Tharu, Kochila


A language of Nepal

Alternate Names
Saptariya Tharu

258,000 in Nepal (2003), increasing. Mostly illiterate older women are monolingual. Population for all Tharu varieties: 1,331,500 (2001 census).


Koshi Zone, Morang and Sunsari districts; Sagarmatha Zone, Saptari, Udayapur, and Siraha districts; Janakpur Zone, Mahottari, Sarlahi and Dhanusa districts. Also in India.

Language Status

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


Dhanusa, Mahottari, Morangiya, Saptari, Sarlahi, Siraha, Sunsari, Udayapur. Each district has a different variety. Dialect names refer to districts.


SOV; postpositions; noun head final; no gender; content q-word in situ; 1 prefix, up to 3 suffixes; clause constituents indicated by case-marking; verbal affixation marks person; tense and aspect; passives (syntactic, not morphological); nontonal; 32 consonant and 8 vowel phonemes

Language Use

Vigorous. Home, friends, religion; mixed use: Work, education. All ages. Positive attitudes. Also use Nepali [npi] or Maithili [mai].

Language Development
Literacy rate in L1: Below 1%. Mother-tongue multilingual education introduced in one school. Literacy increasing. Taught in primary schools. Radio programs. Films. Videos. Dictionary.
Devanagari script.
Other Comments

Tharu from each district usually take the district name as a more specific name or identity. Other Tharu in Siraha, Udayapur, and Saptari districts who call themselves Kochila but speak Sapatariya Tharu. Traditional religion, Hindu, Christian.

Also spoken in:

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