It is the official language of Nepal and also one of 23 Official languages of India incorporated in 8th annex of the Indian constitution. Besides, in India, Nepali is only one "other officially recognised language" in the state of Bangal(previously West Bengal). It is lingua-franca of the state of Sikkim.It is official language of Darjeling Hill council,a autonomous region of state of Bangal (previously West Bengal).Similarly it has semi-official status in State of Uttaranchal as well as in the state of Assam. Roughly half of the population of Nepal speaks Nepali as a mother tongue but it is spoken as a second language by most of the Nepalese. However its sole use in courts and government is being challenged. Issue of recognition of for other ethnic language was one of talking points raised by maoist insurgency. A Cabinet Minister, Matrika Yadav recently took ministerial oath in Maithili language, apart from Nepali language.
Nepali goes by various names. English speakers generally call it Nepali or Nepalese (i.e. the language of Nepal). It was also called Gorkhali or Gurkhali, "the language of the Gurkhas.
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