Romanisation of Bengali

Representation of written Bengali language in the Latin script / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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Romanisation of Bengali is the representation of written Bengali language in the Latin script. Various romanisation systems for Bengali are used, most of which do not perfectly represent Bengali pronunciation. While different standards for romanisation have been proposed for Bengali, none has been adopted with the same degree of uniformity as Japanese or Sanskrit.[note 1]

The Bengali script has been included with the group of Indic scripts whose romanisation does not represent the phonetic value of Bengali. Some of them are the "International Alphabet of Sanskrit Transliteration" or IAST system (based on diacritics),[1] "Indian languages Transliteration" or ITRANS (uses upper case alphabets suited for ASCII keyboards),[2] and the National Library at Calcutta romanisation.[3]

In the context of Bengali romanisation, it is important to distinguish transliteration from transcription. Transliteration is orthographically accurate (the original spelling can be recovered), but transcription is phonetically accurate (the pronunciation can be reproduced). English does not have all sounds of Bengali, and pronunciation does not completely reflect orthography. The aim of romanisation is not the same as phonetic transcription. Rather, romanisation is a representation of one writing system in Roman (Latin) script. If Bengali script has "ত" and Bengalis pronounce it /to/ there is nevertheless an argument based on writing-system consistency for transliterating it as "त" or "ta." The writing systems of most languages do not faithfully represent the spoken sound of the language, as famously with English words like "enough," "women," or "nation" (see "ghoti").