Native toNepal
Native speakers
7,500 (2011 census)[1]
Language codes
ISO 639-3muk
Coordinates: 29.588920, 82.447829

Mugom language, also known as Mugom-ket, is the Sino-Tibetan language of the Mugali people of Mugu district in Nepal (ISO 639-3: muk, GlottoCode: mugo1238).[2][3]

Language name

Mugom speakers self-identify as “Moa,” and are referred to as “Mugali” by non-Tibetan peoples of the area. Mugom speakers simply refer to their language as “mugu jillako bhote bhasa,” lit. ‘the Tibetan language of Mugu district.’[4]


Mugom is spoken by roughly 500 people originating from the village of Mugugau along the Mugu Karnali River in Mugum Karmarong Rural Municipality.[4][5] The language is specifically associated with Mugali people. A small diaspora community of Mugali exists in Bouddha, in the northeast part of Kathmandu.

Language vitality

In 2002, a sociolinguistic study found that Mugom speakers in diaspora consistently used their own language with each other, and that the language was being transmitted to children.[4] The Ethnologue has assigned EGIDS level 6a “vigorous” to the Mugom-Karmarong (ISO 639-3: muk).[2] This level denotes oral use of Mugom is stable, and that the speaker population is not decreasing.[6]



There have been attempts to create health-education materials aimed at the Mugali and Karani that take into account their culture and levels of literacy specifically.


  1. ^ Mugom at Ethnologue (26th ed., 2023) Closed access icon
  2. ^ a b "Mugom". Ethnologue. Retrieved 2022-07-01.
  3. ^ "Glottolog 4.6 - Mugom". Retrieved 2022-07-01.
  4. ^ a b c Japola, Mari-Sisco. (2002). Mugom Survey. United Mission to Nepal, Mugu Education Project internal report: unpublished.
  5. ^ Central Bureau of Statistics. (2014). National population and housing census 2011. Kathmandu: Government of Nepal.
  6. ^ Lewis, M. Paul, and Gary F. Simons. (2016). Sustaining language use: Perspectives on community based language development. Dallas, TX: SIL International.