Sampang Rai is one of the Rai languages. It belongs to the Tibeto-Burman language family. According to the census of Nepal (2001), the number of Sampang speakers is 10,810. Based on the UNESCO Language Survey Report Nepal (2002), the total population of Sampang Rai is nearly 50,000. Most of this people group lives in the districts of Khotang and Bhojpur. In recent time some of them have moved to Dharan, Ilam, Kathmandu and the Terai.
There was no orthography developed in Sampang language before 2003. With the help of Dr. A. Hari, a tentative working orthography was drafted in 2003. NNLPI organized a 2-day orthography workshop in 2004. Representatives of Sampang from Khotang area, Kathmandu and Dharan were invited. Professors from Central Department of Linguistics, Tribhuvan University served as consultants in this workshop. After discussion, a working Orthography was developed.