Culture of Nepal - Languages and Literature

Languages and Literature

Main article: Languages of Nepal See also: Nepali literature

As per 2001 census, at least 92 different living languages are spoken in Nepal, though other studies list 123 living languages. Nepal's linguistic heritage has evolved from three major language groups, namely, Indo-Aryan, Tibeto-Burman, and indigenous. The major languages of Nepal (percent spoken as mother tongue) are Nepali (49%), Maithili (12%), Bhojpuri (8%), Tharu (6%), Tamang (5%), Newari/Nepal Bhasa (4%), Magar (3%), Awadhi (2%), Thulung (Rai) (3%), Bantawa (2%), Limbu (1%), and Bajjika (1%). The remaining languages are each spoken as mother tongue by less than one percent of the population, for example Dura. Nepali, written in Devanagari script, is the official national language and serves as lingua franca among Nepalese of different ethno-linguistic groups. English is also spoken in Nepal as a second language. Extinct languages of Nepal include Kusunda and Waling. Among notable writers of Nepalese literature is the Parijat and Jhamak Ghimire.

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    The Irishman in English literature may be said to have been born with an apology in his mouth.
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    People in places many of us never heard of, whose names we can’t pronounce or even spell, are speaking up for themselves. They speak in languages we once classified as “exotic” but whose mastery is now essential for our diplomats and businessmen. But what they say is very much the same the world over. They want a decent standard of living. They want human dignity and a voice in their own futures. They want their children to grow up strong and healthy and free.
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