Trekking Terms & Useful Nepalese Phrases for Travelers

Whether you’re in Nepal to trek the Himalayas or to visit Kathmandu, here are some handy phrases you should know from Kathmandu local, Bibek Neupane.


Photo © Mahadev Rojas Toras

Most locals in the trekking regions of Nepal don’t understand English. Luckily, there are only few important Nepalese phrases you need to learn.

Nepali Greetings

Hi! : Namaste

Thank you: Dhanyabaad

Sorry: Maaf pau

How are you? : Tapai lai kasto chha?

All’s well with me: Malai sab thick chha.

Have you eaten your meal yet? Khana khanu bhayo?

Have you eaten your snacks/Breakfast yet? Khaja khanu bhayo?

What’s your name? Tapai ko naam ke ho?

My name is _____ : Mero naam _____ ho

How to Address Others in Nepal

Babu: To address a young boy.

Nanu/Nani: To address a young girl.

Dai: (Big brother) To address a male person of your age or someone elder than you.

Bhai: (Small brother) To address a male person who is significantly younger than you.

Didi: (Elder sister) To address elder or same aged female.

Baini: (Younger sister) To address a younger female.

Bajey: Male Senior citizen (Dai if you are above 60)

Bajai: Female senior citizen (Didi if you are above 60) 

Useful Trekking Terms

Porter: Bhariya

Road/trail/path: Baato

Uphill way: Ukaalo baato

Downhill: Oraalo

Neither uphill nor downhill: Terso baato

Cliff: Bheer

Animal: Janawar

Everything’s OK: Thik cha

Let’s go: Zoom zoom or jum jum

Quickly, quickly: Chito Chito

Up, up: Matte Matte

I am hungry: Malai Bhok lagyo

I am thirsty: Malai Pyaas Lagyo

I feel sick: Malai Sancho bhayena

My leg is in pain: Khutta Dukhyo

I am tired: Malai Thakai Lagyo

Yes/ok: Hoon chha

No/Not ok: Hoon na

How long will it take to reach there/<Place Name>: Tyaha <Place Name> pugna kati berr laag chha?

Where can I find ____? : ______ kata paain chha?

Which way to _______?: _______ janey baato kun ho?

I think I am lost! Ma haraye chhu

I need a place to stay: Malai baas basnu paryo

Where can I get some food? Yaha Khana Kata Paain chha?

Which is the shorter/Longer way? Kun Baato Chhoto/Laamo Cha?

From where can I get a public transportation to ____? : ____ janey gaadi kata bata paain chha?

General Terms

Dal-Bhat: Staple food of Nepal with rice, vegetables and lentils.

Paani: Water

Kati paisa? How much money?

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