WELCOME TO SIKKIM
... the Land of Mystical Splendor !
In Gangtok and some
other bigger towns of Sikkim people understand and speak English
and Hindi. But in other places you may have problems communicating
so learning the following Nepali survival phrases would be very
Nepali is the predominant language spoken in Sikkim. English is
also commonly used but it is concentrated chiefly in urban areas.
The national language Hindi can be used effectively as medium of
communication. Other than these languages, there are several local
dialects of which Tibetan, Bhutia and Lepcha language are
Imagine you are
trekking your way towards the promised land and your knowledge of
Nepali is as good as your knowledge of Pali, then you sure need
help. But then what's this website for ? Here is first-hand
account that will definitely give a boost in your endeavor towards
the promised land. Meet the Wanderer who is exploring the mystical
land of Sikkim, far away from modern civilization where English is
seen but not spoken.|
Our Wanderer knows Nepali in bits but it is effective and helpful.
He greets people on way with folded hands and says "Namaste"
(common method of greeting people in Sikkim) and the people
are in his pocket. He is lost somewhere and he asks for
" Yo jaga ko naam kye ho? " (What's the name of this place?
jaga = place, naam = name, kye=what ).
"Peri Bhanno Hous" (Can you repeat that? Pheri = repeat)
"<destination> Kaha chaa? " ( Where is <destination>?" Kaha
= where )
" Khati time laag cha ? " ( How much time will it take?
Kati = How much )
Satisfied, our Wanderer thanks them " Dhanyanwad " (Thank
you) and marches on. On his way he comes across a beautiful
monastery and he knows he has to capture it in his camera. He asks
politely to the monks " Ma photo linu shakchu?" (May I take
a photograph? Ma = I, linu shakchu = take). Thanking them, he
trudges on. Feeling hungry he settles on a road-side restaurant
and orders for snacks.
"Ek cup tato chay dinos na" (Get me a cup of hot tea. Chay=tea,
ek=one) Pointing to one of the food stuff he asks "Yo Kye ho?"
(What is this ? Kye = What, yo = this). He wants hot water
" Tato pani " or " Chiso pani " ( pani = water, chiso =
cold, tato = hot). When its time to pay the bill " Bill lai
dinos " ( Please bring the bill. Lai dinos = please bring).
Looking outside he sees a vehicle moving towards his destination.
Rushing outside he halts the vehicle " Rhoki dinos "
(Please halt). The Wanderer asks where the vehicle is heading for.
" Yo <vehicle> kaha zhancha " ( Where this vehicle is
going? Kaha=where). Our Wanderer is happy to know that it is
heading towards his destination. So he asks for a lift, " Malai
<destination> Lanus ".
Wanderer reaches a hotel and asks for a room " Room kahli cha?"
(Do you have a room vacant? kahli = empty, vacant). Next morning
feeling refreshed, he goes around hunting for souvenirs and
strikes up a real bargain." Khati? " (How much), "
Khaseri? " ( How), " Kyena yati maungo? " ( Why
is it so costly? Kyena = Why, maungo = costly), " Daam gata
dino hos " (Please reduce the price. Daam = price, gata =
Later Wanderer feels sick " Jiyo Sancho Chaina " (I am
feeling ill) he tells and ask for the doctor, " Doctor lai Bolia
denu hous " (Please call the doctor. Bolia denu = call for).
Later after recovering, he offers " Dhanyanwad " to all
those who helped him and heads for home. All the local terms he
learned during his stay in Sikkim however remains strong. When
asked about his visit to Sikkim, Our Wanderer smiles and says "
Shaatis! " (incredible).