Pronunciation and Language

The transliteration is presented strictly to assist in proper pronunciation. It closely resembles phonetics for that language. Although the vast majority of Prabhat Samgiit songs are in Bengali – around 99% of them -, there are approximately 50 songs in other languages such as Sanskrit, Hindi, Angika, Urdu, English and others.

The Bengali language has unique sounds such that there are a lot of “o’s” at the end or in the middle of words, as in “mohono,” which would ordinarily be written as “mohan”. The “aa” in these songs represents a longer sound as in “far”, as opposed to a shorter sound as in “fur”.

Another sound unfamiliar to Western ears is “chh”. “Ch” is pronounced “ch” as in “child”. “chh” is pronounced as “ch” but a greater amount of air blown through the teeth. Other consonants like those represented by “bh”, “gh”, “jh” and “th” have a sound of “ha” emitted after the consonants “b”, “g”, “j” and “t”, respectively.

The symbol “ñ” represents a nasal sound produced together with the immediately preceding consonant.


Learning pronunciation and language of Prabhat Samgiita:

In general, to learn the correct pronunciation of a language, it’s very useful or even necessary to listen to the spoken language. In this sense, listening to PS songs can help one significantly on learning their language.

We offer Prabhat Samgiit online classes to enable learning of the correct pronunciation of the language of the songs. In these classes, the detailed pronunciation of one or more songs is studied, besides the meaning of the lyrics. All attendees have opportunity to practice the pronunciation and to receive individualized feedback from the instructor.

We also make available recordings of the previous online classes on the songs, which can be played and studied. Many of those are already available for download in this website. You can go to the page of the recordings clicking here.