In my last post, I told you that I started my first Korean blog.
And I just wrote my first proper post in my Korean blog 코인의 코너 – Korean’s Korner in NAVER. It is entitled “네팔에 있는 문화” – “Culture of Nepal”, where I briefly introduce six main aspects of the Nepalese culture.
- Caste system
Have a glimpse at my post:
The reason I chose to cover this topic in my Korean blog instead of here is that this blog is mainly dedicated towards language learning, Korean language in particular. But I want to share some information about the languages of Nepal here, which also happens to be the only language related thing in my Korean blog post.
Languages spoken in Nepal
Nepal is essentially a multi-lingual country. According to the Census data of 2011, there are 123 languages being spoken in Nepal. The official language is “Nepali” which is spoken by 44.6% of the population. Besides that there are multiple other languages chiefly because there are multiple castes and ethnic groups in Nepal, and almost each caste or group has its unique language, culture, dress, cuisine, etc. Some major languages besides Nepali are: Maithali (11.7%), Bhojpuri (6%), Tharu (5.8%), Tamang (5.2%), Newari (3.2%), Magar (3%) and Bajjiki (3%).
So most Nepalese people are, by default, bi-lingual or tri-lingual or even multi-lingual, because they know:
- Nepali as it is the national language,
- Their caste-related language (which is spoken by their family members, relatives, etc),
- Hindi or Indian language (which is so similar to Nepali that Nepalese people know it without learning it, through the influence of Indian television, movies, songs, and mostly simply because of cultural similarities. We have the same script, more than 60% words are same or similar) and finally
- English (which is taught to children since kindergarten. Most of the schools in Nepal in urban and sub-urban areas teach all the subjects (except Nepali) in English. So most people know English. English is pretty widespread in Nepal).
Therefore, most Nepalese people can enjoy all the benefits that bilingual or multilingual people enjoy. They can have privacy among their own groups, talk about someone or something without other people knowing about it, connect with or get along with people easily (by the virtue of the similarity of the language, eavesdrop on people’s conversation, etc. Haha! Some of them seem like bad habits but it is really useful to know an extra language.
On the other hand, it is also possible to be completely clueless about a conversation going around you if you don’t happen to know the language the people are using. Not a good experience! You can’t understand the conversation although the speakers are all Nepalese people. Moreover, most caste-based languages are so different from each other that they sound completely alien.
Anyway, just like most Nepalese people, I also know four languages that I learnt naturally since my childhood. As for my caste-specific language, it is “Newari” or “Nepal Bhasa” which is spoken by 3.2% of the population of Nepal, almost all of whom are based in the capital of the country, Kathmandu.
Well,this was a just a fun little fact about Nepal. Hope you found it interesting. Does your country also have other languages besides your national language? If yes what are they? Let me know.
Featured image for the post was obtained from here.
CHEERS TO ALL LANGUAGE LEARNERS! 화이팅!