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In Gangtok and some other bigger towns of Sikkim people understand and speak English and Hindi. But in other places you may have problems communicating so learning the following Nepali survival phrases would be very useful.
Imagine you are trekking your way towards the promised land and your knowledge of Nepali is as good as your knowledge of Pali, then you sure need help. But then what's this website for ? Here is first-hand account that will definitely give a boost in your endeavor towards the promised land. Meet the Wanderer who is exploring the mystical land of Sikkim, far away from modern civilization where English is seen but not spoken.
Our Wanderer knows Nepali in bits but it is effective and helpful. He greets people on way with folded hands and says "Namaste" (common method of greeting people in Sikkim) and the people are in his pocket. He is lost somewhere and he asks for directions:
" Yo jaga ko naam kye ho? " (What's the name of this place? jaga = place, naam = name, kye=what ).
"Peri Bhanno Hous" (Can you repeat that? Pheri = repeat)
"<destination> Kaha chaa? " ( Where is <destination>?" Kaha = where )
" Khati time laag cha ? " ( How much time will it take? Kati = How much )
Satisfied, our Wanderer thanks them " Dhanyanwad " (Thank you) and marches on. On his way he comes across a beautiful monastery and he knows he has to capture it in his camera. He asks politely to the monks " Ma photo linu shakchu?" (May I take a photograph? Ma = I, linu shakchu = take). Thanking them, he trudges on. Feeling hungry he settles on a road-side restaurant and orders for snacks.
"Ek cup tato chay dinos na" (Get me a cup of hot tea. Chay=tea, ek=one) Pointing to one of the food stuff he asks "Yo Kye ho?" (What is this ? Kye = What, yo = this). He wants hot water " Tato pani " or " Chiso pani " ( pani = water, chiso = cold, tato = hot). When its time to pay the bill " Bill lai dinos " ( Please bring the bill. Lai dinos = please bring). Looking outside he sees a vehicle moving towards his destination. Rushing outside he halts the vehicle " Rhoki dinos " (Please halt). The Wanderer asks where the vehicle is heading for. " Yo <vehicle> kaha zhancha " ( Where this vehicle is going? Kaha=where). Our Wanderer is happy to know that it is heading towards his destination. So he asks for a lift, " Malai <destination> Lanus ".
Wanderer reaches a hotel and asks for a room " Room kahli cha?" (Do you have a room vacant? kahli = empty, vacant). Next morning feeling refreshed, he goes around hunting for souvenirs and strikes up a real bargain." Khati? " (How much), " Khaseri? " ( How), " Kyena yati maungo? " ( Why is it so costly? Kyena = Why, maungo = costly), " Daam gata dino hos " (Please reduce the price. Daam = price, gata = reduce).
Later Wanderer feels sick " Jiyo Sancho Chaina " (I am feeling ill) he tells and ask for the doctor, " Doctor lai Bolia denu hous " (Please call the doctor. Bolia denu = call for).
Later after recovering, he offers " Dhanyanwad " to all those who helped him and heads for home. All the local terms he learned during his stay in Sikkim however remains strong. When asked about his visit to Sikkim, Our Wanderer smiles and says " Shaatis! " (incredible)
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