Tharu, Chitwania


A language of Nepal

Alternate Names
Chitoniya Tharu, Chitwan Tharu, Chitwaniya

285,000 in Nepal (2001 census), increasing. 60,100 Chitwan, 92,800 Nawalparasi, 41,000 Parsa, 63,300 Bara, 27,500 Rautahat (2001 census).


Narayani Zone, Chitwan, Bara, Parsa, Rautahat, and Makwanpur districts; Lumbini Zone, Nawalparasi district. Also in India.

Language Status

5 (Developing). Language of recognized nationality (2002, NFDIN Act, No. 20, Section 2C).


Nawalpuriya Tharu (Laulpuriya Tharu).


SOV; postpositions; noun head final; 2 genders; content q-word in situ; up to 3 suffixes; clause constituents indicated by case-marking; verbal affixation marks person and number; tense and aspect; no passive or voice; nontonal; 34 consonant and 6 vowel phonemes (5 of the vowels can be nasalized)

Language Use

Vigorous within the language community. Home, friends, religion; mixed use: Work, education. All ages. Neutral or negative attitudes. Also use Nepali [npi], Hindi [hin], or Bhojpuri [bho].

Language Development
Literacy rate in L1: Below 1%. Taught in primary schools, in 2 schools in Chitwan District only. Poetry. Magazines. Newspapers. New media. Radio programs. Films. Videos. Bible portions: 1977.
Devanagari script.
Other Comments

Hindu, Buddhist, Christian.

Also spoken in:

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