In this week's language profile we're going to take a brief look at Nepali, also known as Nepalese. It is a member of the Indo-Aryan language family that includes many languages, including Gujarati, Oriya, Sinhala, Assamese, and Hindi.
Nepali is the official language of Nepal, where it is used as a lingua franca and is the native language of nearly half the population. It is also an official language of Bhutan, where it is spoken by about just over a third of the population. Nepali is also recognized as an official regional language in the Indian states of Sikkim and West Bengal.
|Mount Everest in Nepal|
It is written using Devanagari script, a common characteristic of Indo-Aryan languages. The language contains 27 consonants as well as 11 vowels, including 5 nasal vowels.
The three major dialects of Nepali correspond to different geographical areas, but generally differ very little in terms of phonology. As with other Indo-Aryan languages, Nepali contains several loanwords from Sanskrit.