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Many Nepalis speak English as a second or foreign language, with English use being most prevalent among city dwellers residing in Kathmandu (the capital of Nepal). Although Nepali is the native language, English is the primary language used for business in Nepal. In Nepal, where modern English education began in the 1850s, there is little or no consensus among teachers and practitioners on whether to follow British, American or Indian variants of English, or allow the development of a Nepal-specific variety of English.
Colloquially Nepalese English is known as Nenglish (a term first recorded in 1999), or, less commonly, as Nepanglish (2000) or Neplish (2002).
This dialect is classified[by whom?] as a non-standard dialect and has no legal status.
Nepalese accents vary greatly. Some Nepalese speak English with an accent close to a Standard British (Received Pronunciation) accent; others lean toward a more 'vernacular', native-tinted, accent for their English speech.
The role of English within the complex multilingual society of Nepal is far from straightforward: it is used across the country, by speakers with various degrees of proficiency; the grammar and phraseology may mimic that of the speaker's first language. While Nepalese speakers of English use idioms peculiar to their homeland, often literal translations of words and phrases from their native languages, this is far less common in proficient speakers, and the grammar itself tends to be quite close to that of Standard English.
The numeral system of Nepalese English is the Indian numbering system and is preferred for digit grouping. When written in words, or when spoken, numbers less than 100,000 are expressed just as they are in Standard English. Numbers including and beyond 100,000 are expressed in a subset of the Indian numbering system. Consequently, the following scale is used:
|In digits (Standard English)||In digits (Nenglish)||In words (Standard English)||In words (Nenglish)|
|100,000 / 100 000||1,00,000||one hundred thousand||one lakh|
|1,000,000 / 1 000 000||10,00,000||one million||ten lakh|
|10,000,000 /10 000 000||1,00,00,000||ten million||one crore|
There are a few distinct expressions relating to family members in Nepalese English.
In most of the languages spoken in Nepal, both brother and cousin are referred to as brother, as there is no specific word for cousin. People[who?] therefore use the term "own brother" to refer to "brother" and "not own brother" to refer to "cousin".
The Nepalese languages have specific words to refer to aunts and uncles. For example, in Nepali, father's sister is फुपु (phupu) and mother's sister सानो आमा (sāno āmā). People would generally use their native language's terms to refer to those family members.
- "Government of Nepal reached an agreement on Madhesi demand to introduce English as language of education in Nepal : United Nations Charter" (PDF).[permanent dead link]
- "Nenglish: An Inevitable Reality or Merely a Mirage".
- Lambert, James. 2018. A multitude of ‘lishes’: The nomenclature of hybridity. English World-wide, 39(1): 28-29. DOI: 10.1075/eww.38.3.04lam
- "Investors lose Rs 4.4 lakh crore in four days" Archived 2012-03-16 at the Wayback Machine, Business Standard
- "Back Corporate chiefs getting crores in salaries: 100 and counting!", SmartInvestor.in