Compiled by the UNGEGN Working Group on Romanization Systems
Version 4.0, February 2013


The United Nations recommended system was approved in 1972 (II/11), based on a report prepared by D. N. Sharma. The note on the system was published in volume II of the conference report1.

There is no evidence of the use of the system either in Nepal or in international cartographic products. The resolution IV/17 (1982) recommended association, inter alia, with Nepal in carrying out further studies on the system. In Nepal a system of romanization is employed by the Nepal Survey Department (NSD). This system has been applied to names appearing on national mapping, and it is also used in the Geographic Information Infrastructure Programme (NGIIP)2.

Nepali (Nepālī) uses the alphasyllabic script Devanāgarī. For further details see the Hindi section of the report.


I. Independent vowel characters

1 a
2 ā
3 i
4 ī
5 u
6 ū
8 ॠृ
10 e
11 ai
12 o
13 au

II. Abbreviated vowel characters (क stands for any consonant character)

1 a
2 का ā
3 कि i
4 की ī
5 कु u A
6 कू ū A
7 कृ A
8 के e
9 कै ai
10 को o
11 कौ au

III. Other symbols (अ stands for any vowel character in lines 1-3, क stands for any consonant character in line 4)

1 अं
2 अँ
3 अः
4 क् (A)

IV. Consonant characters

1 kaA
2 khaA
3 gaA
4 gha
5 ṅa
6 cha
7 chha
8 jaA
9 jha
10 ña
11 ṭa
12 ṭha
13 ḍaA
14 ḍhaA
15 ṇa
16 ta
17 tha
18 da
19 dha
20 na
21 pa
22 phaA
23 ba
24 bha
25 ma
26 ya
27 ra
28 la
29 va
30 sha
31 ṣha
32 sa
33 ha

Notes to Nepali romanization

  1. In normal spelling ṙ and ṙh are not marked, instead dotless ड ḍa, ढ ḍha are used to denote these sounds.
  2. Ligatures may be formed with r as the first component: ऱ्ह rha.

Other systems of romanization

The system used by the Nepal Survey Department (NSD) differs from the UN system in the following cases (numbers refer to the tables and characters in the UN system):

No. Char. UN system NSD
I.7 ṛi
I.8 ॠृ (absent)
III.1 अं A
III.2 अँ ~ B
III.3 अः h
IV.29 v v or w
IV.31 ṣh
- क्ष kṣh kṣC

There is also a simplified version in use whereby all diacritical marks are omitted and the following substitutions made, among others: ṅ → ng; ṣ → sh, kṣ → ksh or x, jñ → gy.

The BGN/PCGN 1964 System as simplified in 1988 but retired in 2009 in favour of the NSD system had the following different Roman equivalents for the romanization of Nepali:

= ń
= ng
= ṛ
= ri, irA
ṝ = rī, īrA
sh = ś
ṣh = ṣ
v = w


  1. Second United Nations Conference on the Standardization of Geographical Names. London, 10-31 May 1972. Vol. II. Technical papers. United Nations. New York 1974, p. 133.
  2. Transliteration and Translation System for Nepal. – National Geographic Information Infrastructure Programme, Accessed 1 Nov. 2010.