Nepal has over 100 languages and dialects, many of which have no written script. Nepali or Nepalese – which is the language introduced by the Gorkha kings – is the lingua franca and is widely spoken.
Such diversity is the result of being placed between two major civilisations, and a landscape where it is very difficult to interact with communities separated by huge mountains. Languages can be divided up into Indo-Aryan (Sanskrit) and Tibeto-Burman (Chinese) families.
Most common languages in Nepal
Newari/Nepal Bhasa (4%)
According to the 2001 national census 92 living languages have so far been identified in Nepal. Aside from the above list, other languages are spoken by less than 1% of the population – many with less than 1,000 speakers.
Hindi and English are also widely spoken.