Sunday, May 27, 2012

I Speak Nepalese!


Namaste!
Mero naam Sita ho. Mero desh USA ho ki Nepalmaa Angreji padhaaune.
Sunnus ta - Thamel kasari jaane?  Malaai dudh chhiya man parchha ki daal bhaat man parchha tara malaai aaja bhok laageko chhaina. Mero laagi khaanaa napakaaunus. Ma pasal Thamelmaa jaadai chhu kapadaa kinna.

This means:

Hello!
My name is Sita. I am from the US and teaching English in Nepal. 
Listen - how do you get to Thamel?  I really like milk tea and lentil soup with rice, but I'm not very hungry today. Please don't cook for me tonight. I am going to the store in Thamel to buy some clothes. 

(No body can say "Shirah" because they don't have the "sh" sound in Nepalese. So Biplop gave me a Nepali name - "Sita," which means "queen." Nice, huh!)

Gramatically speaking, it's not a very difficult language. But it certainly takes a few days to get used to thinking in a different way because the sentence structure is very different from English.  For instance, the sentence -

Malaai dudh chhiya man parchha 
To me   milk    tea     very   good
ki daal bhaat man parchha 
and lentil rice  very good
tara malaai aaja bhok laageko chhaina.
but   to me  today hungry  feel    not.

The intensive language course has been extremely helpful.  We spend three hours a day - from 9 to 12 every morning - in Nepali class with our teacher Biplop, a 20-year old from Pokhara region who came to Kathmandu three years ago to attend a better high school and started teaching English for Real Community Development Projects (RCDP) two years ago.  20 or 21 is the normal age to complete grade 12 in Nepal, and Biplop hopes to attend a university. He says there are many in Kathmandu. 

** Just to clarify: in English we call Nepal's language "Nepalese". In Nepalese, they call their language "Nepali". Make sense?

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