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Hindi vs. Bengali: What's the Difference?

Edited by Aimie Carlson || By Janet White || Published on February 11, 2024
Hindi is a widely spoken language in India, using the Devanagari script, while Bengali is the language of Bangladesh and West Bengal, India, written in the Bengali script.

Key Differences

Hindi, an Indo-Aryan language, is predominantly spoken in Northern India and serves as one of India's official languages. Bengali, also an Indo-Aryan language, is the primary language in Bangladesh and the Indian state of West Bengal.
The script used for Hindi is Devanagari, which is phonetic and comprises 47 primary characters. Bengali, on the other hand, uses the Bengali script, characterized by its distinctive horizontal line running along the tops of the letters.
In terms of grammar, Hindi typically follows a Subject-Object-Verb (SOV) order and has grammatical gender. Bengali grammar also generally follows the SOV order but is more flexible in sentence structuring and does not use grammatical gender.
Phonetically, Hindi has several retroflex consonants not found in English, while Bengali has a softer phonetic quality and lacks such retroflex sounds. The pronunciation and intonation patterns in Bengali are notably different from Hindi.
Hindi vocabulary has been significantly influenced by Sanskrit, while Bengali retains a more direct lineage to Sanskrit but also incorporates a substantial number of words from Persian and Arabic, reflective of historical influences.

Comparison Chart

Geographic Dominance

Northern India
Bangladesh and West Bengal, India


Bengali Script

Grammatical Gender


Sentence Structure

Subject-Object-Verb order, less flexible
Subject-Object-Verb order, more flexible

Phonetic Characteristics

Retroflex consonants, influenced by Sanskrit
Softer sounds, lacks retroflex consonants

Hindi and Bengali Definitions


Relating to Hindi cinema, also known as Bollywood.
The film was a classic Hindi movie, featuring vibrant dances and melodious songs.


A person from Bengal, a region in South Asia.
As a Bengali, she was very proud of her cultural heritage.


Pertaining to the Devanagari script used in writing the Hindi language.
She learned to write her name in Hindi script during her language class.


Pertaining to the Bengali script used for writing the Bengali language.
Learning to read the Bengali script was an essential part of her language studies.


A language spoken primarily in India.
She spoke Hindi fluently, which helped her communicate with the locals in Delhi.


Associated with the cultural or ethnic aspects of Bengali-speaking communities.
The Bengali festival was a vibrant celebration of traditional music, dance, and cuisine.


Associated with the cultural or ethnic aspects of Hindi-speaking communities.
The festival celebrated Hindi culture with traditional music and food.


A language spoken in Bangladesh and parts of India.
He wrote his thesis on the linguistic intricacies of Bengali.


A term for someone from the Hindi-speaking regions of India.
As a Hindi, he felt a deep connection to the cultural traditions of Northern India.


Related to Bengali literature, known for its richness and depth.
Her favorite poet wrote exclusively in Bengali, captivating readers with emotive verses.


A group of vernacular Indic dialects spoken in northern India.


Of or relating to Bengal or its people, language, or culture.


The literary and official language of northern India that is based on these dialects. It is written in Devanagari and uses Sanskrit as a resource language.


The name given by Europeans to that form of the Hindustani language which is chiefly spoken by native Hindus. In employs the Devanagari character, in which Sanskrit is written.


The most widely spoken of modern Indic vernaculars; spoken mostly in the north of India; along with English it is the official language of India; usually written in Devanagari script


Of or relating to or supporting Hinduism;
The Hindu faith


Is Bengali spoken outside of Bangladesh and West Bengal?

Yes, it's also spoken in Tripura and Assam in India, and among diaspora communities.

What script is used to write Hindi?

Hindi is written in the Devanagari script.

Does Bengali have its own script?

Yes, Bengali is written in the Bengali script.

Are Hindi and Bengali similar languages?

They are both Indo-Aryan languages but have significant linguistic differences.

Are there regional dialects in Hindi?

Yes, Hindi has several regional dialects, such as Awadhi, Brij, and Bhojpuri.

Is Hindi a national language in India?

Hindi is one of the official languages of India, not the national language.

How prevalent is English usage in Bengali-speaking regions?

English is widely used in urban areas and in higher education in Bengali-speaking regions.

Is Bengali recognized as an official language in any other country besides Bangladesh?

No, Bengali is only the official language in Bangladesh and a major language in some Indian states.

Does Bengali have different dialects?

Yes, Bengali dialects vary, particularly between Bangladesh and West Bengal.

What is the literary tradition of Bengali?

Bengali has a rich literary history, including poetry, novels, and songs.

How significant is Bollywood to Hindi?

Bollywood, India's Hindi-language film industry, plays a major role in popularizing Hindi globally.

Can Hindi speakers easily understand Bengali?

Generally no, due to different scripts and linguistic structures.

Is learning Hindi beneficial for business in India?

Yes, Hindi can be useful in business, especially in North and Central India.

What is the status of Hindi in terms of global speakers?

Hindi is one of the most spoken languages in the world by number of native speakers.

What are the key differences in pronunciation between Hindi and Bengali?

Hindi has more retroflex sounds, while Bengali has a softer pronunciation without retroflex consonants.

Can Hindi literature be easily translated into Bengali?

While translation is possible, differences in cultural context and linguistic nuances pose challenges.

Are there any common words between Hindi and Bengali?

Yes, due to Sanskrit influence, there are some common words in both languages.

How do Hindi and Bengali compare in terms of the number of speakers?

Hindi has a larger number of speakers globally, while Bengali is the seventh most spoken language worldwide.

What is the origin of the Hindi language?

Hindi evolved from Sanskrit, through Prakrit and Apabhramsha languages.

Is Bengali known for any particular form of art or culture?

Bengali culture is renowned for its contributions to literature, music (particularly Rabindra Sangeet), and cinema.
About Author
Written by
Janet White
Janet White has been an esteemed writer and blogger for Difference Wiki. Holding a Master's degree in Science and Medical Journalism from the prestigious Boston University, she has consistently demonstrated her expertise and passion for her field. When she's not immersed in her work, Janet relishes her time exercising, delving into a good book, and cherishing moments with friends and family.
Edited by
Aimie Carlson
Aimie Carlson, holding a master's degree in English literature, is a fervent English language enthusiast. She lends her writing talents to Difference Wiki, a prominent website that specializes in comparisons, offering readers insightful analyses that both captivate and inform.

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