Ethnologue.com home
Ethnologue > Web version > Country index > Asia > Nepal > Nepali

Nepali

A language of Nepal

ISO 639-3nep

Population  11,100,000 in Nepal (2001 census). Population total all countries: 13,875,700.
Region  East and adjacent south central regions. Also in Bhutan, Brunei, India, United States.
Language maps  Eastern Nepal, reference number 73
Western Nepal, reference number 73
Western Nepal, reference number 73
Alternate names   Eastern Pahari, Gorkhali, Gurkhali, Khaskura, Nepalese, Parbatiya
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
Language use  National language.
Language development  Fully developed. Bible: 1914–2004.
Writing system  Devanagari script.
Comments  4 castes: Brahmin (highest or priestly), Chhetri (warrior), Vaishya (trader and farmer), Shudra (untouchable or lowest). People are called ‘Paharia’. Hindu, Buddhist, Muslim, Christian.

Also spoken in:

Bhutan

Language name   Nepali
Population  265,000 in Bhutan (2006).
Region  Foothills the entire length of Bhutan, especially south central.
Alternate names  Eastern Pahari, Gorkhali, Gurkhali, Khaskura, Lhotshammikha, Nepalese, Parbatiya
Comments  Called ‘Paharia’. May be majority language of the south. Many are Bhutanese citizens. Hindu, Christian.
 

India

Language name   Nepali
Population  2,500,000 in India (2001).
Region  West Bengal, Darjeeling area; Sikkim; Assam; Arunachal Pradesh; Bihar; Haryana; Himachal Pradesh; Uttar Pradesh; Uttarakhand; Manipur; Mizoram; Nagaland; Meghalaya, Tripura.
Alternate names  Eastern Pahari, Gorkhali, Gurkhali, Khaskura, Nepalese, Parbatiya
Dialects  Gorkhali, Palpa, Nepali.
Language use  Official language.
Language development  Literacy rate in L1: 30%–100%. Literacy rate in L2: 25%–75%.
Comments  People are called ‘Paharia’. Hindu.