SOAS University of London

South Asia Department

Nepali Language 2 (PG)

Module Code:
Unit value:
Taught in:
Full Year


Nepali Language 1 (Postgraduate) or equivalent. Your language level will be checked before entry.

Objectives and learning outcomes of the module

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

  1. knowledge and understanding of intermediate Nepali grammar
  2. knowledge and understanding of a wide range of Nepali vocabulary
  3. knowledge and understanding of the appropriateness of a wide range of Nepali structures and expressions in a given context
  4. the ability to understand passages in written Nepali of medium length on everyday and some specialised topics
  5. the ability to produce passages in written Nepali of medium length on everyday and some specialised topics
  6. the ability to understand spoken Nepali and to engage in spoken discourse of medium complexity on everyday and some specialised topics
  7. knowledge and understanding of the role of language in general, and Nepali in particular, in language-based scholarship and research (specific learning outcome for PG students)


This course will be taught over 22 weeks with 4 hours classroom contact per week in language classes. 10 research seminars to be taken within SOAS.  Attendance to be proven by signature from chair and to be submitted to the Associate Dean for Masters by the last day of term 2.

Scope and syllabus

The course provides teaching and learning of intermediate level Nepali language with emphasis on practical written and spoken Nepali. The course covers complex points of word and sentence structure as well as textual relations in Nepali writing and discourse. Communicative practice and structural knowledge is established through reading and discussing a variety of Nepali texts dealing with different topics and of different length and complexity.

The course provides students with intermediate knowledge of Nepali and practice of using Nepali in a variety of everyday and more specialised situations, including the understanding and expression of opinions and different points of view. It allows students to interact with Nepali speakers in Nepali and to use original Nepali language sources within the level covered in the course. 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 language learning portfolio consisting of a set of marked homework, short in-class tests, translation projects (30%); one oral examination of 10 minutes taken in May/June (10%); two x 1 hour tests; 1 to be taken in week 2, term 2 (10%) and 1 in the week after reading week, term 2 (10%).

Suggested reading

The course will be based on;

  • Hutt, Michael and Abhi Subedi, Teach Yourself Nepali (London, 2000) [later chapters only]
    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. New Delhi and London: Sterling Publishers/SOAS, 1988.
  • Michael Hutt, Modern Literary Nepali, an introductory reader.  New Delhi: Oxford University Press, 1994.


Additional resources relating to language-based scholarship discussed in the PG lectures

  • 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