A language of Nepal

Alternate Names
Glo Skad, Lhopa, Lo Montang, Loba, Lopa, Lowa, Loyu, Mustangi

7,500 (2001 census). 5,000 Upper Mustang and 2,500 Baragaunle.


Dhaulagiri Zone, Mustang district, north central upper Kali Gandaki river area; high valleys north of middle-range Thakali, Gurung and Magar areas. Bahragaun dialect: Kagbeni, Muktinath, and Dzong VDCs; Upper Mustang dialect: Ghimi, Tsarang, Lo Monthang, Surkhang, Chhosher, Chunnup VDCs, and Samar village in Chuksang VDC; Karnali Zone, Dolpa district.

Language Maps
Language Status

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


Baragaunle (Baragaon, Baragaun, Bhoti Gurung), Upper Mustang (Loke). Similar to Dolpo [dre]. High intelligibility between dialects reported. Lexical similarity: 79%–88% between dialects, 59%–71% with Dolpo [dre], 54%–57% with Lhasa Tibetan [bod], 58%–67% with Mugom [muk].


SOV; postpositions; noun head initial; 5 noun classes and 3 genders; content q-word in situ; at least 2 suffixes; no passives or voice; tonal; 44 consonant and 8 vowel phonemes

Language Use

Some youth totally educated outside language area and may not be able to speak Loke. Tibetan [bod] is used in religious domain. Home, friends. All ages. Positive attitudes. Also use Nepali [npi] or Tibetan [bod].

Language Development
Literacy rate in L2: 41% for whole district, includes Thakalis, Nepalis. (males 57%, females 28%). Non-formal education. Grammar.
Devanagari script. Tibetan script.
Other Comments

Distinct from Lhoba in China and India, a Mirish language. Lo inhabitants are called Lopa or Lowa. Their capital is Manthang, called Mustang by outsiders. Manthang has 200 houses, many monasteries. Buddhist, traditional religion.