Hopefully, Monday’s blog has convinced you to pack your bags and book a flight for Kathmandu! Congratulations! Now, we figure you might need a little introductory language lesson to make you seem like a pro from the moment your feet hit the sweltering hot tarmac.
First things first, you’ll need to say hello and introduce yourself. Try this:
“Namaste. Mero naam __(name)___ ho.”
Namaste is both ‘Hello’ and ‘Goodbye’ in Nepali and it’s probably a word you’ve heard before. If you’re looking to show a bit more respect to the person you’re greeting, you can replace it with ‘Namaskar’. The second sentence, ‘Mero naam Paige ho’ is simply ‘My name is Paige’. ‘Ho’ in this case means ‘is’ or ‘am’ whereas ‘hoina’ would be the negative version.
Mero naam Hilda hoina. My name is not Hilda. Mero name Paige ho. My name is Paige.
Great start! Here’s a few more translations that will be very useful to you…
Hajur – Yes
Thik Chha/Chhaina – Okay/Not Okay
Pherri Bhannus – Please repeat
Dhanyabad – Thank you
Maaph Garnus – I’m Sorry
Angreji – English
Dhai/Bhai – Older brother/younger brother (Use to informally address men who are either older or younger than you.)
Didi/Bahini – Older sister/younger sister (Use to informally address women who are either older or younger than you.)
These basics will help you in your first few days in Nepal but here are a couple things you may need to know that aren’t so obvious… and that you may not find in your guidebook.
Pugyo – Enough (Say this when the didi is heaping more and more dhal bhat onto your plate and you can’t possibly eat any more.)
Aliali – A little bit (Say this if you want just a bit more food but not the heaping amount they will try to serve you.)
Dherai Mitho Chha – Very delicious (Say this to whoever cooks/brings your food to make their day and compliment them.)
Sanchai Chaa? – How are you? (Ask your cab driver how he’s doing before starting to negotiate. Let’s him know you understand some Nepali and you’re not about to get jerked around and overpay.)
Jiskeko ho? – Are you kidding? (Say this when the taxi driver gives you his first price. It’s a valuable bargaining tactic.)
Rangichangi – Multicoloured/colourful (Just for fun because it’s my favourite Nepali word.)
Don’t worry, you’ll pick the language up fast if you make an effort to learn. Nepali people are always willing to help, especially when it comes to teaching a poor foreigner how to speak their language. Hopefully this guide helps you along your way!