Universal Declaration of Human Rights

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Source: United Nations Department of Public Information, NY


Native Name

Total Speakers
16,200,000 (1993)

Usage By Country
Official Language: Nepal Home Speakers: West Bengal, Assam, Bhutan Official Status: Sikkim

It belongs to the Indo-European family, Indic group, Pahari subgroup and is spoken by 16 million people. Dialects may be quite distinct from Standard Nepali, also according to castes: Brahmin (highest or priestly), Chetri (warrior), Vaishya (trader and farmer) and Shudra (untouchable or lowest). People speaking Nepali are called "Paharia". It is the state language of Sikkim and the dominant language of southern Bhutan, and is used as a lingua franca by large communities of Nepalese all over Himalayan India. It is closely related to Hindi and the other languages of north India, and possesses a rich body of modern literature. Devanagari script is used.

Received 5/25/1998
Posted 11/16/1998
Checked 11/16/1998