A language of Nepal

Alternate Names
Thami, Thangmi Kham, Thangmi Wakhe, Thani

23,580 in Nepal, all users. L1 users: 23,200 in Nepal (2011 census), decreasing. L2 users: 380 (2011 census). 100 monolinguals (2002 UNESCO). Ethnic population: 35,000 (Turin 2007). 28,700 (2011 census). Total users in all countries: 24,380 (as L1: 24,000; as L2: 380).


Bagmati zone: Sindhupalchok district, villages east; Janakpur zone: Dolakha district, villages north and west; Ramechhap district, Sailung Khola villages; Kathmandu.

Language Status

6b (Threatened). Language of recognized indigenous nationality: Thami.


Eastern Thangmi (Dolakha), Western Thangmi (Sindhupalchok). Related to Baram [brd] (Grierson and Konow 1903–1928). Some cognates with Dolakha dialect of Newar [new]. Dolakha and Sindhupalchok dialects are not mutually intelligible. Differ in phonology, nominal and verbal morphology and lexicon.


SOV; both prepositions and postpositions; noun head both initial and final; gender, only some animate nouns; content q-word in situ; up to 3 prefixes, up to 4 suffixes; clause constituents indicated by case-marking; verbal affixation marks person; no ergativity; tense; passives and voice; nontonal; 33 consonant and 13 vowel phonemes.

Language Use

Ethnic Thangmi outside Dolakha and Sindhupalchok no longer speak Thangmi. Religion; mixed use: Home, friends. Some young people, all adults. Mixed attitudes. Negative attitudes, but changing to more neutral and positive.

Language Development

Literacy rate in L1: Below 10%. Taught in primary schools. Literature. Newspapers. Periodicals. Radio. TV. Videos. Dictionary. Grammar. Texts.


Devanagari script [Deva].

Other Comments

Traditional religion, Buddhist, Christian, Hindu.

Also spoken in:

Expand All
Collapse All
Page Views Left: