Nepali language: its importance and our dependency

Nepal has 123 languages spoken as the first language as per the 2011 census. However, among all these languages one language stands out, the language Nepali with about 44.6% percent speaking it as the first language. If we take the second and third languages into account, the percentage of people speaking Nepali is about 80%. This makes it a crucial part of the Nepali people.

The Nepali language originally called Khas Bhasa (language) or Parbate bhasa. It was spoken by a wide range of people of the hilly region in western Nepal, in present-day Karnali and Bheri regions. When Prithivi Narayan Shah, conquered Kathmandu valley he allowed all the Chhetris that helped him win the strategic Kathmandu valley. When Kathmandu was made the capital of modern Nepal more and more people Khas people migrated to the valleys. Therefore, the number of people speaking Nepali language just grew in the capital.

Like English is a language of communication across the globe, Nepali is the communication tool in Nepal. Four out of five people can speak Nepali. The number is even higher in cities and towns. The two persons can have distinct mother tongues and they can communicate with each other in Nepali.

Nepali is also the official language in the country. All the government offices in the country must use the Nepali language for their day to day activities.

Having a deep written and spoken knowledge of the Nepali language also means that the person is more likely to succeed in the educational sector. Although most schools and colleges use English today as the language for teaching, Nepali remains the medium to make the students understand the texts and lessons. Similarly, students engage with each other talking in Nepal. So, that means that students speaking Nepali is more likely to make more friends than non-speaking ones. The exams for public sectors 'Lok Sewa' is conducted in Nepali as well. Therefore, it is important to have good written and spoken Nepali to excel.

In a country where there are 123 first languages spoken, one language given most if not all the priority has caused some concern as well. The people are not using their mother language as much as they need to. Their offspring will use it even less, in due course the language will be extinct. I have Gurung and Magar friends who cannot speak their native language. I have Newar friends who cannot speak Newari language. What's worth noting is that they can speak Nepali fluently. So, it is a matter of concern that other language will go extinct if proper attention and care are not given to other languages as well.

In conclusion, Nepali remains an integral language for communication and educational sectors. It is an official language and having a good Nepali means a person is likely to succeed in Nepal. However, other native languages should be given proper protection and care as well.