ISBN is

978-0-8442-1596-9 / 0844215961

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About the book:

Sure, you can visit the top tourist sights in Katmandu without knowing any Nepali at all. But to feel comfortable in a village, or to talk to the people of Nepal about more than the price of a souvenir, you'll want to feel some comfort with their language, and Teach Yourself Nepali is a great way to get started.

The tapes start at the beginning, with Nepali vowels, nasalized Nepali vowels, and consonants. Then, once you've mastered those, the pleasant British voice takes you, firmly and deliberately, through the necessary lessons, building your command and confidence before leading you through the next language skill. It's a fine method, because you can go back and repeat any section as many times as you want before proceeding, and because there's a thorough study book that comes with the tapes that mirrors the audio lessons. Do you learn best by listening and speaking? You can go heavy with the tapes and use the book as a backup. Do you need to see words in black and white on the page before your brain will grasp the concept? Focus on the text and listen to the tapes for the finer points of pronunciation. It's helpful to have all the information available in two modes of instruction.

The book not only teaches you grammar and dialogue, it also teaches you to write and read Nepali script, which is handy not only when you're trying to read signs in Katmandu but when you're wanting to learn the written dialogue or use the Nepali-English glossary, which includes the phoneticized Nepali version as well as the Nepali script. There's a lot to learn, but keep at it and you'll be saying Ciya cha ki chaina? ("Is there any tea or not?") in no time. --Stephanie Gold

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