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the official language of Nepal, also spoken in Sikkim and parts of India. It forms the E group of Pahari and belongs to the Indic branch of Indo-European



(1) The name for all citizens of Nepal.

(2) The self-designation common among the peoples of Nepal for those who joined the Gurkha confederation and were gradually consolidated into a single people, now accounting for about half of the country’s population. They speak Nepali. (For the history, economy, and culture of the Nepali, see.)



(also Gurkhali or Khas-Kura), the language of the Nepali, and also the official language of Nepal; it is also spoken in India (the city of Darjeeling and several other regions in Assam State; also in the northwestern regions), Sikkim, and Bhutan. Nepali is spoken by more than 7 million people (more than 6 million speakers in Nepal, 1971 census; more than 800,000 in India). Nepali belongs to the Indo-Aryan branch of the Indo-European language family. It is divided into four dialects: Central, or Standard, Nepali; Eastern Nepali; Western Nepali; and the dialect of the foothills of the Himalayas.

The phonological features of Nepali include the presence of long and short vowels, opposition of pure (nonnasalized) and nasalized vowels, and the presence of retroflex consonants. The structure is analytic-synthetic, with a predominance of analytism. Words derived from Sanskrit are the basis of the vocabulary. Grammatical features include masculine and feminine gender of nouns (the masculine gender also includes inanimate objects) and two types of case forms, nominative and postpositional. There is also an ergative-postpositional subject. The verb has synthetic and analytic impersonal forms and five moods (optative, suppositional subjunctive, irrealis, and so on). Verb forms are combined to express intensity, duration of action, and other features. In composite sentences, the subordinate clause precedes the main clause. Nepali uses the Devanagari, or Nagari, script. The first written text dates from 1337. Since the early 19th century, a literary language has been developing from the central dialect.


Zograf, G. A. Iazyki Indii, Pakistana, Tseilona i Nepala. Moscow, 1960.
Korolev, N. I. Iazyk Nepala. Moscow, 1965. (Includes bibliography.) Nepal’sko-russkii slovar’. Moscow, 1968. Pages 1211–1328.
Srivastava, Dayanand. Nepali Language: Its History and Development. Calcutta, 1962.
Turner, R. L. A Comparative and Etymological Dictionary of the Nepali Language. New York, 1966.


References in periodicals archive ?
Summary: Kathmandu [Nepal], Jan 17 (ANI): As many as 55 businessmen of Nepal have parked Nepali Rs 52,072,774,000 billion in Swiss Banks by defying the law of the land, the Center for Investigative Journalism (CIJ) has claimed.
Nepal's Charge d'Affaires in Malaysia, Kumar Raj Kharel said the agreement would further provide a clear guideline in governing the recruitment, employment and repatriation of Nepali workers.
Media attention about his case and his contribution to Nepali cricket allowed him to get the certificate under the 'distinguished personality' provision of Nepal's citizenship laws.
Kul Chandra Gautam, the former UNICEF official who met Mandela in 1996, told a ( Nepali News Portal : "We Nepalis would do well to remember how Mandela opposed the apartheid-era proposals for creating ethnic-based Bantustans, preferring instead the multi-ethnic, multi-cultural rainbow federation of a prosperous South Africa."
Up to 700,000 Nepali migrant workers are living in Saudi Arabia -- one of the most-preferred destinations for Nepalis to work.
During the meeting held at the sideline of the International Labor Conference, Minister Rayi raised the issues of increasing number of casualties involving Nepali workers and delay in repatriation of dead bodies of Nepali migrant workers back home.
HUNDREDS of Nepali workers are planning to leave Bahrain fearing escalating unrest.
Approximately three million Nepalis are currently working abroad, propping up not just their own families, but the entire economy.
He said that between five and ten Nepalis, majority of whom are domestic helpers, have come forward monthly to the NRN Association for assistance.
SSB personnel have been conducting body search on the Nepali nationals entering Nepal from India from this transit point.
(11) For writings by Nepalis on youth culture and rock in the Kathmandu Valley, see
by Times News ServiceThe Nepal Embassy is working towards further expanding job opportunities for Nepali nationals in Oman as the country provides favourable working and living conditions to expats