Tharu, Madhya-Purbiya


A language of Nepal

Alternate Names
Kochila Tharu, Mid-Eastern Tharu
मध्य-पूर्विया थारू‎ (Madhya-Purbiya Tharu)

258,000 in Nepal (2003), increasing. Population for all Tharu varieties: 1,530,000 (2011 census). Mostly illiterate older women are monolingual.


Kosi zone: Morang and Sunsari districts; Mechi zone: Jhapa district; Narayani zone: Bara, Parsa, and Rautahat districts; Sagarmatha zone: Saptari and Udayapur districts.

Language Status

6a (Vigorous). Language of recognized indigenous nationality: Tharu, Dhanuk.


Saptari (Saptariya Tharu), Morang, Udayapur, Sunsari, Siraha, Mahottari, Sarlahi, Dhanusa, Rautahat, Bara, Parsa. Each district has a different variety. Dialect names refer to districts. Lexical similarity: 51%–59% with Kathariya Tharu, 46%–52% with Dangaura Tharu.


SOV; postpositions; noun head final; no gender; content q-word in situ; 1 prefix, up to 3 suffixes; clause constituents indicated by case-marking; verbal affixation marks person; tense and aspect; passives (syntactic, not morphological); nontonal; 32 consonant and 8 vowel phonemes.

Language Use

Vigorous. Home, friends, religion; mixed use: Work, education, religion. Used by all. Positive attitudes. Also use Maithili [mai], Nepali [npi].

Language Development

Mother-tongue multilingual education introduced in one school. Literacy increasing. Taught in primary schools. Radio. Videos. Dictionary. Texts.


Devanagari script [Deva].

Other Comments

Tharu from each district usually take the district name as a more specific name or identity. Other Tharu in Siraha, Udayapur, and Saptari districts who call themselves Kochila but speak Sapatariya Tharu. Traditional religion, Christian.

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