Tharu, Rana


A language of Nepal


336,000 in Nepal (2006), increasing. Population for all Tharu varieties: 1,530,000 (2011 census). Population total all countries: 486,000. L2 users: 46,600 L2 speakers for all Tharu languages (1991 census).


Mahakali Zone, Kanchanpur district; Seti Zone, Kailali district.

Language Maps
Language Status

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


96%–99% intelligibility among dialects, 90% of Kathariya [tkt], 51%–88% reported of Dangaura [thl]. Differences with dialects in India. Reportedly similar to Awadhi (Avadhi) [awa]. Lexical similarity: 83%–97% among dialects, 73%–79% with Buksa, 74%–79% with Kathariya [tkt], 70%–73% with Sonha [soi], 63%–71% with Dangaura [thl], 56%–60% with Chitwania [the], 68%–72% with Hindi [hin].


SOV; postpositions; noun head final; 2 genders; content q-word in situ; 1 prefix, up to 2 suffixes; clause constituents indicated by case-marking; verbal affixation marks person and number; ergativity; tense (4 tenses: past, present, imminent future, irrealis future); passives and voice; nontonal; 28 consonant and 11 vowel phonemes.

Language Use

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

Language Development
Mother-tongue multilingual education up to grade three in Kanchanpur. Taught in primary schools. Poetry. Magazines. Radio programs. Films. Videos.

Devanagari script [Deva].

Other Comments

Hindu, Christian.

Also spoken in:

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