A language of Nepal


11,700 (2011 census), decreasing. Very few monolinguals. Ethnic population: 14,900.


Narayani Zone, Chitwan district, Bharatpur municipality, Mangalpur, Kathar, Jagatpur, and Chainpur VDCs; Gandaki Zone, Tanahun district, Vyas municipality, Kyamin and Ramjakot VDCs.

Language Maps
Language Status

6b (Threatened). Language of recognized indigenous nationality: Darai.


Chitwan, Tanahun. Lexical similarity: 85%–90% with Bote [bmj].


SOV; postpositions; noun head final; 2 noun classes or genders; 1 prefix, up to 4 suffixes; clause constituents indicated by case-marking; verbal affixation marks for person and number; nominal-based split ergativity; both tense and aspect; passives and voice; nontonal; 29 consonant and 6 vowel phonemes; head-marking of noun in genitive construction.

Language Use

Rapidly assimilating to Nepali [npi] (Van Driem 2007). Home; mixed use: Friends, religion, work. Young adults and older. Some use among children and adolescents. Positive attitudes. Most know Nepali [npi] very well, well enough to understand complex subjects.

Language Development
Magazines. Newspapers. Radio programs. Films. Videos. Dictionary.

Devanagari script [Deva].

Other Comments

Darai do not have social subdivisions found in most other Nepali groups. They do not organize communities into social, religious, economic, or political organizations (Bista 1996). Hindu.