Nepali Language Primer

Learning a few of the basics is really opens up a country to the traveler, visitor, tourist and volunteer worker... Just a little of the language will help you to get around, to meet people and to really deepen your experience of a culture. It shows the locals that you want to learn about them and care about their country and culture. So start with these basics...

note: Underlined words are shown as samples only, you should substitute as necessary

1. Basic Greetings and Pleasantries


English Translation


Hello, Greetings, I bless the divine in you


The more respectful version of Namaste


All purpose term meaning yes? Pardon, Excuse me?

(Tapaiilai) Kasto Cha?

How are you?

(Malai) Thik Cha

I am fine

Khana khannu bhaiyo?

Have you eaten? (used often as informal greeting)


Thank you

Tapaiiko naam ke ho?

What is you name?

Mero naam Jessica ho

My name is Jessica

Maaph garnuhos

Excuse me/ pardon me/ sorry

Maile bhujhina

I donít understand

Maile bhujhe

I understand

Pheri bhetaunla

I hope we meet again


2.         Addressing people/ things


Formal way to address someone using their name

Aama / Buwa

Mother / Father, but also friendly term men/women roughly in your parents generation

Didi / Bahini

Older / Younger sister, but also friendly term used to refer to other women roughly in your generation

Dhai / Bhai

Older / Younger brother, same as above

Nanu / Babu

Young girl / boy child

Ma / Hami

I / We

-> Annapurna Trek
-> Chitwan Jungle Safari
-> Poonhill Trek
-> Teaching Buddhist Monks
-> Work for Orphanage Nepal
-> Upcoming Volunteers