Maithili language

Spoken in

  • Indo-European languages Indo-Iranian languages Indo-Aryan languages Maithili




Maithili ( मैथिली, Maithili ) is an Indo-Aryan language, and part of the Indo-Iranian branch of the Indo-European language family. It is also included in the group of Bihari languages ​​, with the other members, it is closely related.

Maithili is distributed mainly in the north of the eastern Indian state of Bihar, where it is also recognized as an official language, and the adjacent areas of eastern Terai in Nepal. In India, it has a total of about 30 million native speakers in Nepal 2.8 million ( 2001). Your name has the language of the historical region of Mithila. Earlier they used their own script ( Maithili script, Mithilakshar, Tirhuta, Kaithi ) that resembled the Bengali script. Today Maithili is written in Devanagari.

The Maithili literature can look back on nearly 800 years of history. When her most outstanding representative shall be the poet Vidyapati, who lived in the 14th and 15th centuries. However, in the 19th century, the scriptural tradition was largely lost, so that Maithili was viewed as a result only slightly. Even today many consider Hindi nationalists merely a dialect of Hindi, and even native speakers, especially the upper class, Hindi see as the superior language. Recently, Maithili was the recognition as an official language in Bihar (2003) and greater appreciation on the part of Indian literature institutes such as the Sahitya Academy, however, generally upgraded.