Marathi language

Spoken in

3 million as a second language

  • Indo-European languages Indo-Iranian languages Indo-Aryan languages Marathi




Marathi ( मराठी Marathi [ mə'ɾa: ʈ ʰ i: ], also Marathi ) belongs to the Indo-Aryan branch of the Indo-Iranian subgroup of the Indo-European languages ​​.

It is spoken as a mother tongue by at least 70 million (2002) people who live mainly in India. It is one of 22 officially recognized languages ​​of India and belongs to the group of the 20 most spoken languages ​​in the world. It is written in Devanagari.

Marathi has a long literary history. It is the language of the Indian state of Maharashtra and is probably derived ( like many other Indian languages ​​) of Sanskrit from. It split probably 1000 years ago by the other languages ​​from its group. Other names of the language are Maharashtri, Maharathi, Malhatee, Marthi and Muruthu.

Geographical distribution

Marathi is primarily spoken in the Indian state of Maharashtra, but also in neighboring states. The Ethnologue states that Marathi is also spoken in Israel and Mauritius.

Official language status

Marathi is an official language in India.


Dialects of Marathi are Konkani, Ahirani, Manadeshi.



Prabhaat: Dawn grha: House           prabhaate: in the twilight grhe: in the house Marathi:

Pahaat: Dawn ghar: House           pahaate: in the twilight Ghari: in the house writing system

Marathi uses the Devanagari script.

The oldest evidence of written Marathi was found on a thousand year old giant statue in the city Shrawana - Belagola in southern India. The inscription is from the King Gangaraya, who financed the company, and his general Chamundaraya who erected the statue for the king.


Marathi has a long literary tradition. Over the past seven centuries an extensive literature in Marathi arose. The sacred poet Dnyaneshwar is regarded as the first important Marathi author. Prominent contemporary authors are Purushottam Laxman Deshpande, Jaywant Dalawi, Vasant Purushottam Kale, Vyankatesh Digambar Madgulkar and Dattaram Maruti Mirasdar.