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“Nepali in Context” Flash Cards /

I made a flash card deck for Anki software to accompany the book Nepali in Context (3rd ed.) by Daniel Watters and Narendra Rajbhandary. Nepali in Context is published by Ekta and found with audio CD in Nepal bookstores.

Contained in the deck are each chapter’s “Vocabulary” and “Useful Phrases” with audio, sample sentences from “Complex Verbs” and “Grammar,” and difficult sentences from “Text.” The deck includes both sides of the cards: comprehension (listening) and production (speaking).

Cards have Devanagari script and Roman (English) transcription. Unicode fonts are embedded. Script was typed according to Nepali conventions but some systems display consonant clusters according to Hindi conventions.

Alternatives in notes are my own additions after study and use. They often reflect dialect differences. Notably, Nepali in the Terai and Darjeeling regions has mixed with Hindi.

Chapters can be filtered by tag for study.

Note: The deck includes Nepali in Context chapters 1–22 and the Domestic and Religious appendices.


Choose to download the shared deck with or without audio.


Anki is a flash card program that uses spaced repetition. It’s a powerful and intelligent way to study. The software is free (for most devices) and open source. There’s also a free synchronization service to keep your flash cards in sync across devices or study online.

To use a shared deck, first download Anki and install it. Then download one of the Nepali in Context decks and open the download. It will automatically import into Anki.

If you’ve already imported one of the decks and are updating it, you can do so safely. It will not remove your cards or overwrite your scheduling information.

Eat More Monkey Meat: Lessons in ASL, Heart Language and Missiology /

Who would you choose to interpret for a marriage counseling session? The one who sits on the riverbank and eats monkey meat with tribal friends, of course.

Heart language inclusive of the words I loved when I was an English teacher was rich with: inference, innuendo, implication, and insinuation (and more). The deep structure of that language was acquired only when the missionary sat on the banks of the river for an extended amount of time and ate monkey meat with his tribal friends until he knew not only what they said, but what they meant….

In a heart language situation, counseling, for example, I think I’d choose to use other ASL terms that are more familiar, indicative of strong cultural sensitivity, and I’d alert the therapist to the fact that some implications in sign language will have to be brought out in the open in order for him or her to understand. Deaf people, just like hearing people in crisis, both want to obfuscate to hide their specific problem and “get caught,” covering it up. It’s the old “test” to see if the counsellor (and probably the interpreter) can be trusted enough to really understand.

Chip Green, “Language of the Heart.”

“3 Concepts That Supercharged My Language Learning”: Summary /

Summary of Grace Henry, “3 Concepts That Supercharged My Language Learning,” March 31, 2015.

If I had to condense my language learning approach, I’d say whatever you do, helps.

  1. Stress and learning are not friends. Do your best to lighten the mood. Find language helpers who put you at ease.
  2. The Iceberg Principle. You could spend hours and hours working to master a few words. Once they’re mastered, the only direction they can go is down! But for the same amount of time you can put lots and lots of words somewhere in the bottom of the iceberg and let them rise over time.
  3. The Growth Zone. Your learning “sweet spot” is the place where you’re understanding about 90%. Then the foreign 10% has a context in your mind already, stands out, and can be retained much more effectively.

Make an effort — especially in the early days — to spend time with people who meet you where you are at, while still stretching you. If you put in the hours — especially non-stressed hours in your growth zone — you will get there.

“Secrets of Language Learning” by Nida /

On a poster in a United Mission to Nepal classroom in Kathmandu, “Secrets of Language Learning,” from Learning a Foreign Language by Eugene Nida (Bible translator):

  1. Language must be automatic, or it is practically useless.

  2. Only after one has learned to sit and listen can one profitably stand and speak.

  3. Three processes:

  • Drill and repetition
  • Thinking in the foreign language, and
  • Continued opportunities to use the language
  1. In general one must murder a language before mastering it, and part of the murdering process must begin at once.
“Encouragement to Those Learning a Second Language” from John Piper /

Here’s an encouragement I needed to hear today, stuck just shy of my language learning goal:

Encouragement to Those Learning a Second Language from John Piper at Desiring God.