Nepali Spell Checker and Orthography rules

This section provides documentation on orthography rules for the Nepali language and a spell checker that incorporates the rules.

Nepali orthography (Nepali Barna Binyas) includes a set of conventions for writing the Nepali language, including spelling, punctuation, hyphenation, Padyog Padbiyog (writing words together or separately).

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Nepali orthography: Summary and conventions
Words used in Nepali can be broadly categorized into two groups - Nepali words and Sanskrit loanwords. Sanskrit loanwords, called Tatsam, are adopted from Sanskrit into Nepali without any modification. Nepali words primarily consist of words, called Tadbhav, that originated from Sanskrit but got modified as they finally made it to the Nepali language. Nepali words also include loanwords from sources other than Sanskrit.

An important orthographic distinction between these two groups is that the Nepali words are written using Nepali orthography rules, whereas the Sanskrit loanwords are written the same way as they are written in Sanskrit since they are adopted into Nepali without any modification. The Nepali orthography rules, compared to their Sanskrit counterparts, are much simpler making it easy to write all forms of Nepali words (primarily, words that originated from Sanskrit but got modified along the way and loanwords from sources other than Sanskrit.) In contrast to this, writing Sanskrit loanwords requires knowledge of additional Sanskrit orthography rules as they have to be written the same way as they are written in Sanskrit.

Nepali orthography has evolved over time. The conventions used at Nepali Language Resource Center are based on guidelines published by Nepal's language academy, Nepal Academy.

Raswa Dirgha in Nepali
A vowel can occur either as an independent vowel letter or as a dependent vowel sign in combination with a consonant letter. See Alphabet and Writing System for more details. The two vowels /i/ and /u/ can also occur either as short vowels or long vowels. In Nepali, Raswa refers to the occurrence of such short vowels, इ, ि, उ and ु, and Dirgha to the occurrence of long vowels, ई, ी, ऊ and ू, in an orthographic syllable.

Using Nepali Spell Checker
To spell-check, paste your Nepali text into the editor box and click the "Check Spelling" button. Nepali Spell Checker will analyze your text and if it finds a misspelled term, either a word or a phrase, it will provide you with relevant suggestions. You can, then, either replace the misspelled term with one of the suggestions or ignore the suggestions and not make the change.

While replacing the misspelled term with one of the suggestions, you can do so for just that particular occurrence of the misspelled term or have the change applied to all occurrences of the misspelled term. In a similar fashion, you can ignore a particular occurrence of the term or ignore all occurrences of the term. The Replace All, or Ignore All, operation replaces, or ignores, the term from the current position of the term to the end of the text.

How suggestions are made
Suggestions offered by Nepali Spell Checker are generated by an algorithm, which is based on a number of factors including the entries in the official Nepali dictionary, Nepali grammar and orthography rules and the guidelines from Nepal Academy. The order in which the suggestions are presented is based on objective factors, such as popularity of the suggestions.

The approach taken to predict suggestions can be categorized broadly into two steps. The first step includes the term being looked up against a comprehensive set of words and phrases, which includes a varieties of entries, like the entries from the official Nepali dictionary, new words not yet included in the dictionary, proper nouns, etc. If a term matches an entry in the set, the spell checker learns that the term is correct and moves on to the next term.

If the term does not exist in the dictionary, then, as a part of the second step, it processes the term against the grammar and orthography rules. Often times, a typical text contains many valid terms, like inflections and derived words, etc., that are not root terms. The spell checker decomposes such a term into different components. A lookup is performed for each component, and if the lookup succeeds, i.e., if all components exist in the set, it finally checks to see if all the components relate to each other according to the grammar and orthography rules.

The word "Gharma," meaning "in the house" and containing the root word, Ghar, meaning "house" and the case ending Ma, meaning "in," can be taken as an example to illustrate the approach. In the first step, a lookup is made for the entire term. Even though the term is valid, the lookup fails because the entire term does not exist as a single entry in the set, even though the root word and the case ending exist as separate entries. Then the second step kicks in. The term is decomposed into the root term and the case ending, after which a lookup for both components is performed. The lookup succeeds and then it proceeds to check the grammar and orthography rules. It passes the grammar rule that states that a case ending can be applied to a noun and also passes the orthography rules that state that a case ending should appear after the root word and that the case ending and the root word should be written as one single word. The spell checker then flags the term as a correct term.

At this point, if the spell checker cannot determine that the term is correct, it looks for closest matches in the set and comes up with a list of suggestions ranked based on popularity and how closely they match the term. The suggestions are then presented to the user. The suggestions may be entries from the set or other forms of entries, e.g., auto generated inflections.

View Nepali Spell Checker Documentation for additional information.
View Nepali Spell Checker Frequently Asked Questions.


Highly commendable work. This is a significant accomplishment for the Nepali language. It will provide a big help to the younger generation and everyone to write Nepali correctly.
─ Ghamaraj Luitel, Feb 10, 2013
[I] feel like a generation-appropriate project has been done. All of you involved in this very important project are worthy of commendations and a sincere gratitude; best wishes to all of you. As the project is in the initial phases, there might be minor items that need to be updated, but with timely contributions from everyone, we will be able to improve upon the project. If there is anything that I can do from my side [to improve the project], please provide an opportunity to contribute to me as well. Hearty congratulations and best wishes.
─ Hira, Jun 26, 2016
Nepali Spell Checker is helping me very much! Nepali being a third language for me, it was highly difficult to check spelling mistakes in my materials, but with this application, I was able to correct almost all the mistakes.
Great work!
─ Dass, Sep 24, 2013
This website was and is so useful to me in my translation work. Thank you for your efforts.
I will recommend this page to people who are in my contact.
─ Dass, Oct 27, 2015
Thanks for such a great work. It is nice and very useful.
─ Sijan, Jun 24, 2017
Very Helpful. Creative and appreciable work.
─ Robin, Feb 20, 2019
Wonderful [Nepali] spell checker. My salute to this work that benefits the [Nepali] society and language.
─ Surya Raj Acharya, Aug 16, 2017
I have been using it [Nepali Spell Checker] for a long time. Great work guys, keep rolling. We need an app now.
─ R Neupane, Jan 19, 2019
Many congratulations to the team. You have made a very useful and easy-to-use tool [Nepali Spell Checker].
─ BK Nabaraj, Dec 18, 2016
Loving the design and updates from this app. As a developer, I would love to use this in my apps. Hope there is an API in the making.
─ sg, Sep 9, 2016
Wonderful app for grammar and spell-checking in Nepali - the best so far.
─ Gadfa, Feb 12, 2018
Very useful and it helps me to correct my spelling errors.
─ Gautam, Feb 26, 2016
Very useful app for Nepali spell-checking. Many many thanks.
─ Ananda Raj Devkota, Jan 2, 2017
Thanks. It helped me a lot.
─ SM, Oct 29, 2017
So nice! Loving it; thanks.
─ Tejendra Baruwal, Jan 20, 2017
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