Nepal has many ethnic groups and language groups are just as abundant. There are more than a hundred languages spoken in Nepal. The chief language of Nepal is Nepali, the other languages are spoken to a larger or lesser degree in specific areas of the country. Due to the extensive number of languages spoken in Nepal we will provide details on just a few after which we will present you with a list of Nepal's languages.
Nepali is classified as an Indo-Aryan Language and is spoken as a mother tongue by approximately half of Nepal’s population and as a second language by others. Other names for Nepali include Gorkhali/Gurkhali (“language of the Gurkhas”) as well as Parbatiya (“language of the mountains”). Nepali was originally known as Khaskura (“speech of the Khas”)an was spoken by rice farming Khas who settled in the Karnali Bheri basin. Today it is spoken throughout Nepal as well as in parts of Bhutan and India.
Bahing or Rumdali is classified as part of the Kiranti languages and is spoken by the Bahing people living in Okhaldhunga. This language has been described as complex and slight differences between words are often difficult for people of similar dialects to understand.
Maithili is one of the Indo-Aryan languages. Many view it as a dialect of Hindi and not a seperate language. It however received official language status in 2003 and is thus used in education etc.
Limbu, a Tibeto-Burman language, spoken by the Limbu ethnic group. Limbus call themselves yakthung and the Limbu language Yakthung Pan. Most Limbus can also speak Nepali fluently.
Alphabetical list of languages spoken in Nepal, some of which may have several dialects:
Nepalese Sign Language
Tamang, Eastern Ghorka
Last updated: January 22, 2019