Bengali vs. Bangla

  • By reComparison Contributor
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Difference between Bengali and Bangla

Bengali and Bangla languages refer to same language with minor variations, as they are just altered versions of the same language. The one spoken in West Bengal, India, is generally referred to as Bengali by Indians while the same in Bangladesh is called Bangla. The differences are mostly due to Hindu cultural influences in West Bengal where as Muslim is the predominant culture in Bangladesh. There is a Perso-Arabic influence in Bangla due to Islam. Otherwise, the alphabet and basic grammar are the same.

Bengali
Bangla

Vocabulary

Influences due to the Islam and Hindu cultures is evident in greetings. People in Bangladesh mostly use Salaam Aleykam and Wa Aleykumas-salaam which means ‘Peace be unto you’ and ‘Unto you also peace in return’. Birth names given are mostly Islamic such as Muhammad, Fatima, Tanvir and so on. Abba is used to address father and Ammi for mother. In the case of Bengali of West Bengal, Nomashkar is used as the greeting. Ma is used for mother and Baba or Pita is used for father. “Dada” refers to paternal grandfather in Bangla whereas in case of Bengali it is used to address elder brother. Some other examples are pani in Bangla and jol in Bengali for water and lobon and nun for salt.

Literature

As far as literature is concerned there is not much difference. Bangla and Bengali literature dates back to 12th century. Rabindranath Tagore was the first novelist from Asia to win the Nobel Prize in literature. The award was for his mystical poem – Gitanjali. KaziNazrul Islam with his revolutionary poetry, made great contributions in the Bengali movement in the 1950’s which ultimately resulted in the establishment of Bangladesh. Jasimuddin’s inspiration was derived from peasants, fishermen and wandering gypsies.

Alphabet

As mentioned, the alphabet as well as grammar of Bangla and Bengali are identical. The alphabet is arranged in a more logical fashion than Roman and Greek alphabets. It begins with the vowels which are followed by the consonants, semivowels and diphthongs. There are eleven vowels with seven sounds (long and short). There are thirty-nine consonants with twenty-nine sounds.

Similarities and Differences

  • Bengali and Bangla languages refer to the same language with minor variations.
  • The one spoken in West Bengal (India) is generally referred to as Bengali by Indians while same in Bangladesh is called Bangla.
  • There is a Perso-Arabic influence in Bangla due to Islam.
  • People in Bangladesh mostly use Salaam Aleykam and Wa Aleykumas-salaam whereas Nomashkar is used for greetings in the case of Bengali.
  • Abba is used to address father and Ammi for mother in Bangla whereas Ma is used for mother and Baba or Pita is used for father in Bengali.
  • Dada” refers to paternal grandfather in Bangla whereas in case of Bengali it is used to address elder brother.
  • Rabindranath Tagore was the first novelist from Asia to win Nobel Prize in literature.
  • KaziNazrul Islam with his revolutionary poetry, made great contribution in Bengali movement in 1950’s which ultimately resulted in the establishment of Bangladesh.
  • The alphabet is arranged in logical fashion - first come vowels then consonants, semivowels and diphthongs.

 
 

Discuss It: comments 4

  • Guest
  • Proud bengali wrote on September 2011

Your totally wrong. Bangladeshis Bengalis gave blood for their language lost so many life's and you here trying to deprive them of their language titles? You seem like a panjabi or Hindi speaking person trying to divid bengalism as much as you can with your incorrect information. You are really lacking knowledge of bengalism. Bangla and Bengali means the Same thing, bangla/Bengali/bangali are same words referred to the language but it's been said quite different. Bangla also is the name of the land bangla and Bengal is the same word as bangla. Basically I make it easier : Bengal in bengali is bangla (same meaning, same word; but been said it slight differently) 'Bengali' in Bengali means 'bangali' meaning is the same, said it differently. You talk about variation, there are some words one would use and some wont, some words in bengali can be said in more than one word/way that doesn't mean it's not same language. Your not understanding about bengalism well! Bengali is the officially language of Bangladesh, internationally it's been said it's Bengali, locally within the Bengali speaking people it's bangla they use to describe the language. The differences is in few words Hindu Bengalis would use and few different word Muslim Bengali might use but that's personal choices not forced upon any one or it's a law. In B'desh they say dada referring to brother too with hindus. You really seem clueless about bengalism. What on earth you on about? In Bangladesh they don't call mum ammi/ummi thats what **** call their mum or Urdu speaking people. It's maa for mum, baba for dad,Amma for mum, abba for dad what people call their parents by in Bengali caste/ethnic/race. stop giving people incorrect information about the bengali language. Do your research, see what the titles of the language are.

  • Guest
  • Raj wrote on March 2014

Who is the idiot that has written this stinky article? Is there a difference between Ruski and Russian language? Megaidiocity at its best!

  • Guest
  • Selva wrote on December 2015

Appeal to Bengalis...

If this article is profoundly incorrect, then please let us know the difference in a precise manner. As an outsider, we hear the term "Bangla"/"Bengali" without an opportunity to learn the real difference and it appropriate usage in conversation.

Your troll on the author without substance does no good to our expectation.

  • Guest
  • joy wrote on March 2016

@Selva, the differences pointed out here are just like the ones between Hindus and Muslims in UP or Bihar. They are all considered Hindi speaking people. Same holds good for tamils in Tamilnadu - Hindus and Muslims could be a using a few different words. But they are all speaking Tamil. That is what the Bengalis on this forum are trying to point out - both East and West Bengal speak Bengali(english name of Bangla). It's like Tamil is the english word for Tamizh. I am an Indian Bengali.

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