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  • Nepali or Nepalese is an Indo-Aryan language. It is the official language and de facto lingua franca of Nepal and is also spoken in India, Bhutan, Myanmar, Hong Kong and United Kingdom. Nepali has official status in the Indian state of Sikkim and in West Bengal's Darjeeling district as well as Assam. Nepali developed in proximity to a number of Indo-Aryan languages, most notably Pahari and Magahi, and shows Sanskrit influences. However, owing to Nepal's geographical area, it has also been influenced by Tibeto-Burman. Nepali is mainly differentiated from Central Pahari, both in grammar and vocabulary, by Tibeto-Burman idioms owing to close contact with the respective language group. Nepali language shares 40% lexical similarity with Bengali language. British Resident at Kathmandu Brian Houghton Hodgson has observed that it is, in eight-tenths of its vocables, substantially Hindi. Historically, the language was first called the Khas language, then Gorkhali or Gurkhali before the term Nepali was taken from Nepal Bhasa. Other names include Parbatiya and Lhotshammikha.

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