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Nepali, a language of the Indo-Aryan family, is the official language of Nepal. According to the 2001 population census of Nepal, more than 11 million Nepalese (48.61% of the total population) claim this language as their mother tongue. It is also spoken in other countries of South Asia, such as India and Bhutan, as well as by members of the Nepalese Diaspora around the world. The population census of India of 1991 reported that more than two million Indians use Nepali as their mother tongue. Within Nepal, Nepali shows some dialectal variation mainly linked to geographical and socio-cultural factors. Nevertheless, the dialect called the ‘eastern’ dialect spoken by a majority of Nepali speakers shows rather little variation (Bandhu et al. 1971).
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