37 Languages are endangered in Nepal

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Nepal is a multi-ethnic, multi-lingual, multi-religious, multicultural characteristics nation, where people live in geographical diversities with common aspirations. As per the latest census 2021 (2078 BS), there are 131 languages spoken in Nepal.

Among them, 37 languages have been shown to be endangered. Languages with between 10,000 and 100,000 speakers are considered endangered by the Language Commission.

However, these languages belong to Bharopeli, Dravidian, Malay Polynesian, Chinese-Tibetan, Japanese-Korean, Ural-Altaic, American, and African language families spoken in Nepal.

According to the National Census of Nepal 2068 (2011), 123 languages are spoken in Nepal. But as per the Census of Nepal 2078 (2021), the language spoken in Nepal has increased to 131 languages. The Language Commission has identified eight more languages in 2021.

Read alsoe: 131 Languages spoken in Nepal 2078

As per Article 6 of the Constitution of Nepal, all languages spoken as mother tongues in Nepal are the languages of the nation. All 131 languages of Nepal are recognized as the national language of Nepal.

The Nepali language in the Devanagari script is set as the official language of Nepal, mentioned in Article 7 of the Constitution of Nepal. Nonetheless, the provincial government can determine one or more than one languages of the nation spoken by a majority of people within the province as its official language of this province, in addition to the Nepali language by provincial law.

Other matters about the language of Nepal shall be decided by the Government of Nepal on the recommendation of the Language Commission. Language Commission has the power and authority to determine the criteria of recognition as the official language by making recommendations to the Government of Nepal.

Additionally, it has the power to make recommendations to the Government of Nepal for the protection, promotion, and development of languages, development of mother tongues, and research on potential for formal education.

The Language Commission has identified Linkhim, Bajjika, Chantyal, Santhali, Bhot, Sherpa, Thami, Syuwa, Rajbanshi, Urau, Lohrung, Sunuwar, Gopali, Tajpuria, Yamfu, Sonah, Jumli, Yakkha, Chamling, Sampang, Belhare, Lapcha, Athapuria, Wambu has documented Adi language.

There are about 21 thousand Danuwar speakers in Kavre, Udaipur, Sindhupalchok, Makwanpur, Sindhuli, Nuwakot, Lalitpur, and other districts. There is little difference in the language of Danuwar spoken in Terai and hilly regions.

The number of native speakers of Nepali language in the country is 44.6 percent. According to the National Census, 2068, this language is spoken by 27.29 percent of people in the hills and 13.19 percent in the Terai.

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