A language of Nepal

Alternate Names
Boto boli, Khamchi, Ra’te, Raji, Rajwar, Rautya, Rautye

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.

Language Maps
Language Status

6a (Vigorous). Language of recognized indigenous nationality: Raute.


None known. There are reportedly many similarities with Raji [rji], but the relationship of Raute with and intelligibility between Rawat [jnl] and Raji [rji] needs further investigation. Lexical similarity: 80% with Rawat [jnl], 60% with Chepang [cdm], 25% with Kham.


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.

Language Use

Vigorous. Home, friends, religion, work. Children, older adults, and elderly. Some use among adolescents and young adults. Some also use Hindi [hin], especially youth. Some also use Nepali [npi], especially settled Raute, youth.

Language Development
Dictionary. Texts.

Unwritten [Qaax].

Other Comments

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.

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