A language of Nepal

Alternate Names
Glo Skad, Lhopa, Lo Montang, Loba, Lopa, Lowa, Loyu, Mustangi

3,030 (2011 census).


Dhawalagiri Zone, Mustang district, north central upper Kali Gandaki river area; high valleys north of middle-range Thakali, Gurung and Magar areas. Bahragaun dialect: Kagbeni, Muktinath, and Dzong VDCs; Upper Mustang dialect: Ghimi, Tsarang, Lo Monthang, Surkhang, Chhosher, Chunnup VDCs, and Samar village in Chuksang VDC; Karnali Zone, Dolpa district.

Language Maps
Language Status

6a (Vigorous). Language of recognized indigenous nationality: Bahragaunle, Lhopa.


Baragaunle (Baragaon, Baragaun, Bhoti Gurung), Upper Mustang (Loke). High intelligibility between dialects reported. Lexical similarity: 79%–88% between dialects, 59%–71% with Dolpo [dre], 54%–57% with Lhasa Tibetan [bod], 58%–67% with Mugom [muk].


SOV; postpositions; noun head initial; 5 noun classes and 3 genders; content q-word in situ; at least 2 suffixes; no passives or voice; tonal; 44 consonant and 8 vowel phonemes.

Language Use

Some youth totally educated outside language area and may not be able to speak Loke. Tibetan [bod] is used in religious domain. Home, friends. All ages. Positive attitudes. Also use Central Tibetan [bod], Nepali [npi]. Used as L2 by Dolpo [dre], Seke [skj].

Language Development

Literacy rate in L2: 41% for whole district, includes Thakalis, Nepalis. (males 57%, females 28%). Non-formal education. Grammar.


Devanagari script [Deva]. Tibetan script [Tibt].

Other Comments

Distinct from Lhoba in China and India, a Mirish language. Lo inhabitants are called Lopa or Lowa. Their capital is Manthang, called Mustang by outsiders. Manthang has 200 houses, many monasteries. Buddhist, traditional religion.

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