Nepali is the official language of Nepal. It's related to Indo-Aryan languages, such as Hindi and Punjabi, with much Tibetan influence as well. It 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.
Educated Nepalis can often speak English, because of the popularity of boarding school as public school can not compete for quality education. 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, especially English, so most of the Nepali people understand these words rather then its literal meaning in Nepali e.g. coat, TV, breakfast,basket etc.
h A superscript "h" indicates that the proceeding consonant is aspirated. "Aspiration" just means that the sound involves a more forceful breath. At first it will sound like everyone around you is always on the verge of laughing -- "c -ha!- t" "d -ha!- og!"
n A superscript "n" indicates that the proceeding vowel is nasal. To the English-speaking ear (don't try to visualize that too hard) nasalized vowels just sound like they are followed by a "n." Listen to yourself say words like "injury," "animal," and "young."
! The trickiest sound for non-natives are the "retroflex" consonants. Usually they are represented by a dot under the letter or by bold text, but I find that too easy to overlook so I'm using an exclamation mark.
All the Nepali words you'll see here are written in "Roman Transliteration" -- which just means using the Roman alphabet to try and represent sounds in the Nepali alphabet (which isn't really an "alphabet" per se, but that's another conversation).
In English we use a combination of letters to represent different sounds, so the "a" in "father" is different from the "a" in "made" or "bat". In the transliteration of Nepali, one letter pretty much equals one sound. There are no silent "q"s or "k"s or "e"s. K-n-i-e-f is "K-nief," m-a-d-e is "ma-de," etc.
Consonants, with the exception of the aspirated and retroflex variety are pretty much what you'd expect.
Aspiration: Most Nepali consonants come in two forms, nonaspirated ("unbreathed") and aspirated ("breathed"). In the Nepali alphabet, the two forms will be written with completely different letters (क/ख, ग/घ) but in transliteration, we add an 'h' to show aspiration. Native speakers of English aspirate certain consonants in English, but since aspiration doesn't change the meaning of a word in English, we don't pay any attention to it and rarely even notice that we do it.
If you hold your hand in front of your lips and say "pot," you'll feel your breath come out on the 'p'. Now if you say "spot", you'll feel far less breath. Exaggerate the breath through the 'p' of "pot" and you've got the Nepali 'ph' (फ). Try saying "pot" like "spot", with little air coming out—it may sound a little bit more like "bot" to your ear—and you've got the Nepali 'p' (प). Practice with your hand in front of your mouth to feel the breath. This will help you correctly pronounce the unvoiced consonants ('ch', 'k', 'p', 't').
Even if you master pronouncing them right, don't worry if you can't hear the difference easily.
For voiced consonants ('b', 'd', 'g', 'j'), the breath is heard more in the vowel following it, which will sound "breathy" or "husky" or "fuzzy". There's nothing like it in English, but it's much easier for native English speakers to hear and reproduce than aspiration for the unvoiced consonants. Try pasting "बात भात" into Google Translate and using its voice synthesis for Hindi to hear the difference between "baat" (conversation) and "bhaat" (cooked rice). (Hindi and Nepali pronunciation are different, but close enough for this.) Or "दान धान":"daan" (donation) and "dhaan" (rice in the field).
Retroflexion: If that's not enough, the letters 't' and 'd' come in two more forms, which differ on where your tongue touches the top of your mouth. In English when we say 't' and 'd', we usually touch our tongue to the top of the back of the upper teeth; this is called an alveolar 't'. In Nepali, the tongue touches either at the tips of the upper teeth (the dental 't') or is curled backwards to touch the hard palate behind the teeth (the retroflex ["bent backwards"] 't').
In English we use a dental 't' in the word "eighth": notice there's both a 't' and a 'th' sound in the word "eighth". The tongue moves to the tips of the teeth in preparation to say the 'th'. (Spanish also uses a dental 't': if you can hear the difference between theirs and ours, theirs may sound a little "brighter" than ours.)
The retroflex 't' sounds very different from our 't' and is one of the more recognizable markers of Indian English. In most forms of North American English we use a retroflex 't' in the word "art"; the tongue curls back for the 'r' sound and stays back when you say the 't'. In Nepali words with retroflex letters, you may even imagine you hear a nonexistent 'r' before retroflex letters: the number eight (आठ aaṭh) might sound like "art". The 't' and 'd' in "Kathmandu" (काठमाडौं kaaṭhmaaḍau) are both retroflex.
like 'b' in "bed"
like 'b' in "bed," but with a puff of air and breathy vowel
like 'ch' in "chat" or "ts" in "tsetse"
like 'ch' in "chat" or "ts" in "tsetse" but with a puff of air
like 'd' in "dog" with the tongue at the tips of the teeth
like 'd' in "dog" with the tongue at the tips of the teeth and with a puff of air and breathy vowel
like 'd' in "dog" with the tongue curled back
like 'd' in "dog" with the tongue curled and with a puff of air and breathy vowel
like 'g' in "go"
like 'g' in "go" but with a puff of air and breathy vowel
like 'h' in "help"
like 'dg' in "edge" or 'dz' in" adze"
like the 'dg' in "edge" or 'dz' in" adze" but with a puff of air and breathy vowel
like 'c' in "cat"
like 'kh' in "Khaki" (not like "Khrushchev")
like 'l' in "love"
like 'm' in "mother"
like 'n' in "nice"
like 'p' in "pig"
like 'ph' in "pig" but with an extra puff of air; can move towards an 'f' sound
like an Italian or Spanish 'r', flipped
स श and ष (s)
like 'ss' in "hiss"
like 't' in "top"
like 'th' in "cathouse" (not like "thumb" or "then")
like 't' in "top" with the tongue curled back
like 'th' in "cathouse" (not like "thumb" or "then") with the tongue curled back and with a puff of air
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.
In Nepali the clock times are written same as in English but the date and day are written first the day than the year followed by the month and finally the date. For example: Budhabar 2070 sal Poush mahina satra gate or Budhabar 2070/09/17.