Nepali is the official language of Nepal, with over 93 other languages and dialects spoken as mother-tongues in different parts of the country. Nepali is of the Indo-Aryan family of languages brought from central Asia by the Aryans. The original Old Indo-Aryan language gave rise to Sanskrit from which Nepali derives. Nepali uses the Devanagri script (the script of the city of the gods, sometimes known as Nagari) which derived from the Brahmi script of ancient India.

Most ethnic groups have their own languages and some like the Rais have many dialects spoken in the various regions where they live. Newars, Rais, Limbus, Lepchas all have their own script which are still in use. One of the most well-known script is the Ranjana Lipi used by the Newar people. They have used various other scripts over the centuries. In the tarai regions, various languages like Maithili, Hindi and others are spoken. Most people can speak Nepali, which is the lingua franca of Nepal.

English is widely spoken in the cities and with more and more schools teaching in the English medium, a large population of the younger generation can speak English.  Both English and Nepali are used for official purposes.

Foreign students can study Nepali (spoken and Devanagari script), Newari, Sanskrit and Tibetan languages at the Bishwa Bhasha Campus (at Bhrikutimandap) of Tribhuvan University in Kathmandu. They may pursue BA and MA studies in the Nepali language at the Department of Nepali Studies, Tribhuvan University in Kirtipur.