Bibliography of Nepali Language
There are only few easily accessible resource for students of nepali language who want to learn the basics of the spoken language. If the greater part of the works require a mastery of the Devanagari script, many others are not accessible outside Nepal and are difficult to understand for the general public. This non-exhaustive list describes a subjective assessment of some resources that we met while writing our "Introduction to Nepalese Language" and that can help learning the Nepali language either in English or in French.
Learn Nepali language with book and recordings - Ressources for nepalese
English → Introduction to the Nepali language by Louis-Simon Roy and Prem Bahadur - This is one of the only easily accessible method to learn Nepali language for travelers. It is fully designed using the phonetic transcription and allows for deep learning of various aspects of the Nepali language. It is oriented to the general public and to all travelers without training in linguistics that are looking for a more intimate contact with Nepalese people and those who speak that language (South Himalaya Region). It is concidered by many travalers to be an essential tool for travelers and lovers of Nepal who desire to make a different travel in Nepal. The book of 215p. is accompanied by more than 4 hours of audio recording that have been done in Nepal in May 2010. It is surely the most accessible method of the Nepali language for general public and for Nepal lovers. Written by the author of Introduction to the Mongolian language a bestselling book that is now considered to be the leading book to learn mongolian language. The recordings .mp3 were all made in Nepal and one can hear some background noise that you quickly get used. Books and recordings can be downloaded or ordered for about 29 €. Note that Louis-Simon Roy is the same author of the book « Introduction to Mongolian Language »
French → Manuel de Népali (Volume 1) by Marie-Christine Cabaud Until 2010, this book to learn nepali language was the only resource for French speaker. This manual provides a deep incursion into the intricacies of the language but is poorly suited for travelers wishing to simply learn to cope with everyday life when they are in Nepal. This book is well designed for linguists and universitarians students but terms used may put off the general public. Also, all the 220 pages of this manual are written in Devanagari script. In summary, this resource is very interesting and relevant if you follow the cursus offered by the INALCO (institute of Paris) or if you're lucky enough to be followed by a private nepali teacher.
English → Basic Course in Spoken Nepali by Tika B. Karki and Chij K. Shrestha. This book of 286 pages allow student to learn several aspects of the Nepali language. This book has the advantage of being completely written in the phonetic alphabet. Hardly accessible outside of Nepal. It is an interesting book but the grammatical explanations are inadequate (very short), and often nonexistent. This is a book ideally accompanied by other resources. This book to learn Nepali language alone is not enough to be used by students wishing to learn the basics of the language of every day but is a good companion with the book of Louis-Simon Roy other ressources..
English → Teach yourself Nepalese by Michael Hutt and Subedi Abi. Book 328p. By far the most accessible book outside of Nepal (and Nepal) to learn Nepali after the book "Introduction to Nepalese Language" by Louis-Simon Roy. The dialogues are well designed and explanations too. The only very daunting aspect is that once the lesson number 4 is done, all texts, explanations and exercises are only in the Devanagari alphabet. This aspect makes learning very difficult if you haven't spent much time learning to read. If you already know the alphabet, the book Teach Yourself is a very interesting ressources. Otherwise, only the first 50 pages are actually beneficial for your learning the Nepali language. The audio recordings are well designed and the sound quality is very good.
English → A course in Nepali by David Matthews. Book of 344 pages interesting and well designed with many useful explanations for students. This method of Nepali language in English is now in its third edition but remains often inaccessible outside of Nepal. A small discordant note in this work we consider the best designed in English is that all the notes (examples) in Devanagari are not all transcribed phonetically. This book consists of 20 lessons for learning in depth the various aspects of the language spoken in everyday life.
English → An Introduction to Basic Nepali Language by Sushila Shrestha Small booklet of 143p. accompanied by on audio CD. The book is more like that of a phrasebook, but its awkward size prevents us from placing in this category. This book can't be used alone because it contains very little grammatical explanations. It nevertheless has two significant advantages over some other books that have been designed to describe the Nepali language: The entire book has a phonetic transcription. The book offers numerous examples (without explanation) of the elements discussed. Very accessible when you are in Nepal.
English → A Descriptive Grammar of Nepali and year Analyzed corpus by Jayaraj Acharya Nepali Grammar of approximately 378 p. This reference book is very interesting from a linguistic point of view. No relevance for those wishing to learn to speak the Nepali language. This book covers all the grammatical structures of the Nepali language by explaining with words very innaccessible to the general public the specifics of the Nepali language. This nepalese grammar has the advantage of being written in Latin alphabet and all the explanations and examples are transcribed phonetically in Nepali. Book hardly accessible outside of Nepal except by buying online at a cost of 40-50 € envrion.
Dictionaries and phrasebooks of Nepali language
French → Dictionnaire français-Népali by Evelyne Chazotet and Soma Pant published in 1999 by Pilgrims Book House. Little phrasebook French-Nepalese interesting for the trip to Nepal. Hardly accessible outside of Nepal.
French → Parler népalais – principales expressions népalaises pour voyager by Unknown With its title, the small pocket phrase book makes us believe that it's a real method to learn nepali language. But when we see the 147p. we quickly understand that it is only an additional tool to learn more. The book has the immense advantage of being done for French speakers. For the phonetic transcription it offers a very different way then other book to express sounds. This fact makes that it might be confusing if you have studied Nepali with other books before. This little phrase book has a dictionary French-nepalese part at the end of the volume and allow student to express simple ideas in Nepal.
English → How to speak Nepali Better by LB Thapa and Goma Gurung. Book 121p. Little phrasebook with words useful for traveling without grammatical explanations. Small paperback interesssant to study before the start but with no Nepali dictionary. You will find in this little phrasebook: English-Nepali various sections with useful phrases depending on where you are or (in the bank, hotel, in the hospital ... etc.) This book should absolutely be accompanied by another book with vocabulary. This book is unfortunately not very helpful for those who have absolutely no idea of the construction fo the nepalese sentence.
English → Sagamatha Nepali survival phrase book by JR Joshi Pocket Book 288. The most complete small pocket guides that travelerers that you might want to bring to Nepal. It offers all the elements offered by differents other books: phrases in context, a mini dictionary at the end of book. It also addresses the Devanagari alphabet.
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