangladesh and West Bengal of India. The language, Bangla, is of key importance to Bangladeshis and was a principal issue in the liberation war. As part of East Pakistan, Bangladeshis had to fight to prevent Urdu (and only Urdu) from being the national language. Many lives were lost in the struggle to protect the language, most notably on Ekushey – 21st February 1952 – when 12 students from the Bangla Language Movement were killed by the Pakistani army (Ekush means ‘21’ in Bangla). Incidentally, Bangladesh instigated the process in the UN that led to the establishment of International Mother Language Day – 21st February. Some commentators maintain that the social cohesion that exists at the national level in Bangladesh can be attributed more to linguistic nationalism than to democracy.

As the official language of Bangladesh, Bangla has a rich cultural heritage in poetry, song and literature. At least two Bengali poets/prose writers are well-known in the West: Rabindranath Tagore, a Hindu and a Nobel laureate and Kazi Nazrul Islam (1899-1976), a Muslim known as the ‘voice of Bengali nationalism and independence’ and the national poet. These historical and cultural moorings aside, what is really noticeable is how genuinely pleased and chuffed – and mostly surprised – people are when a foreign national attempt (even badly) to use Bangla.

“This, more than anything else, encourages me to learn as much as I can. Because time for official lessons was limited, the focus was on the spoken, rather than the written, language. Because I will only be in Bangladesh for a short time, I decided to push myself outside my comfort zone and engage in conversation, rather than spending time learning a new alphabet and full grammatical structure. With the help of the lessons and a phonetic English-Bangla, Bangla-English dictionary, I was happy at how quickly I was able to make myself understood in everyday situations, from haggling at markets to hailing CNGs and rickshaws. I am also able to have simple conversations with people I meet on the streets,” an expression from an European visitor.

It is of course frustrating not to be able to have deeper and more meaningful conversations, particularly with the friends that foreign nationals may have made in Bangladesh. Most educated Bangladeshis can speak some English but their levels are still insufficient for a foreign national to have reflective or significant exchanges. Nevertheless, one would get a huge amount of pleasure for sure from the joyful reactions to feeble attempts at Bangla, and the subsequent exchanges that would afford glimpses into the lives of the many wonderful people one would meet every day.