Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Hami Nepali Sikdaichhau.

Simply translated; we are learning Nepali.

It is not an easy language to learn. It uses the Devanāgarī alphabet which is more like symbols than letters. It has 36 consonants and 12 vowels. But the hardest part is not that it is so very different from English, it is the lack of resources. This is the only worksheet I have found. Nepali Alphabet with worksheets It is an excellent worksheet for practicing writing. Since we spend about 30 minutes a day studying Nepali I have had to create many of my own resources and methods in order to teach the kids. 

We are currently working on the following:

आज ___________________ हो ।

Aja ___________________ ho. (Today is____.)

हिजो ______________________ थियो ।

Hijo ______________________ thiyo. (Yesterday was___.)

भोलि ______________________ हो ।

Bholi _____________________ ho. (Tomorrow is___.)

फर्सी _______________________हो ।

Pharsi ____________________ ho. (Two days out is__.)

Yo mahina ______________ho. The month is_________.

Sunday: आइतबार (aitabaar)

Monday: सोमबार (sombaar)

Tuesday: मंगलबार (mangalbaar)

Wednesday: बुधबार (budhabaar)

Thursday: बिहिबार (bihibaar)

Friday: शुक्रबार (shukrabaar)

Saturday: शनिबार (shanibaar)


I am going to take a similar approach to what we did when the kids were in first grade Math. Each day that had a simple routine that covered the date, counting, patterns, and weather. Using an empty hundred chart we will fill in one number each day and count to that number. We will start with 20 as they have already mastered one through twenty. We will say the above sentences regarding the days of the week as well as the date. Eventually we will add the weather or a different subject we are studying.

We are also just starting barakhadi, combining the consonants with the vowels. It looks like this:
क, क, का, कि, की, कु, कू, के, कै, को, कौ, कं कँ, कः

When it comes to nouns we do fairly well. Having been exposed to the language for three years now, we have acquired a decent vocabulary. For instances I can easily tell you every vegetable that grows at the garden. Where I struggle is with the verbs; making complete sentences.

Verbs! There are days that I wonder if I will every conquer them. There are so many to learn. They have so many forms. Similar to Spanish they have different endings depending on whom you are referring to. Add in past, present, active present, future tense, and injunctives and you have 40 ways to say each verb. Yikes! Yet learn them we will. I am slowly grasping the present tense.

I have a whole new appreciation for my gardeners learning a second language. It is hard. This last weekend I was at one of my friends homes and was awkwardly practicing my first ten verbs, as I struggled at times they would gently correct me. Then a relative that is currently working on her English came and we studied together. I would say a word in Nepali and she would say it in English and we would help each other with the correct pronunciation. It was very productive for both of us. This is the best resource I have, native speakers that are patient with me.

I think the snipping tool is about to become my new best friend as I piece together English and Spanish worksheets to come up with my own Nepali practice papers. If anyone knows of any handy resources that will help us on our quest to becoming fluent Nepali speakers, please comment below. 

Lastly, a huge thanks to my mom for getting me a Nepali dictionary for Christmas complete with Devanāgarī. It has been an immense help.

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