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Where Nepali Is Spoken

We have written a few posts on introducing, slowly, the world of ​​Indo-Aryan or Indic languages (a subset of languages ​​belonging to the group of Indo-European languages, more specifically those that are spoken for the most part in India). The main languages ​​of this linguistic group are Hindi, Punjabi, Bengali, Marathi, Bahari and Assamese.

The Constitution of India categorizes Hindi as the official language of the country. However, it grants official language status to other languages ​​from other states: Assamese, Bengali, Gujarati, Kashmiri, Marathi, Punjabi, Sindhi, Urdu, Tamil, Telugu, Kannada and Malayalam, among others.

Nepali is the official language in the Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal, and is also spoken in Sikkim, Bhutan, and the Darjeeling District of West Bengal. This language first manifested a writing system in the twelfth century. Between the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries the first steps to becoming a literary language were laid out. In the early twentieth century Nepali was included among the Eastern Pahari languages. The modern literary language is based in Kathmandu.

Some characteristics

* It is written in the Devanagari script.

* Currently, the top bar marks the separation between words.

* Devanagari makes no distinction between uppercase and lowercase letters.

* It is written from left to right.

* Its vocabulary comes mostly from Sanskrit, but has some loans from Arabic and Persian (which, in turn, take them from Hindi and Urdu). Recently, there is also an increased borrowing from English.

* Its grammatical structure is: subject-object-verb.

* There are no articles.

* Grammatical gender is not as prevalent in Nepali. However, there are some grammatical differences regarding gender, in nouns that refer to human beings the endings -o/a are masculine and -i feminine, e.g. chora (son), chori (daughter).

* To form the plural of nouns, the suffix -haru is added to the singular.

* As for grammatical person, the number of people reflect a sociocultural difference. There are three ways for the second and third person, and that difference is determined by social position: the first person is ma, plural hami (haru); the low-rank second person is ta, medium rank timi, high-rank singular tapai, plural tapaiharu; low-rank third person u/yo, medium yini/uni, plural yiniharu/uniharu, high rank yaha/vaha, plural yahaharu.

Once again, our article attempts to demonstrate that each language is its own world, even though it is undoubtedly related to many others. We cannot assume that because languages share the same roots their speakers can understand each other naturally. It is necessary to use language professionals of each language to accurately translate them. If you have any questions, please consult our “Translation Services“.

(Versión en español: