SOAS University of London

South Asia Section, School of Languages, Cultures & Linguistics

Nepali Language 1 (PG)

Module Code:
Taught in:
Full Year

PLEASE NOTE: This module will be divided into two 15-credit modules next academic year (i.e Language A and Language B). The overall objectives and outcomes for the year will not change. There may be some slight changes to the formal assessment. Students will be required to take a written test in the last week of Term 1 and should therefore not plan to be absent from SOAS at this time.

Objectives and learning outcomes of the module

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

  1. knowledge and understanding of basic Nepali grammar
  2. knowledge and understanding of essential Nepali vocabulary
  3. knowledge and understanding of the appropriateness of basic Nepali structures and expressions in a given context
  4. the ability to understand short passages in written Nepali on everyday topics
  5. the ability to produce short passages in written Nepali on everyday topics
  6. the ability to understand spoken Nepali and to engage in short spoken discourse on everyday topics


This module will be taught over 20 weeks with 4 hours classroom contact per week in language classes. 

Scope and syllabus

The module provides an introduction to Nepali language with emphasis on practical written and spoken Nepali. Communicative practice is established through learning language around dialogues dealing with a range of everyday situations.

The module provides students with a basic knowledge of Nepali and practice of using Nepali in a variety of everyday situations. It allows students to interact with Nepali speakers in Nepali and to use original Nepali language sources within the level covered in the module. This provides students with a basis to approach research topics relating to Nepali language and the histories, societies and cultures associated with Nepali.

Method of assessment

One three-hour written examination taken in May/June (40%); a 2,000-word portfolio of marked homework, translation or essay agreed with the convenor (30%); an oral examination of 15 minutes taken in May/June (10%); two x 1 hour tests (20%).

Suggested reading

The module will be based on

  • Hutt, Michael and Abhi Subedi, Teach Yourself Nepali (London, 2000)
  • plus the Nepali on-line dictionary, flexipack and other materials posted on the Nepali language Blackboard site.

Additional Nepali References

  • Ruth L Schmidt et al, A Practical Dictionary of Modern Nepali.  New Delhi: Ratna Sagar, 1993.
  • Michael Hutt, Himalayan Voices: an introduction to modern Nepali literature. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1991.
  • Michael Hutt,  Nepali.  A national language and its literature chaps. New Delhi and London: Sterlking Publishers/SOAS, 1988.

Additional resources relating to language-based scholarship

  • Austin, Peter, ed., 2008, 1000 Languages: The world-wide history of living and lost tongues, London: Thames and Hudson.
  • Baker, Mona, 1992, In Other Words: A coursebook on translation, London: Routledge.
  • Duranti, Alessandro, 1997, Linguistic Anthropology, Cambridge: CUP.
  • Geertz, Clifford, 1973/2000, The Interpretation of Cultures: selected essays, New York: Basic Books.
  • Pinker, Steven, 1994, The Language Instinct: the new science of language and mind, London: Allan Lane.


Important notice regarding changes to programmes and modules