Basic Nepali – enough to get by

After spending two years in Nepal, I have picked up enough to be able to converse with those that don’t speak any English, and some words and phrases that help as I am walking around Lakeside and the women ask me if I would like some bananas or oranges, or when I want to specify that I want black tea and not the standard milk tea the locals drink. When I was first learning the language I struggled to find sites that kept is simple with just enough to get by in the beginning, so I’ve put together my own list for those that are visiting Pokhara for the first time and just want to know enough to get around.

In English

In Nepali

Hello – the Nepali form of greeting Namaste
The more respectful version of Namaste Namaskar
All purpose term meaning yes (mostly used when someone yells your name and this is how you answer, rather than “what?”) Hajur
Thank you – though not often used as the Nepali don’t say “please” and “thank you” Dhanyabhad
What is your name? Tapaiiko naam ke ho?
My name is … Mero naam … ho
Good (I use this one a lot) Ramro
Not Good Naramro
Tasty – used for food Mitho (pronounced “me too”)
Very tasty Dairy mitho
Saying the meal is good in a sentence Dairy mitho cha
Yes Ho
No Hoena
How much? Kati ho
Let’s go Jam
Black Tea Kalo chia
Milk Tea Dudh chia (pronounced “dood cheya”)
I don’t have or doesn’t exist – good for when asked for money Chainna (pronounced “china”)
I don’t need – use when the ladies ask you if you want fruit and won’t leave you. Chahindaina (promounced “chai daina”)
Hot – as in outside temperature not for food Gharmi
Cold – good for when ordering a cold beer or when you want a cold water. Chiso
Water Pawnee
Happy Khushee

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