Like many languages with venerable literary traditions, the Bengali script has not kept pace with changes in the language over the last millennium. For example,
In addition, like many languages with lots of speakers, there is considerable dialectical variation. When writing Bengali in Musa, as with all writing, we write to a standard, even though all of us speak slightly differently. But Musa can write several different standards of Bengali, for example West Bengali (e.g. Nadia or Choltibhasha), Bangal (Dhaka), Chittagong or even Shadhubhasha. If stops are pronounced as fricatives, or if murmured voice is pronounced as a tone, then Musa can and should write it. The presentation here is based on the Standard Colloquial Bengali of Kolkata.
Musa writes Bengali in the Akshara gait, in which vowels are written attached below the previous consonant, and words are united by a midline. Independent vowels and consonants with no following vowel - the first consonant of a cluster or a final consonant - are simply written alone.
Here are the consonants of Bengali, with IPA and Musa transcriptions.
|ক k k||চ ʧ ch||ট ʈ tr||ত ৎ t̪ t||প p p|
|খ kʰ kx||ছ ʧʰ chx||ঠ ʈʰ trx||থ t̪ʰ tx||ফ pʰ px|
|গ g g||জ য ʤ dj||ড ɖ dr||দ d̪ d||ব b b|
|ঘ gʰ gx||ঝ ʤʰ djx||ঢ ɖʰ drx||ধ d̪ʰ dx||ভ bʰ bx|
|ঙ ং ŋ ng||ঁ ˜ -xn||ন ণ n̪ n||ম m m|
|হ ঃɦ hh||শ ষ স ʃ sh||শ স s s||ফ f f|
|জ য z z||ব v v|
|ল l l||ড় ঢ় ɽ rh||র ɾ r||ব w w|
The letters on a blue background spell alternative readings of the indicated Bengali letters.
Bengali has seven vowels:
|ই ঈ i i||উ ঊ u u|
|এ e ee||ও o oh|
|অ্যা ɛ e||অ ɔ o|
|আ a a|
Nasalized vowels use the Nasal suffix , while diphthongs use -i , -e, -o and -u as offglides.
|অঁ ã a~||অয়ি ay ay||অয়ে ae̯ ahy||অয়ো ao̯ ahw||অয়ু aw aw|
Three Bengali letters correspond to a pair of Musa letters:
|ৠ ri ri||ঐ oy oy||ঔ ow ow|
As with other Indo-Aryan languages, Musa writes the stressed syllables with a high vowel.
Now that you know the letters, why not try to read some Bengali written in Musa?
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