Oh that Malai, Maile, business again!


Tonight, I met a guy from Nepal working at a restaurant. He introduced himself as “I am from Nepal.” and I bounced out with, “Ma Nepali seekdaichhu.” (I’m learning Nepali.”) His face looked surprise, but I thought, you are the one who brought this up, I didn’t ask where you were from. Then I asked his name, which I thought I understood, but had a hard time clarifying with him so I took a pen and wrote it down in Devanagari to clear it up. He seemed even more surprised and exclaimed, “You can write this way!” to which I answered, “ali ali” (little bit). Before I left, I said, “Tapaii malai betera kushee lagyo.” which I’m pretty sure means, “You are happy to meet me,” even though what I meant to say was “Tapaiilai betera kushee lagyo.” meaning, “I’m happy to met you.” He just smiled, in a boyish way and said, “Yes” which kind of threw me off. Here’s to that malai stuff messin’ me up again.


3 responses »

  1. You are great. The pace at which you are learning Nepali language is more than just an appreciation. I can’t dare to learn some foreign language at this pace. Great work! Keep it up. Nice to see this.

    • Thanks. It is definitely more than an appreciation. Once of the concerns Shiva has had about getting married is that he wants his child(ren) growing up with his mother tongue. While I have no way to learn Newari at this time (because he won’t teach me and despite my best efforts, there are no places to seek fluency online) Nepali is the best I can do.
      I love him, I value his Nepali heritage, and I have a passion for his native language. Nepali is like music to me, the sounds of these words tap into my soul. The language comes to me the way a long forgotten memory returns if you focus on it.

  2. I still get ma, malai, maile mixed up all the time. I have asked countless people to explain it and been given countless different ways to learn it, none have worked. I start weekly classes again tonight. I’m excited!

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