Friday, May 25, 2018

Can we pronounce Bengali letter "ভ" as "v" instead of "bh"

This is a discussion which I started on the site about the Bengali language:

According to the dictionary the Bengali letter "ভ" pronounce as "bh". But in the word good (ভালো) I heard from native Bengali speaker pronunciation "valo".

I read in the Internet that the proper pronunciation is "bh". But there is another version:
The name of Italian city Venice Google Translator translates as ভেনিস.

The question:
Can we pronounce Bengali letter "ভ" as "v" instead of "bh"?

Comment 1:

Depending on the word you use "V"
Good = ভালো ; you can use either V or Bh for this one.
However, for Beggar = ভিখারি you can use V, it will have to bh.
Best practice is using bh always for not to get confused.

Comment 2:
Can we pronounce the English letter "z" as "j"?

In Bengali, the sound "z" does not exist. People who have a lot of contact with English or other foreign languages learn to pronounce the "z" sound properly, but the rest approximate it with the sound of "j". So it's not uncommon to hear the number "zero" in English being pronounced something like "jiro" among Bengalis. It's an approximation, and it works.

Depending on the level you're trying to attain at this stage, it may be perfectly reasonable to approximate the "ভ" sound with "v". People will have no trouble understanding you.