Writing a Nepali/English Children’s Book

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I’m putting this idea as a sounding board for ideas (and hopefully language corrections). As part of my teaching position, I am incorporating the Nepali language. My first lesson on this is in three weeks. I will be teaching basic colors. The colors I am teaching are black (Kalo), blue (nilo), green (hariyo), yellow (pahenlo), red (rato), and orange (suntala).

Since this is a baby book, think those thick board books that babies chew on, I’m planning on keep it very very simple. With hopes that nobody steals my book and sells it to a publisher, here’s the idea of the text.

Little baby on the first page, thinking to himself. “I am lonely, I am going to find some new friends.”

Next page, little baby meets a new baby and says “Hello baby, I see you are wearing a green shirt. I like hariyo. Let’s be friends.”

Opposing page.
Green shirt baby says to first baby. “I see you are wearing a kalo shirt. I like black. Yes, lets be friends.”

Turn page.
Green shirt baby meet a new baby. One says, “Hello saathi. I see you are wearing a pahelo shirt. I like pahelo. Let’s be friends.”

Opposing page.

“You like my yellow shirt? I like your hariyo shirt and your kalo shirt. Yes, lets be friends.”

Turn page.

Babies meet new baby. One says “K cha, saathi. I see you are wearing an orange shirt. Malai suntala rang man parcha. Let’s be friends.”

Opposing page.

“Timilai mero suntala rang ko shirt man parcha? I like your kalo shirt and your hariyo shirt and your panhelo shirt. Ho, lets be friends.”

turn page.

Babies meet new baby. One says, “Namaste bao. I see you are wearing a rato shirt.” Malai rato man parcha. Sathi haru garaam.”

Opposing page.

“You like my rato shirt? Malai timro kalo shirt , timro hariyo shirt and timro pahelo shirt pani mann parcha.  Sathi haru garaam.”

Last page.

First baby says. “Malai mero naya sathi haru man parcha, Yes I really like my new friends.”

So, my biggest question is…would “sathi haru garaam” be the best way to say, “let’s be friends”? Is bao the best way to spell baby in Nepali? And because I ALWAYS get mixed up between Malai, Timilai, and Maile, Timle…are those right? Is it right to use timi, or should I be using tapaii? Any other words of advice?

Copyleft: 2012
Creative Commons License
Timro man partun by Padmini is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.
Based on a work at https://padminisvorga.wordpress.com/2012/03/22/writing-a-nepalienglish-childrens-book/.
Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available at https://www.facebook.com/padmi.shivaya.

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6 responses »

  1. This sounds so cute!! In terms of the phrase “let’s be friends,” I don’t think people really say that in Nepali. I asked Tri, and he said that you might say “timi ra ma sathi, hai?” (you and I are friends, okay?), but I’m not sure. Also, I’ve never heard the word “bao” before. I only know the word “baccha” for baby. Is “bao” Newa bhasha maybe? Your usage of malai and timilai looks right to me, and for friends and babies, “timi” is good. What if you said “ke chha?” instead of “namaste”? “namaste” seems a little formal.

    I really like how the Nepali builds up from just a little to a lot 🙂

    • Thanks! What does Tri think? You are probably right about bao being newa. Yet another case of mixing languages. 🙂 thanks so much for taking the time to look at it.

  2. I don’t think I am the best person with the knowledge of Nepali but I will try to help you as much as I can.

    I think even in Newari babu is more common than bao. I think they meant to say babu but it is the slang and became bao or baocha. Also you can use hello sathi instead of hello bao.

    I think yellow is called pahelo not pahenlo

    As Nepali jiwan said, instead of saying Namaste Bao, you can use ‘K cha Sathi?’

    When you say ‘Malai suntala man parcha’, it means, I like orange so you need to say Malai suntala rang man parcha.(I like orange colour.)

    In this sentence, “Timilai mero suntala shirt man parcha? I like your kalo shirt and your hariyo shirt and your panhelo shirt. Ho, lets be friends.”
    Ho doesn’t work here. Also after suntala , you need’ rang ko shirt’ .May be you can use So, let’s be friend instead.

    Sathi haru garaam.. I think this is not right. You can use, ‘Mero sathi banne ho?’ or ‘Timi ra ma sathi huncha?”

    ’ Malai timro kalo shirt and timro hariyo shirt and timro panehlo shirt pani’
    This sentence should be ‘Malai timro kalo shirt , timro hariyo shirt and timro pahelo shirt pani mann parcha’

    Hope this helps. If you update this, I am happy to check again. Good luck with the book.

    • Hello Padmini, as I can see reply from our friend: nepaliaustralian (please don’t mind as I do not know your real name) has already pointed out the mistakes and have already amended it. I think it doesn’t need any further amendments. I think this should be fine. Thanks for asking me to read it. I read and find that are you are doing great with the language class and what are you opted for. Wish you all the best for your work ahead. Please kindly do let me know if I can be of any help further.

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