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Speaking Urdu/Hindi in Nepal?

Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
2 posts
9 reviews
7 helpful votes
Speaking Urdu/Hindi in Nepal?

For someone traveling to Nepal (Primary Kathmandu), can they get by okay by speaking Urdu/Hindi? Do people in Kathmandu understand/speak Urdu/Hindi, or would it be difficult to get around without knowing Nepali?

Kathmandu, Nepal
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50 posts
11 reviews
4 helpful votes
1. Re: Speaking Urdu/Hindi in Nepal?

Hi Welcome to Trip Advisor forum Nepal

As usual general people used to understand and speak Hindi and Urdu very well and not assume.Thank you.

Kathmandu, Nepal
Destination Expert
for Nepal
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2,357 posts
68 reviews
25 helpful votes
2. Re: Speaking Urdu/Hindi in Nepal?

I am not sure if Hindi and Urdu are similar, Hindi is widely understood in Nepal but I am not sure about Urdu. If you can Speak at least Hindi then it should be fine to explore around.

Denmark
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1,609 posts
14 reviews
5 helpful votes
3. Re: Speaking Urdu/Hindi in Nepal?

Hi

Many people in Kathmandu speaks good English; especially younger people and people working in hotels, restaurants, shops and tourist business etc.

So you will have no problems, I think :-)

R K
Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
116 posts
22 reviews
14 helpful votes
4. Re: Speaking Urdu/Hindi in Nepal?

First, you should know that very few visitors to Nepal bother to learn any Nepali. Even among longer term visitors the ability to speak Nepali not common because very few foreigners find themselves regularly in situations where they can't get by in English (or Hindi/Urdu).

To your question about whether people understand Hindi/Urdu, it depends a bit on who exactly you are interacting with. If they have a television, then they likely understand Hindi/Urdu (production values of Hindi media are generally higher than Nepali media). In Thamel and other tourist areas many people would understand both Hindi and English. If you are in Nepal primarily as a tourist in the major tourist areas, then you are most likely to be primarily interacting with people who have a lot of contact with tourists (both western and Indian) and would be very likely to understand both hindi and english and you would definitely be able to get by without a problem. If you are going beyond the traditional tourist areas of Kathmandu, people with more media exposure often understand Hindi but may not be able to speak it (can also apply to some taxi drivers).

One last thing to be a bit aware of is that not everyone in Nepal appreciates being spoken to in Hindi. Relations between India and Nepal are...complicated. You may actually be better off starting in English and if you need to fall back to Hindi, apologize for not knowing Nepali.

But the short answer is you'll be fine.

Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
2 posts
9 reviews
7 helpful votes
5. Re: Speaking Urdu/Hindi in Nepal?

Thanks for all of the replies! Urdu and Hindi are close enough, like British and American English. I was planning to visit areas near Boudhanath, but I imagine I would go to other areas of the city as well. I actually wasn't planning to go to Thamel though (too crowded from what I have read, trying to go to more open/less tourist crowded areas)

Kathmandu, Nepal
Destination Expert
for Nepal
Level Contributor
2,357 posts
68 reviews
25 helpful votes
6. Re: Speaking Urdu/Hindi in Nepal?

If you can then it's always good to speak English. As said on ## Post 04 / second last paragraph Nepali people do not fully enjoy talking in Hindi so it's good to practice English. People speak basic English common.

Kathmandu, Nepal
Level Contributor
335 posts
66 reviews
8 helpful votes
7. Re: Speaking Urdu/Hindi in Nepal?

If you are travelling kathmandu, pokhara, Chitwan &Lumbini then you won't have any difficulties communicating in Hindi/Urdu or in English. In kathmandu & Pokhara people prefer to speak in English rather than Hindi if they are choosing in between.

So..no need to worry at all.

Enjoy your trip!

Espoo
Level Contributor
2,865 posts
8. Re: Speaking Urdu/Hindi in Nepal?

I would think there would be more people speaking rudimentary Hindi than English in Nepal, even in Kathmandu. People in the tourist business do speak some English but the "man on the street" does not. So if you plan to communicate with the natives outside the touristy places knowing Hindi would certainly be helpful.

New Delhi, India
Level Contributor
8 posts
45 reviews
39 helpful votes
9. Re: Speaking Urdu/Hindi in Nepal?

In Kathmandu nearly everyone speaks Hindi. I am from India and was there last week for a business trip. From taxi guys to shopkeepers and the guy on the street could converse in Hindi. Outside Kathmandu everyone may not know Hindi.

Kathmandu, Nepal
Level Contributor
1 post
3 reviews
10. Re: Speaking Urdu/Hindi in Nepal?

all people can speck hindi