Nepali Alphabet

The Complete Guide to Nepali Barnamala

In English language there are vowels and consonants. Likewise, in Nepali also there are vowels and consonants. The difference is that in Nepali all the vowels appear in the beginning and the consonants form another group. There are 12 vowels and 33 consonants characters in Nepali alphabet.

Let's start with vowels.

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Nepali Vowels

In Nepali they are also know as `Swar (स्वरों)`. There are two types of vowels. The first one is an independent vowel, which is used at the beginning of a syllable. The second one is dependent vowel, which is used when the vowel follows a consonant.

Independent Vowels:

[a]
[aa]
[e]
[i]
[u]
[oo]
[a]
[ae]
[o]
[ao]
अं
[am]
अः
[a:]
[ri]
[rr]

Dependent Vowels:

[aa]
ि
[i]
[ii]
[u]
[uu]
[r]
[rr]
[e]
[e]
[e]
[ai]
[o]
[o]
[o]
[au]

Nepali Consonants

In Nepali, they are called `vyanjan (व्यंजन)`. They are normally considered to have a basic form which consists of a consonant pronounced with an inherent ‘a’ sound. The table below shows 33 consonant letters and their pronunciation.

[k]
[kha]
[g]
[gha]
[nga]
[ca]
[chha]
[ja]
[jha]
[nya]
[ta]
[thh]
[da]
[dh]
[n]
[t]
[tha]
[d]
[dha]
[na]
[p]
[fa]
[b]
[bha]
[ma]
[y]
[r]
[la]
[v]
[sha]
[shha]
[sa]
[ha]
[ha]
क्ष
[kṣa]
त्र
[tra]
ज्ञ
[jna]

Nepali Numerals

Nepali numerals are the symbols used to write numbers in the Nepali script. They are used to write decimal numbers, instead of the latin numbers.

[zero]
[1]
[2]
[3]
[4]
[5]
[6]
[7]
[8]
[9]
.

Features

  • Nepali alphabet is written in Devanagari script which in turn has its origin in Brahmi script.
  • Nepali is written from left toward the right which is the same as English.
  • Each character in Nepali has their own line. For instance (क, ख, ग). Also, full words in Nepali are grouped by drawing a horizontal line over it. To give you an example, two words are written as नेपालीमा लेख्नुहोस.
  • Nepali has its own numerals system which is used to write numbers. For example: १, २, ३, ४, ५, ६, ७, ८, ९, ० .
  • Each letter in the Nepali alphabet has its own independent and distinct sound. This means, Nepali words are pronounced exactly as they are written. Therefore, Nepali is much easier to learn.
  • Like period or full stop, a vertical right stroke is used at the end of a sentence to signal the sentence has come to an end.

Interesting Facts about Nepali Language

  • Nepali first started to be used in writing during the 12th century and it is written with the Devanagari alphabet.
  • The Nepali language was originally known as `Khas Kura` which was the language of the Khasa kingdom. Khasa ruled over the foothills of himalayas which is now known as Nepal.
  • The Nepali language is spoken by more than 17 million across the world. It is the official language of Nepal and also widely spoken in India, Bhutan, Brunei, and Myanmar.
  • The Nepali language has three major dialect groups. They are the western, the central and the eastern. Few of the well know dialects include Achhami, Baitadeli, Bajhangi, Bajurali, Bheri, Dadeldhuri, Dailekhi, Darchulali, Doteli, Gandakeli, Humli, Jhapali, Purbeli, Syangjali and Soradi.
  • In Nepali, every noun has its own masculine or feminine gender.

Nepali at a glance

Nepali (नेपाली, ˈnepaliˈ), is an Indo-Aryan language spoken mainly in Nepal. Nepali is the official language in Nepal, along with other regional languages such as Newar, Maithili, Sherpa, Limbu, Magar and many more. It is written in the Devanagari script, and is spoken by over 17 million people around the world. Below is the quick summary:

Pronunciation: [`nepali]
Native Name: Nepali (नेपाली)
Number of Speakers: 17 million
Language family: Indo-European
First Written: 12th century AD
Writing System: Devanagari Script (देवनागरी)
Spoken in: Nepal, India, West Bengal, Bhutan, Myanmar, Brunei
Status: Official language of the Government of Nepal; Official Language of Sikkim
Two digit language code: ne

A Complete Nepali Alphabet Chart

Below is a list of complete Nepali Barnamala Chart

Independent Vowels:

[a]
[aa]
[e]
[i]
[u]
[oo]
[a]
[ae]
[o]
[ao]
अं
[am]
अः
[a:]
[ri]
[rr]

Dependent Vowels:

[aa]
ि
[i]
[ii]
[u]
[uu]
[r]
[rr]
[e]
[e]
[e]
[ai]
[o]
[o]
[o]
[au]

Consonants:

[k]
[kha]
[g]
[gha]
[nga]
[ca]
[chha]
[ja]
[jha]
[nya]
[ta]
[thh]
[da]
[dh]
[n]
[t]
[tha]
[d]
[dha]
[na]
[p]
[fa]
[b]
[bha]
[ma]
[y]
[r]
[la]
[v]
[sha]
[shha]
[sa]
[ha]
[ha]
क्ष
[kṣa]
त्र
[tra]
ज्ञ
[jna]

Nepali Numerals:

[zero]
[1]
[2]
[3]
[4]
[5]
[6]
[7]
[8]
[9]
.