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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.

The Apostles’ Creed in Nepali /
## प्रेरितहरूको विश्वासको सार

म विश्वास गर्दछु एक परमेश्वर सर्वशक्तिमान् पिता, स्वर्ग र पृथ्वी सृष्टि गर्नुहुनेमाथि।

अनि उहाँका एकले पुत्र, हाम्रा प्रभु येशू ख्रीष्टमाथि, जो पवित्र आत्माको शक्तिद्वारा गर्भ धारण हुनुभयो, कन्ये मरियमदेखि जन्मनुभयो, जसले पन्तियस पिलातसको अधीनमा दुःख भोग्नुभयो, जो क्रूसमा टाँगिनुभयो, स्वर्गमा चढिजानुभयो, अनि सर्वशक्तिमान् परमेश्वर पिताको दाहिने हातपट्टि बस्नुभएको छ; जहाँदेखि उहाँ जिउँदा र मरेकाहरूको न्याय गर्नलाई फेरि आउनुहुनेछ।

म विश्वास गर्दछु पवित्र आत्मामाथि; पवित्र मण्डलीमाथि; पवित्रहरूको सङ्गतिमाथि; पाप मोचनमाथि; शरीरको पुनरुत्थानमाथी; र अजम्मरी जीवनमाथि। आमिन्।


preritharuko bishwaasko saar

ma bishwaas gardachhu ek parameshwar sarwashaktimaan pitaa, swarga ra prithvi shrisTi garnuhunemaathi.

ani uhaañkaa ekle putra, haamraa prabhu yeshu khrishTmaathi, jo pawitra aatmaako shaktidwaaraa garbha dhaaraN hunubhayo, kanye mariyamdekhi janmanubhayo, jasle pantiyas pilaatasko adhinmaa duukha bhognubhayo, jo krusmaa Taañginubhayo, swargamaa chaRhijaanubhayo, ani sarwashaktimaan parameshwar pitaako daahine haatpaTTi basnubhaeko chha; jahaañdekhi uhaañ jiuñdaa ra marekaaharuko nyaaya garnalaai pheri aaunuhunechha.

ma bishwaas pawitra aatmaamaathi; pawitra maNDalimaathi; pawitraharuko sangatimaathi; paap mochanmaathi; sharirko punarutthaanmaathi; ra ajammari jiwanmaathi. aamin.


The Essence of the Apostles’ Faith

I believe upon one God Almighty Father, creator of heaven and earth.

And upon his only son, our Lord Jesus Christ, who was conceived by the Holy Spirit’s power, born from the virgin Mary, who endured suffering in the hands of Pontius Pilate, who was hung on a cross, ascended to heaven, and has sat at Almighty God the Father’s right hand side; from where he will come again to judge the living and the dead.

I believe upon the Holy Spirit; upon the holy Church; upon the holy fellowship; upon forgiveness of sin; upon the resurrection of the body; and upon immortal life. Amen.


The Apostles’ Creed

I believe in God the Father Almighty, maker of heaven and earth.

And in Jesus Christ his only son our Lord; who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the virgin Mary; suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, dead and buried; the third day he rose from the dead; he ascended into heaven; and sits at the right hand of God the Father Almighty; from where he shall come again to judge the living and the dead.

I believe in the Holy Spirit; the holy Church; the communion of the saints; the forgiveness of sins; the resurrection of the body; and the life everlasting. Amen.

Nepali Folk Song? /

Our family has been trying to learn traditional Nepali songs. One evening we were sitting around the table flipping through a Nepali hymn-book trying to sing what we could. We came to a contextualized version of a good ol’ folk song by Woody Guthrie. It was good for a laugh after a day of language learning. No doubt in another time an American missionary labored to bless the Nepali peoples with this translated song. Here it is for you in Devanagari script and translated back.

यो देश येशूको देश, मेरो पनि यो देश
हिमालयदेखि तराईसम्म,
महाकालीदेखि मेचीसम्म
तपाईँ र मेरो यो देश

This land is Jesus’ land, this land is my land
From the Himalayas to the Terai grassland,
From the Mahakali to the Mechi river,
This land is made for you and me.

The Lord’s Prayer in Nepali /
## प्रभुले सिकाउनुभएको प्रार्थना (मत्ती ६:९–१३)

हे हाम्रा पिता, जो स्वर्गमा बस्नुहुन्छ,
तपाईंको नाउँ पवित्र होस्।
तपाईंको राज्य आओस्,
तपाईंको इच्छा स्वर्गमा जस्तो छ त्यस्तै यस पृथ्वीमा पूरा होस्।
हामीलाई आज हाम्रो दैनिक भोजन दिनुहोस्।
हाम्रा अपराध क्षमा गर्नुहोस्,
जसरी हामीले पनि आफ्ना अपराधीहरूलाई क्षमा गरेका छौं।
हामीलाई परीक्षामा पर्न नदिनुहोस्,
तर दुष्टबाट छुटाउनुहोस्।
किनभने राज्य, पराक्रम र महिमा सदासर्वदा तपाईंकै हुन्।


prabhule sikaaunubhaeko praarthanaa (matti 6:9–13)

he haamraa pitaa, jo swargamaa basnuhunchha,
tapaaiñko naauñ pawitra hos.
tapaaiñko raajya aaos,
tapaaiñko ichchhaa swargamaa jasto chha tyastai yas prithwimaa puraa hos.
haamilaai aaja haamro dainik bhojan dinuhos.
haamro aparaadh kshamaa garnuhos,
jasari haamile pani aaphnaa aparaadhiharulaai kshamaa garekaa chhauñ.
haamilaai parikshaamaa parna nadinuhos,
tara dushTabaaTa chhuTaaunuhos.
kinabhane raajya, paraakram ra mahimaa sadaasarwadaa tapaaiñkai hun.


The Prayer That the Lord Taught (Matthew 6:9–13)

O Father who lives in heaven,
May your name be hallowed.
May your kingdom come,
May your will be fulfilled on this earth just as it is in heaven.
Please give us today our daily bread.
Please forgive our wrongdoing,
as we also have forgiven our wrongdoers.
Please do not let us fall into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.
Because the kingdom, the might, and the glory is forever yours.
Installing Nepal Bible Society’s E-Bible on macOS and iOS /

The Nepal Bible Society (NBS) provides a digital version of their Nepali New Revised Version Bible (पवित्र बाइबल) (NRV) and Simple Nepali Bible (सरल नेपाली) (SN). NBS puts these together on a CD or USB flash drive called “E-Bible.” It’s available at their office in Kathmandu or at Christian bookstores like Ekta in Nepal and the Darjeeling District of India. The files could also be requested from NBS by email. Each Bible file is serial numbered, locked and licensed for individual use.

Other Nepali materials from NBS are also published in electronic form on the disk: New Testament Commentary (नयाँ करारको टिप्पनी), Bible Dictionary (बाइबल शब्दकोश) and Theological Topics: OT and NT Articles (शस्त्रका विषयहरू: पुरानो करार र नयाँ करारको लेखहरू). These files are not locked.

The software that NBS provides on the disk is made for Windows (BPBible) and some cell phones (GoBible). However, the actual files of the Nepali Bible resources are in a standard open format, SWORD, that can be opened in other software made for other operating systems, including macOS and iOS (iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch). The SWORD project is maintained by CrossWire Bible Society; they also maintain a list of compatible applications.

If you’re having trouble viewing Nepali (Devanagari) on macOS, see the fonts section in Nepali (Devanagari) Unicode Input for macOS.

NBS E-Bible Files

The Bibles and other materials come as archives (zip files) on the disk from NBS. The NRV and SN Bible files are in the “Bible Society Bibles” folder. The Commentary, Dictionary, OT Articles and NT Articles are archived together as one file in the “Nepali Commentary” folder. There are a few additional resources in the “Other Free English Resources” folder.

Installing on macOS

The recommended application for macOS is Eloquent (formerly MacSword). Download the latest release on GitHub. Move the app to your macOS Applications folder (/Applications).

The NBS E-Bible files will need to go into the folder /Users/<username>/Library/Application Support/Sword. The <username> is the name of your Home folder. The Library folder is your Home folder and hidden by default in recent versions of macOS. You can find Library while in Finder by clicking the “Go” menu and holding the “Alt” key. You can also go to the Sword folder directly by clicking the “Go” menu in Finder, then “Go to Folder…” and enter the path as above. If the Sword folder does not exist, enter the path above without “/Sword”. Then make the folder by going to the “File” menu (or right-clicking), selecting “New Folder” and naming it “Sword”.

Unzip each archive from the NBS disk that you want to add (double-click an archived file to open its contents). The files in each archive are in an order that needs to preserved. Take care to preserve the folder structure. There are two folders in each archive: mods.d and modules. Create these folders in the Sword folder if necessary. For each archive, drag its mods.d contents to the Sword mods.d folder, and likewise for modules.

Open the Eloquent application and you should see the modules listed. The Nepali New Revised Version and Simple Nepali Bibles are listed under “Biblical Texts” as “NRV” and “SN” respectively. Each will need to be unlocked before viewing. Right click each module and select “Unlock Module”, then enter the digital key that came with the Bible files.

Eloquent can download other modules (Bibles, Commentaries, Dictionaries, Books) through their automatic installer. See more information about using Eloquent.

Installing on iOS (iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch)

To install the Nepali Bibles on an iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch device, you will need to have both the device and a computer with the Bible files from Nepal Bible Society (see NBS E-Bible Files above) connected to the same Wi-Fi network.

Download the free iOS app from iTunes, PocketSword.

Open the PocketSword app on the device, click “More” and then “Preferences.” Turn on “Module Maintainer Mode.” Return to “More” then select “Downloads.” Click the small folder button in the top right to manage sources, then select “Module Maintainer Mode”. Note either the Bonjour or IP address.

On the computer, open a web browser and enter either the Bonjour or IP address as found in PocketSword’s “Module Maintainer Mode.” A page appears with a list of the installed modules and buttons to upload and install a module. Click the “Choose File” button. Select one of the zip files as it came from NBS and then “Submit.” You will need to upload and submit each zip file separately. Verify that the modules appear on the “Installed Modules” list at the top of the page.

In the PocketSword app, select “Bibles” and select the Nepali New Revised Version (NRV) and Simple Nepali (SN) Bibles in order to unlock them. A prompt will appear; select “Yes” and enter the digital key that came from NBS with the Bible files.

For other Nepali Bible digital resources, see Nepali Bibles Online.

Update 2019

Updated links.

Update 2017

The NBS Bibles — Nepali New Revised Version and Simple Nepali — are available on the mobile app YouVersion and it’s companion website, The versions are called NNRV and सरल नेपाली, respectively. The YouVersion app allows downloading the texts for offline reading. The app is available for iOS, Android, Windows Phone and others.

Nepali (Devanagari) Unicode Input for macOS /

Unicode provides a universal character encoding so that scripts, even complex ones, can be viewed across all modern computers, platforms, programs, and languages.

Enabling Nepali Input

In macOS (or Mac OS X) There is a built-in keyboard for Nepali Devanagari input. See below for a “romanized” layout that is more natural for Westerners.

To enable Nepali input in macOS, go to “System Preferences,” then the preference pane for “Keyboard” (in older versions, “Language & Text” or “International”), then the “Input Sources” tab. Add (“+”) an input source, “Nepali.” You should select the optional checkbox “Show input menu in menu bar” to be able to change the language easily from the menu bar. When you turn on this menu, you can also enable the helpful “Keyboard Viewer” by going to “Keyboard” tab (in the “Keyboard” preference pane). Select the “Show viewers for keyboard, emoji, and symbols in menu bar” (in older versions, “Show Keyboard & Character Viewers in menu bar”). Now you can select Nepali from the menu bar icon. You can also select “Show keyboard viewer” from the same menu bar icon to see how Nepali Devanagari is mapped to your keyboard. You can click and insert Nepali characters from the viewer if necessary.

Adding a Nepali Phonetic Keyboard

A phonetic (“romanized”) layout is available to help Westerners (the ‘क’ is mapped to ‘k’, ‘ख’ to ‘shift + k’, etc.). Using the phonetic layout is a much more natural way to learn to type Nepali. To use the phonetic layout, download the zip file attached to this post. The phonetic keyboard layout is taken from but with the macOS default icon for Nepali and a small correction. This keyboard in turn is based on the standard set by the Kathmandu library, Madan Puraskar Pustakalaya.

Install the custom “Nepali – Phonetic” keyboard layout for macOS:

  1. Download and unzip the attachment. In it are two files: the layout and the icon for the menu bar.
  2. Move the two files into the “Keyboard Layouts” folder in the “Library” folder.
    • To make the layout accessible to all users on the computer, go to the root “Library” folder at /Library, or,
    • To make the new layout accessible only to the current user, move the files into the hidden “Library” folder of your home directory.
    • Find the hidden “Library” folder by opening Finder, holding the option key and clicking the “Go” menu; “Library” is listed there.
  3. A dialogue box may appear to authenticate the move; enter username and password of an administrator.
  4. You may need to log out and back in (or restart the computer) for changes to take effect.
  5. Now follow the directions above in “Enabling Nepali Input” and enable “Nepali – Phonetic” instead of “Nepali” as an input source in “System Preferences.” In newer systems, custom keyboards like this appear under “Other” in Input Sources.

Using the Nepali Keyboard

Change the input keyboard by selecting “Nepali” (or “Nepali – Phonetic”) from the menu bar icon. The keyboard shortcut is control + space. Select “Show keyboard viewer” in the menu bar icon to familiarize yourself with the layout (see directions above to enable it). You can see how pressing “shift” and “caps lock” affect the input. The Keyboard Viewer will float above other applications while it is open. If you have not enabled the menu bar option, you will have to change the keyboard layout to “Nepali – Phonetic” within System Preferences.

Devanagari and Nepali-Specific Fonts

Devanagari Unicode fonts are available on Mac systems. OS X 10.10 (Yosemite) and up uses “Kohinoor Devanagari” as its Devanagari default, and there is also “ITF Devanagari” and “Shree Devanagari 714.” Previous versions (10.2 and up), used “Devanagari MT” as the default and also had “Arial Unicode MS” as a fallback. The computer will use the default Devanagari font automatically when you select Nepali input and begin to type (if another Devanagari Unicode font is not already selected).

In older versions, the Asian language kit may need to be installed from installation disks. You will know that your computer needs this step if in place of Unicode text such as ‘नेपाली,’ there are only empty squares. The default browser, Safari, needs no special adjustment to view Unicode pages. Not every word processing application can handle complex Unicode scripts, like Devanagari conjuncts, or half-letters. Applications that are ready for complex Unicode scripts include TextEdit, Pages, Word (2016), OpenOffice and LibreOffice.

Devanagari is used for many South Asian languages. The Unicode fonts are not specific to Nepali, but are still acceptable for writing Nepali. Some differences between generic Devanagari and Nepali include the “झ” character and some numbers. Darjeeling-area Nepali uses the generic Devanagari characters, like Hindi. Devanagari Unicode fonts also include Sanskrit characters which are not used in Nepali writing. If you are looking for a Unicode font that has all the Devanagari variants specific to Nepali, see the Annapurna SIL Nepal font. There are also Nepali-specific Devanagari Unicode fonts at South Asia Language Resource Center.


  • 6/10/19: Corrected shortcut to change the input keyboard from ‘command + space’ to ‘control + space.’
  • 3/22/18: Updated link to original keyboard layout.
  • 11/13/17: Updated links to external sources and clarified the steps to install the phonetic keyboard.
  • 10/2/16: Updated directions for macOS Sierra and external links to source files and SIL Annapurna font page.
  • 8/17/15: Corrected keyboard layout (removed unnecessary space before ृ) and changed name from “Nepali Romanized” to “Nepali – Phonetic” to match system.
  • 12/11/14: Attached archive file of keyboard layout (from with default OS X menu icon for Nepali.
  • 12/3/14: Apple updated the default Devanagari fonts which work well for Nepali (see–1010-yosemite-new-devanagari-fonts.html).
Herana: A Traditional Nepali Christmas Song /

Herana हेरन

Khristiya Bhajan no. 35
ख्रीष्टीय भजन न. ३५
Arrangement by Aradhna

हेरन आकाशमा ताराको उज्यालो
नवजात प्रभुको दर्शन गर्न नगर बियाँलो (२)

ईश्वरको वचन पूरो गर्नलाई आए प्रभु जगमा (२)
मानवको सबै दुःख बुझ्नलाई पस्रिए डुंडैमा
(गोठालाहरू छक्क परे जब) देखे स्वर्गदूतलाई
ढाडस पाई रमाइ गए खबर दिनलाई (२)

तारालाई आफ्नो लक्ष बनाइ बढे ज्योतिषीगण (२)
भेटी चढाए दर्शन पाई गराए आनन्दित मन
(पापी जनको तारणहार) मानिसको रूपमा
ख्याल नराखी डाँडा-काँडा बढौँ सबै प्रभुमा (२)


herana aakaashmaa taaraako ujyaalo
nawjaat prabhuko darshan garna nagara biyaañlo

ishwarko bachan puro garnalaai aae prabhu jagmaa
maanawko sabai duukha bujhnalaai pasrie DuñDaimaa
goThaalaaharu chhakka pare jaba dekhe swargadutlaai
DhaaRas paai ramaai gae khabar dinalai

taaraalaai aaphno laksha banaai baRhe jyotishigaN
bheTi chaRhaae darshan paai garaae aanandit man
paapi janko taaraNahaar maanisko rupmaa
khyaal naraakhi DhaañRaa-kaaRaa baRhauñ sabai prabhumaa


Look at the brightness of the star in the sky
Don’t delay to appear before the newborn Lord

The Lord came to the world to fulfill the word of God
He laid humbly in a manger to understand man’s sorrows
Shepherds were amazed when they saw the angels
They were encouraged and happily went to share the news

A band of astrologers made their own way to the star
Obtaining an audience, offering presents, their hearts were filled with joy
Rescuer of sinful man, in the form of a man
Taking no thought of the ridicule, the journey, let’s all grow in the Lord

Key G, Time 3/4

G   D   G Em    C  G
हेरन आकाशमा ताराको उज्यालो
G     Am  C   Em G   D  G
नवजात प्रभुको दर्शन गर्न नगर बियाँलो (2)

G     D   Am  C   Em  D    G
ईश्वरको वचन पूरो गर्नलाई आए प्रभु जगमा (2)
G     Am C    Em       D G
मानवको सबै दुःख बुझ्नलाई पस्रिए डुंडैमा
Em    D G          C     D G
(गोठालाहरू छक्क परे जब) देखे स्वर्गदूतलाई
D       Am  C  Em  D G
ढाडस पाई रमाइ गए खबर दिनलाई (2)

G     D    Am   C Em  D    G
तारालाई आफ्नो लक्ष बनाइ बढे ज्योतिषीगण (2)
G    Am C  Em         D  G
भेटी चढाए दर्शन पाई गराए आनन्दित मन
Em      D G      C     D  G
(पापी जनको तारणहार) मानिसको रूपमा
D        Am  C   Em  D   G
ख्याल नराखी डाँडा-काँडा बढौँ सबै प्रभुमा (2)
Nepali Bible Story Set /

Omega Training Partnership (OTP) produced a set of basic Bible stories in Nepali. There are 28 Old and New Testament stories and one “Creation to Church” overview story. The language and style of the stories is ideal for a Hindu context in Western Nepal. It’s simple enough for Nepali speakers elsewhere and language learners like me.

The audio files are available for download at the Orality Strategies website. Each story has a black and white watercolor painting in a Nepali village setting and an outline with questions on the opposite side. The Creation to Church story has a more detailed “handy guide.” There is also a Nepali transcript with English back-translation.

The stories of the Nepali Bible Story Set:

  1. God Creates the Unseen World
  2. God Creates the World and Man
  3. Sin and Death Enter the World
  4. Man Starts to Kill Man (Cain and Abel)
  5. God Judges Evil by Flood
  6. God Divides Many Languages
  7. Abraham’s Call and Promise
  8. God Tests Abraham’s Faith
  9. God’s People in Egypt
  10. Moses’ Birth and Calling
  11. Plagues in Egypt and Deliverance
  12. Ten Commandments and Idol Worship
  13. David and the Eternal Kingdom
  14. Elijah Proves the True God
  15. Promise of the Coming Savior
  16. The Birth of Jesus
  17. Jesus Is Baptized and Tested
  18. Jesus Chooses Twelve Disciples
  19. Jesus Calms the Storm
  20. Jesus Overcomes Demonic Power
  21. Jesus Heals and Forgives Sin
  22. Jesus Raises the Dead to Life
  23. The Story of the Lost Son
  24. Rich Man and Poor Man
  25. The Last Supper
  26. Jesus’ Arrest and Crucifixion
  27. Jesus’ Resurrection and Ascension
  28. Holy Spirit Comes on the Church
  29. Creation to Church (“Fast Track”)

Nepali Bible Story Set

Nepali Dictionaries Online /

Two of the most useful and recommended Nepali dictionaries in print are also available online:

The first dictionary (Schmidt) is up-to-date and offers words in context, variants and romanized transliteration. The second (Turner) is much older but helpful for understanding difficult words.

Jesus Film in Nepali (and Related Films) /

The “Jesus” film is dubbed in Nepali and available for download at

Also available in Nepali are versions of “Jesus” for children, “The Story of Jesus for Children,” and women, “Magdalena.”

I must mention that the word “film” in “Jesus Film” cannot be pronounced here. It has a cluster of consonants that is too foreign for Nepal and South Asia. So it gets said “flim.”