L1 users: 460 (2011 census), decreasing. All nomadic Raute are monolingual.
Bheri zone: Surkhet district; midwest and far west forest regions; Mahakali zone: Dadeldhura district, Jogbudha and Sirsa VDCs, in Karnali and Mahakali rivers watershed regions.
6a (Vigorous). Language of recognized indigenous nationality: Raute.
SOV; postpositions; noun head final; no noun classes or gender; content q-word in situ; clause constituents indicated by case-marking; verbal affixation marks person and number; ergativity; both tense and aspect; nontonal; 35 consonant and 7 vowel phonemes.
The name may be of Tibeto-Burman origin, from ra- meaning human plus a person marker, -to or -te. Other scholars suggest it derives from the Sanskrit Indo-Aryan word raut from Sanskrit, rajaputra, prince. Rautes deem their language sacred and are linguistically conservative toward adopting non-Raute words or grammatical features. Only the headman communicates with outsiders. Traditional religion.