City Quartet Bridges Language Gap With Bengali-Marathi Dictionary | Nagpur News

Nagpur: Four women, with no university education they can boast of, but only motivated by a love of their respective mother tongues and a desire to bridge the language gap, worked for around eight years to see their ‘baby’ – 900 bilingual pages Bengali-Marathi Dictionary — see the light of day.
The unique dictionary, containing 24,000 words and other features, is due to be released on February 19.
Mandira Ganguly, the driving force behind the idea, could barely speak Marathi or even Hindi when she arrived in Maharashtra after her marriage in 1979. She could communicate with others using only gestures as the languages ​​fluently used, Hindi or Marathi, were then foreign to him. . During her time here, Mandira realized the need to learn local languages ​​so that she could communicate better.
In a bid to promote her native language, Ganguly had started teaching free Bengali lessons at the Saraswat Sabha Library in Dhantoli, where she had met Minal Joshi and Promodini Tapas.
Joshi and Tapas, spiritually associated with the Ramakrishna mission, had joined Bengali lessons with the dream of learning the language so that they could read the guru’s vision written in ‘Kathamrita’ in its original version.
Tapas, who contributed to the dictionary as a dialect (boli) expert, had once suggested to Ganguly in a lighthearted expression that they write a dictionary as she tends to forget anything she would teach them.
“It was actually said in a pleasant way, but the idea struck me. When I asked Tapas and Joshi if they would like to help me compile a dictionary, they immediately agreed,” she said.
“As the project started to take root, we also felt the need to have someone with a command of the languages, and then we got attached to Veena Ganu,” said Ganguly, who has been teaching Bengali for free for over 20 years. years and is the national vice-president. by Nikhil Bharatiya Bongo Sahitya Sammelan.
Ganu, who taught Sanskrit for 13 years at Kavi Kulguru Kalidas University of Sanskrit in Ramtek and was also the editor of the Sanskrit Bhavitavyam newsletter, explained the uniqueness of the dictionary.
“The first column has the Bengali word, the second has the same word written in Devnagari script, the third column has the pronunciation and the fourth has the Marathi meaning,” Ganu said.
Ganguly, who wanted to give back to society the love it has received over the past four decades in Maharashtra, said that many Bengali and Marathi words are common, a fact few people know about. “Aai means mother in Marathi… the same is true in Bengali, but its use has been discontinued,” Ganguly said.
Joshi, who taught at Bhavan’s Bharatiya Vidya Mandir for 18 years before retiring voluntarily a few months ago and focusing on carrying out the project, said the dictionary contains 250 proverbs and phrases in both languages.
“Each dictionary contains words and meaning but the one we have compiled also has a grammar to help the reader construct sentences from Bengali to Marathi and vice versa,” she said.
Additional sections have meanings of various common words used every day, including those for household utensils, cooking utensils, festivals, fruits, vegetables with pictures, etc.
Ganguly, who worked 18 hours a day in the last stage of the project, also expressed her gratitude to the 92-year-old language experts like Diwakar Mohini, Professor Madhavi Bhatt, Soumyendu Sarkar and Sandeep Paul in addition to her husband Swapan and his mother Gauri Majumdar. for extending their active and moral support.
“Our team now dreams of translating literary works of Marathi authors into Bengali,” she said.
Ganguly says the dictionary is more than just a repository of words and meanings. “Our dictionary is a bridge between two communities, not only linguistically, but also socially, culturally and emotionally, with Sanskrit being the mother of all languages ​​to connect them,” she said.

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