A language of Nepal

Alternate Names
Bote-Majhi, Pakhe-Bote, Pani-Bote

2,820 (2001 census), decreasing. No monolinguals (2002 UNESCO). Ethnic population: 7,970.


Along the rivers in Tanahun, Nawalparasi, and Chitwan districts, especially the Gandaki river.

Language Maps
Language Status

6b (Threatened). Language of recognized nationality (2002, NFDIN Act, No. 20, Section 2C).


SOV; postpositions; final noun head; no noun classes or genders; content q-word in situ; 1 prefix, up to 2 suffixes; clause constituents indicated by case-marking; verbal affixation marks person and number; ergativity; both tense and aspect; passives and voice; nontonal; 29 consonant and 6 vowel phonemes

Language Use

Use is mostly local. Rapid shift to Nepali [npi] (Van Driem 2007). Mixed use: Home, friends, religion, work. Elderly. Some use among children, adolescents, younger and older adults. Positive attitudes. Growing language activism. Also use Nepali [npi] or Bhojpuri Tharu [bho].

Language Development
Literacy rate in L1: None. Generally, literacy programs are conducted in Nepali [npi]. Newspapers.
Devanagari script, recently developed.
Other Comments

2 groups of Bote: Pani (water) Bote and Pakhe (land) Bote. Hindu.