I hope you understand how difficult it is to help someone get accustomed to something as enormous as a language system, esp. through a tiny little blog.
Wow, I was so lost! After hours of thinking and struggle, this is what I could write.
Here is a list of the most common words in Nepali language to help you deal with minor communication issues during your stay here.
1. Greeting/ Thanking people:
Namaste is, unarguably, the most frequently spoken word. It can be used to greet anyone anytime.
Similarly, Good morning is referred as ‘Shubha- bihani’ and Good night as ‘Shubha- ratri’.
And this word, especially, could come in handy-
English: Thank you
2. Asking for things, names and replying/ general conversation:
When you want to know the names of people, ask them in Nepali, you’ll love the expression on their faces-
Nepali: Tapaiko naam ke ho?
English: What is your name?
If someone asks for your name, reply in this way-
Nepai: Mero naam Catherine ho.
English: My name is Catherine.
Ask about how people are doing, in this way-
Nepali: Ke cha halchal?
English: How is everything?
Similarly, reply in this way-
Nepali: Thik cha
English: Everything’s ok.
Ask for things in the following way-
Nepali: Malai tyo chocolate dinus na.
English: Please give me that chocolate.
3. Basic food and drinks:
Let me give you just the basic stuffs. Here, ‘Khana’ means a heavy diet, mostly lunch and dinner.
On the other hand, ‘Khaja’ means light snack, mostly breakfast.
Water in Nepali is ‘Pani’.
4. Asking for directions:
What if you were taking pictures and were left behind or got lost somehow? (I hope you don’t).
Use the following phrase to ask people to give you directions to a desired destination.
Nepali: Ghandruk kasari jaane?
English: How can I get to Ghandruk?
You may be replied in a number of ways but some possibilities would be:
- Sidda: Straight
- Daine/ Daaya: Right
- Baaya: Left
- Bato: Road/ Trail
- Dobato/ Chowk: Junction
5. While buying things:
If you want to find the store of an item, ask-
Nepali: Cup kaha paincha?
English: Where can I buy cups?
When you’re buying things, ask for the price in this way-
Nepali: Yasko kati ho?
English: How much for this?
Cheap here is spoken as ‘Sasto’ and expensive as ‘Mahango’. Now, you may respond to the price accordingly.
6. Tired during the trek, huh…:
Express your exhaustion in the following way-
Nepali: Thakyo! Ekchin basam.
English: I’m tired! Let’s rest for a while.
When you’re ready to hit the road say,
Nepali: La jaam!
English: Let’s go!
7. Staying for the night:
Unless you like watching the stars as you sleep or wish to have a camp fire, you will need a place to stay.
Use the following phrases to find a place to stay.
Nepali: Yaha najik kunai lodge cha?
English: Is there a lodge nearby?
Nepali: Ma yaha basna milcha?
English: Can I stay here?
In Nepal, if a foreigner speaks in Nepali, the locals get super excited and friendly (for no specific reason). Believe me; you would need such people by your side at least throughout your stay here.
I hope this blog was helpful enough!
Thanks for reading and have a great time trekking in Nepal!
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