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Nepali is a language in the Indo-Aryan languages . It is the official language and de facto lingua franca of Nepal and is also spoken in Bhutan. Nepali has official language status in the formerly independent state of Sikkim and in West Bengals Darjeeling district. Nepali developed in proximity to a number of Indo-Aryan languages, most notably Pahari and Magahi, and shows Sanskrit influences. However, due to Nepals geographical area, the language has also been influenced by Tibeto-Burman. Nepali is mainly differentiated from Central Pahari,both in grammar and vocabulary, by Tibeto-Burman idioms due to close contact with the respective language group.

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This book is written with the needs of Peace Corps volunteers of Nepal in mind but is equally useful for any foreigners who want to learn Nepali. The material presented here is based on spoken Nepali. Effort has been made to make the material both linguistically and culturally authentic as far as possible. However, the regional variances (Nepali spoken in Eastern vs. Western parts of Nepal) in spoken Nepali as well as in grammar have caused some difficulty in such an effort. In such cases, we have chosen the ones, which, in our experience and knowledge, have appeared to be most common. The differences between the native Nepali speakers (Brahmins, Kshatrys, etc.) and those who speak it as a second language (Gurungs, Newars, Magars, Rais etc.) cause another set of problems. The Nepali spoken by the first group may be considered as correct but the latter represents the majority of the speakers in the country. The material in this book will reflect the influence of this majority group. So while we accept that some of the grammatical patterns used here are not correct in the purest sense, we can claim that this is the way the majority of people do actually speak and consequently most important for the foreigners to learn.

The book contains forty lessons. Each lesson is supplemented by grammar notes and explanations of the usage of different language items that may cause confusion for the learners. Each lesson also includes a list of new words with its English equivalents and conjugation of verbs whenever necessary. The first fifteen lessons are written in Roman Script. The English translation of the new structures are also included along side the Romanized Nepali. This is done with those language learners in mind who may try to learn the language on their own. These people will find the introduction to the Nepali sounds and pronounciation practice chart in the beginning of the book and an extensive vocabulary list arranged under different topical headings at the end very useful in their attempt at self learning.

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Historically, the language was first called Khaskura (language of the khas rice farmers), then Gorkhali or Gurkhali (language of the Gorkha Kingdom) before the term Nepali was taken from Nepal Bhasa. Other names include Parbatiya (mountain language, identified with the Parbatiya people of Nepal) and Lhotshammikha (the southern language of the Lhotshampa people of Bhutan).?

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Nepali is spoken in:Bhutan, India, Nepal

Nepali is also called:Eastern Pahari, Gorkhali, Gurkhali, Khaskura, Lhotshammikha, Nepalese, Parbatiya

ThePeace Corps – Basic Course in Spoken Nepalimaterial can be used both as a self-guided course or with the assistance of a qualified Nepali tutor.

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