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Travel Guide > Asia > Nepal

Nepal Languages

  
 
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The great biological and cultural diversity of present-day Nepal is matched by its linguistic diversity. Nepal boasts a variety of living languages many of which are remnants of the traditional Asiatic cultural amalgamation in the region. impressively large number for a country with a small land mass like Nepal. Nepal has more distinct and individual languages in one country than the whole of the European community.

The official language of Nepal is Nepali. It's related to Hindi, Punjabi, and other Indo-Aryan languages, and is normally written with the Devanagari script (as is Hindi). While most Nepali speak at least some Nepali, a large percentage of the population has as their mother tongue another language, such as Tharu around Chitwan, Newari in the Kathmandu Valley, and Sherpa in the Everest area.

Although Nepal was never a British colony, proximity to India has made English somewhat widespread among educated Nepalis. Nevertheless learning even a few words of Nepali is fun and useful, especially outside of the tourist district and while trekking. As Asian languages go, Nepali has to be one of the easiest to learn, and the traveler making the effort isn't likely to make worse blunders than many natives with a different first language.

A disturbingly large number of Nepal’s mother tongues are severely endangered and will likely be reduced to symbolic identity markers within a generation. So why not try to pick up a few phrases!





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