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Tharu languages

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Native toNepal, India
EthnicityTharu (incl. Bhoksa)
Native speakers
1.53 million in Nepal (2011 census)[1]
400,000 or more in India (1997–2007)[1]
Official status
Official language in
Sudurpashchim Pradesh
Language codes
ISO 639-3Variously:
thl – Dangaura Tharu
tkt – Kathoriya Tharu
thr – Rana Tharu
the – Chitwania Tharu
thq – Kochila Tharu
tkb – Buksa Tharu
soi – Sonha

The Tharu (Tharu: थारु, Hindi: थरुवा) or Tharuhat (Nepali: थरुहट) languages are any of the Indo-Aryan languages spoken by the Tharu people of the Terai region in Nepal, and neighboring regions of Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh and Bihar in India.[3][4]

Although their own precise classification within Indo-Aryan remains uncertain, Tharu languages have superficial similarities with neighbouring languages such as Awadhi, Maithili, and Bhojpuri. Moreover, the lexicon of certain Tharu households is indicative of an archaic, 'indigenous' substratum, potentially predating both Sino-Tibetan or Indo-Aryan settlement. Moreover, Tharu languages appear to be transitional within the context of Indo-Aryan. [5]

Chitwania Tharu is spoken by approximately 250,000 speakers east of the Gandaki River, in and around the Chitwan Valley. Chitwania, as a whole, has superficial similarities with Awadhi. Nevertheless, certain Chitwania variants appear to have considerable lexical similarities with Manchad, a Sino-Tibetan language.[6]

Dangaura, Rana, and Buksa refer to a triumvirate of mutually-intelligible Tharu variants spoken west of the Gandaki River, spoken by approximately 1.3 million people. Furthermore, an additional variant of Tharu, known as Sonha, is largely mutually intelligible with Dangauru.

Kochila, a diverse Tharu variant, is also spoken by approximately 250,000 people, in regions of eastern Nepal. Many ethnic Kochila have adopted Maithili.


  1. ^ a b Dangaura Tharu at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
    Kathoriya Tharu at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
    Rana Tharu at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
    Chitwania Tharu at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
    Kochila Tharu at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
    Buksa Tharu at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
    (Additional references under 'Language codes' in the information box)
  2. ^ Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2017). "Tharuic". Glottolog 3.0. Jena, Germany: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.
  3. ^ Office of the Registrar General, India (2001). "Uttaranchal. Data Highlights: The Scheduled Tribes. Census of India 2001" (PDF). Retrieved 2008-03-16.
  4. ^ Office of the Registrar General, India (2001). "Uttar Pradesh. Data Highlights: The Scheduled Tribes. Census of India 2001" (PDF).
  5. ^ The Indo-Aryans of Ancient South Asia: Language, Material Culture and Ethnicity
  6. ^ George van Driem, 2007, "Endangered languages of South Asia", in Matthias Brenzinger, Mouton de Gruyter
This page was last edited on 20 January 2019, at 21:32
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