Tharu, Chitwania


A language of Nepal

Alternate Names
Chitoniya Tharu, Chitwan Tharu, Chitwaniya

285,000 in Nepal (2001 census), increasing. Population for all Tharu varieties: 1,530,000 (2011 census). L2 users: 46,600 L2 speakers for all Tharu languages (1991 census).


Narayani Zone, Chitwan, Bara, Parsa, Rautahat, and Makwanpur districts; Lumbini Zone, Nawalparasi district; Gandaki Zone, Tanahu district.

Language Status

5 (Developing). Language of recognized indigenous nationality: Tharu.


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 Bhojpuri [bho], Hindi [hin], Nepali [npi].

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 [Deva].

Other Comments

Traditional religion.

Also spoken in:

Expand All Collapse All