The VOyes Story: Bengali
In this series of posts, I will share with you how each and every language that I know helped shape my voice over expertise. We will start today with one of the seven languages that you can hear my voice in – Bengali. Read on to find out how being a Bengali voice over helped me to lend my voice in 5 other major languages of the world.
Bengali is the 7th most popular language in the world with 193,000,000 speakers, it is the national language of Bangladesh and also spoken in parts of India which are bordering around Bangladesh. It is also known as ‘Bangla’.
Many of you may not be knowing that 21st February every year is celebrated as International Mother Language Day since 2000 to promote peace and multilingualism. The date corresponds to the day in 1952 when students from the University of Dhaka, Jagannath College and Dhaka Medical College, demonstrating for the recognition of Bengali as one of the two national languages of East Pakistan, were brutally shot dead by police (then under Pakistan government) near the Dhaka High Court in the capital of present-day Bangladesh.(source)
So yes this was indeed my first language, the one spoken at home, the one I heard first and I grew up with (along with English, for next post). I realised fairly quickly that the alphabets in Bengali allow making sounds which are not only difficult but also not common in many popular languages. Also, Bengali being a sweet language caters to both ‘soft’ and ‘hard’ sounds of the same letter. For example, it has alphabets which pronounce both ‘soft T’ (found in French such as ‘tout’, but not in English) and ‘hard T’ (found in English such as ‘tea’ but not in French), ‘soft D’ and ‘hard D’ etc.
Unknowingly, it was proven soon that Bengali being my first language was so dynamic and diverse in terms of its range of sounds that adopting pronunciation and accents of other languages later in life appeared very easy. Being a Bengali voice over certainly has its advantages! Listen to my demo reel in Bengali here.