BBC HomeExplore the BBC
This page has been archived and is no longer updated. Find out more about page archiving.

29 October 2014
Your Voice

BBC Homepage

Contact Us

Elsewhere on BBCi
Asian Network

In Your Area
What do you think about your local accent?
Talk about Voices in your area

Did You Know?
If someone refers to you as a Cuddie Wifter, a Ciotach or Corrie Fisted it's probably because they have realised you are left-handed.

Page 3 of 3
Bengali today
The history of Bengali
Names and writing system

More about Bengali

The writing system
Bengali writing has developed from the Devanagari writing system used for Hindi. It runs from left to right and hangs down from rather than resting on the line. Like most Indian writing systems, Bengali letters represent syllables rather than individual sounds.

Bengali writing

Bengali names

FatherMuhammad Abdur Rahman
MotherShitara Begum
SonShamsur Islam
DaughterJakia Akhtar
Moslem men usually have two or three names, e.g. Muhammad Abdur Rahman, Ahmed Karim. Sometimes they also use a male title (e.g. Miah, Khan) either at the beginning or the end of their name. Girls and women have two-part names - a personal name which always comes first and a second name which is either a female title (e.g. Begum, Bi, Bibi) or another personal name. Traditionally Muslims have not used a family name. However, when they move overseas they often choose an element of the father's name as the family name.

Hindu names
Hindu names consist of a personal name, e.g. Rabindra, an optional middle name, e.g. Nath, and a family name, e.g. Tagore. Sometimes the first and middle names are written together, e.g. Rabindranath. Children take their father's family name. Married women take their husband's family name.
Personal name(s)Family name
FatherAnil BaranSur
DaughterShyamali DeviSur


About the BBC | Help | Terms of Use | Privacy & Cookies Policy