A Lesson in Comparisons
Today’s lesson will be focused on comparative structure in Nepali. This structure is very helpful when traveling to Nepal and conversing with people in Nepali because it allows you to compare how you feel your home/culture/food/etc. may differ from what you are experiencing in Nepal. In this sense, it can allow for greater “cultural exchange.” For more advanced language learners, this structure is useful if you are comparing the effectiveness of policies or problems within a society (as you will see in this example).
Here is the basic form of the comparative structure in Nepali.
भारत भन्दा नेपाल सानो छ। Bharat bhandaa Nepal saano chha. Nepal is smaller than India.
नेपाल भारत भन्दा सानो छ। Nepal Bharat bhandaa saano chha. Nepal is smaller than India.
Both forms are correct!! Note the different placement of the term for “than” भन्दा in each sentence. Whichever noun is being described by the adjective more (or less) will either precede the second noun followed by भन्दा, OR भन्दा is spoken between the two nouns, with the “greater adjective” noun spoken second. If this is confusing, do not fret! We will do some practice.
In English, we want to say the following:
Right now, in the Nepali education system, equal opportunity is a bigger problem than equal access.
अहिले नेपाली शिक्षा व्यवस्थामा, समान अधिकार भन्दा समान मैका ठुलो समस्या छ।
Ahile Nepali shikshaa bywasthaamaa, samaan adhikaar bhandaa samaan maikaa Thulo samasya chha.
अहिले नेपाली शिक्षा व्यवस्था मा, समान मैका समान अधिकार भन्दा ठुलो समस्या छ ।
Ahile Nepali shikshaa bywasthaamaa, samaan maikaa samaan adhikaar bhandaa Thulo samasya chha.
Both have the same meaning, the structure is just a tad different. Now, let’s do some practice.
Here are some Nepali word translations that will help you with the exercises below.
**Note that if it is a general truth (like apples are sweeter than lemons) then you will see हुन्छ hunchha used instead of छ chha.
कागती – lemon (kaagati)
स्याऊ- apple (syaau)
महानगरपालिका -metropolis (mahaangarpalika)
नगरपालिका -municipality (nagarpaalikaa)
धेरैजसो – usually
वंचित – disadvantaged
बिरालो – cat
कुकुर – dog
***There are no Nepali translations for ice cream and cake (as far as I know!) ***