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Nepali phrasebook

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Revision as of 13:17, 26 July 2012 by 113.199.172.77 (Talk)

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Nepali is the official language of Nepal. 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.

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.

Pronunciation

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.


Vowels

अ (a) 
like 'au' in "daunting",
आ (aa) 
like 'a' in "father"
इ (e) 
like the 'i' in "sit"
ई (e) 
like 'ea' in "tea"
उ (u) 
like 'oo' in "boot"
ऊ (u) 
like 'oo' in "boot"
ए (aa) 
like 'e' in "bed"
ऐ (i) 
like 'ey' in 'hey'
ओ (o) 
like 'o' in "go"
औ (ou) 
like "oh"
अं (ung) 
like 'ung' in "sung"
(uhhuh) : like the word "uhhuh"

Consonants

like 'b' in "bed"
bh 
like 'b' in "bed," but with an extra puff of air, like "Bhutan"
ch 
like 'ch' in "chat"
chh 
like 'd' in "dog"
dh 
like 'd' in "dog" but with an extra puff of air, like "Dhaka"
like 'f' in "frog"
like 'g' in "go"
gh 
like 'g' in "go" but with an extra puff of air, like "Ghana"
like 'h' in "help" (often silent in the UK and other Commonwealth countries)
like 'dg' in "edge"
jh
like 'c' in "cat"
kh 
like 'kh' in "Khaki"
like 'l' in "love"
like 'm' in "mother"
like 'n' in "nice"
like 'p' in "pig"
ph 
like 'ph' in "phone"
like 'q' in "quest" (with "u", almost always)
like 'r' in "row", like 'r' in "feather" (often silent in the UK and other Commonwealth countries at end of word)
like 'ss' in "hiss"
like 't' in "top"
at the beginning of a word, somewhere between the "v" in "vice" and "w" in "wives." In the middle of a word somewhere between the "v" in "vice" and the "b" in "bike." Spelling-wise, these are interchangable ("Shiva-Shiba" "Vishnu"-"Wishnu"). Err on the side of a "v" sound.

Phrase list

Basics

I Love you
Ma timilai maya garchu.
Hello.
Namaste. (Nah-MAH-stay)
Hello. (formal)
Namaskar. (Nah-MAH-skar)
How are you? 
Hajur Sanchai cha? (San-chai-CHA?) (formal) Timlai sanchai cha? (informal) or Hajur/Timlai kasto cha? (Kas-tow CHA?)
Fine, thank you. 
Sanchai chu,Dhanyabaad. (San-chai-CHu) or Ramro chu. (Ram-row CHu)
What is your name? 
Hajur ko naam ke ho? (ha-jur ko na-m k ho?) or Tapai ko naam ke ho? (ta-pai ko na-m kay-ho?)
My name is ______ . 
Meero naam ______ ho. (MAY-ro na-m _____ ho.)
Please. 
indicated by using the polite form
Thank you. 
dhanyabaad (DHAN-naii-bat)
Yes. 
Hajur. (HA-jur) or Ho. (HO)
No. 
Chaina. (Chai-NA) or Haina. (Hai-Na)
Excuse me. (getting attention
Excuse me.
Excuse me. (begging pardon
maaf garnus. (MA-af-GAR-nus)
I'm sorry. 
ma maafi chahanchu.
Goodbye 
Namaskaar
Goodbye (informal
Namaste
Bye Bye 
Ta-ta
I only speak a little Nepali
ma ali-ali Nepali bolchu . (Ma all-ee all-ee nee-pa-li bowl-chu )
Do you speak English? 
Tapaai Angreji bolnuhunchha? (Ta-Pai- Ang-gri-jee bolnu-hun-cha?)
Is there someone here who speaks English? 
Koi English bolne cha? (Ko-i English bol-ne-cha?)
Good morning. 
Subha Prabhat. (not used; instead use Namaste or Good Morning)
Good evening. 
Good evening. (not used; instead use Namaste or Good Evening)
Good night. 
Subha ratri. (not used; instead use Namaste or Good Night)
I don't understand. 
Maile buhjina. (Mai-le Bu-jhi-na)
Where is the toilet? 
Toilet kata cha? (Toilet ka-ta cha?)

Problems

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

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

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

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

_____ 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

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

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

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

Colors

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

Transportation

Bus and Train

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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!

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