Vocabulario first printed Bangla grammar entitled Vacabulario em idioma Bengalla e Portuguez, in short, Vocabulario. Compiled by several Portuguese missionaries and edited by Manoel da Assumpcam and published in 1743 from Lisbon, the Vocabulario was compiled for the propagation of christianity by Jesuits who had came to Bengal in the sixteenth century for missionary activities. Their presence in Bengal continued down to the end of the eighteenth century. For the propagation of the gospels they needed to come into direct contact with people who lived in villages. The Vocabulario, only forty printed pages in size, was based on local dialects and was free of the influence of sanskrit. It was based mainly on the speech idioms of the people of Faridpur in Eastern Bengal. Here lies the significance of Vocabulario.

nathaniel brassey halhed's A Grammer of the Bengal Language (Hughli 1778) was the second attempt undertaken at writing a standard Bangla grammer. But Halhed drew heavily on Sanskrit grammar. The pundits who helped him prepare his Grammar are said to have dissuaded him from benefiting from the Vocabulario, because its words were chosen from the rustic dialect of East Bengal and not from a classical language like learned Sanskrit. Later, charles wilkins was able to appreciate the value of the vocabulario. In writing his Grammer of the Sanskrit Language (London, 1808), he acknowledged his debt to the Vocabulario. [Sirajul Islam]

Bibliography AR Khondkar, The Portuguese Contribution to Bengali Prose, Grammar and Lexicography, Dhaka, 1976.