“Nepali Bhasha” State of Mind

Don’t worry, I won’t start singing Billy Joel songs…

In my earlier posting on learning Nepali I wrote about my frustrations and embarrassment in not being able to properly speak P’s native language. For the past 6+ years I have been surrounded by Nepali people… friends, neighbors, classmates, family… and instead of really gritting my teeth and doing some good old fashion language prep and studying, I’ve made about 10 million excuses as to why my language capacity is still at the “beginner” level.

Don’t get me wrong—I’ve definitely improved along the way. I’ve taken 20 hours worth of disjointed tutoring lessons in a “nearby” city and a similar number of hours of intense crammed language training in Nepal in order to satisfy a language requirement for a degree I am working on. These lessons coupled with being surrounded by the language have helped me to pick up vocabulary and phrases even simple verb conjugations–especially after coming back from Nepal–but now, I need to get serious, start focusing on grammar and really bring the pieces together.

So I basically set myself an ultimatum, or a bit of accountability in that posting, closing out with:

I wanted to declare that I am going to make a committed effort to learn far more Nepali this year than I have been able to do thus far, and hopefully the blog will keep me on track.

So luckily Gori Girl left this comment on the post:

Hmmm… would you be interested in doing a group thing, where everyone commits to so much studying each day/week and check in, report on progress, etc?

The answer is a BIG FAT YES! I think the more people that hold me accountable (and I am happy to do the same for others) the better! So if anyone wants to get in on a learn-your-partner’s-language-pact, by all means feel free to jump on board.

I’m debating what is the best way to allow readers to keep tabs on me, while updating you with the interesting tidbits along the way. I’m open to suggestions… but for now I might just write a “Nepali Bhasha” post every now and then, or start a new tab on the header bar across the top of my blog called “Nepali Bhasha” (similar to “recipes” or “books”) and keep an ongoing “language notebook.” Hmmm…

Anyway- I wanted to give a “shout out” to AS who has agreed to be my language tutor. Language is tricky. Some people are good at teaching it while some people simply aren’t (ahem, P), even if they are good at teaching other things (like GIS, so don’t be sad P). AS and I have agreed to meet 1-2 times a week for 30 mins to one hour at a time to practice speaking, learn vocabulary and grammar, and gain confidence. We have only been at it for a week, but it helps to get into a “Nepali bhasha state of mind” for a set aside period of time every week.

So– off to my tutorial session!

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5 responses to ““Nepali Bhasha” State of Mind

  1. Good luck! You can do it!

  2. Hmmm – how about a thread on my forum to check in more often than blog posts? (Because I’m sure that no one wants to read a daily post of “today I learned how to write ‘mango'”.) I need to get cracking on Hindi – we just bought tickets for this coming March, and I need to show some progress in the language learning department for the extended family. :-P

    I’ll try to get a post up about this tonight or tomorrow.

  3. My partner’s language is English, but I would still like to learn Hindi…and not from a Poppy loving-ji.
    I am thinking about trying out some trip leading in India next summer…

  4. I’m an American married to a Nepali, and I just want to wish you the best of luck. I realize that the language issue can be really touchy, because I too have sat through gatherings without understanding a word. Mero Nepali dherai naramro cha. Anyway, I know quite a few intercultural couples, and in most cases, one spouse does not speak the other’s native language, and I think that’s fairly common, BUT, if you put your mind to it, you can be successful. Maybe I should get off my lazy butt and do better too.

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