SOAS University of London

South Asia Department

Nepali for Researchers

Course Code:
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Taught in:
Full Year


Students must have completed Nepali language to the same standard as those attending the undergraduate course Nepali Language 3 (155901283).  The course tutor may wish to determine that this level has been attained.

Objectives and learning outcomes of the course

At the end of the course, a student should be able to demonstrate…

  • Upper intermediate level proficiency in Nepali (both oral and written).  This will be for the purposes of field research, primarily in the field of anthropology.  


This course will be taught over 22 weeks with 5 hours classroom contact per week.  

Scope and syllabus

This is a compulsory course in year 2 of the programme MA Anthropological Research Methods with Nepali. 

The course will consist of the following:

  • Lectures (1 hpw): these will introduce students to particular genres of Nepali textual production and involve reading samplings of Nepali literature in English translation.  They will be shared with students on the undergraduate course ‘Nepali Language 3’.  
  • Language classes (3 hpw):  students will read selected Nepali texts on caste and ethnicity, development, politics etc., from a reading pack that also contains grammatical and contextualising notes and vocabulary lists (1.5 hpw) and engage in structured conversation practice and roleplays (1.5 hpw).  
  • Project work (1 hpw): students will be trained to draft questionnaires in Nepali and to conduct interviews in Nepali.  

Method of assessment

One two-hour written examination taken in May/June (50%); one 3,000 word questionnaire in Nepali to be submitted in the final week of term 2 (10%); one oral examination of 20 minutes taken in May/June (20%); attendance at a mock interview based on research questionnaire (20%).

Suggested reading

  • MJ Hutt: Modern Literary Nepali, an introductory reader.  Delhi: Oxford, 1994.

Selected chapters from:

  • P. Onta et al (eds) Chapama Dalit. Kathmandu, Ekta Books, 2001
  • P. Onta et al (eds) Chapama Janajati. Kathmandu, Ekta Books, 2001
  • Panos Nepal: Uhile Bajeko Palama.
  • Lionel Caplan: Nepali translation of Land and Social Change in East Nepal

Selected articles from:

  • Kantipur daily
  • Himal Khabar Patrika


Important notice regarding changes to programmes and modules