How Bengalis Speak Hindi

How Bongs Speak Hindi


This is not applicable to all Bengalis, however, a certain section, especially from the older generation are notorious Hindi speakers. We often accuse the South Indians particularly Tamilians for their refusal to learn our Rashtrabhasha Hindi, however, Bengalis are no better. Well, unlike the Tamilians, the Bengalis instead of reluctance show over-enthusiasm in speaking Hindi. Megalomaniac Bongs considers that if they warp and twist Bengali words and syllables then Hindi is conquered. As a result, most Bengali words are twisted and the emphasis on “o” is reduced to make it Hindi.

Bengali is a unique language which has no gender and the main conflict starts with the gender part in Hindi. Most Bongs are so engrossed in their Hindi speaking skills that they give a damn about gender and thus the Hindi sentences sound somewhat like “tum jab jata tha main tab aata tha” or “meri ladki bahut accha hain, woh bahar kuch nahin khata hain, aur jaata bhi nahin hain”.

Another ironical part is that in Bengali language nothing is there to drink, everything is eaten from water to cigarettes. Thus, we eat water, we eat cigarettes, we eat juice and we eat lassi. For a Bengali this rule does not change in Hindi either and thus they say “tum paani khayega?” or “mera beta bahut accha hain woh kabhi bhi cigarette nahin khata”.

To speak Hindi, Bengalis simply twist their words. So they often say “humko chair pe boshake tum kahan daurata hain?” or else “yeh baccha itna lafata hain, ki mera matha dhar giya”.

Bengalis love to travel, and all over India Bengali tourists are found in plenty. Their Hindi speaking skill is best exhibited during these travel excursions. Once my Aunt went to Rajasthan, she was too tired trekking forts, so in one Fort she decided to skip the trekking. The others in the group went up while she kept waiting down with the assistant of the Tour guide. After waiting for quite some time she grew impatient and requested the assistant to go up and call them. It was 1980, days before mobile phones came into existence. What she said in Hindi was “jaao unko daakke lao”. She repeated this few times and the poor assistant was unable to comprehend what she meant. He made a wild guess that daak (that means ‘to call’ in Bengali) could be daku (dacoits), something Rajasthan’s Aravalli was once notorious for, so he replied to her vehemently nodding his head “nahin maaji abhi Rajasthan mein daku nahin hain, pehle tha”.

My father was equally proficient in Hindi. He nonchalantly spoke Hindi and often considered the other person dumb for not understanding. He considered that Hindi is an easy language and he need not put any extra effort to learn the same. Once the doctor advised him to eat ridge gourd every day to keep his creatinine level under check. So daddy dear called up my local Gujrati vegetable vendor and asked “aapke paas jhingha hain?” In Bengali, we call ridge gourd jhinga whereas in Hindi jhinga means prawns. I can well imagine the shock and horror the strictly vegetarian Gujarati vegetable seller went through on being asked to deliver “jhinga”. He angrily retorted and said “hum jhinga nahin rakhte”. Likewise, my dad called few more vegetable sellers in the locality. Everyone said they don’t keep jhinga. Incidentally, all the vegetable stores are run by Gujaratis and why on earth would they keep prawns.  My father oblivious to the linguistic blasphemy he committed complained to me on my return that Bombay was a weird city because here ridge gourd was not available in any shop whereas in Kolkata every hawker sold it. So if he had to follow his doctor’s advice the only option was to shift back to Kolkata. It was futile to explain him his mistake.

We all remember the famous scene from my favourite movie “Sonar Kella” where Jatayu alias Lalmohan Ganguly speaks Hindi. That is a classic example of Bengali way of speaking Hindi. I often watch that scene on YouTube whenever I need to laugh a bit. Our reluctance to learn Hindi properly has no wonder given birth to a new version of Hindi which is Bengalised-hindi or “Bhindi”. Bhindi these days is heard all over India and also abroad. On that note “Abhi aapne post pora to comment karo aur abhi main jaata”.


Linking this post to #MondayMusings hosted by dear Corinne.


37 thoughts on “How Bengalis Speak Hindi

    • Ranajit Ray says:

      Bengalis speak poor Hindi because in our subconcious mind we don’t want to speak in Hindi.
      The feeling of Indian True blue Bengali to Hindi is a milder version of what East Pakistanis thought about Urdu.
      No Bengali is not a unique language where verbs are not gender specific. Assamese language has same trait.
      Also they share same habit of eating everything from water to cigarette.
      I fail to understand why no Bengali ever points out these similarities between Bengali and Assamese


  1. Sonia Chatterjee says:

    This was so relatable and funny. I remember I was on vacation once when one of my colleagues had called. Since I was sleeping, Ma received the call. She wanted to convey that I was sleeping now and would call back later. She said in Bhindi, “Sonia abhi ghumata hai. Pore phone korega.” imagine my poor colleagues’ reaction to the ghumata bit.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. BellyBytes says:

    Delightful Balaka! Seeing you after quite a while and thoroughly enjoyed this post. I have had a lot of experience of Bengalis speaking Hindi. But let me tell you that we Marathi people fare no better. My own mum for instance says muze and tuze instead of mujhe and tujhe. These are just some of the things that come to mind. But the classic one I’ll never forget is teaching my daughter the opposite of andhera – she replied andheri!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Balaka says:

      Andheri????? ROFL!!! this is the best anecdote. Thanks for sharing, I am having such a good laugh. I was not keeping well so was away from blogging, hopefully would be regular now. Thanks for stopping by and sharing that amazing story.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. Todd says:

    That’s really funny. I make the same gender mistakes when I speak Hindi as well. And sometimes I will toss an English word in but often that works out just fine.

    I liked your “jhinga” story – there is something funny about hearing about that kind of misunderstanding. I think all language learners have stories like this.

    Really funny and interesting post. I really enjoyed it!

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Anagha Yatin says:

    Hahaha… abhi hum tumhara post padhata aur hasta, pet bhar ke hasta!!!
    Such a delightful read Balaka. You reminded me of my Bong friend’s mom. It took me a while to figure how to eat water, whenever I went to my friend’s house.
    Refreshing to the core!!!

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Parul Thakur says:

    Ha ha! Hilarious. So let me tell you something. I am suurounded by Bengalis and I love them. I also love how they speak. Khoob bhaloo!
    This guy I travel with told me one day when I was looking for him – I will come round and round from the parking lot, by then you reach straight. I couldn’t even giggle that time but I love the sweetness of their Hindi and English.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. pratikshya2 says:

    Oh god, this was hilarious. Well, Odias are no less. We too twist words to create Hindi. Odia too is gender-neutral language. And my mother gets so confused with gender, it’s amusing- since she was the one to watch the most number of Hindi serials once upon a time.

    I totally enjoyed reading this. Your narrative is so engaging and hilarious. Laughter came in fits and bursts. 😀 😀

    Liked by 2 people

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