Learning the Nepali language can be an enjoyable experience. When you travel to Nepal, having a grasp of a few Nepali words can be a valuable tool for initiating conversations with locals.
Typically, Nepalese don’t expect foreign visitors to be fluent in their native language. However, making an effort to speak Nepali can be greatly appreciated.
Many Nepalis will be delighted to hear you speak in their local tongue, as it demonstrates your interest in their culture and language. Moreover, acquiring some basic Nepali vocabulary for everyday terms will facilitate communication.
Therefore, we recommend that you familiarize yourself with common Nepali words before embarking on your journey to Nepal.
Is It Necessary to Learn Nepali Words?
While it’s not compulsory to learn Nepali words for your trip, it can greatly enhance your experience, especially if you plan to engage with elderly locals in rural areas.
In popular tourist destinations and major cities, you can usually get by with English. English is taught in schools from a young age, so most children and many adults can understand it, though accents may vary.
However, not knowing any Nepali words might make your trip more interesting and enriching. Communicating in the local language can help you connect with the culture and people on a deeper level.
As Nelson Mandela once said, “If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his own language, that goes to his heart.“
Even as a tourist, learning some basic Nepali phrases can go a long way in fostering goodwill and understanding.
Here are some essential Nepali words and phrases for travelers:
Greetings and Pleasantries:
- Hello/Hi – Namaste
- Please – Kreepaya
- Thank You – Dhanyabad
- Give me some water – Malai Paani Dinus Na
- Very Beautiful- Ati Raamro
- Can I take a photo? – Photo (Tasbir) Khichna Milchha Hola?
- Can you help me? – Malai Sahayog Garna Saknu Hunchha?
- What’s its price? Yeslai Kati Parchha?
- Yes- Ho
- No – Hoina
- Police- Prahari
- Hospital- Aspatal
- Money- Paisa
Numbers for Currency:
- Five (5) – Paanch (५)
- Ten (10) – Dashh (१o)
- Twenty (20) – Bish (२0)
- Fifty (50) – Pachas (५0)
- Hundred (100) – Saya (१00)
- Five Hundred (500) – Paanch Saya (५00)
- Thousand (1000) – Hajar (१000)
- Mother – Ama
- Father – Buwa
- Grandfather – Hajurbuwa
- Grandmother – Hajuraama
- Elder Sister – Didi
- Younger Sister – Baini
- Younger Brother – Bhai
- Elder Brother – Dai
Apologies in Nepalese:
- I am Sorry / Pardon Me – Malai Maaf Garidinus
- It’s my fault – Yo Mero Galti ho
- I didn’t know – Malai Thaha Bhayena
- Apologies – Maafi
- Excuse me, please! – Kripaya Malai Maaf Garidnus
- Where does this way lead to? – Yo Baato Kata Jaanchha?
- Are there any hotels nearby – Eta Katai Hotels Chha?
- I am lost – Ma Haraye.
- Can you show me the road that leads to a hotel? – Malai Hotel Jaane Baato Dekhaidina Saknu Hunchha?
- What is the name of this place? – Yo Thau Ko Naam K Ho?
- Please Help – Sahayog Garnus
- Taxi – Taxi
- Bus – Gaadi or Bus
- Train – Train
- Car – Car
- Airplane – Hawaijahaj
- Motorcycle/Bike – Bike
- Danger- Khatara
- Help – Guhar
- Doctor – Daaktar
- Nurse – Nurse
- Hospital – Hospital or Aspatal
- I don’t feel good. – Malai Sancho Chhaina.
- Ambulance- Ambulance
- Police – Pulish or Prahari
- It hurts here. – Malai Eha Dukchha.
- What happened? – K Bhayo?
- What to do now- Aba K Garne?
Basic Nepali Vocabulary for Dining:
It’s always a courteous gesture to express gratitude to the person serving you food. If you enjoy the meal, a simple “It’s very delicious” can bring smiles to their faces. These are basic etiquettes to follow while dining.
Furthermore, Nepalese people are known for their warmth. Asking “Have you eaten?” is as common as asking “How are you?” So, when you’re sharing a meal with someone and your food is served, extend the courtesy by inviting the other person to join you. It’s a sign of respect.
Also, remember that wasting food is considered disrespectful in Nepal. If offered seconds, take a little and ask for more if needed.
- I am Hungry / I am thirsty – Malai Bhok Laagyo / Malai Tirkha Laagyo
- Lunch / Dinner – Khana
- Breakfast / Tiffin – Nasta
- A little – Ali Ali
- I am full – Malai Pugyo
- It’s Delicious – Ati Mitho Chha
- Here / Take this – Linus
- Hot – Taato (for drinks and food)
- Cold – Chiso (for drinks and food)
- Water – Paani
- Tea – Chiya
- Coffee – Kafi
- How much is it? – Kati Bhayo (Used while asking for the total cost)
- It’s spicy / I don’t like Spices or Not Spicy Please – Piro Chha / Ma Piro Khaadina
- I can’t eat / I am allergic to – Malai Khana Hudaina
- You have it – Tapai Khanus
- I am Vegetarian – Ma Saakahari ho
- Peanuts – Badaam
- Seafood – Samundri Khana
- What do you recommend? – Tapai k Sifaarish Garnuhunchha?
English Hours/Date/Days in Nepali Words:
- Hour – Ghanta
- Half an hour – Aadhi Ghanta
- What time is it now? – Ahile Kati Bajyo?
- Day / Morning / Afternoon / Evening / Night – Din / Bihana / Deuso / Beluka or Saanj / Raati
- Yesterday / Today / Tomorrow – Hijo / Aajha / Bholi
- Sunday – Aaitabar
- Monday – Sombar
- Tuesday- Mangalbar
- Wednesday – Budhabar
- Thursday – Bihibar
- Friday – Sukrabar
- Saturday – Sanibar
Express Your Feelings in the Nepali Language:
When you appreciate something, expressing it in Nepali can be a delightful gesture. While most people in tourist areas understand the word “beautiful,” saying it in their mother tongue can be even more appreciated.
Learning basic local language terms is always valuable when traveling. “Thank you” and “please” are universally appreciated gestures of politeness. If faced with a dispute over pricing, a calm “please” can often resolve the situation.
Expressing love or appreciation in Nepali can help build trust and connections. Here are some phrases for expressing your feelings:
- I love you – Ma Timilai Maaya Garchhu
- Let’s go on a date – Ghumna Jaam
- You’re very beautiful. – Tapai Ekdam Raamro Hunuhunchha.
- I love your country a lot. – Malai Tapaiko Desh Ekdam Mann Paryo.
- Please – Kripaya
- You’re Welcome – Swagatam
- Thanks Again – Feri Dhanyabad
Learning these basic Nepali words and phrases can make your trip to Nepal more enjoyable and meaningful, allowing you to connect with the local culture and people more effectively.
Nepali Language Tips for Travel:
Here are some travel tips for Nepal:
- Always maintain a polite tone in your conversations.
- If children on the streets ask for money, a simple “I don’t have” (Chhaina) and walking away is sufficient.
- If you have cultural concerns, approach them delicately rather than confronting people directly.
- When bargaining in local markets, knowing Nepali numbers can be advantageous.
- Use Nepali relationship phrases to establish connections when starting conversations.
- Seek permission before entering someone’s private property.
- Bookmark this blog, “Learn Nepali words,” so you can access Nepali translations when needed.
In conclusion, we hope this list of Nepali words enhances your experience while in Nepal. If you encounter communication challenges, consider downloading a Nepali dictionary app from Android Playstore or Apple’s Appstore.
Nepalese people are known for their hospitality and willingness to assist travelers. The phrase “Atithi Devo Bhava,” meaning “Guests are God,” is ingrained in their culture. Communication is key, so making an effort to speak Nepali words can make your interactions more meaningful and enjoyable.