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 also use Nepali [npi].

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

Devanagari script [Deva], used since 2014.

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.

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