Published March 1, 2018
This video was recorded by Daniel Bogre Udell and Nawang Tsering in New York City, USA. Tamang is spoken by more than a million people, primarily in the South Asian nation of Nepal, where it is a recognized national language, as well as the Indian state of Sikkim. Though it is commonly understood by its speakers to be a single language, linguistic researchers are split on whether Tamang’s four principal varieties are distinct dialects of a single language, or a family of closely related languages. Tamang can therefore understood to be a “dialect cluster” or “macrolanguage”, linguistic terms applied when genealogy remains unclear. Whatever their genealogy, the Tamang languages pertain to the Sino-Tibetan linguistic family, sharing roots with other languages spoken across south and central Asia, such as Tibetan, Thakali, and Gurung.