Nepal Bhasa

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also known as

  • Newari language


Nepal Bhasa is one of the languages of Nepal. It is spoken chiefly be Newars so it is also called Newar Bhasa by some. The use of word Newari to denote the language however is considered offensive by its native users as reported by Ethnologue-a leading organization in language research. It is a Sino-Tibetan language. It falls under the Tibeto-Burman category under Sino-Tibetan. Many language scientists link the language with Maha-Kirati but many place it separately from the Maha-Kirati language family. It is the only Sino-Tibetan language to be written historically in Devnagari script. The language is written in many scripts such as Brahmi, Ranjana, Prachalit, Gupta, Bhujimol etc. It has one of the oldest literature history in Sino-Tibetan languages as well as compared to other languages of Nepal. The language was very developed in Malla era. The neglect and disregard presented to this language by the Shah era has decreased the rate of development of the language. The language has many sub-dialects the chief of which are Kathamandu-Patan-Kirtipur, Sindhupalchowk-Pahari, Bhaktapur, Dolakha, Chitlang, Bandipuri, Tistung etc. The language is chiefly spoken in Kathmandu valley but is not restricted to Kathmandu valley. It is spoken almost all over Nepal by the Newar communities.

Writing System

  • Prachalit (Nepali) script, in common use during the Malla period and earlier, recent attempts to revive this script.
  • Devanagari script.
  • Ranjana (Newari) script, no longer in use.
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