नमस्ते – Allow us to introduce the Nepali language

hear Nepali hello

We are delighted about your interest in the Nepali language, and would like to tell you more about it:
We begin simply with “Hello”:
नमस्कार, नमस्ते [namaskar, namaste] – and that is how to say “Hello” in Nepali.

How many people speak Nepali?

Unfortunately it is not possible to give a definitive number of native speakers of Nepali.
It varies according to how the number is calculated and when the count was made.
However we can say:
If you learn Nepali, you will be able to speak to more than 40 million people worldwide.
If you learn Nepali because you intend to travel to Nepal, you will find 17 million native speakers there.

Where can I speak and hear Nepali?

Nepali in Nepal

Nepali is spoken in Nepal and is the language of government there.
Nepal is a country in South Asia.
The capital city of Nepal is Kathmandu.
Many visitors to Kathmandu have one ambition: They want to climb Mount Everest in the Himalayas, the highest mountain in the world.

But Nepal has a lot more to offer: In Nepal there are many people from different ethnic groups living peacefully together.
Did you know that in Nepal 124 different languages are spoken?
The majority of Nepali speakers live in the West of the land, particularly in the Kathmandu Valley.

Since Nepali is the language of Government and is taught in all schools, you will be able to use the words you learn with almost anyone you meet over there.

Nepali in India

Nepali is also spoken in India, particularly in the North of this large land.
You will hear Nepali in Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya, Nagaland, Sikkim, Tripura and West Bengal.
It is also to be found in many of India’s larger cities for example Delhi, Mumbai, Calcutta and Chennai.

Nepali in Bhutan

In Bhutan there is an ethnic group called the Lhotshampa.
The Lhotshampa migrated to Bhutan in the late 19th Century and today comprise a third of the population of Bhutan.
The Lhotshampa still speak Nepali.

Nepali is also found in:
..the United Kingdom, Hong Kong and Myanmar. Nepalese have also settled in these countries.

Nepali is written with the Devanagari script

Nepali is written with the Devanagari script. You may have noticed the beautiful script of Nepali.
Devanagari script is written from left to right. There are no capital or small letters in the Devanagari script.
The Nepali Devanagari script includes 36 consonants.
However of these 36 consonants 3 are hardly ever used anymore.
It is therefore only necessary to learn 33 consonants.

Would you like to learn your first letters?

  • is pronounced [na].
  • is pronounced [ma].
  • is the sound [sa].
  • is pronounced [t].

The Nepali alphabet also includes 12 vowels.
Of these twelve only ten are still used: Two vowels are hardly ever used.
You will need to learn to distinguish between short and long vowels.

Here is an example:

  1. is a short [a].
  2. is long, drawn out [aa].

If you can read Devanagari, then you can also learn other Devanagari script languages like Hindi, Marathi, Kashmiri and the ancient Indian language Sanskrit.

Learn your first phrases in Nepali:

Learn your first phrases in Nepali:
(Press the button to hear a native speaker pronounce the words.)

hear Nepali hello नमस्कार, नमस्ते Hello!
hear Nepali my name is मेरो नाम ... हो । I am called... / My name is ...
hear Nepali I come from म ... आएको हुँ । I come from ...
hear Nepali my age is म ... बर्ष को भए। I am ... years old.
hear Nepali please केही छैन ! Please!
hear Nepali thank you धन्यवाद! Thank you!
hear Nepali bye informal बिदा हौ , नमस्कार ! Bye! (informal)
hear Nepali bye formal फेरी भेटौँला , नमस्कार ! Good bye (formal)!

Nepali is an Indo-Aryan language

Linguists classify Nepali as an Indo-Aryan language.
This group also includes Hindi, Urdu, Bengali, Sanskrit and in Europe the language Romany spoken by the Roma of Europe.
This family of languages belongs in turn to the Indo-European group of languages.
This language family has the largest number of speakers.
Did you know that worldwide 3 billion people speak an Indo-European language (e.g. Albanian, English, German, Lithuanian, Dutch, Persian and Russian) as their native language?

More information over Nepal and Nepali