official language of Nepal
Phrasebooks > Nepali phrasebook

Nepali (नेपाली) 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. Other languages spoken in Nepal include 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.

Most educated Indians and Nepalis are able to 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 and computer, rather than their Nepali counterparts.

VowelsEdit

There are total 12 vowels in the Nepali language.

अ (a)
like 'a' in "all" or 'u' in "fun"
आ (aa)
like 'a' in "father"
इ (i)
like the 'y' in "happy"
ई (ii)
like 'y' in "happy"
उ (u)
like 'oo' in "boot"
ऊ (uu)
like 'oo' in "boot"
ऋ (ri)
like 'rea' in "reason"
ए (e)
like 'ay' in "may" but shorter and monophthongal
ऐ (ai)
like 'i' in "write" or "a+i" in quick succession
ओ (o)
like 'o' in "go"
औ (au)
like 'ou' in "about" or "a+u" in quick succession

ConsonantsEdit

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=तौ and so on.

Velar consonantsEdit

क (ka)
like 'ca' in "scan"
ख (kha)
like 'ca' in "can"
ग (ga)
like 'go' in "gone"
घ (gha)
like 'ggh' in "egghead" with breathy sound
ङ (ṅa)
like 'ng' in "sing"

Palatal consonantsEdit

च (tsa)
like 'ts' in "cats" or "tsar"
छ (tsha)
like 'tsh' in "cat's head"
ज (dza)
like 'ds' in "dads"
झ (dzha)
like 'dsh' in "dad's house" with breathy sound
ञ (ña)
like "n" in 'nail'

Retroflex consonantsEdit

ट (ṭa)
like 'tr' in "straw"
ठ (ṭha)
like 'tr' in "tree"
ड (ḍa)
like the word 'draw'
ढ (ḍha)
like 'draw' but more aspirated and breathy
ण (ṇa)
like 'n' in "burn"

Dental consonantsEdit

त (tā)
like 't' in "steal" but dental
थ (thā)
like 't' in "teal" but dental
द (dā)
like 'd' in 'deal' but dental
ध (dhā)
like 'd' in "deal" but dental with more aspiration and breathiness
न (nā)
like "n" in "nail"

Labial consonantsEdit

प (pa)
like 'p' in "speak"
फ (pha)
like 'p' in "paw" or intervocalically sometimes 'f' as in 'fall'
ब (ba)
like 'b' in "ball"
भ (bha)
like 'bh' in "clubhouse"
म (ma)
like 'm' in "man"

SemivowelsEdit

य (ya)
like 'yaw' in "yawn"
र (ra)
like 'ru' in "run" or 'tt' in "better"
ल (la)
like 'lu' in "lust"
व (wa)
like 'o' in "one"

SibilantsEdit

श (śa)
like the word 'saw' or 'shaw' in "shawl"
ष (ṣa)
like the word 'saw' or 'shaw' in "shawl"
स (sa)
like the word 'saw"

GlottalEdit

ह (ha)
like 'h' in "ahead" or 'h' in "haul"
क्ष (xa)
like 'tshya'
त्र (tra)
like 'tra' but dental
ज्ञ (gya)
like 'gya'

Phrase listEdit

BasicsEdit

Hello
नमस्ते।Namaste (Nuh-Mas-tay)
How are you? (formal)
तपाईँ कस्तो हुनुहुन्छ ? Tapaii Kasto Hununts'ha? (tuh-pie-kuhs-toh-who-noon-ts'haa?)
Fine, thank you.
सञ्चै छु धन्यबाद । Santsai ts'hu, Dhanyabad. (Sun-tsai-ts'hu-dhun-yuh-baad)
How about you?
तपाई चाहिँ? Tapai tsai? (Tuh-pai-tsai)
What's your name? (formal)
तपाईँको नाम के हो ? Tapaiko nam ke ho? (Tuh-pie-koh-naam-kay-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)
तपाईँलाई भेटेर खुसी लाग्यो। Tapai lai bhetera Khusi Lagyo (Tuh-pie-lie-bhay-tay-rah-khu-shi-la-gyo)
Please. (request)
कृपयाKripaya. (Kri-puh-yah)
This person is ... . (when introducing somebody)
यो... होYo ... ho (yoh-...-hoh)
Thank you very much. (formal)
धेरै धेरै धन्यवाद।Dherai Dherai Dhanyabad (Dhey-rei-dhey-rei-dhan-ya-bad)
Thank you. (normal)
धन्यवाद।Dhanyabad (Dhan-ya-bad)
yes
होhai (hoh)
no
होइनhoina (hoi-nuh)
Excuse me.
माफ गर्नुहोस्Maaf Garnus. (maaf-gur-noos)
I'm sorry. (begging for forgiveness)
माफ गर्नुहोस्Maaf 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
फेरी भेटौँला (phay-ree-bhay-tau-la)

ProblemsEdit

Leave me alone.
मलाई एक्लै छोड्नुहोस्। Malaai eklai ts'hodnus. (Ma-laai ek-laai ts'hod-nus)
Don't touch me!
मलाई नछुनुहोस् Malaai na ts'hunus! (Ma-laai na ts'hu-nus)
I'll call the police.
म प्रहरीलाई बोलाउँछु। Ma pra'ari bolau ts'hu. (Ma pra'arilai bo-lau-n ts'hu)
Police!
प्रहरी Prahari! (prahari)
Stop! Thief!
पर्ख चोर। Parkha! tsor! (Pak-ra! tso-r!)
I need your help.
मलाई सहयोग गर्नुहोस्। Malaai sahayog garnuhos. (Ma-laai sa-ha-yog garnu-hos)
It's an emergency.
आपत पर्‍यो aa‍pat paryo. (Aa-pat pa-ryo)
I'm lost.
म हराए। Ma haraye. (Ma ha-ra-ey)
I lost my bag.
मेरो झोला हरायो। Mero dz'hola harayo. (Me-ro dz'ho-la ha-ra-yo)
I lost my wallet.
मेरो वालेट हरायो Mero wallet harayo. (Me-ro wallet ha-ra-yo)
I'm sick.
मलाई सञ्चो छैन। Malaai santso ts'haina. (Muh-lay san-tso ts'ha-i-nah)
I've been injured.
मलाई चोट लाग्यो। Malaai tsot lagyo. (Ma-laai tso-t lag-yo)
I need a doctor.
मलाई डाक्टर चाहियो। Malaai doctor tsaiyo. (Ma-laai doctor tsai-yo)
Can I use your phone?
के म तपाईँको फोन प्रयोग गर्न सक्छु? K ma hadzur ko Phone prayog garna sakts'hu? (K ma ha-dzur ko phone pra-yog gar-na sak-ts'hu?)

NumbersEdit

१ (1)
एक ek (A-kh)
२ (2)
दुई dui (Du-ee)
३(3)
तीन tien (Tee-n)
४(4)
चार char (tsa-r)
५(5)
पाँच panch (Pa-n-ts)
६(6)
छ chha (ts'ha)
७(7)
सात saat (Sa-at)
८(8)
अाठ aath (Aa-th)
९(9)
नौ nau (Na-u)
१० (10)
दश das (Daa-s)
११ (11)
एघार eghara (A-gaa-ra)
१२ (12)
बाह्र bara (Ba-ra)
१३ (13)
तेह्र teera (T-e-ra)
१४ (14)
चौध chauda (tsau-da)
१५ (15)
पन्ध्र pandhra (Pan-dra)
१६ (16)
सोह्र sorha (So-ra)
१७ (17)
सत्र satra (Sat-ra)
१८ (18)
अठार athara (Aa-tha-ra)
१९ (19)
उन्नाइस् unais (Un-nai-s)
२० (20)
बीस bis (Bis)
३० (30)
तीस teece (Tee-s)
४० (40)
चालीस chaleece (tsa-lee-s)
५० (50)
पचास pachaas (Pa-tsa-s)
६० (60)
साठी sathi (Sat-ti)
७० (70)
सत्तरी sattari (Sa-tta-ri)
८० (80)
असी assi (aa-si)
९० (90
नब्बे nabbe (nab-be)
१०० (100
सय ek saye (A-kh sai-ya)
२०० (200)
दुइ सय dui sae (Du-ee suh-e)
३०० (300)
तीन सय tin sae (Tee-n suh-e)
१००० (1000)
हजार ek hadzar (A-kh Ha-dzar)
२००० (2000)
दुई हजार dui hadzar (Du-ee Ha-dzar)
१००००० (100,000)
एक लाख ek lakh (A-kh la-kh)
१०००००० (1,000,000)
दश लाख dus lakh (Daa-s la-kh)
number _____ (train, bus, etc.)
number _____ (...)
half
आधा aadha (aa-da)
less
कम kam (kum)
more
धेरै dherai (dhe-raii)

TimeEdit

now
ahile (aa-ee-le)
later
pachi (paa-ts'hi)
before
agadi (aa-ga-dee)
morning
bihana (bee-haa-na)
afternoon
diuso (di-u-so)
evening
beluka (be-lu-ka)
night
rati (raa-ti)

Clock timeEdit

one o'clock AM
bihana ko ek badze (...)
two o'clock AM
bihana ko dui badze (...)
noon
maddyanna (...)
one o'clock PM
diuso ko ek badze (...)
two o'clock PM
diuso ko dui badze (...)
midnight
maddyaraat (...)

DurationEdit

_____ 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)

DaysEdit

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 (suk-ra-bar)
Saturday
shanibaar (sa-ni-bar)

MonthsEdit

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
Mangsir (...)
December
Poush (...)
January
Magh (...)
February
Falgun (...)
March
Chaitra (...)

Writing time and dateEdit

ColoursEdit

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

TransportationEdit

Bus and trainEdit

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 ka'an jants'ha? (...)
Where is the train/bus to _____?
Gaadi ka'an pauts'ha _____? (...)
Does this train/bus stop in _____?
Yo gadi _____ ma rokts'ha? (...)
When does the train/bus for _____ leave?
Gadi kun bela jants'ha _____? (...)
When will this train/bus arrive in _____?
Kun bela ma pugints'ha _____? (...)
What time does the last bus leave?
Last bust kun bela jants'ha? (...)

DirectionsEdit

How do I get to _____ ?
_____ kasari dzaane? (...)
...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- sin)
east
purba (pu-r-ba)
west
paschim (pos-tsim)
uphill
ukaalo (oo-kaa-low)
downhill
ohralo (o-raa-low)

TaxiEdit

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 dzaana kaati parts'ha? ( maa-dzaa-na ka-ti, par-ts'haa)

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

MoneyEdit

Do you accept American/Australian/Canadian dollars?
America/Australia/Canada ko paisaa tsalts'ha? (...)
Do you accept British pounds?
Belaayatko paisaa tsalts'ha? (...)
Do you accept credit cards?
Credit card tsalts'ha? (...)
Can you change money for me?
Malaai khoodraa dinu hunts'ha ki? (...)
Where can I get money changed?
Paisa ka'a saatints'ha? (...)
Can you change a traveler's check for me?
travel check linuhunts'ha? (...)
Where can I get a traveler's check changed?
tralvel check ka'a saatits'ha? (...)
What is the exchange rate?
saTa'i dar ke ts'ha? (...)
Where is an automatic teller machine (ATM)?
(ATM)maysin kahaa ts'haa? (...)

EatingEdit

A table for one person/two people, please.
kripaya Tebul ek yaa dui dzanaako lagi. (...)
Can I look at the menu, please?
ma menu herna sakts'hu? (...)
Can I look in the kitchen?
ma key-tsen herna sakts'hu? (...)
Is there a house specialty?
gharmaa banaaieko ke'i ts'ha? (...)
Is there a local specialty?
sthaaniya bisess kehi ts'ha? (...)
I'm a vegetarian.
Ma masu kandina. (Ma- ma-SU Kan-DE-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)
eslaai dzalaaunus", please? (...)
fixed-price meal
nistsit 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
maats'haa(...)
ham
ham (...)
cheese
tsidz (...)
eggs
anDaa (...)
salad
salad (...)
(fresh) vegetables
(taadzaa) tarkaari (...)
(fresh) fruit
(taadzaa) phalphul (...)
bread
roTi(roti)
toast
toast (...)
noodles
tsau tsau (...)
rice
bhat (BHAT)
lentils
daal (da-all)
May I have a 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)
tsiya (tsee-ah)
juice
juice (...)
water
pani (PAN-ee)
beer
beer (BEER)
May I have some _____?
malaai ke'i _____ dinus? (...)
salt
nun (noon)
black pepper
marits (...)
butter
butter (...)
I'm finished.
Pugts'ha. (POOG-TS'HA)
It was delicious.
Mito ts'ha (...)
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)(...)

BarsEdit

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 (paani)
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 banda hunts'ha? (...)

ShoppingEdit

Do you have this in my size?
mero size maa mil ts'ha? (...)
How much is this?
yes ko kati parts'ha? (...)
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 tsa'idaina. (...)
You're cheating me.
tapaai malaai ts'haldai hunuhunts'ha. (...)
I'm not interested.
ma itts'huk ts'haina. (..)
OK, I'll take it.
OK, thik ts'ha, ma yo lints'hu. (...)
Can I have a bag?
malaai euTaa dz'holaa dinus? (...)
Do you ship (overseas)?
tapaai shipmaa paThaunuhunts'ha(bidesmaa)? (...)
I need...
malaai tsaa'ints'ha... (...)
...toothpaste.
...danta mandzan. (...)
...a toothbrush.
...daat madz'hne burus. (...)
...tampons.
...tampons. (...)
...soap.
sabun. (...)
...shampoo.
...shampoo. (...)
...pain reliever. (e.g., aspirin or ibuprofen)
...dukhaai haTaaune ausadi. (...)
...cold medicine.
...chiso dawaai. (...)
...stomach medicine.
...peTko ausadi. (...)
...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.
...angredzi bhaasaako kitaab. (...)
...English-language magazines.
...angredzi bhaasaako patrikaa. (...)
...an English-language newspaper.
...angredzi bhaasaako patrikaa. (...)
...an English-English dictionary.
...angredzi bhaasaako sabdkosh. (...)

AuthorityEdit

I haven't done anything wrong.
Maile ke'i galti gareko ts'haina. (...)
It was a misunderstanding.
budzaai maa ke'i galti thiyo. (...)
Where are you taking me?
tapaai malaai ka'a laadai hunuhunts'ha? (...)
Am I under arrest?
ma pakrau pareko hoon? (...)
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/ baanidzay dutaabaas sanga kura garna tsahants'hu. (...)
I want to talk to a lawyer.
ma wakil sanga kuraa garna tsa'ants'hu. (...)
Can I just pay a fine now?
ma dzariwaanaa maatra tirts'hu? (...)
This Nepali phrasebook is a usable article. It explains pronunciation and the bare essentials of travel communication. An adventurous person could use this article, but please feel free to improve it by editing the page.