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Languages of Nepal
« on: April 02, 2008, 05:28:05 PM »
Languages of Nepal


ingdom of Nepal, Sri Nepala Sarkar. 27,070,666. 2,423,840 speakers of Tibeto-Burman languages (1991 J. Matisoff). National or official language: Nepali. Literacy rate: 20% to 29%. Also includes Kharia (1,575), Urdu (174,840). Information mainly from R. Hugoniot 1970; D. B. Bista 1972; S. Toba 1976, 1983, 1991; A. Hale 1982; W. Winter 1991; K. Ebert 1994; J. Matisoff et al. 1996; R. Burling ms. (1998). Blind population: 100,000. Deaf population: 1,275,776. Deaf institutions: 3. The number of languages listed for Nepal is 126. Of those, 123 are living languages and 3 are extinct.
Living languages
Angika   [anp] 15,892 in Nepal (2001 census). Terai. Alternate names: Anga, Angikar, Chhika-Chhiki.  Classification: Indo-European, Indo-Iranian, Indo-Aryan, Eastern zone, Bihari 

Athpariya   [aph] 2,000 (1995 Ebert). 439,312 all Rai languages (1991 census). Kosi Zone, Dhankuta District, north of the Tamur, between the Dhankutakhola in the west and the Tangkhuwa in the east; Dhankuta and Bhirgaon panchayats. Alternate names: Athapre, Ath Paharia Rai, Athpare, Athpre, Arthare, Arthare-Khesang, Jamindar Rai.  Dialects: Athpare from Dhankuta and Belhara are very similar, but not inherently intelligible to each other's speakers (Bickel 1996:21). Reported to be close to Limbu, but not inherently intelligible with it. The term 'Kiranti' covers about 21 speech varieties, of which fewer than half are even partially intelligible to each other.  Classification: Sino-Tibetan, Tibeto-Burman, Himalayish, Mahakiranti, Kiranti, Eastern 

Awadhi   [awa] 560,744 in Nepal (2001 census). Lumbini Zone, Kapilbastu District; Bheri Zone, Banke and Bardiya districts. Alternate names: Abadi, Abadhi, Abohi, Ambodhi, Avadhi, Baiswari, Kojali, Kosali.  Dialects: Bagheli, Gangapari, Mirzapuri, Pardesi, Tharu, Uttari.  Classification: Indo-European, Indo-Iranian, Indo-Aryan, East Central zone 

Bagheli   [bfy] Ethnic population: 136,953 Kewat. Koshi Zone, Morang District. Alternate names: Bagelkhandi, Bhugelkhud, Mannadi, Riwai, Gangai, Mandal, Kewot, Kewat, Kawathi, Kenat, Kevat Boli, Kevati, Kewani, Kewati.  Dialects: Ojhi, Powari, Banapari, Gahore, Tirhari, Godwani (Mandlaha), Sonpari.  Classification: Indo-European, Indo-Iranian, Indo-Aryan, East Central zone 

Bahing   [bhj] 2,765 (2001 census). Sagarmatha Zone, Okhaldunga District, south of the Solu River in the Nachedanda ranges, east of the Melung River to the Thatan River and its tributaries in the west. Alternate names: Rumdali, Bainge Rai, Baing, Baying, Bayung, Bahing Lo, Bayung Lo.  Dialects: Namber Sacha, Rokhung, Khaling, Banenge, Dobo Lo, Proca Lo. The Khaling dialect of Bahing is distinct from the Khaling language. More homogeneous than most Kiranti languages. Related to Sunwar.  Classification: Sino-Tibetan, Tibeto-Burman, Himalayish, Mahakiranti, Kham-Magar-Chepang-Sunwari, Sunwari 

Bantawa   [bap] 371,056 (2001 census). Less than 5% monolinguals. Koshi Zone, Morang, Dhankuta, Bhojpur, western Dhankuta, and Khotang districts. Amchoke is in Limbuwan, especially in Ilam District; Sagarmatha Zone, Udayapur District; Mechi Zone, Japa District. Many villages. Alternate names: Bantawa Rai, Bantaba, Bontawa, Bantawa Y?ng, Bantawa Yong, Bantawa Dum, Kiranti.  Dialects: Northern Bantawa (Dilpali), Southern Bantawa (Hatuwali, Hangkhim), Eastern Bantawa (Dhankuta), Western Bantawa (Amchoke, Amchauke). Southern and Northern Bantawa are the most similar and could be united as 'Intermediate Bantawa'. Dialects reported to be inherently intelligible with each other. Sorung and Saharaja are Amchoke subdialects. Rungchenbung and Yangma are Northern subdialects. Eastern dialect is most divergent. Most closely related to Dungmali. Also related to Puma, Sampang, and Chhintange.  Classification: Sino-Tibetan, Tibeto-Burman, Himalayish, Mahakiranti, Kiranti, Eastern 

Baraamu   [brd] 2,000 (1998). Ethnic population: 7,383. Gandaki Zone, North Gorkha District, Takhu village up the Doraundi Khola on the east side above Chorgate, near Kumhali, about 7 villages. They may be in Dhading District. Alternate names: Barhamu, Brahmu, Bhramu, Bramu, Baram.  Dialects: Related to Thangmi (Grierson-Konow).  Classification: Sino-Tibetan, Tibeto-Burman, Himalayish, Tibeto-Kanauri, Western Himalayish, Eastern 

Belhariya   [byw] 500 (1995 Ebert). Kosi Zone, Dhankuta District, Belhara village and hill west of Dhankuta Bajar. Alternate names: Belhare, Athpariya, Athpahariya, Athpare, Athpagari.  Dialects: Different from Athpariya, although also called that, and closely related to it (Winter 1991). Not intelligible with Athpariya (Bickel 1996:21). Appears to be between Athpariya, Yakkha, and Chhilling linguistically.  Classification: Sino-Tibetan, Tibeto-Burman, Himalayish, Mahakiranti, Kiranti, Eastern 

Bengali   [ben] 23,602 in Nepal (2001 census). Mechi Zone, Jhapa District; Koshi Zone, Morang and Sunsari districts; Sagarmatha Zone, Saptari District. Alternate names: Bangala, Bangla, Bangla-Bhasa.  Dialects: Barik, Bhatiari, Chirmar, Kachari-Bengali, Lohari-Malpaharia, Musselmani, Rajshahi, Samaria, Saraki, Siripuria.  Classification: Indo-European, Indo-Iranian, Indo-Aryan, Eastern zone, Bengali-Assamese 

Bhojpuri   [bho] 1,712,536 in Nepal (2001 census). Main concentration in Narayani Zone, Rautahat, Para, and Parsa districts. Also near the India border in Lumbini Zone, Nawalparasi District; Janakpur Zone, Sarlahi District; Koshi Zone, Morang District; Mechi Zone, Jhapa District. Alternate names: Bhojapuri, Bhozpuri, Bajpuri.  Dialects: Bhojpuri Tharu, Teli.  Classification: Indo-European, Indo-Iranian, Indo-Aryan, Eastern zone, Bihari 

Bodo   [brx] 3,301 in Nepal (2001 census). Ethnic population: 3,763. Mechi Zone, Jhapa District. Alternate names: Boro, Bodi, Bara, Boroni, Meche, Mechi, Meci, Mech, Mache.  Classification: Sino-Tibetan, Tibeto-Burman, Jingpho-Konyak-Bodo, Konyak-Bodo-Garo, Bodo-Garo, Bodo 

Bote-Majhi   [bmj] 11,000 (1991 census). Narayani Zone, mainly Chitawan District, near Kumhali. Alternate names: Kushar.  Classification: Indo-European, Indo-Iranian, Indo-Aryan, Eastern zone, Unclassified 

Bujhyal   [byh] 5,000 (1998). Ethnic population: 117,568. Gandaki Zone, East Tanahun District, south side of Chimkesori Peak, behind Yangchok, near the Magar. Separated from the Chepang by the Trisuli (Narayani) River. Alternate names: Gharti, Bujhel, Bujal, Western Chepang.  Dialects: Pronominal affix differences hinder intelligibility. More like the East Himalayish languages. Lexical similarity 98% with Chepang.  Classification: Sino-Tibetan, Tibeto-Burman, Himalayish, Mahakiranti, Kham-Magar-Chepang-Sunwari, Chepang 

Byangsi   [bee] 1,734 in Nepal (2001 census). Ethnic population: 2,103. Mahakali Zone, Darchula District, 9 villages in Byas Valley. Alternate names: Byanshi, Byansi, Byangkho Lwo, Byasi, Sauka, Shauka.  Classification: Sino-Tibetan, Tibeto-Burman, Himalayish, Tibeto-Kanauri, Western Himalayish, Almora 

Camling   [rab] 10,000 (1995 Karen Ebert). Sagarmatha Zone, Khotang District, from Durchhim in W. Khotang all the way east across Diktel to the border of Bhojpur District. From there, south to the Sawa Khola, scattered in Udayapur District. Also spread throughout more districts of eastern Nepal. Sikkim and Darjeeling and Bhutan. Alternate names: Chamling, Chamlinge Rai, Rodong.  Dialects: Closest to Bantawa and Puma linguistically. Many people speak a variety mixed with Nepali.  Classification: Sino-Tibetan, Tibeto-Burman, Himalayish, Mahakiranti, Kiranti, Eastern 

Chantyal   [chx] 2,000 (1997 Michael Noonan). Ethnic population: 9,814. Dhaulagiri Zone, Myagdi District, Kali Gandaki River valley. Ethnic Chantel also in Baglung District. Alternate names: Chentel, Chantel, Chhantel.  Dialects: Related to Gurung, Manang, Tamang, Thakali (Noonan).  Classification: Sino-Tibetan, Tibeto-Burman, Himalayish, Tibeto-Kanauri, Tibetic, Tamangic 

Chaudangsi   [cdn] 1,197 in Nepal (2000). Mahakali Zone, Darchula District, Chaudas Valley, 10 villages. Alternate names: Tsaudangsi, Bangba Lwo, Sauka, Shauka.  Classification: Sino-Tibetan, Tibeto-Burman, Himalayish, Tibeto-Kanauri, Western Himalayish, Almora   

Chepang   [cdm] 36,807 (2001 census). Ethnic population: 52,237. Inner Terai; Narayani Zone, Makwanpur, Chitawan, and South Dhading districts; Gandaki Zone, South Gorkha District. Alternate names: Tsepang.  Dialects: Eastern Chepang, Western Chepang. Bujhel can be considered a dialect close to Western Chepang, but has difficult intelligibility of Chepang, different morphology. Dialects differ in verb forms. Similar in morphology to Kiranti languages. Lexical similarity 98% with Bujhel.  Classification: Sino-Tibetan, Tibeto-Burman, Himalayish, Mahakiranti, Kham-Magar-Chepang-Sunwari, Chepang 

Chhintange   [ctn] 1,500 (2003). Koshi Zone, Lower Arun Region, Dhankuta District, Chhintang Panchayat, Sambhung and Pokhare, and Ankhisalla Panchayat, Dandagaon. Alternate names: Chhintang, Teli, Chintang R?ng, Chintang.  Dialects: Probably not intelligible with Bantawa, although sometimes considered a dialect of it because of ethnic similarities.  Classification: Sino-Tibetan, Tibeto-Burman, Himalayish, Mahakiranti, Kiranti, Eastern 

Chhulung   [cur] 1,314 (2001 census). Koshi Zone, Ankhisalla Panchayat, Dhankuta District, end of Chhintang Panchayat. Alternate names: Chulung, Ch?l?ng, Chh?l?ng R?ng, Chholung, Chhilling.  Classification: Sino-Tibetan, Tibeto-Burman, Himalayish, Mahakiranti, Kiranti, Eastern 

Chukwa   [cuw] 100 (1991 W. Winter). Koshi Zone, Bhojpur District, Kulung Panchayat. Alternate names: Cukwa Ring, Pohing, Pohing Kha.  Classification: Sino-Tibetan, Tibeto-Burman, Himalayish, Mahakiranti, Kiranti, Eastern  Nearly extinct.

Darai   [dry] 10,210 (2001 census). Ethnic population: 14,859. Inner Terai, Narayani Zone, Chitawan District; Gandaki Zone, Tanahu District. Classification: Indo-European, Indo-Iranian, Indo-Aryan, Unclassified 

Darmiya   [drd] 1,197 in Nepal (2000). Mahakali Zone, Darchula District, Dhauli or Darma Valley, 16 villages. Alternate names: Darimiya, Sauka, Shauka.  Classification: Sino-Tibetan, Tibeto-Burman, Himalayish, Tibeto-Kanauri, Western Himalayish, Almora 

Dhanwar   [dhw] 31,849 (2001 census). 70% to 75% monolingual. Ethnic population: 53,229. Janakpur Zone, Sindhuli District; Eastern hills and plain, inner Terai and Terai south of Kathmandu, Makwanpur District, Narayani Zone. Alternate names: Dhanvar, Danuwar Rai, Danuwar, Denwar.  Dialects: Danuwar Done in Makwanpur and India and Danuwar Kachariya in Rautahat and elsewhere are probably distinct languages from Danuwar Rai. Typological affinities with Northwestern Zone, Dardic group.  Classification: Indo-European, Indo-Iranian, Indo-Aryan, Unclassified 

Dhimal   [dhi] 17,308 in Nepal (2001 census). Population total all countries: 17,758. Ethnic population: 19,537. Mechi Zone, Jhapa District, 24 villages; Koshi Zone, Morang District, 51 villages; East and West dialects are separated by the Kankai River in Jhapa. Also spoken in India. Dialects: Eastern Dhimal, Western Dhimal. Toto in India is a separate language with no inherent intelligibility between them. 75% to 80% intelligibility between eastern and western dialect speakers. Low lexical similarity with Toto. 80% to 82% between dialects.  Classification: Sino-Tibetan, Tibeto-Burman, Himalayish, Tibeto-Kanauri, Tibetic, Dhimal 

Dolpo   [dre] 9,000 (2003). 5,000 monolinguals (2003). Karnali Zone, northern Dolpa District, villages of Goomatara, Kola, Tachel, Kani, Bajebara, Laun, Chilpara, Bantari, Byas, above Dolpa up to Tibet. It is beyond the mountains west of the upper Kali Gandaki River Valley. Confined by the Dhaulagire Himal on the south and Tibet on the north. Includes the headwaters of the Karnali River. About 24 small villages scattered over 500 square miles in Namgang, Panzgang, Tarap, and Chharbung subdistricts. Alternate names: Phoke Dolpa, Dolpa Tibetan, Dolpike.  Dialects: Dho Tarap, Phoksumdo Lake, Barbung River, and Charka-Dolpo Chu River areas are slightly different, but inherent intelligibility is very good. Closest language is Lowa. Dho Tarap reportedly understood best by all speakers. Reported to be close to Tichurong. Lexical similarity 78% with Lowa; 69% with Lhomi; 68% with Lhasa Tibetan, Walungge, and Kyerung; 67% with Kutang Bhotia; 66% with Helambu Sherpa; 62% with Jirel and Sherpa.  Classification: Sino-Tibetan, Tibeto-Burman, Himalayish, Tibeto-Kanauri, Tibetic, Tibetan, Central 

Dumi   [dus] 3 (2000 Van Driem). Ethnic population: 1,000 to 2,000 (1991 W. Winter). Sagarmatha Zone, Northern Khotang District, hills near the middle of the Rawakhola Valley, Baksila, Saptesvara abutting Rava and Tap rivers near the confluence and upriver. Alternate names: Dumi Bo'o, Dumi Bro, Ro'do Bo', Lsi Rai, Sotmali.  Dialects: Brasmi, Kharbari, Lamdija, Makpa. Closest to Khaling and Koi.  Classification: Sino-Tibetan, Tibeto-Burman, Himalayish, Mahakiranti, Kiranti, Western  Nearly extinct.

Dungmali   [raa] 4,609 (2000 SIL). East of central Bhojpur District, northeast of the Singtang Lekh, bend of the Arun River between its confluence with the Piukhuwa and the first confluence with the Piluwa River. Alternate names: Dungmali P?k, Dungmali-Bantawa, Arthare, Arthare-Khesang.  Dialects: Khesang (Khesange). The term 'Kiranti' covers about 21 dialects, of which fewer than half are even partially intelligible.  Classification: Sino-Tibetan, Tibeto-Burman, Himalayish, Mahakiranti, Kiranti, Eastern 

Dzongkha   [dzo] 9 in Nepal (2001 census). Some in Kathmandu. Alternate names: Jonkha, Bhotia of Bhutan, Zongkhar, Drukke, Drukha, Bhutanese.  Classification: Sino-Tibetan, Tibeto-Burman, Himalayish, Tibeto-Kanauri, Tibetic, Tibetan, Southern   

Ghale, Kutang   [ght] 1,300 (1992). Gandaki Zone, Northern Gorkha District, Buri Gandaki Valley from Nyak, up to and including Prok. Alternate names: Bhotte.  Dialects: Bihi, Chak, Rana. Barpak Ghale is understood fairly well farther north. There is a smaller difference between Uiya and Philim than between Barpak and either Uiya or Philim. Lexical similarity 62% to 76% among dialects. Rana is the most diverse. Lexical similarity 39% to 49% with Southern Ghale, 45% to 61% with Northern Ghale, 18% with Banspur Gurung, 16% to 23% with Tamang varieties, 13% to 31% with Nubri, 23% to 27% with Tsum, 22% to 27% with Kyerung, 19% to 24% with Tibetan.  Classification: Sino-Tibetan, Tibeto-Burman, Himalayish, Tibeto-Kanauri, Tibetic, Tamangic 

Ghale, Northern   [ghh] 2,500 (1991 Smith). Gandaki Zone, Gorkha District, Buri Gandaki Valley. Dialects: Khorla, Uiya, Jagat, Philim, Nyak. Nyak is the most diverse dialect. Philim people have 94% intelligibility of Uiya. Speakers have 75% to 79% intelligibility of Barpak in Southern Ghale. Dialect chain runs north and south. Lexical similarity 73% to 89% among dialects. Lexical similarity 65% to 81% with Southern Ghale, 45% to 61% with Kutang Ghale, 29% to 37% with Western Tamang, 21% to 27% with Nubri, 22% to 25% with Tsum, 19% to 23% with Kyerung, 19% to 21% with Tibetan.  Classification: Sino-Tibetan, Tibeto-Burman, Himalayish, Tibeto-Kanauri, Tibetic, Tamangic 

Ghale, Southern   [ghe] 25,189 (2000). Gandaki Zone, Gorkha District, hills south of Macha Khola. Alternate names: Galle Gurung.  Dialects: Barpak, Kyaura, Laprak. Some intelligibility between N. and S. Ghale. Dialect cluster. Glover (1974:8?12) has a Ghale branch under Bodish intermediate between the Tibetan and Gurung branches. Lexical similarity 75% to 78% among dialects. Lexical similarity 65% to 81% with Northern Ghale, 39% to 49% with Kutang Ghale, 27% to 30% with Banspur Gurung, 31% with Western Tamang, 20% with Nubri and Tsum, 18% with Tibetan.  Classification: Sino-Tibetan, Tibeto-Burman, Himalayish, Tibeto-Kanauri, Tibetic, Tamangic 

Gurung, Eastern   [ggn] 105,000 (1991 census). 227,918 all Gurung languages in Nepal (1991 census). Western Dev. Region, Gandaki Zone, mainly Lamjung, Tanahu, and western Gorkha districts. Possibly some in Manang District. Dialects: Lamjung Gurung, Gorkha Gurung, Tamu Kyi. Eastern and Western Gurung do not have adequate intelligibility to handle complex and abstract discourse. Daduwa town seems central linguistically.  Classification: Sino-Tibetan, Tibeto-Burman, Himalayish, Tibeto-Kanauri, Tibetic, Tamangic 

Gurung, Western   [gvr] 72,000 in Nepal (1991 census). Population total all countries: 72,082. Gandaki Zone, Kaski, Syangja districts; Dhaulagiri Zone, Parbat District. Also possibly in Myanmar. Also spoken in Bhutan, India. Alternate names: Gurung, Tamu Kyi.  Dialects: Southern Gurung (Syangja Gurung), Northwestern Gurung (Kaski Gurung). Dialect speakers may have enough inherent intelligibility of each other to understand complex and abstract discourse. Not enough with Eastern Gurung. Related to Thakali.  Classification: Sino-Tibetan, Tibeto-Burman, Himalayish, Tibeto-Kanauri, Tibetic, Tamangic 

Helambu Sherpa   [scp] 7,565 (2000 WCD). Bagmati Zone, Nuwakot and Sindhupalchok districts, Helambu area. Alternate names: Yholmo, Yohlmu Tam.  Dialects: Eastern Helambu Sherpa, Western Helambu Sherpa. Melamchi River divides the dialects. Speakers understand other dialects even for abstract and complex subjects, including possibly Tarke Ghyang, Khang-Kharka, Pahndang, but not Kagate. Lexical similarity 66% with Dolpo and Walungge, 65% with Lhasa Tibetan, Jirel, and Kyerung, 63% with Lowa and Sherpa, 61% with Nubri, 60% with Lhomi.  Classification: Sino-Tibetan, Tibeto-Burman, Himalayish, Tibeto-Kanauri, Tibetic, Tibetan, Central 

Hindi   [hin] 105,765 in Nepal (2001 census). Southern strip of low country. Classification: Indo-European, Indo-Iranian, Indo-Aryan, Central zone, Western Hindi, Hindustani 

Humla   [hut] 2,393 (2000). Seti Zone, Bajura District; Karnali Zone, Humla District. Alternate names: Dangali, Phoke, Humla "Bhotia".  Dialects: Probably a separate language from Tibetan.  Classification: Sino-Tibetan, Tibeto-Burman, Himalayish, Tibeto-Kanauri, Tibetic, Tibetan, Central 

Jerung   [jee] 1,914 (2000). Janakpur Zone, Sindhuli District, around and above the mouth of the Melungkhola River. Alternate names: Jero, Jerum, Jerunge, Jherung, Jero Mala, Zero, Zerum, Zero Mala.  Dialects: Madhavpur, Balkhu-Sisneri, Ratnawati (Sindhuli). Linguistically closest to Wambule.  Classification: Sino-Tibetan, Tibeto-Burman, Himalayish, Mahakiranti, Kiranti, Western   

Jirel   [jul] 4,919 (2001 census). Janakpur Zone, Dolakha District, Jiri and Sikri valleys, eastern hills. Jiri is the main area. Others include Chhyatrapa; Lumbini and Nawalparasi districts. Alternate names: Ziral, Jiri, Jirial.  Dialects: Accent differences, but not real dialects. Some comprehension of Lhasa Tibetan and some Tibetan dialects. Lexical similarity 67% with Sherpa, 65% with Helambu Sherpa, 62% with Dolpo and Lowa, 60% with Kyerung, 57% with Nubri, Lhomi, and Walungge, 54% with Lhasa Tibetan.  Classification: Sino-Tibetan, Tibeto-Burman, Himalayish, Tibeto-Kanauri, Tibetic, Tibetan, Southern 

Jumli   [jml] 800,000 (2003). Karnali Zone, Jumla District. Alternate names: Jumeli, Jumleli, Jumla, Khas Nepali, Sijali, Singja.  Dialects: Assi, Chaudhabis, Paachsai, Sinja. 73% to 89% intelligible with standard Nepali. Not sufficient to understand complex and abstract discourse. Lexical similarity 73% to 80% with standard Nepali.  Classification: Indo-European, Indo-Iranian, Indo-Aryan, Northern Zone, Eastern Pahari 

Kagate   [syw] 1,273 (2000). Janakpur Zone, Ramechhap District, on one of the ridges of Likhu Khola. Alternate names: Shuba, Shyuba, Syuba, Kagate Bhote.  Dialects: Differs from Helambu Sherpa by using less the honorific system in verbs.  Classification: Sino-Tibetan, Tibeto-Burman, Himalayish, Tibeto-Kanauri, Tibetic, Tibetan, Central 

Kaike   [kzq] 794 (2001 census). Karnali Zone, Dolpa District; Dhaulagiri Zone. Alternate names: Tarali Kham.  Classification: Sino-Tibetan, Tibeto-Burman, Himalayish, Tibeto-Kanauri, Western Himalayish, Kanauri 

Kayort   [kyv] 22,000 (2002). Koshi Zone, Morang District, Dakuwa Danga, near Rajbanshi language. Dialects: Related to Bengali.  Classification: Indo-European, Indo-Iranian, Indo-Aryan, Eastern zone, Bengali-Assamese 

Khaling   [klr] 9,288 in Nepal (2001 census). Sagarmatha Zone, SoluKhumbu, Khotang districts; Koshi Zone, Bhojpur, Sankhuwasawa, Terhathum districts; Mechi Zone, Panchtar and Ilam districts. Also spoken in India. Alternate names: Kaling, Khalinge Rai, Khael Bra, Khael Baat.  Dialects: Closest to Dumi and Koi.  Classification: Sino-Tibetan, Tibeto-Burman, Himalayish, Mahakiranti, Kiranti, Western 

Kham, Gamale   [kgj] 10,000 (1988). Rapti Zone, Rukum and Rolpa districts, western hills, Gam Khola. Alternate names: Gamale.  Dialects: Tamali, Ghusbanggi. Lexical similarity 71% with Western Parbate (closest), 55% with Eastern Parbate and Sheshi, 45% with Bhujel.  Classification: Sino-Tibetan, Tibeto-Burman, Himalayish, Mahakiranti, Kham-Magar-Chepang-Sunwari, Kham 

Kham, Sheshi   [kip] 20,000 (2003). Rapti Zone, Rukum and Rolpa districts, western hills, Jangkot, Kotgaon (Tapnang), Rimsek, Korcabang, Dangdung, Hwama, Dhangsi, Bhabang, and Ghapa villages. Alternate names: Sheshi.  Dialects: Tapnanggi, Jangkoti. Lexical similarity 55% with Gamale Kham (closest), 51% with Western Parbate, 46% with Bhujel, 44% with Eastern Parbate.  Classification: Sino-Tibetan, Tibeto-Burman, Himalayish, Mahakiranti, Kham-Magar-Chepang-Sunwari, Kham 

Koi   [kkt] 2,641 (2001 census). Sagarmatha Zone, northeastern Khotang District, Sungdel Panchayat near the headwaters of the Rawakhola, 2 villages. Alternate names: Koyu, Kohi, Koyi, Koi Bo'o, Koyu Bo'.  Dialects: Sungdel, Behere. Closest to Dumi and Khaling.  Classification: Sino-Tibetan, Tibeto-Burman, Himalayish, Mahakiranti, Kiranti, Western 

Kulung   [kle] 18,686 in Nepal (2001 census). Sagarmatha Zone, Solu Khumbu District, eastern hills, Hongu Valley, Mahakulung Region; Koshi Zone, Sankhuwasawa, Terhathum, Panchthar, Ilam districts. In Solu Khumbu, they live primarily along the Hongu Khola in villages of Bumng (Bung), Pilmu, Cheskam Sadhi, Gudel, and Namlu. In Sankhuwasawa District in villages of Baliyamnang, Phedi Khola, Wasepla, Mangtewa, Yaphu, Chayeng, Walung, and Sheduwa. These areas are mainly in the drainages of the Sangkhuwa and Siswa rivers, which flow into the Arun River. Also spoken in some Terai areas. Also spoken in India. Alternate names: Khulunge Rai, Kulu Ring, Khulung, Kholung.  Dialects: Sotang (Sotaring, Sottaring), Mahakulung, Tamachhang, Pidisoi, Chhapkoa, Pelmung, Namlung, Khambu. Intelligibility between Kulung and Sota Ring is 100% because only some words are pronounced differently. Related to Sangpang and Nachereng.  Classification: Sino-Tibetan, Tibeto-Burman, Himalayish, Mahakiranti, Kiranti, Eastern   

Kumauni   [kfy]  Mahakali Zone, Kanchanpur District. Alternate names: Kumaon.  Classification: Indo-European, Indo-Iranian, Indo-Aryan, Northern zone, Central Pahari 

Kumhali   [kra] 6,533 (2001 census). Ethnic population: 99,389. Lumbini Zone, Nawalparasi District, south of the Darai. Alternate names: Kumhale, Kumbale, Kumkale, Kumali.  Classification: Indo-European, Indo-Iranian, Indo-Aryan, Unclassified 

Kurmukar   [kfv]   Classification: Indo-European, Indo-Iranian, Indo-Aryan, Eastern zone, Bengali-Assamese 

Kurux, Nepali   [kxl] 28,615 (2001 census). Ethnic population: 41,764 Dhagar and Jhagar. Eastern Terai, Janakpur Zone, Dhanusa District, may be scattered as far as from Sarlahi to Moran districts. Alternate names: Dhangar, Jhanger, Janghard, Jangad, Uraon, Orau, Oraon.  Dialects: Different from Kurux of India and Bangladesh.  Classification: Dravidian, Northern 

Kyerung   [kgy] 4,786 in Nepal (2000). Population total all countries: 4,886. Bagmati Zone, Rasuwa District, Langtang Region, Rasua Garbi, Birdim, Thangjet, Syabru, and Syabrubensi villages; and large concentrations in Kathmandu. Also spoken in China. Alternate names: Kyirong, Gyirong.  Dialects: Close to Lhasa Tibetan. Lexical similarity 68% with Dolpo, Walungge, Lhomi, and Lowa, 65% with Nubri and Lhasa Tibetan, 63% with Helambu Sherpa, 60% with Jirel, 57% with Sherpa.  Classification: Sino-Tibetan, Tibeto-Burman, Himalayish, Tibeto-Kanauri, Tibetic, Tibetan, Central 

Lambichhong   [lmh] 500 (1991 W. Winter). Eastern bank of the Arun River, in a strip between Mugakhola and Sinuwakhola; Koshi Zone, Dhankuta District, Muga and Pakhribas panchayats. Alternate names: Lambichong, Lambicchong, Lambitshong.  Dialects: Ethnically related to the Bantawa.  Classification: Sino-Tibetan, Tibeto-Burman, Himalayish, Mahakiranti, Kiranti, Eastern 

Lepcha   [lep] 2,826 in Nepal (2001 census). Ethnic population: 3,660. Mechi Zone, Ilam District. Alternate names: Rong, Rongke, Lapche, Rongpa, N?npa.  Dialects: Ilammu, Tamsangmu, Rengjongmu.  Classification: Sino-Tibetan, Tibeto-Burman, Himalayish, Tibeto-Kanauri, Lepcha 

Lhomi   [lhm] 4,000 in Nepal. Population total all countries: 6,000. Koshi Zone, Sankhuwasawa District, Chepuwa VDC, Chepuwa, Chyamtang, Gumba, Chhumusur, Rukuma (or Ridak) villages; Hatiya VDC, Hatiya, Hungung, Pharang, Syaksila, Simbung (or Shembung), Namase (or Namuchhe), Shiprung villages; some in Kathmandu. Also spoken in China, India. Alternate names: Lhoket, Shing Saapa, Kath Bhote, Kar Bhote.  Dialects: The dialect may be different across the Tibet border. Lexical similarity 69% with Dolpo, 68% with Lowa, 66% with Walungge, 65% with Lhasa Tibetan and Kyerung, 64% with Nubri, 60% with Helambu Sherpa, 58% with Sherpa, 57% with Jirel.  Classification: Sino-Tibetan, Tibeto-Burman, Himalayish, Tibeto-Kanauri, Tibetic, Tibetan, Central 

Limbu   [lif] 333,633 in Nepal (2001 census). Population total all countries: 361,633. Limbuwan (preferred term for the Limbu area), Eastern hills, east of the Arun River; Koshi Zone, Dhankuta, Sankhuwasawa, Terhathum, Dhankuta, and Morang districts; Mechi Zone, Taplejung, Panchthar, Ilam, and Jhapa districts. There may be migrant workers in Myanmar. Also spoken in Bhutan, India. Alternate names: Yakthung Pan.  Dialects: Taplejunge (Tamorkhole, Taplejung), Panthare (Pantharey, Panchthare, Panchthar, Panthare-Yanggrokke-Chaubise-Charkhole), Phedappe, Chattare (Chhattare, Chhathar, Chatthare, Chatthare Yakthungba Pan, Yakthung Pan). Related to Lohorong and Yakha. Chaubise dialect is similar to Panthare, and Phedappe to Taplejunge. Chattare is poorly understood by speakers of the other dialects. Inherent intelligibility among the dialect speakers is 80% to 90%. Lexical similarity above 80% among the dialects.  Classification: Sino-Tibetan, Tibeto-Burman, Himalayish, Mahakiranti, Kiranti, Eastern 

Lingkhim   [lii] 1 (1991 W. Winter). Mechi Zone, Ilam District, Sumbek Panchayat Yokpi. Original homeland was apparently near the lower Dudhkosi River. Alternate names: Limkhim, Linkhim, Lingkhim Rai.  Classification: Sino-Tibetan, Tibeto-Burman, Himalayish, Mahakiranti, Kiranti, Western  Nearly extinct.

Lorung, Northern   [lbr] 11,521 (2000 WCD). Koshi Zone, middle Sankhuwasawa District, between the middle Arun Valley and the Sabhakhola. Alternate names: Lohorong, Lohrung, Lohrung Khanawa.  Dialects: Biksit (Bikshi). A Rai group. Related to Yamphu, Yamphe, Southern Lorung, and Yakkha, but a separate language. Ethnic subgroups are Kipa and Loke Lorung, but they do not appear to speak different dialects.  Classification: Sino-Tibetan, Tibeto-Burman, Himalayish, Mahakiranti, Kiranti, Eastern 

Lorung, Southern   [lrr] 5,761 (2000 WCD). Koshi Zone, Dhankuta District, in a small strip south of the Tamorkhola, between the Jaruwakhola in the east and the Raghuwkhola in the west, Bodhe, Maunabuduke, and Rajarani panchayats. Alternate names: Lohorong, Lohrung, Lohrung Khap, Lohrung Khate, Yakkhaba Lorung.  Dialects: Gess. A Rai group. Related to Yamphu, Yamphe, Northern Lorung, and Yakkha, but a separate language.  Classification: Sino-Tibetan, Tibeto-Burman, Himalayish, Mahakiranti, Kiranti, Eastern 

Lowa   [loy] 7,500 (2001 census). Population includes 5,000 Upper Mustang and 2,500 Baragaunle. Dhaulagiri Zone, Mustang District, north central along the upper Kali Gandaki River and in surrounding high valleys north of the middle-range Thakali, Gurung and Magar areas - Bahragaun dialect spoken in Kagbeni, Muktinath, Dzong VDCs; Upper Mustang spoken in Ghimi, Tsarang, Lo Monthang, Surkhang, Chhosher, Chunnup VDCs, and the Village of Samar in Chuksang VDC; very few in Karnali Zone, Dolpa District. Alternate names: Lopa, Loyu, Loba, Lo Ke, Mustangi, Lo Montang.  Dialects: Baragaunle (Baragaun, Baragaon, Bhoti Gurung), Upper Mustang (Lowa). Close to Dolpo. Reported high intelligibility between dialects. Lexical similarity 80% to 90% between dialects, 59% to 71% with Dolpo, 54% to 57% with Lhasa Tibetan, 58% to 67% with Mugom.  Classification: Sino-Tibetan, Tibeto-Burman, Himalayish, Tibeto-Kanauri, Tibetic, Tibetan, Central 

Lumba-Yakkha   [luu] 1,197 (2000). Koshi Zone, North Dhankuta District, Arkhaule Jitpur and Marek Katahare panchayats, around Lakhshmikhola. Alternate names: Yakkhaba Cea.  Dialects: Related to Yakkha, Chhulung, Chhintange, and Lambichhong.  Classification: Sino-Tibetan, Tibeto-Burman, Himalayish, Mahakiranti, Kiranti, Eastern 

Magar, Eastern   [mgp] 288,383 in Nepal (1994). Population total all countries: 356,074. Gandaki Zone, Tanahu District, east of Bagmati River, central mountains. A few main centers are Okhaldhunga, Taplejung, Bhojpur, Dhankuta, Chainpur, Terhathum, Ilam, and Letang. Also spoken in Bhutan, India. Alternate names: Magari, Manggar.  Classification: Sino-Tibetan, Tibeto-Burman, Himalayish, Mahakiranti, Kham-Magar-Chepang-Sunwari, Magar 

Magar, Western   [mrd] 210,000 (1994). Bheri Zone, Surkhet, Banke, and Dialekh districts, West of Pokhara, Tansen highway; Gandaki Zone, Pokhara (Kaski) and Syangja districts; Koshi Zone, Morang and Dhankuta districts; Lumbini Zone, Nawalparasi District. The center is Surkhet District. Alternate names: Magar, Magari, Manggar, Magar Nuwakot.  Classification: Sino-Tibetan, Tibeto-Burman, Himalayish, Mahakiranti, Kham-Magar-Chepang-Sunwari, Magar 

Maithili   [mai] 2,797,582 in Nepal (2001 census). Population includes 489 Kisan. Narayani Zone, Rautahat District; Janakpur Zone, Sarlahi, Mahottari, Dhanusa districts; Sagarmatha Zone, Siraha, Saptari districts; Koshi Zone, Sunsari District. Alternate names: Apabhramsa, Bihari, Maitli, Maitili, Methli, Tirahutia, Tirhuti, Tirhutia.  Dialects: Bantar, Barei, Barmeli, Kawar, Kisan, Kyabrat, Makrana, Musar, Sadri, Tati, Dehati.  Classification: Indo-European, Indo-Iranian, Indo-Aryan, Eastern zone, Bihari 

Majhi   [mjz] 21,841 in Nepal (2001 census). Population total all countries: 22,087. Ethnic population: 72,614. Janakpur Zone, Sindhuli and Ramechhap districts; Narayani Zone; Lumbini Zone. Also spoken in India. Alternate names: Manjhi.  Classification: Indo-European, Indo-Iranian, Indo-Aryan, Eastern zone, Bihari 

Manangba   [nmm] 3,736 (1988 Pohle). Gandaki Zone, Manang District, Nyeshang area, 7 villages, Marsyangdi River. Alternate names: Manang, Manangi, Nyeshang, Nyishang, Northern Gurung, Manangbolt, Manangbhot, Nyeshangba.  Dialects: Prakaa. Manangba may be distinct from Northern Gurung, which is spoken in Manang District. Very different from Eastern Gurung.  Classification: Sino-Tibetan, Tibeto-Burman, Himalayish, Tibeto-Kanauri, Tibetic, Tamangic 

Marwari   [rwr] 22,637 in Nepal (2001 census). Ethnic population: 43,971. Mechi Zone, Jhapa District; Koshi Zone, Morang and Sunsari districts; Narayani Zone, Parsa District, some in Kathmandu; Eastern upper Sindh Province. Alternate names: Marwadi.  Classification: Indo-European, Indo-Iranian, Indo-Aryan, Central zone, Rajasthani, Marwari 

Meohang, Eastern   [emg]  Koshi Zone, Sankhuwasawa District, upper Arun Valley east of the river, eastern Nepal. One dialect is in Sunsari District, Bhaludhunga, Bishnupaduka Panchayat; Dibum (Dibung) in Mangtewa Panchayat, Mulgaon-Wangtang in Yaphu Panchayat. Alternate names: Newang, Newahang, Newange Rai, Newahang Jimi, Mewahang.  Dialects: Sunsari, Dibum, Mulgaon-Wangtang. Structurally different from Western Meohang.  Classification: Sino-Tibetan, Tibeto-Burman, Himalayish, Mahakiranti, Kiranti, Eastern 

Meohang, Western   [raf] 2,000 to 5,000 (1991 W. Winter). Koshi Zone, Sankhuwasawa District, upper Arun Valley west of the river, eastern Nepal. Bala is in Bala village, Sankhuwasawa Panchayat; Bumdemba in Sishuwakhola Panchayat. 2 villages. Alternate names: Newang, Newahang, Newange Rai, Newahang Jimi, Mewahang.  Dialects: Bala (Balali), Bumdemba. Structurally different from Eastern Meohang.  Classification: Sino-Tibetan, Tibeto-Burman, Himalayish, Mahakiranti, Kiranti, Eastern 

Mugom   [muk] 3,558 in Nepal (2000 WCD). Karnali Zone, Mugu, Jumla districts; some in Kathmandu. Also spoken in India. Alternate names: Mugali, Mugu, Mugum.  Dialects: Karani, Mugali. Intelligibility 89% to 93% between speakers of dialects (possibly even higher). Definitely sufficient to understand complex and abstract discourse. Close to Humla, Dolpo, Loba. Not closely related to Western Parbate, Eastern Parbate, Maikoti, Sheshi, or Gamale Kham. Lexical similarity 85% between dialects, 56% to 57% with Tibetan.  Classification: Sino-Tibetan, Tibeto-Burman, Himalayish, Tibeto-Kanauri, Tibetic, Tibetan, Central 

Mundari   [muw] 5,700 in Nepal (1993 Johnstone). Ethnic population: 660 Munda. Mechi Zone, Jhapa District; Koshi Zone, Morang District. Alternate names: Munda, Mandari, Mondari, Munari, Horo.  Dialects: Hasada, Latar, Naguri, Kera.  Classification: Austro-Asiatic, Munda, North Munda, Kherwari, Mundari 

Musasa   [smm] 50,000 (2003). Population includes 20,000 Musasa and 30,000 Musasa Bantar. Ethnic population: 172,434 in Nepal. Koshi Zone, Morang District; Janakpur Zone, Sindhuli, Dolakha districts, Sagarmatha Zone, Siraha District. Alternate names: Musahar, Rishaidep.  Dialects: Bantar. Close to Tharu, Saptari.  Classification: Indo-European, Indo-Iranian, Indo-Aryan, Eastern zone, Bihari 

Naaba   [nao] 500 (1985). Koshi Zone, Sankhuwasawa District. Kimathanka village in Kimathanka VDC and villages of Dangok and Pharang in Hatiya VDC. Alternate names: Nawa Sherpa, Naba, Naapa, Naapaa.  Classification: Sino-Tibetan, Tibeto-Burman, Himalayish, Tibeto-Kanauri, Tibetic, Tibetan, Unclassified 

Nachering   [ncd] 3,553 (2001 census). Sagarmatha Zone, upper northeastern Khotang District near the Rawakhola Valley, on the slopes around the Lidim Khola River from the headwaters and its tributaries down to Aiselukharke to the south. Alternate names: Nacering Ra, Nachering T?m, Mathsereng, Nacchhering, Nasring, Bangdale, Bangdel T?m, Bangdile.  Dialects: Dimali, Parali, Hedangpa (Sangpang), Bangdale (Hachero, Achero, Hangkula), Kharlali, Rakheli. Related to Kulung and Sangpang.  Classification: Sino-Tibetan, Tibeto-Burman, Himalayish, Mahakiranti, Kiranti, Eastern 

Nar Phu   [npa] 533 (1988 Pohle). Gandaki Zone, Manang District, Nar Valley north of Manang Valley, Nar (Nargaon) and Phu (Phugaon) villages. Alternate names: Nar-Phu.  Dialects: Nar (Nar-M?, Lower Nar), Phu (Nar-T?, Upper Nar).  Classification: Sino-Tibetan, Tibeto-Burman, Himalayish, Tibeto-Kanauri, Tibetic, Tamangic 

Nepalese Sign Language   [nsp] 5,743 (2001 census).  Dialects: Developed from local signs and introduced signs. Related to Indian and Pakistan Sign Languages.  Classification: Deaf sign language 

Nepali   [nep] 11,053,255 in Nepal (2001 census). Population total all countries: 17,209,255. Eastern region and adjacent south central region. Also spoken in Bhutan, Brunei, India. Alternate names: Nepalese, Gorkhali, Gurkhali, Khaskura, Parbatiya, Eastern Pahari.  Dialects: Baitadi, Bajhangi, Bajurali (Bajura), Doteli (Dotali, Gaunle), Soradi, Acchami, Darjula. Dialects listed may be quite distinct from Standard Nepali.  Classification: Indo-European, Indo-Iranian, Indo-Aryan, Northern zone, Eastern Pahari 

Newar   [new] 825,458 in Nepal (2001 census). Many women are monolingual. Ethnic population: 1,256,737 including 1,245,232 Newar plus 11,505 Pahari. Kathmandu Valley and in all towns and bigger villages thoughout Nepal. Fewer in the far west. Also spoken in India. Alternate names: Nepal Bhasa, "Newari".  Dialects: Dolkhali (Dolakha), Sindhupalchok Pahri (Pahri, Pahari), Totali, Citlang, Kathmandu-Pathan-Kirtipur, Baktapur, Baglung. Dolkhali of Dolakha and Pahri of Sindhupalchok may be separate languages (Genetti 1994:2?3). Dolakha, Totali, and Pahari are conservative linguistically. Kirtipur is close to Kathmandu. Baktapur people can mostly understand Kathmandu. There are some vocabulary differences between Hindus and Buddhists.  Classification: Sino-Tibetan, Tibeto-Burman, Himalayish, Mahakiranti, Newari 

Nubri   [kte] 3,776 (2000). Gandaki Zone, North Gorkha District, along the upper reaches of the Buri Gandaki River, west of and including Prok village, between Himal Chuli and Manaslu Himal on the west and Ganesh Himal on the east. The local people view Sama as regional center. Alternate names: Kutang Bhotia, Larkye.  Dialects: Sama, Lho, Namrung, Prok. Only moderately intelligible with Kyirong Tibetan (74%) and Tsum (32%). Lexical similarity 78% to 93% among dialects. Prok is more distinct. 71% to 78% with Tsum, 66% to 74% with Kyirong Tibetan; 67% with Dolpo; 65% with Lowa, 59% to 64% with Lhasa Tibetan; 64% with Olangchung Gola (Walungge) and Lhomi; 61% with Helambu Sherpa; 57% with Jirel; 55% with Sherpa, 21% to 27% with Northern Ghale, 20% to 23% with Southern Ghale, 14% to 31% with Kutang Ghale, 14% with Eastern Gorkha Tamang, Western Gurung, and Banspur Tamang.  Classification: Sino-Tibetan, Tibeto-Burman, Himalayish, Tibeto-Kanauri, Tibetic, Tibetan, Central 

Palpa   [plp] 7,562 (2000). Lumbini Zone, town of Palpa. Alternate names: Pahari-Palpa.  Dialects: This language stands midway between Nepali (Eastern Pahari) and Kumauni (Central Pahari). Sometimes considered a Kumauni or Nepali dialect.  Classification: Indo-European, Indo-Iranian, Indo-Aryan, Northern zone, Eastern Pahari 

Parbate, Eastern   [kif] 3,000 (1988). Dhaulagiri Zone, Baglung District, Nishel in 3 villages of Nisi, Bhalkot, Budhathok; Bhujel live in villages Kuku, Diza, Kang, Masbang, Musuri, and Sukurdung. Alternate names: Nisi, Nisel, Nishel Kham, Nisi Kham.  Dialects: Bhujel Kham. Partially intelligible with Western Parbate dialects. Lexical similarity 79% with Bhujel Kham (closest), 71% with Western Parbate, 55% with Gamale, 44% with Sheshi.  Classification: Sino-Tibetan, Tibeto-Burman, Himalayish, Mahakiranti, Kham-Magar-Chepang-Sunwari, Kham 

Parbate, Western   [kjl] 46,466 (2000 WCD). Rapti Zone, Rukum, Rolpa districts, west central Nepal. Taka-Shera is the center. Some in Dhaulagiri Zone, Baglung District. Alternate names: Kham-Magar, Takale, Takale Kham, Maikoti Kham.  Dialects: Takale, Lukumel, Wale, Thabanggi. Greatest similarities between Takale Kham and Nisi Kham. The Parbate, Sheshi, and Gamale groups are all inherently unintelligible. Mahatale and Miruli are 2 dialects whose position within the Kham linguistic group has not been decided. Lexical similarity 71% with Gamale Kham, Eastern Parbate; 58% with Bhujel Kham, 51% with Sheshi. 25% lexical similarity with Magar and Gurung, slightly below 25% with the Tibetan group, 15% with the Rai and Limbu groups.  Classification: Sino-Tibetan, Tibeto-Burman, Himalayish, Mahakiranti, Kham-Magar-Chepang-Sunwari, Kham 

Phangduwali   [phw]  Directly above the headwaters of the Mugakhola, Koshi Zone, Dhankuta District, Pakhribas Panchayat, Phangduwa village (W. Winter 1991:79). Alternate names: Phangduwali Poti, Phangduvali.  Dialects: Linguistically between Yakkha and Belhariya.  Classification: Sino-Tibetan, Tibeto-Burman, Himalayish, Mahakiranti, Kiranti, Eastern 

Pongyong   [pgy]  Mechi Zone, Ilam District, Kannyam Panchayat, Ambikau. Alternate names: Ponyon Kulung, Samakulung, Kulung Pun.  Dialects: Closest to Kulung and Sangpang.  Classification: Sino-Tibetan, Tibeto-Burman, Himalayish, Mahakiranti, Kiranti, Eastern  Nearly extinct.

Puma   [pum] 4,310 (2001 census). Sagarmatha Zone, Khotang District, Diplung, Chisapani, Devisthan, Manwabote, Panwasera, Rila; Udayapur District, Beltar, Basaha, Chandandi, Apraha villages; Northwestern slopes of the Rapcha Range from the highest peaks to the Sawa Khola Valley, directly south of the Khotang Bajar. Alternate names: Puma Pima, Puma La, Puma Kala.  Classification: Sino-Tibetan, Tibeto-Burman, Himalayish, Mahakiranti, Kiranti, Eastern 

Rajbanshi   [rjb] 129,883 in Nepal (2001 census). Population includes 54 Koche. Mechi Zone, Jhapa District; Koshi Zone, Morang District. Western dialect spoken from Morang's west border to Bakraha River, Eastern dialect from Kankai River to eastern border with India, Central dialect from Bakraha River to Kankai River. Alternate names: Rajbangsi, Rajbansi, Tajpuria, Koch, Koche.  Dialects: Western Rajbanshi, Eastern Rajbanshi, Central Rajbanshi.  Classification: Indo-European, Indo-Iranian, Indo-Aryan, Eastern zone, Bengali-Assamese 

Raji   [rji] 2,413 (2001 census). Bheri Zone, Surkhet and Bardiya districts; Seti Zone, Kailali District. Alternate names: Rajibar.  Dialects: Close to Rawat and Raute. Devidatta Sharma (1990) concludes that Raji in India is a Munda language with borrowing from Tibeto-Burman and Indo-Aryan.  Classification: Sino-Tibetan, Tibeto-Burman, Himalayish, Mahakiranti, Kham-Magar-Chepang-Sunwari, Magar 

Raute   [rau] 518 (2001 census). Population includes 130 nomadic Raute. Ethnic population: 658. Mainly in western Nepal, Seti Zone, Achham, Doti districts; Bheri Zone, Surkhet, Jajarkot, Banke districts; Rapti Zone, Pyuthan District; Karnali Zone, Jumla, Dolpa. Alternate names: Rautye, Harka Gurung, Khamchi.  Dialects: May be a dialect of Rawat.  Classification: Sino-Tibetan, Tibeto-Burman, Himalayish, Mahakiranti, Kiranti, Western 

Rawat   [jnl] 23,024 in Nepal (2000). Population total all countries: 25,950. Mainly in 2 or 3 resettlement villages in the Nepal lowlands, and some in Mahakali Zone, Darchula, Baitadi, and Dadeldhura districts. Also spoken in India. Alternate names: Janggali, Jangali, Jhangar, Dzanggali.  Dialects: Very close to Raute and Raji. Related to Rongpo. Gurung says it is Indo-aryan but vocabulary includes Tibetan elements.  Classification: Sino-Tibetan, Tibeto-Burman, Himalayish, Tibeto-Kanauri, Western Himalayish, Janggali 

Saam   [raq] 23 (2001 census). Mechi Zone, Southern Ilam District. Alternate names: Saam Rai, Samakha, Saama Kha.  Dialects: Bungla, Sambya.  Classification: Sino-Tibetan, Tibeto-Burman, Himalayish, Mahakiranti, Kiranti, Eastern  Nearly extinct.

Sampang   [rav] 10,810 (2001 census). Sagarmatha Zone, Khotang District, Khartamchha, Baspani, Patekha, Phedi Village District Councils; Koshi Zone, Bhojpur District; from Dingla in the northeast to Kharpa in the southwest. The upper ridges south and east of the Rawakhola Valley and adjoining ridges in the northeast at the headwaters of the main tributaries of the lower and middle Arun River. Also scattered throughout Dharan, Ilam, Kathmandu and the Terai. Alternate names: Sampange Rai, Sangpang, Sangpang Kha, Sangpang Gun, Sangpang G?n.  Dialects: Tana, Halumbung (Wakchali), Samarung, Bhalu, Tongeccha, Phali, Khartamche, Khotang.  Classification: Sino-Tibetan, Tibeto-Burman, Himalayish, Mahakiranti, Kiranti, Eastern 

Santali   [sat] 40,260 in Nepal (2001 census). Ethnic population: 42,698. Koshi Zone, Morang District; Mechi Zone, Jhapa District. Alternate names: Satar, Santhali, Santhal, Sonthal, Sandal, Sangtal, Santal, Sentali, Sainti, Hor, Har.  Classification: Austro-Asiatic, Munda, North Munda, Kherwari, Santali 

Seke   [skj] 500 (2001 census). Dhaulagiri Zone, Mustang District, Chuksang, Tsaile, Tangbe, Tetang, Gyakar villages. Dialects: Tangbe, Tetang, Chuksang. Related to Gurung. Some similarities with Thakali and Manangba. Very different from Lowa. Tangbe people do not understand Chuksang very well, but Chuksang understand Tangbe. They are reported to understand Gurung but Gurung speakers do not understand Seke.  Classification: Sino-Tibetan, Tibeto-Burman, Himalayish, Tibeto-Kanauri, Tibetic, Tamangic 

Sherpa   [xsr] 129,771 in Nepal (2001 census). Population total all countries: 151,071. Ethnic population: 154,622 (2001 census). Sagarmatha Zone, Solu Khumbu District, northern mountains. Khumbu extends north from Namche Bazaar. Solu is the southern region including the villages of Gumdi, Sete, Junbesi, Phaplu, and Sallery. Around Rolwaling, northern border of Janakpur District, and Taplejung, Mechi Zone. There may be some around Lukla. Also spoken in Bhutan, China, India, South Korea, USA. Alternate names: Sharpa, Sharpa Bhotia, Xiaerba, Serwa.  Dialects: Solu, Khumbu, Ramechap (Western). 95% comprehension of Solu dialect by Western and Khumbu speakers. Lexical similarity 77% to 92% between Solu and Khumbu dialects; 67% with Jirel; 65% with Helambu Sherpa; 62% with Lowa and Dolpo; 58% with Lhomi and Baraguanle; 57% with Kyerung; 55% with Kutang Bhotia (Nubri) and Walungge; 30% to 35% with Lhasa Tibetan.  Classification: Sino-Tibetan, Tibeto-Burman, Himalayish, Tibeto-Kanauri, Tibetic, Tibetan, Southern 

Sonha   [soi] 14,700 (2000). Seti Zone, Kailali District, along Karnali River; Bheri Zone, Surkhet District along the Bheri River; Mahakali Zone, along the Mahakali River; Kanchanpur District, Mahendranagar tahsil. Alternate names: Sonahaa.  Dialects: Close to Dangura Tharu; 80% intelligibility. Lexical similarity 69% with Rana Tharu, 73% with Kathoriya Tharu, 72% with Dangaura Tharu. Sonha and Kathoriya form a lexical bridge between Rana and Dangaura varieties of Tharu.  Classification: Indo-European, Indo-Iranian, Indo-Aryan, Central zone, Unclassified 

Sunwar   [suz] 26,611 (2001 census). Ethnic population: 95,254. Janakpur Zone, Ramechhap District, eastern hills, and Sagarmatha Zone, northwestern Okhaldhunga District. Alternate names: Sunuwar, Sunbar, Sunwari, Sonowar, Sonowal, Mukhiya, Kwoico Lo.  Dialects: Surel. Related to Bahing, and more distantly to Thulung, Wambule, Jerung. Hayu is closest to Sunwar.  Classification: Sino-Tibetan, Tibeto-Burman, Himalayish, Mahakiranti, Kham-Magar-Chepang-Sunwari, Sunwari 

Tamang, Eastern   [taj] 759,257 in Nepal (2000 WCD). Population total all countries: 773,257. Kathmandu and to the northeast, east, and south. Outer-Eastern Tamang is in Janakpur Zone, eastern Sindhupalchowk, Ramechhap, Dolakha districts, and in most districts in eastern Nepal and parts of northeastern India. Central-Eastern Tamang is in Bagmati Zone, most of Kabhre District, western Sindhupalchowk, Lalitpur, Bhaktapur, Kathmandu, eastern Nuwakot districts, and districts south of those. Southwestern Tamang is in Narayani Zone, western Makwanpur and Chitawan districts, and districts. Also spoken in Bhutan, India, Myanmar. Dialects: Outer-Eastern Tamang, Central-Eastern Tamang, Southwestern Tamang. Central-Eastern Tamang is the most widely understood variety among all those tested to date: 85% by both Trisuli and Rasuwa Western Tamang, 93% to 98% by Outer-Eastern, 87% by Southwestern Tamang. Comprehension of Outer-Eastern Tamang was 58% by Western Rasuwa Tamang, 64% to 75% by Western Trisuli Tamang, 67% to 54% by Southwestern Tamang, 88% to 93% by Central-Eastern Tamang, and 90% to 98% among its own varieties. Southwestern Tamang may be a bridge between Eastern and Western Tamang. Outer-Eastern Tamang varieties have 88% to 99% lexical similarity with each other; Central-Eastern varieties have 89% to 100% with each other. Outer-Eastern varieties have 79% to 93% with Central-Eastern varieties, and 77% to 82% with Southwestern Tamang. Southwestern has 86% to 93% with Central-Eastern. All Eastern varieties have 74% to 80% with Western Trisuli Tamang, 69% to 81% with Western Rasuwa Tamang, 72% to 80% with Northwestern Dhading Tamang, 63% to 77% with Eastern Gorkha Tamang.  Classification: Sino-Tibetan, Tibeto-Burman, Himalayish, Tibeto-Kanauri, Tibetic, Tamangic 

Tamang, Eastern Gorkha   [tge] 3,977 (2000 WCD). Gandaki Zone, North Gorkha District, south and east of Jagat. Dialects: Kasigaon, Kerounja. Dialects have 89% lexical similarity with each other, 76% to 77% with Northwestern (Dhading) Tamang, 77% to 79% with Western (Trisuli) Tamang, 72% to 73% with Western (Rasuwa) Tamang, 70% to 73% with Southwestern Tamang, 63% to 73% with Eastern Tamang dialects, (Varenkamp 96), 50% with Banspur Gurung, 31% to 37% with Northern and Southern Ghale, 18% to 23% with Kutang Ghale, 14% to 16% with Nubri, Tsum, and Kyerung, 12% to 14% with Tibetan (Webster 92).  Classification: Sino-Tibetan, Tibeto-Burman, Himalayish, Tibeto-Kanauri, Tibetic, Tamangic 

Tamang, Northwestern   [tmk] 55,000 (1991 census). Bagmati Zone, Nuwakot District, central mountainous strip. Migrations to the Terai. Dialects: Dhading. Lexical similarity 94% with Western Trisuli Tamang, 82% to 83% with Western Rasuwa Tamang, 76% to 78% with Southwestern Tamang, 76% to 77% with Eastern Gorkha Tamang, 72% to 80% with Eastern Tamang.  Classification: Sino-Tibetan, Tibeto-Burman, Himalayish, Tibeto-Kanauri, Tibetic, Tamangic 

Tamang, Southwestern   [tsf] 109,051 (1991 census). Narayani Zone, Western Makwanpur and Chitawan districts, and south and southwest of those districts. It may extend to the western and northwestern parts of Kathmandu District in Bagmati Zone. Migrations to Terai. Dialects: Preliminary results: 86% intelligibility by Western Trisuli Tamang, 87% by Central-Eastern Tamang, 54% to 67% by Outer-Eastern Tamang. Relationship within Tamang still needs evaluation. Southwestern Tamang has 80% lexical similarity with Western Trisuli Tamang, 76% to 78% with Western Rasuwa dialect, 78% with Northwestern Tamang, 70% to 73% with Eastern Gorkha Tamang, 77% to 93% with Eastern Tamang.  Classification: Sino-Tibetan, Tibeto-Burman, Himalayish, Tibeto-Kanauri, Tibetic, Tamangic 

Tamang, Western   [tdg] 322,598 (2000 WCD). Bagmati Zone, western Nuwakot, Rasuwa, Dhading, and parts of Gorkha District in Gandaki Zone, and other districts to the west and possibly southwest, central mountainous strip. Migrations to the Terai. Alternate names: Murmi.  Dialects: Trisuli (Nuwakot), Rasuwa, Northwestern (Dhading), Southwestern. Preliminary results showed 86% intelligibility of Western by Rasuwa, 81% to 88% by Central-Eastern, 78% to 88% by Outer-Eastern, 86% by Southwestern; 80% of Rasuwa by Trisuli, 13% by Outer-Eastern. Trisuli has 94% lexical similarity with Northwestern Tamang, 82% to 83% with Rasuwa Tamang, 80% with Southwestern Tamang, 77% to 79% with Eastern Gorkha Tamang. Rasuwa has 82% to 83% with Northwestern, 78% with Southwestern, 72% with Eastern Gorkha Tamang. All Western varieties have 69% to 81% with Eastern Tamang varieties.  Classification: Sino-Tibetan, Tibeto-Burman, Himalayish, Tibeto-Kanauri, Tibetic, Tamangic 

Thakali   [ths] 6,441 (2001 census). Ethnic population: 12,973 (2001 census). Dhaulagiri Zone, Mustang District, Thak Khola, the mid Kali Gandaki Valley, with Annapurna Himal on one side and Dhaulagiri Himal on the other, from Tatopani village in the south to Jomosom in the north. Many live outside the area. Tukche is the cultural center. Tukche dialect is in Tukche and all the villages south to Ghasa, also in Jomsom. Syang dialect in Syang, Thini, Chhairo and Chimang. Alternate names: Tapaang, Thaksya, Panchgaunle.  Dialects: Tukche (Thaksatsae, Thaksaatsaye), Marpha, Syang (Yhulkasom). Thakali dialects have 91% to 97% inherent intelligibility. Tukche is most easily understood by others. Lexical similarity 41% to 46% with Gurung, 46% to 51% with Tamang (Webster 1994). Thakali dialects in 4 villages have 75% to 86% lexical similarity with each other.  Classification: Sino-Tibetan, Tibeto-Burman, Himalayish, Tibeto-Kanauri, Tibetic, Tamangic 

Thangmi   [thf] 18,991 in Nepal (2001 census). Population total all countries: 19,291. Ethnic population: 22,999. Most in Janakpur Zone, Dolakha District; villages in Bagmati Zone, Sindhupalchok District, west of the Sun Kosi; a few villages in Ramechaap along the Sailung Khola. Also spoken in China. Alternate names: Thami, Dolakha.  Dialects: Eastern Thami, Western Thami, Sindhupalcok. Related to Baraamu (Grierson-Konow).  Classification: Sino-Tibetan, Tibeto-Burman, Himalayish, Tibeto-Kanauri, Western Himalayish, Eastern 

Tharu, Chitwania   [the] 80,000 in Nepal (based on 1991 census). 993,388 all Tharu. Narayani Zone, Chitawan District; Lumbini Zone, Nawalparasi District. Also spoken in India. Alternate names: Chituan Tharu, Chitawan Tharu.  Classification: Indo-European, Indo-Iranian, Indo-Aryan, Eastern zone, Unclassified 

Tharu, Dangaura   [thl] 500,000 in Nepal (2003). 10% to 15% monolingual. Population total all countries: 531,000. Rapti Zone, Dang-Deokhuri District. Also in other areas of the Tarai, Bheri Zone, Bardiya, Banke districts; Seti Zone, Kailali District; Mahakali Zone, Kanchanpur District; Surkhet District. Also spoken in India. Alternate names: Chaudary Tharu, Chaudhari Tharu, Dangora, Dangura, Dangauli, Dangha.  Dialects: Kailali (Malhora), Deokhuri (Deokhar, Deokri), Dang, Banke, Bardiya, Surkhet, Kanchanpur. 68% to 91% intelligibility of Rana, 95% to 97% of Kathoriya. Some intelligibility difficulty with speakers from India. Possibly Eastern Hindi Group. Lexical similarity 74% to 79% with Kathoriya, 72% to 74% with Sunha, 63% to 72% with Rana Thakur, 61% to 67% with Chitwania, 58% to 65% with Hindi.  Classification: Indo-European, Indo-Iranian, Indo-Aryan, Central zone, Unclassified 

Tharu, Kathoriya   [tkt] 60,000 in Nepal (1981). Seti Zone, Kailali District. Also spoken in India. Alternate names: Kathariya.  Dialects: There appear to be differences in speech between Nepal and India dialects. Possibly Eastern Hindi Group. Lexical similarity 79% with Dangaura and Rana, 66% with Hindi, 66% to 69% with Buksa, 63% with Chitwania.  Classification: Indo-European, Indo-Iranian, Indo-Aryan, Central zone, Unclassified 

Tharu, Kochila   [thq] 258,211 in Nepal (2003). Koshi Zone, Morang and Sunsari districts; Sagarmatha Zone, Saptari, Udayapur, and Siraha districts; Janakpur Zone, Mahottari, Sarlahi, Dhanusa districts. Also spoken in India. Dialects: Saptari, Morangiya, Udayapur, Sunsari, Siraha, Mahottari, Sarlahi, Dhanusa. Speakers in each district speak a different variety.  Classification: Indo-European, Indo-Iranian, Indo-Aryan, Eastern zone, Unclassified 

Tharu, Rana   [thr] 303,853 in Nepal (2000). Population total all countries: 367,853. Mahakali Zone, Kanchanpur District; Seti Zone, Kailali District. Also spoken in India. Alternate names: Rana Thakur.  Dialects: Speakers appear to have 96% to 99% intelligibility among dialects, 90% of Kathoriya, 51% to 88% reported of Dangaura. Differences with India dialects. Lexical similarity 83% to 97% among dialects, 73% to 79% with Buksa, 74% to 79% with Kathoriya, 70% to 73% with Sunha, 63% to 71% with Dangaura, 56% to 60% with Chitwania, 68% to 72% with Hindi.  Classification: Indo-European, Indo-Iranian, Indo-Aryan, Eastern zone, Unclassified 

Thudam   [thw] 1,800 (2000). Koshi Zone, Sankhuwasawa District, Chepuwa VDC, Thudam village (only one village). Alternate names: Thudam "Bhote".  Dialects: Reportedly very close to Tibetan.  Classification: Sino-Tibetan, Tibeto-Burman, Himalayish, Tibeto-Kanauri, Tibetic, Tibetan, Unclassified.

Thulung   [tdh] 30,000 in Nepal (2003). Population total all countries: 33,313. Sagarmatha Zone, southeast Solukhumbu District, eastern hills; 6 to 7 villages in Okhaldhunga District and 1 in Bhojpur District of Koshi Zone. West of the highest ridges of the slopes to Dudhkosi, north of the Nechedanda and Halesidanda ranges, east of the upper Solu River, and south of the Kakukhola and the confluence of Ingkhukhola and Dudhkosi. Also spoken in India. Alternate names: Thulunge Rai, Thulu Luwa, Thululoa, Thulung La, Tholong Lo, Thulung Jemu, Toaku Lwa.  Dialects: Lannachyo, Northern Thulung, Southern Thulung, Central Thulung, Eastern Thulung. Related to Lingkhim. Related to Bahing, Wambule, Jerung. High degree of cognancy with Khaling. All listed dialects are mutually intelligible although the people themselves don't refer to these dialect names.  Classification: Sino-Tibetan, Tibeto-Burman, Himalayish, Mahakiranti, Kiranti, Western 

Tibetan   [bod] 60,000 in Nepal (1973 SIL). Mainly Kathmandu and Pokhara. Some scattered refugee communities in few districts along the China border. Alternate names: Bhotia, Zang Wen, Bod Skad, Poke, Phoke, Central Tibetan.  Dialects: Utsang.  Classification: Sino-Tibetan, Tibeto-Burman, Himalayish, Tibeto-Kanauri, Tibetic, Tibetan, Central 

Tichurong   [tcn] 2,417 (2000). Karnali Zone, Dolpa District, in the basin of the Bheri River. Alternate names: Ticherong.  Dialects: Close to Dolpa Tibetan.  Classification: Sino-Tibetan, Tibeto-Burman, Himalayish, Tibeto-Kanauri, Tibetic, Tibetan, Central 

Tilung   [tij] 310 (2001 census). Sagarmatha Zone, Halesidanda Range in the outer west of Khotang District, between Dudhkosi and Sunkosi. Alternate names: Tiling, Tilling, Tilung Blama.  Dialects: Choskule, Dorunkecha. Choskule and Dorungkecha may be dialects or related languages; no linguistic data available.  Classification: Sino-Tibetan, Tibeto-Burman, Himalayish, Mahakiranti, Kiranti, Western 

Tomyang   [tmx] 20 villages in Ibadeviar of Num Village Development Committee (VDC). Koshi Zone, Sankhuwasawa District. Alternate names: Chongka, Tomyang Rai.  Dialects: Newly discovered in 2000 by a team of Nepali linguists.  Classification: Sino-Tibetan, Tibeto-Burman, Himalayish, Mahakiranti, Kiranti 

Tseku   [tsk] 4,786 in Nepal (2000). Mechi Zone, Panchthar District. Alternate names: Tsuku, Tzuku.  Classification: Sino-Tibetan, Tibeto-Burman, Himalayish, Tibeto-Kanauri, Tibetic, Tibetan, Central 

Tsum   [ttz] 4,786 (2000). Gandaki Zone, northern Gorkha District, Tsum area, the region drained by the Shiar Khola north of Ganesh Himal. Chekampar (Chokong) is the prestige village. Alternate names: Tsumge.  Dialects: 71% to 78% intelligibility of Nubri, 66% of Kyerung; 60% to 66% of Lhasa Tibetan; 22% to 25% of Northern Ghale, 22% of Southern Ghale, 23% to 27% of Kutang Ghale, 14% to 16% of Eastern Gorkha Tamang, 14% of Western Gurung, 15% of Banspur Tamang. Divided into upper region, 'Yarba', and lower region, 'Ushug'.  Classification: Sino-Tibetan, Tibeto-Burman, Himalayish, Tibeto-Kanauri, Tibetic, Tibetan, Central 

Walungge   [ola] 10,000 to 15,000 in Nepal. Population includes 3,500 in the original area. Population total all countries: 10,000 to 15,000. Mechi Zone, Taplejung District, Tamar valley, 5 main villages: Walungchung, Yangma, Gunsa, Lilip, and Lungtung, and 6 or 7 smaller villages. Speakers also in Lungthung, Amjilesa, and Kambachen. Also spoken in India. Alternate names: Olangchung Gola, Walungchung Gola, Walung, Walunggi Keccya.  Dialects: Similar to Tibetan dialect in Tingay district of Tibet. Lexical similarity 71% with Lhasa Tibetan, 68% with Dolpo, Lowa, and Kyerung, 66% with Lhomi and Helambu Sherpa, 64% with Nubri, 57% with Jirel, 55% with Sherpa.  Classification: Sino-Tibetan, Tibeto-Burman, Himalayish, Tibeto-Kanauri, Tibetic, Tibetan, Central 

Wambule   [wme] 4,471 (2001 census). Sagarmatha Zone, Udayapur and Okhaldhunga districts. Alternate names: Tsaurasya, Chaurasia, Chaurasya, Chourase, Chourasia, Ambule, Ombule, Umbule.  Dialects: Bonu, Ubu. Closest to Jerung.  Classification: Sino-Tibetan, Tibeto-Burman, Himalayish, Mahakiranti, Kiranti, Western 
« Last Edit: April 02, 2008, 05:50:01 PM by IcE »
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Offline haku Black

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Post of the Day for April 03, 2008
« Reply #1 on: April 03, 2008, 06:56:54 AM »
Post of the Day for April 03, 2008

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Re: Languages of Nepal
« Reply #2 on: May 06, 2008, 02:19:24 PM »
umm wow nice INF.thanks ice
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