Nepali or Nepalese (नेपाली) 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 Sikkimand 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 (Khas kurā), then Gorkhali or Gurkhali (language of theGorkha Kingdom) before the term Nepali (Nepālī bhāṣā) was taken from Nepal Bhasa. Other names include Parbatiya(“mountain language”, identified with the Parbatiya people of Nepal) and Lhotshammikha (the “southern language” of theLhotshampa people of Bhutan).