Meaning of Namaste: Lesson 2

meaning of namaste

August 26, 2014

Following on from our Meaning of Namaste Lesson 1 last month, it’s time to get a little more adventurous. Our guides and porters love the opportunity to practice their English with our guests but also enjoy teaching them Nepali. If they see you’re making a real effort to speak Nepali with them, they’ll work hard with you on the trails to teach you as much as possible.

Nearly everyone you strike up a conversation with in Nepal will ask you where you’re from. You’ll impress them bigtime if you return this question in Nepali with “Mero desh ………. ho”. If you’re from Australia it would be “Mero desh Australia ho”. In Nepali they pronounce Australia as “Astreliya” but most will understand “Australia”. Take this one step further and ask in Nepali what country they are from, “Tapai jun desh bata aunu bhayako?” I guarantee this will spark interest as it’s extremely unlikely they’ll have heard this from a westerner before.

Some important phrases

This exchange should lead to some good conversation and some appropriate next questions might be:

What is your occupation?  “Tapaiko pesha ke ho?”

Where do you work?  “Tapai kaha kam garnu huncha?

How old are you?  “Tapai kati barsa bhayo?”

Do you have any children? “Tapaiko chorachori chan?”

Are you married?  “Tapaiko bibaha bhayo?”

How many in your family? “Tapaiko paribarma kati jana chan?”

The Nepalese people are very helpful when it comes to giving directions. On most trekking and climbing trips it would be difficult to get lost as the trails are well defined but if you find yourself needing directions here are some helpful phrases:

How do I get to … ?  “… kasari jane?”

Could you tell me where …. is?  “… kaha cha?”

Is this the way to … ?  “yo bato … jane bato ho?”

Is it far from here?  “yaha bata tadha cha?

We hope you’ve enjoyed reading lesson 2 in our Meaning of Namaste blog posts. We’ve purposely kept it short and sweet in an effort to focus on relevant phrases that will be of best use to you during your trip. Stay tuned for our next Meaning of Namaste lesson due out next month.

For some interesting information on the Meaning of Namaste