Yesu khristarɛ kunisaam (LIFNT)
Limbu (lif) Nepal The population of the Limbu is 334,000 in Nepal (2001 census), and 421,500 in all countries. They live in the region of Limbuwan (preferred term for the Limbu area), in the Eastern hills, east of the Arun River; in Koshi zone, Dhankuta, Sankhuwasabha, Terhathum, Dhankuta, and Morang districts; and in Mechi zone, Taplejung, Panchthar, Ilam, and Jhapa districts. Possibly there are migrant workers in Myanmar. Limbu speakers are also in Bhutan and India. An alternate name for the language is Yakthung Pan; dialects are Taplejunge (Tamorkhole, Taplejung), Panthare (Pantharey, Panchthare, Panchthar, Panthare-Yanggrokke-Chaubise-Charkhole), Phedappe, and Chattare (Chhattare, Chhathar, Chatthare, Chatthare Yakthungba Pan, Yakthung Pan). Llimbu is related to Northern Lorung [lbr] and Yakha [ybh]. The Chaubise and Panthare dialects are similar; and Phedappe and Taplejunge are similar. Chattare is poorly understood by other dialect speakers. The dialect spoken in Sikkim, India, is the same as Panthare. Inherent intelligibility among dialect speakers is 80%–90%. The language classification is Sino-Tibetan, Tibeto-Burman, Himalayish, Mahakiranti, Kiranti, Eastern. Language use is vigorous for the main group in eastern Nepal. It is used in the home, the village, and in religious services by all ages. The Panthare dialect is dominant in size, prestige, and language development. People prefer their own dialect, but are not negative toward others. Some also use Nepali [nep]. Motivation is high among all. It would be easier to read Limbu in Devanagari, but attitudes are strongly positive toward Sirijannga script being taught. Literacy programs are in progress to teach Sirijangga script (2007). Limbu is used in poetry, magazines, newspapers, radio programs, and TV broadcasting. There is a dictionary and a grammar, as well as Bible portions published in 1996–2003. Writing systems are the Devanagari script, Latin script, and Limbu script.
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