The Nepali script is the official written language, currently used by around 17 million Nepali speakers in Nepal, India, Bhutan, and other countries around the world. It is written from left to right and is composed of 64 वर्णमाला Varnamala (alphabets) of which 16 basic letters are from the Sanskrit alphabet. It is also written in many other languages, such as Bhojpuri, and Awadhi.
The Nepali language is written with a script, also known as the Devanagari script or Nagari, which is an abugida script used to write the Nepali, Sanskrit, and Hindi languages. It is one of the two official scripts of Nepal and is also used in parts of India and Bhutan; the other being the Newari script.
The first known inscription in the Nepali script dates back to the late 13th century AD. It was found on a stone inscription in the capital city of Kathmandu, which is the oldest surviving example of the script.
Nepali Writing Declaration
Before we understand the writing system of Nepali script, let’s look at the universal declaration by Nepal regarding Nepali. The universal declaration was needed to emphasize the importance of Nepali writing, to ensure that its progress is recognized, and to ensure that its development is seen as a valuable part of the nation’s history and culture.
हामी नेपाली लेखनका सम्मान र सहभागितामा प्रतिज्ञा गर्दै छौ। हामी नेपाली लेखनलाई समेत राष्ट्र भाषाबाट सुरु गर्ने र आधुनिक रूपमा उनीहरूको प्रगति गर्ने सम्मान ग
Hāmī nēpālī lēkhanakā sam’māna ra sahabhāgitāmā pratijñā gardai chau. Hāmī nēpālī lēkhanalā’ī samēta rāṣṭra bhāṣābāṭa suru garnē ra ādhunika rūpamā unīharūkō pragati garnē sam’māna ga
We hereby declare our respect and solidarity for Nepali writing. We honor Nepali writing and its progress from being a national language to a modern form.
Nepali Alphabetic Writing Systems
There is more than one writing system that has a Nepali script in it. Here are some of those writing systems. Nepal Bhasa, Limbu, Bhojpuri, Newari, Rai, Thakali, Doteli, and Chepang are all part of the same language family and use the Devanagari script of the writing system, which includes the same characters, such as अ, आ, इ, ई, उ, ऊ, ऋ, ए, ऐ, ओ, औ, and so on. All of these scripts share a similar system of vowel and consonant modifiers, which are used to add subtle changes to the pronunciation of words.
- सुन्दराको अक्षराळय (Sundarako Aksharaly): This is a unique feature of the Nepali script, which is used to add visual beauty and elegance to the script. It is a decorative placement of certain letters in the middle of a word, usually consonant letters.
- ठुल्को अक्षराळ (Thulkoko Aksharaly): This is a special typographic feature in the Nepali script, which is used to make words look more appealing. It involves adding a small curved line above certain letters.
- वर्ण वृद्धि (Varn Vriddhi): This is a feature of the Nepali script which is used to represent a particular syllable sound. It is done by adding the tilde (~) symbol above the letter to indicate the nasalization of the sound.
- मात्र Matra System: This system is used in the Nepali Script to represent different vowel sounds in the language. Matras are small symbols used along with consonants to represent sounds and syllables that are not usually present in the language.
- रेखा Rekha Script: This is a unique writing system used in the Nepali Script that uses vertical lines along with horizontal lines and curves to form letters.
- अनुस्वारा Anusvara: This is a diacritic used in the Nepali alphabet to indicate a nasal sound at the end of a syllable.
- अवग्रह Avagraha: This is a diacritic used in the Nepali Script to indicate long vowels and their sounds.
- बिन्दी Bindi: This is an example of a diacritic used in the Nepali Script to indicate a short vowel sound.
It typically takes about two to three months for a beginner to learn and write the Nepali script. However, the time it takes to master the script may vary depending on the individual’s level of commitment.
Tips And Tricks To Learn The Nepali Script Easily
- Start by learning the Devanagari alphabet. The Devanagari script is used to write both Hindi and Nepali. Get familiar with all of the consonants and vowels and practice writing them.
- Practice writing short words in Nepali. Start by writing simple words like “नमस्ते namaste” (hello) or “धन्यवाद dhanyavaad” (thank you).
- Practice writing sentences in Nepali. Start with simple sentences and gradually increase the complexity.
- Take a course or class in Nepali. This will give you a chance to interact with native speakers and practice speaking the language.
Use The Ling App To Learn Nepali
The Ling app is a gamified app that provides lessons to practice vocabulary with interactive flashcards. Start by learning basic Nepali words and phrases, such as “hello,” “goodbye,” and “thank you” in the Nepali language. You can also use flashcards to practice basic grammar, such as verb conjugation and noun gender.
You can listen to audio recordings of native Nepali speakers. Listen to conversations, and songs to learn how native speakers pronounce words and phrases. Use the app’s interactive quizzes to test your understanding of the language. The quizzes feature questions on various topics, such as food, culture, and more.
Here’s the icing on the cake! Practice writing Nepali with the handwriting recognition feature. Write words and phrases, and the app will recognize them and provide feedback. Best of all, connect with other Nepali language learners and practice speaking with them. The app has a built-in messaging system, so you can have conversations with other learners.
Speak Nepali starting today by downloading the app from the Apple Store or Google Play Store now!