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Nepali (Lonely Planet Phrasebook) Paperback – 1 Dec 2002
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National Geographic Traveler, September 2006'Lonely Planet Phrasebooks. Portable, pocket-size, cheap, and available for almost any country you might want to visit...'
Clearly laid out, this phrasebook provides a quick path to getting through crucial conversations, and includes a comprehensive trekking and climbing vocabulary. The practical transliteration system is explained and a clear pronunciation guide is included, with Nepali script.
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However, I can read and speak Hindi and know basic customs (which are actually explained in the phrasebook, for example food etiquette) so perhaps that made a difference. Hindi is closely related to Nepali and written in the same Devanagari script. You can actually learn the Devanagari script from this phrasebook which I find sets the Lonely Planet phrasebooks above most phrasebooks. If you don't want to learn the script, then the phonetic tranliteration system used is the correct one generally used by linguists, which ensures a word is correctly pronounced by the student, even when reading in English. This is why I prefer Lonely Planet phrasebooks as once you master the basics of script and pronunciation along with basic grammar (yes, it has a solid basic grammar section as well) you actually have a good base to further learn the language if you want.
I found the phrases in it very useful. You get a very good starting point for customs, ordering food, hotel rooms etc. As I said, it's also in a nice, very small size. Amazing actually how much information is packed in considering how small the phrasebook is.