तामाङ, རྟ་དམག་ / རྟ་མང་/
Native toNepal
Native speakers
1.4 million in Nepal (2021 census)[1]
20,154 in India (2011 census)[2]
Tamyig script, Devanagari, Tibetan
Official status
Official language in


Language codes
ISO 639-3Variously:
taj – Eastern Tamang
tdg – Western Tamang
tge – Eastern Gorkha Tamang
This article contains IPA phonetic symbols. Without proper rendering support, you may see question marks, boxes, or other symbols instead of Unicode characters. For an introductory guide on IPA symbols, see Help:IPA.
Selected ethnic groups of Nepal; Bhotia, Sherpa, Thakali, Gurung, Kirant, Rai, Limbu, Nepal Bhasa, Pahari, Tamang (note that Kulu Rodu (Kulung) territories are mistakenly marked as Tamu/Gurung territories in this map)

Tamang (Devanagari: तामाङ; tāmāng) is a term used to collectively refer to a dialect cluster spoken mainly in Nepal, Sikkim, West Bengal (Darjeeling) and North-Eastern India. It comprises Eastern Tamang, Northwestern Tamang, Southwestern Tamang, Eastern Gorkha Tamang, and Western Tamang. Lexical similarity between Eastern Tamang (which is regarded as the most prominent) and other Tamang languages varies between 81% and 63%. For comparison, the lexical similarity between Spanish and Portuguese is estimated at 89%.[4]



Ethnologue divides Tamang into the following varieties due to mutual unintelligibility.

The Tamang language is the most widely spoken Sino-Tibetan language in Nepal.

Geographical distribution


Ethnologue gives the following location information for the varieties of Tamang.

Eastern Tamang

Southwestern Tamang

Western Tamang

Eastern Tamang



Some grammatical features of the Tamang languages include:

Phonetically Tamang languages are tonal.




Labial Dental/
Retroflex Palatal Velar Glottal
Nasal m n ŋ
voiceless p t ts ʈ k
aspirated tsʰ ʈʰ
palatalized tsʲ ʈʲ
labialized tsʷ ʈʷ
Fricative s h
Rhotic r
Approximant w l j


Front Back
Close i u
Mid e o
Open a

Nasality only marginally occurs, and is typically transcribed with a [ã] mark.



Four tones occur as high falling [â], mid-high level [á], mid-low level [à], very low [ȁ].[6]

Writing system


Tamang language is written in prakriti.


  1. ^ Eastern Tamang at Ethnologue (27th ed., 2024) Closed access icon
    Western Tamang at Ethnologue (27th ed., 2024) Closed access icon
    Eastern Gorkha Tamang at Ethnologue (27th ed., 2024) Closed access icon
  2. ^ "Statement 1: Abstract of speakers' strength of languages and mother tongues - 2011". www.censusindia.gov.in. Office of the Registrar General & Census Commissioner, India. Retrieved 7 July 2018.
  3. ^ "50th Report of the Commissioner for Linguistic Minorities in India" (PDF). 16 July 2014. p. 109. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2 January 2018. Retrieved 6 November 2016.
  4. ^ Ethnologue report for Spanish
  5. ^ "Change Request Documentation: 2022-001". ISO 639-3. SIL International. Retrieved 27 January 2023.
  6. ^ Mazaudon (2003)



of India: Sikkim volume I, New Delhi: Office of Registrar General India, pp: 388-455 https://censusindia.gov.in/census.website/data/LSI