Nepali phrasebook

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Nepali is the sole official language of Nepal, and one of the official languages of India. It's related to Hindi, Punjabi, and other Indo-Aryan languages, and is normally written with the Devanagari script (as is Hindi). While most Nepalese people speak at least some Nepali, there are more than 100 different languages and dialects spoken in Nepal. An example of other languages spoken in Nepal are Tharu around Chitwan, Newari in the Kathmandu Valley, and Sharwa (Sherpa) in the Everest area. Nepali is also the lingua franca of the Indian state of Sikkim.

Educated Nepalis can often communicate in English. Learning even a few words of Nepali can be fun and very useful, especially outside of the tourist district and while trekking.

There are lots words of borrowed from other languages like English, Hindi, French etc. These loan words are slightly modified or are kept unaltered. Therefore, most Nepalese will understand English Nouns like Television, Computer etc. than their Nepali Counterparts.

Vowels[edit]

There are total 12 vowels in the Nepali Language, but usually only 10 vowels are used.

अ (a) 
like 'a' in "all"
आ (aa) 
like 'a' in "father"
इ (i) 
like the 'i' in "sit"
ई (ii) 
like 'e' in "eat"
उ (u) 
like 'u' in "put"
ऊ (uu) 
like 'oo' in "root"
ए (e) 
like 'e' in "bed"
ऐ (ai) 
a+i in quick succession
ओ (o) 
like 'o' in "go"
औ (au) 
a+u in quick succession

Consonants[edit]

There are 33 Consonants with an extra 3 minor variants. Please not that these are Consonants with an attached vowel like क्+अ= क. This is how alphabets appear. The consonants below are attached with other vowels to form other sounds like: थ+आ=था, न+उ=नु, त+औ=तौand so on.

Velar Constants[edit]

क (ka) 
like 'ca' in "call"
ख (kha) 
like 'kha' in "khaki"
ग (ga)  
like 'go' in "gone"
घ (gha) 
like 'gha' in "Ghana"
ङ (nga) 
sounds similar to '-ing'

Palatal Consonants[edit]

च (cha) 
like 'chu' in "church"
छ (chaa) 
like 'chu' in "church" but more aspirated
ज (ja) 
like 'ju' in "jug"
झ (jha) 
like 'ju' in "jug" but more aspirated
ञ (nya) 
like 'na' in "nausea"

Retroflex Consonants[edit]

ट (tta) 
like 'ta' in "talk"
ठ (ttha) 
like 'ta' in "talk" but more aspirated
ड (dda) 
like 'do' in 'dog'
(ddha) : like 'do' in 'dog' but more aspirated
ण (andha)
like 'nuh' but retroflexed

Dental Consonants[edit]

त (ta) 
like 'ta' in "talk" but dental
थ (thaa) 
like 'thu' in "thunder"
द (da) 
same as "the"
ध (dha) 
like "the" but more aspirated
न (na) 
like "nu" in "nun"

Labial Consonants[edit]

प (pa) 
like 'pa' in "Paul"
फ (pha) 
like 'fa' in "fall"
ब (ba) 
like 'ba' in "ball"
भ (bha) 
like 'va' in "vault"
म (ma) 
like 'ma' in "mall"

Semivowels[edit]

य (ya) 
like 'ya' in "yawn"
र (ra) 
like 'ru' in "run"
ल (la) 
like 'lo' in "love"
व (wa) 
like 'wo' in "work"

Sibilants[edit]

श (sha) 
like 'sha' in "shawl"
ष (sa) 
like 'sha' but retroflex
स (sa) 
like 'sa" in "saw"

Glottal[edit]

ह (ha) 
like 'ha' in "hall"
क्ष (xa) 
like 'chyaa'
त्र (tra) 
like 'tra' but dental
ज्ञ (gya) 
like 'gya'


Phrase list[edit]

Basics[edit]

Hello 
नमस्ते।Namaste (Nuh-Mas-tay)
How are you? (formal)
तपाई कस्तो हुनुन्छ ? Tapaii Kasto Hununcha? (tuh-pie-kuhs-toh-who-noon-chaa?)
Fine, thank you. 
सन्चै छु धन्यबाद । Sanchai Chu, Dhanyabad. (Sun-chai-chu-dhun-yuh-baad)
How about you? 
तपाई चै? Tapai Chai? (Tuh-pie-chai)
What's your name? (formal)
तपाईको नाम के हो ? Tapaiko nam ke ho? (Tuh-pie-koh-naam-ke-ho?)
My name is ... . 
मेरो नाम ...हो।Mero nam ... ho. (May-roh-naam ... hoh.)
Nice to meet you. (formal)(lit. I am happy to meet you) 
तपाईलाई भेटेर खुसी लाग्यो। Tapai lai bhetera Khusi Lagyo (Tuh-pie-lie-bhay-tay-rah-khu-shi-la-gyo)
Please. (request) 
कृपयाKripaya. (Kree-puh-yah)
This person is ... . (when introducing somebody) 
यो... होYo ... ho (yoh-...-hoh)
Thank you very much. (formal) 
धेरै धेरै धन्यबाद।Dherai Dherai Dhanyabad (Dhey-rei-dhey-rei-dhan-ya-bad)
Thank you. (normal) 
धन्यबाद।Dhanyabad (Dhan-ya-bad)
yes 
होhai (hoh)
no 
होइनhoina (hoi-nuh)
Excuse me. 
माफ गर्नुसMaaf Garnus. (maaf-gur-noos)
I'm sorry. (begging for forgiveness) 
माफ गर्नुसMaaf Garnus. (maaf-gur-noos)
Goodbye. (there are no words for goodbye so Nepalese people use the phrase "Pheri Bhetaula" which means "See you again"
See you again 
फेरि भेटौला (phay-ree-bhay-tau-la)

Problems[edit]

Leave me alone. 
Malaai eklai chodnus. (Ma-laai ek-laai chod-nus)
Don't touch me! 
Malaai na chunus! (Ma-laai na chu-nus)
I'll call the police. 
Ma police bolau chu. (Ma police bo-lau-n chu)
Police! 
Police! (police)
Stop! Thief! 
Parkha! Chor! (Pak-ra! cho-r!)
I need your help. 
Malaai sahayog chaiyo. (Ma-laai sa-ha-yog chai-yo)
It's an emergency. 
aapat paryo. (Aa-pat par-yo)
I'm lost. 
Ma haraye. (Ma ha-ra-ye)
I lost my bag. 
Mero jhola harayo. (Me-ro jho-la ha-ra-yo)
I lost my wallet. 
Mero wallet harayo. (Me-ro wallet ha-ra-yo)
I'm sick. 
Malaai sancho chaina. (Muh-lay sann-cho cha-ee-nah)
I've been injured. 
Malaai chot lagyo. (Ma-laai cho-t lag-yo)
I need a doctor. 
Malaai doctor chaiyo. (Ma-laai doctor chai-yo)
Can I use your phone? 
K ma hajur ko Phone prayog garna sakchu? (K ma ha-jur ko phone pra-yog gar-na sak-chu?)

Numbers[edit]

ek (A-kh)
dui (Du-ee)
tien (Tee-n)
char (Cha-r)
panch (Pa-n-ch)
chha (Cha)
saat (Sa-at)
aath (Aa-th)
nau (Na-u)
10 
das (Daa-ss)
11 
eghara (A-ghaa-ra)
12 
bara (Bha-ra)
13 
teera (Th-e-ra)
14 
chauda (Chau-da)
15 
pandhra (Pan-dra)
16 
sorha (So-rha)
17 
satra (Sat-ra)
18 
athara (Aa-tha-ra)
19 
unais (Un-nai-s)
20 
bis (Bis)
30 
teece (Tee-sh)
40 
chaleece (Cha-lee-sh)
50 
pachaase (Pa-cha-sh)
60 
sathi (Sat-ti)
70 
sattari (Sa-tha-ri)
80 
assi (aa-si)
90 
nabbe (nab-be)
100 
ek saye (A-kh sai-ya)
200 
dwi saye (Du-ee sai-ya)
300 
tin saye (Tee-n sai-ya)
1000 
ek hazar (A-kh Ha-zar)
2000 
dwi hazar (Du-ee Ha-zar)
100,000 
ek lakh (A-kh la-kh)
1,000,000 
dus lakh (Daa-ss la-kh)
number _____ (train, bus, etc.
number _____ (...)
half 
aadha (aa-dha)
less 
kaam (cum)
more 
dherai (dhe-raii)

Time[edit]

now 
ahile (aa-hee-le)
later 
pachi (paa-chi)
before 
agadi (aa-gha-dee)
morning 
bihana (bee-haa-na)
afternoon 
diuso (di-u-sho)
evening 
beluka (be-lu-kha)
night 
rati (raa-ti)

Clock time[edit]

one o'clock AM 
bihana ko ek baje (...)
two o'clock AM 
bihana ko dui baje (...)
noon 
madhyanha (...)
one o'clock PM 
diuso ko ek baje (...)
two o'clock PM 
diuso ko dui baje (...)
midnight 
madhyaraat (...)

Duration[edit]

_____ minute(s) 
_____ minute(s) (...)
_____ hour(s) 
_____ ghanta(haru) (gh-n-ta)
_____ day(s) 
_____ din(haru) (dee-n)
_____ week(s) 
_____ haptaa(haru) (hap-ta)
_____ month(s) 
_____ mahina(haru) (maa-hee-na)
_____ year(s) 
_____ barsa(haru) (ba-r-sha)

Days[edit]

today 
aaja (aa-ja)
yesterday 
hijo (hee-jo)
tomorrow 
bholi (bho-lee)
this week 
yo hapta(yo hap-ta)
last week 
asti ko hapta(as-ti ko hap-ta)
next week 
arko hapta(ar-ko hap-ta)
Sunday 
aaitabaar (ai-ta-bar)
Monday 
sombaar (som-bar)
Tuesday 
mangalbaar (man-girl-bar)
Wednesday 
budhabaar (bu-dho-bar)
Thursday 
bihibaar (bee-hee-bar)
Friday 
shukrabaar (shuk-ro-bar)
Saturday 
shanibaar (sa-ni-bar)

Months[edit]

The Nepali Calendar, called Bikram Sambat or B.S., is a lunar calendar based on ancient Hindu tradition. It is roughly 57 years ahead of the Gregorian calendar (the year 2000 AD was equivalent to the years 2056-2057 BS). The beginning of the year usually falls on the 13th or 14th of April. Therefore, the months are not compatible with the Gregorian calendar.

April 
Baisakh (...)
May 
Jestha (...)
June 
Asadh (...)
July 
Shrawan (...)
August 
Bhadra (...)
September 
Ashoj (...)
October 
Kartik (...)
November 
Mangshir (...)
December 
Poush (...)
January 
Magh (...)
February 
Falgun (...)
March 
Chaitra (...)

Writing Time and Date[edit]

Give some examples how to write clock times and dates if it differs from English.

Colors[edit]

black 
kalo (...)
white 
seto (...)
gray 
kharani (...)
red 
raato (...)
blue 
nilo (...)
yellow 
pahelo (...)
green 
hariyo (...)
orange 
suntala rang (...)
purple 
baijani (...)
brown 
khairo (...)
pink 
gulabi (..'.)

Transportation[edit]

Bus and Train[edit]

How much is a ticket to _____? 
Ticket ko kati paisa ho _____? (...)
One ticket to _____, please. 
Euta ticket dinu hos _____? (...)
Where does this train/bus go? 
Yo gadi kahan janchha? (...)
Where is the train/bus to _____? 
Gaadi kahan pauchha _____? (...)
Does this train/bus stop in _____? 
Yo gadi _____ ma rokchha? (...)
When does the train/bus for _____ leave? 
Gadi kun bela janchha _____? (...)
When will this train/bus arrive in _____? 
Kun bela ma puginchha _____? (...)
What time does the last bus leave? 
Last bust kun bela janchha? (...)

Directions[edit]

How do I get to _____ ? 
_____ kasari jhaane? (...)
...the train station? 
...the train station? (...)
...the bus station? 
...the bus station? (...)
...the airport? 
...the airport? (...)
...downtown? 
...downtown? (...)
...the youth hostel? 
...the youth hostel? (...)
...the _____ hotel? 
...the _____ hotel? (...)
...the American/Canadian/Australian/British consulate? 
...the American/Canadian/Australian/British consulate? (...)
Where are there a lot of... 
Where are there a lot of... (...)
...hotels? 
...hotels? (...)
...restaurants? 
...restaurants? (...)
...bars? 
...bars? (...)
...sites to see? 
...sites to see? (...)
Can you show me on the map? 
malaai naksamaa dekhunus? (...)
street 
baato(...)
Turn left. 
baayaa jaanus. (ba-ya, jaa-noos)
Turn right. 
daya jaanus. (...)
left 
left (baayaa) (bye yaa)
right 
right (dayaa)(die yaa)
straight ahead 
sidha (See-DAH)
towards the _____ 
_____ tira (tei-raw..)
past the _____ 
_____ pachhi (paw-chie)
before the _____ 
_____ aghaaDi (o-gaa-Di)
Watch for the _____. 
_____lai hernus. (lie-hey r-noos)
intersection 
intersection (...)
north 
uttar (u-tta-rr)
south 
dakshin (duck- shin)
east 
purba (pu-r-ba)
west 
paschim (pos-chim)
uphill 
ukaalo (oo-kaa-low)
downhill 
ohralo (o-raa-low)

Taxi[edit]

Taxi! 
Taxi!
Take me to _____, please. 
kripaya,malaai________ laanus. (kri-paw-yaa, ma-lie- laa-noos)
How much does it cost to get to _____? 

____ maa jaana kaati parchha? ( maa-jaa-na ka-ti, par-chaa)

Take me there, please. 
kripaya, malaai tyahaa laanus. (kri-payaa, ma-lie tya-haa, laa-noos)

Money[edit]

Do you accept American/Australian/Canadian dollars? 
America/Australia/Canada ko paisaa chalchha? (...)
Do you accept British pounds? 
Belaayatko paisaa chalchha? (...)
Do you accept credit cards? 
Credit card chalchha? (...)
Can you change money for me? 
Malaai khoodraa dinu hunchha ki? (...)
Where can I get money changed? 
Paisa kahaa saatinchha? (...)
Can you change a traveler's check for me? 
travel check linuhucnhha? (...)
Where can I get a traveler's check changed? 
tralvel check kahaa saatichha? (...)
What is the exchange rate? 
saTahi dar ke chha? (...)
Where is an automatic teller machine (ATM)? 
(ATM)maysin kahaa chaa? (...)

Eating[edit]

A table for one person/two people, please. 
kripaya Tebul ek yaa dui janaako lagi. (...)
Can I look at the menu, please? 
ma menu herna sakchhu? (...)
Can I look in the kitchen? 
ma keychen herna sakchhu? (...)
Is there a house specialty? 
gharmaa banaaieko kehi chha? (...)
Is there a local specialty? 
sthaaniya bisess kehi chha? (...)
I'm a vegetarian. 
Ma masu kandina. (Ma- ma-SU Kan-DIE-nah)
I don't eat pork. 
ma bangoor khaadina. (...)
I only eat kosher food. 
I only eat kosher food. (...)
Can you make it "lite", please? (less oil/butter/lard
yaslaai jalaaunus", please? (...)
fixed-price meal 
nischit darko khaanaa
(...)
à la carte 
à la carte (...)
breakfast 
breakfast (...)
lunch 
lunch (...)
tea (meal
tea (...)
supper 
supper (...)
I want _____. 
_____ chahanchhu. (...)
I want a dish containing _____. 
_____bhaeko thaal chahanchhu. (...)
chicken 
kukhuraa (...)
beef 
gaaiko masu (...)
fish 
maachhaa(...)
ham 
ham (...)
cheese 
chij (...)
eggs 
anDaa (...)
salad 
salad (...)
(fresh) vegetables 
(taajaa) tarkaari (...)
(fresh) fruit 
(taajaa) phalphul (...)
bread 
roTi(roti)
toast 
toast (...)
noodles 
chau chau (...)
rice 
bhat (BHAT)
lentils 
daal (da-all)
May I have ai glass of _____? 
malaai ek gilaas _____ dinus? (...)
May I have a cup of _____? 
malaai ek cup _____ dinus? (...)
May I have a bottle of _____? 
malaai ek botal_____ dinus? (...)
coffee 
coffee (...)
tea (drink
chiya (CHEE-ah)
juice 
juice (...)
water 
pani (PAN-ee)
beer 
beer (BEER)
May I have some _____? 
malaai kehi _____ dinus? (...)
salt 
nun (noon)
black pepper 
marich (...)
butter 
butter (...)
I'm finished. 
Pugcha. (POOG-CHA)
It was delicious. 
Mito chaa (...)
Please clear the plates. 
Please clear the plates. (The waiter is usually hovering to take your plate, you will not need this)(...)
The check, please. 
Bill please. (Asking for the 'check' may cause some minor confusion)(...)

Bars[edit]

Do you serve alcohol? 
Do you serve alcohol? (...)
Is there table service? 
Is there table service? (...)
A beer/two beers, please. 
A beer/two beers, please. (...)
A glass of red/white wine, please. 
A glass of red/white wine, please. (...)
A pint, please. 
A pint, please. (...)
A bottle, please. 
A bottle, please. (...)
_____ (hard liquor) and _____ (mixer), please. 
_____ and _____, please. (...)
whiskey 
whiskey (...)
vodka 
vodka (...)
rum 
rum (...)
water 
water (pani)
club soda 
club soda (...)
tonic water 
tonic water (...)
orange juice 
orange juice (...)
Coke (soda
Coke (...)
Do you have any bar snacks? 
Do you have any bar snacks? (...)
One more, please. 
One more, please. (...)
Another round, please. 
Another round, please. (...)
When is closing time? 
kati khera bandha hunchha? (...)

Shopping[edit]

Do you have this in my size? 
mero size maa mil chha? (...)
How much is this? 
yes ko kati parchha? (...)
That's too expensive. 
yo ekdam mahango bhayo. (...)
Would you take _____? 
_____ rupiya linus? (...)
expensive 
mahango (...)
cheap 
sasto (...)
I can't afford it. 
ma kinna sakdina. (...)
I don't want it. 
malaai chahidaina. (...)
You're cheating me. 
tapaai malaai chhaldai hunuhunchha. (...)
I'm not interested. 
ma ichchhuk chhaina. (..)
OK, I'll take it. 
OK, thik chha, ma yo linchhu. (...)
Can I have a bag? 
malaai euTaa jhoolaa dinus? (...)
Do you ship (overseas)? 
tapaai shipmaa paThaunuhunchha(bidesmaa)? (...)
I need... 
malaai chaahinchha... (...)
...toothpaste. 
...danta manjan. (...)
...a toothbrush. 
...daat majhne burus. (...)
...tampons. 
...tampons. (...)
...soap. 
sabun. (...)
...shampoo. 
...shampoo. (...)
...pain reliever. (e.g., aspirin or ibuprofen
...dukhaai haTaaune aushadhi. (...)
...cold medicine. 
...chiso dawaai. (...)
...stomach medicine. 
...peTko aushadi. (...)
...a razor. 
...a razor. (...)
...an umbrella. 
...chhataa. (...)
...sunblock lotion. 
...sunblock lotion. (...)
...a postcard. 
...a postcard. (...)
...postage stamps. 
...hulaak Tikat. (...)
...batteries. 
...batteries. (...)
...writing paper. 
...lekhne kaapi. (...)
...a pen. 
...kalam. (...)
...English-language books. 
...angreji bhaasaako kitaab. (...)
...English-language magazines. 
...angreji bhaasaako patrikaa. (...)
...an English-language newspaper. 
...angreji bhaasaako patrikaa. (...)
...an English-English dictionary. 
...angreji bhaasaako sabdkosh. (...)

Authority[edit]

I haven't done anything wrong. 
Maile kehi galti gareko chaina. (...)
It was a misunderstanding. 
bujhaai maa kehi galti thiyo. (...)
Where are you taking me? 
tapaai malaai kahaa laadai hunuhunchha? (...)
Am I under arrest? 
ma pakrau pareko hu? (...)
I am an American/Australian/British/Canadian citizen. 
ma American/Australian/British/Canadian naagarik hu. (...)
I want to talk to the American/Australian/British/Canadian embassy/consulate. 
ma American/Australian/British/Canadian dutaabaas/ baanijya dutaabaas sanga kura garna chahanchhu. (...)
I want to talk to a lawyer. 
ma wakil sanga kuraa garna chahanchhu. (...)
Can I just pay a fine now? 
ma jariwaanaa maatra tirchhu? (...)
This is a usable phrasebook. It explains pronunciation and the bare essentials of travel communication. An adventurous person could use it to get by, but please plunge forward and help it grow!