As you are probably aware… I’ve made a commitment to try and learn more Nepali this year than I have previously been able to do. I have finally reached that point of “wow, this is embarrassing, I really want to be able to speak.”

I’ve discussed my language learning frustrations in “Learning Nepali” and “Nepali Bhasha State of Mind” and have also made a psedo-pact with Gori Girl about learning language. She has started a forum thread on her blog dedicated to learning Hindi (and language learning in general) to help keep her on track. As noted in “Nepali Bhasha State of Mind” I wanted to make a tab on my blog to help hold myself accountable.

I’ll keep track of my language learning strategies and self report what I am doing each week to move forward with my goal. Feel free to encourage or chastise based on my progress or lack there of, also if you know of language resources, or have any feedback, feel free to leave comments below!


I have had this book for 7 years, it "looks" ruffled and used, but looks can be deceving

I have had this book for 7 years, it "looks" ruffled and used, but looks can be deceiving

In the beginning…

I feel like I have gone over the basics, “Chapter 1” in my “Teach Yourself Nepali” book, dozens of times. Trying to remember the differences between when to use “हो” and when to use “छ” (why does Nepali have to have two ways of saying “is”/”are”?!) and the ever present “Namaste… mero nam C ho. Kasto cha? Malai sanchai cha.”

I was really making some progress with the class I was taking in Nepal, but the timings were so erratic, and it was exhausting trying to speak and understand people in Nepali when I knew I had so little time there, and such a short window to get to know people.

But anyway… its’s a start. Between reading over the “Teach Yourself” book, and meeting with AS to keep my mind focused an hour or two a week on speaking and concentrating on the language, I might actually get somewhere this time.

13 responses to “Nepali

  1. Hi! I just read through all of your blog posts and really enjoyed them! I have relationships — alas, not of the romantic variety — with quite a few ethnic Nepalis from Bhutan through volunteer work I do with refugees. I am learning Nepali and wanted to make sure you were aware of what I think is a much better learning tool than Teach Yourself Nepali (TYN). For $15, Cornell sells an excellent beginner’s text called Nepali Beginner’s Primer, referred to here: You can see an online copy (not printable) of it here:
    They also sell companion CDs to the primer here: I got both the primer and CDs about 8 weeks ago and have been diligently working through them, using TYN as a backup, and feel that I’ve made great progress. The Primer has exercises that repeat and reinforce what’s taught to a much greater extent than TYN. No way I could have made this kind of progress using TYN alone. By the way, I used your link to Rosetta Stone to request a Nepali version! Thanks for your blog.

    • Josh… thanks for the tip! I actually used part of this book a while back when taking some Nepali lessons. I think I only have the first 6 chapters though (that is as far as we got), but it was a useful resource and one I should pick up again in a more complete form…

      A few friends of mine work with Bhutanese refugees in my current city, and I’ve helped to bring some to the temple before for holidays. It must be interesting working with them… some of their stories are truly fascinating to hear! I’ve been thinking of writing something about the Bhutanese refugees in the US since they are one of the larger populations coming right now. Perhaps at some point you might like to write a guest post about your experience?

      And thanks for bugging Rosetta Stone! Perhaps one of these days we will convince them to make a Nepali version!

    • Josh! Dhanyabhad! I have been searching for a way to learn Nepali and am very excited to try these CDs and books you have suggested. My husband is Nepalese and I’ve been with him for two years. My mother in law speaks very little English and communication with her is strained. So the sooner I can learn the better.
      This blog is just so wonderful!

  2. I suggest this website for vocab and comprehension practice:

    It’s great for learning new words, and although it requires that you understand some basic grammar, the sentence examples are very useful. I started learning Nepali by reading example after example until patterns appeared, and then I’d ask Sabin for clarification on certain things. It really does help, and I’ve learned a lot of verbs from the website!

  3. As Josh mentioned, there is a growing number of Nepali-speaking Bhutanese refugees in the US. You might be able to get in contact with some of them or other Nepalis in the US to practice your Nepali bhasha. I’ve always found Nepalis to be so accepting and happy to teach me their language.

  4. laurel vaidya

    wow! this is a great wbsite! I have married a Nepali man and we have a new baby so i really need to learn nepali also. Thank you for creating a website that we can relate to so much. It made my day as there seem to be very few american-nepali couples. Great!

  5. I’ve created a video web series that teaches Nepali reading and writing. My website is I think it might help you. BTW, I’m married to an American (going on 9 years – and 3 kids). Your blog is very interesting, I’ll send the link to my wife as well.

  6. I have a Learning Nepali bookmarks folder. I try to make it point to use some conversational Nepali every day. My boyfriend and I talk a lot via text message so that is how I started learning by typing it. Now we practice speaking it more. I find it is easier to learn the sounds before learning the alphabet. I downloaded a Devanagri Iphone app and find myself studying the alphabet/sound relationships whenever I’m waiting for anything. I also keep a digital notepad on my phone with my most used phrases and translations. I know a guy on skype that is Nepali but just moved from a rural town to Kathmandu and is trying to learn English in exchange for teaching Nepali. He’s a great teacher. If you want to practice with him I can try to link you two up. Hope the learning is going well :)

    My favorite links for Nepali learning:

    Click to access Warren_English_Nepali.pdf

  7. Oh with the “why are there two forms of are/is?” I believe that the ho is a permanent state. And Cha is a temporary state of is/are. Like your name is always C, but you might be well today and might be unwell tomorrow. So you would say Mero naam C ho, but to say you feel well is Ramro laagyo cha or thik cha. Hope this helps.

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