Nepal is a beautiful country with one of the most friendly and hospitable people in the world. Nepal offers a number of activities giving you culturally, naturally and spiritually rich experiences. Its developing economy may offer you very little of the materialistic comforts but, it’s fine-looking terrain, splendid mountains, natural resources and serenity sure to offer you a sense of contentment. The encounter with these tiny friendly people of the mountains will help you have an insightful adventure in the land of the Himalayas. Many of the locals get excited and amazed when they see a foreigner in their region. Knowing some of the common Nepali words will help you to break the ice and instantly bring smiles on both your faces. Little smile with a casual talk with locals while you travel in Nepal will surely help will amplify your happiness.
Nepali is not so easy but it is no German either. Even if you are not interested in learning the entire language it is always helpful to learn the basic sentences or at least words. Some of these easy words will help you connect with locals all around the Nepal, in an instant.
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1. Dhanyawaad – “Thank You”
From time to time, your guide or locals will be helping you get comfortable with your new surrounding and making your trip easy by carrying your luggage or giving you directions. In such times, a simple Dhanyawaad is sure to make his day as thank you is just what they need to feel appreciated. Dhanyawaad is a word that will make the other feel appreciated for his/her efforts to help you.
2. Namaste – “Hello”
Though the word is used as a welcoming salutation in general, literally Namaste means I bow down to the divine in you. Even though all might not understand this deeper meaning when you press your hands together bow your head a little and say the work “Namaste or Namaskar”, it could do wonders. When Nepali people hear their most common word being uttered by a complete new stranger, they spontaneously get a sense of belonging and respect. You not only start a conversation with your locals but you are also sure to gain his respect and gratefulness towards you for making the effort. Namaste is the best way to start a great friendship that could last for life.
3. Maaf garnu hos – “I am sorry.”
Well, we try to be perfect all the time but then we are only humans. You might make a mistake or two in the course of your trip. Mistakes are part of the life and when you commit it, it is good to be sorry for your action. You may unintentionally hurt a local by using a shoe inside the kitchen. To express your apologies say “ Maaf garnu hos”. Nepalese are very forgiving people, they will accept your apology and quickly offer you an amiable environment.
4. Ramailo cha – “It is fun.”
When your guide takes you for a fun event or a sport or an experience that you enjoy thoroughly, ramailo cha is the best response you could thank your guide with. During your trips a lot of misunderstandings might occur and you might get mad at your guide at times. But when you do appreciate their efforts and realize how much fun you are having and making memories for life, your acknowledgement lets them know that their effort hasn’t gone in vain. Ramailo cha could refer to an event or an activity that adds stars to your entire trip.
5. Pheri bhetaula – “See you again”
Like see you soon, asta la vista and others in different languages, Nepali Pheri bhetaula is a courteous goodbye with the hope or promise to meet soon. Once you meet your guide and have an awesome trip, the best way to depart with each other is “feri bhetaula”. It not only makes the trip a memorable one for you but also a great treat for the guide, not just for the adventure and income but also a trip with someone caring and appreciative of their efforts.
When you encounter something beautiful like the majestic mountains, lush green valleys and forests , temples and palaces ,the monasteries or gompas or the beautiful Nepali people with their colorful cultures and traditions , you can complement by saying ”ramro cha”. Ramro cha could mean beautiful or good so you can use it to appreciate the beauty of something or the services provided.
7. Mitho chha – “Tasty”
Nepali is known not just for its majestic mountains and temples and valleys but also for the different cuisines of the different ethnic people that live harmoniously in the country. Each ethnic group is distinct also due to its delicacies. When you can enjoy the dal, bhat tarkari as the national cuisine, Momos , chatamari, chwela , etc are authentic newari dishes. The food/ cuisines differ and is tasty of other communities like Tharus, Gurungs, Magars, etc with the thakali food being a favorite among tourists as well. When you enjoy such scrumptious meals the most appropriate compliment is “Mitho cha “meaning very tasty or even better – “dherai mitho cha” where dherai means a lot.
People say words are only wind and have very less meaning. But when you have your language and your culture forming a huge barrier between a person, these few words can help you create and maintain a bond that will be a delight all your life.
Is there any word that has helped you connect to the people of Nepal? Let us know in the comment below.