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Bengali Language At Cornell
Language Information Courses Other Resources

Language Contact Person: Sreemati Mukherjee
Phone: 255-0718        Web
Office: 184 Rockefeller Hall
In multi linguistic South Asia, Bengali is the language of the national anthems of two nations, India and Bangladesh.

New York City speaks and works in many different languages. The epitome of global USA with 800 different languages spoken in its boroughs to enable people to understand and communicate, New York is the essence of what America is becoming. A multi- lingual nation. In 2013, NYC had ballots translated into Bengali – the first South Asian language to be introduced at city polling booths, recognizing that a majority of the city’s electorate spoke in Bengali.

For those interested in economics, employment and labor rights, nutritional sciences and development sociology in the eastern section of the Indian subcontinent the Bengali speaker has a considerable advantage over those not familiar with the language. Consequently, anyone considering a global career in health care, government service, law, business or a discipline where communicating with other people is important will find the knowledge of Bengali a great resource.

With about 220 million native and about 250 million total speakers, Bengali is one of the most spoken languages, ranked seventh in the world. For many young Americans, their language skills in Bengali facilitates their reconnection with family and culture in the Asian subcontinent.

The Bengali Language At Cornell
Bengali is taught at four levels of proficiency at Cornell.

Elementary Level: BENGL 1101-1102 It enables students in understanding, speaking, reading and writing Bengali. Student proficiency at the end of this year advances to the ACTFL NH level ACTFL guidelines
Fall 2014 class times - MW 10:10-11:00 am, TR 10:10-11:25 am Class Room = G 3, Noyes Lodge

Intermediate Level: BENGL 2201-2202 It enables students to develop all language skills with emphasis on oral skills. Student proficiency at the end of this year advances to the ACTFL IH level ACTFL guidelines
Fall 2014 class times - MTW 1:25-2:15 pm Class Room = G 3, Noyes Lodge

High Intermediate Bengali: BENGL 2205-2206 (not offered Fall 2014)

Advanced Level: BENGL 3301-3302 Student proficiency at the end of the year advances to the ACTFL Advanced levelACTFL guidelines
Fall 2014 class times - TR 2:55-4:10 pm
Class Room = G 3, Noyes Lodge

Directed Studies: BENGL 4431-4432

Students with prior exposure to Bengali should consult the instructor or take a placement exam to determine at what level they should start.

Cornell Area Program Affiliation: South Asia Program
The Mission of the South Asia Program is to bring attention to South Asia in the form of courses, faculty, research, libraries, art exhibitions, language learning, resources, student organizations, and exchange programs. In addition to our pluralistic structure, the South Asia Program sponsors numerous lectures and events on South Asia, administers outreach programs, and contributes widely to academic work through our own publication series.
  • Bangla Language Fellowships from AIIS to India
    At the end of ONE year of language training in Bangla students are eligible to apply for fellowships from the American Institute of Indian Studies and continue further training in Kolkata, India. For detailed information check the AIIS web site.
  • FLAS Scholarships
    Cornell's South Asia Program (SAP) offers Foreign Language and Area Studies Fellowship (FLAS). It is funded by the USDE under Title VI. It assists undergraduate and graduate students to acquire a high level of language ability in languages like Bengali.

Last edited by sm138 on Wed Dec 17 2014 at 10:08 AM.