81 Different Language Spoken in Nepal – Nepali Language is the First

How many languages are spoken in Nepal? with List of language.

How many languages are spoken in Nepal? – Language is an important medium to communicate with people. There are roughly 6500 languages spoken in the world but about 2000 languages have even less than 1000 speakers. It means there are many languages that are in danger to extinct.

In this article, I am going to discuss the languages spoken in Nepal. After Nepal is declared as the Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal, the new constitution has listed 121 Nepali languages as the mother tongue in Nepal. The constitution has stated that all mother tongue languages spoken in Nepal are the national languages.  Nepali is the main official language with about 44.6% speakers. The second most speaking language is Maithali with 11.57%.

According to the census of Nepal of 2011, there is 123 Nepalese languages are spoken as the mother tongue. The tribes of the Nepalese mainly belongs to the Indo- Aryan as well Sino- Tibetan tribes. The Same census also suggests that India language constitute 79% of the population whereas 18% is from Tibeto-Burman’s family, even though their native language is spoken by only a few number of the people.So there is the mix taste on the culture and the language in Nepal. Nepali is the official language of the Nepal, as well It is the most spoken language of the Nepal.

According to the national census 2012, the percentage of the people who speak the Nepali language is about 44.6%. similarly, Maithili is the second most spoken the language of the Nepal and talking about the census the percentage is equal to the 11.57%. however, the script of the language is in Devanagari script as their root language. However the most of the people speak the Nepali language, but the tone and the aberration of the words are different according to their locality.

Besides this constitution of Nepal 2015(2072 B.S) has described some provision of the language of Nepal. It has provided the sovereign to the people to speak any language that every language spoken in Nepal are the national language of Nepal according to the article 6. Similarly, Nepali language in Devanagari script is the official script for Nepal governmental work according to the article 7a. beside this, for every province, they have their sovereign right to choose one or more other language spoken as per the majority population of that province for government work.

How Many Language in Nepal

Out of 121, 120 languages are still spoken by the people while one language has already extinct. Similarly, among 120 languages, 110 of them are indigenous and 10 of them are non-indigenous. Eight languages are institutional, 18 of them are developing, 30 of them are vigorous, 55 are in trouble and 9 of them are dying.

Nepal and Nepali language
Nepal and Nepali language

Most of the languages belong to Indo-Aryan and Sino-Tibetan families. The official Nepali language has originated from the Indo-Aryan while Newari, Rai, Limbu, Magar, Tamang, Sunuwar belongs to Sino-Tibetan. There are many others regional languages like Bhojpuri, Tharu, Urdu, Gurung, Sherpa, Rajbanshi etc spoken in the various parts of Nepal. Similarly, there are many indigenous village sign languages like Jhankot sign language, Jumla sign language, Ghandruk sign language and a Nepali sign language which is the national sign language of Nepal. Here is some language that is spoken in Nepal arranged in order of the majority.Language list in order of their majority.

Here are the top 10 languages spoken in Nepal:

Top 10 Languages Spoken in Nepal

  1. Nepali

Nepali is the official language of Nepal and is widely spoken all over the country. It is the most spoken language in Nepal with 44.6%. NAMASTE is the most famous word used for greeting people by joining two hands and bowing down head.

  1. Maithili

Which is the second most spoken language of Nepal? Maithili is the second most spoken languages in Nepal. It is mostly spoken in the eastern part of Terai regions like Janakpur, Sagarmatha and Koshi region. They are called Maithils since they are the inhabitant of Mithila region. It is also one of the most spoken languages in Northern Bihar of India.

  1. Bhojpuri

About 6% of the people of Nepal speak Bhojpuri. It is the third most spoken languages in Nepal. It is mainly spoken in the southern part of the country like Rautahat, Bara, Parsa, Chitwan, Nawalparasi, and Rupandehi. It is also spoken in the Bihar, UP, Jharkhand as the major one.

  1. Tharu

Tharu languages are spoken by Tharu people living in the Terai region of Nepal like Kailali, kanchanpur, Rupandehi, Surkhet, Nawalparasi, Saptari, Bara, Parsa, Rautahat, Danag etc. About 6.6 % of total population are of Tharu in Nepal while 5.8 % of the total population speaks Tharu languages.

  1. Tamang

Tamang is the indigenous inhabitants living in the Hilly and Himalayan regions of Nepal. They are especially found in the Sindhupalchwok, Rasuwa, Lalitpur, Dhading, Makwanpur, tisNuwkaot, Dolakha, Chitwan and Kavrepalanchowk. About 5.1 % of the total population are native speakers this language.

  1. Newari

What language do they speak in Kathmandu? If you this question, Newari language is original inhabitants languages of Kathmandu Valley. But nowadays different languaes are spoken in Kathmandu valley. Newars are the original inhabitants of Kathmandu Valley. They call their language as Nepal Bhasa. Especially, Kathmandu, Bhaktapur, and Lalitpur are the main origins of Nepal Bhasa. About 3.2 % of the total population of Nepal is speaking Nepal Bhasa.

  1. Bajjika

This language is mostly spoken in the Sarlahi Mahottari and Rautahat districts of Nepal. About 3 % of the population of Nepal is speaker of this language. It is a Bihari language that serves as the transition language between Maithili and Bhojpuri.

  1. Magar

In Nepal, Dhut Magar is mainly spoken by the Magar people. There are the different classification of Magars and they are residing mainly in the Lumbini, Gandaki, Sindhuli Districts of Nepal.The magar script is called Akha lip. About 3 % of the people of Nepal are speaking this language.

  1. Doteli

It is mainly spoken in the western part of Nepal. Mainly in Dadeldhura, Doti, Baitadi, Bajura, Bajhang, Darchula, this language is spoken. This language is spoken by about 3%.

  1. Urdu

About 2.6 % of the people of Nepal speak this language. It is mainly spoken in Terai region by the Muslims.

Besides, there are several other languages like Limbu, Awadhi, Gurung, Rai, Sherpa, Hindi, Chepang and much more.Let us look at the table of the languages spoken in Nepal and their population according to the national census 2011.

10 different languages in Nepal
10 different languages in Nepal

Language list in order of their majority. Here is detail of 75 languages of Nepal. Have a read.


Jitendra Sahayogee

I am Jitendra Sahayogee, a writer of 12 Nepali literature books, film director of Maithili film & Nepali short movies, photographer, founder of the media house, designer of some websites and writer & editor of some blogs, has expert knowledge & experiences of Nepalese society, culture, tourist places, travels, business, literature, movies, festivals, celebrations.

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