Maithili language

language spoken by Indian and Nepalese peoples

Maithili (Nepali: मैथिली; /ˈmtɪli/;[2] Maithilī) is an Indo-Aryan language. It is spoken in Nepal and northern India. It is spoken by 34.7 million people. Of those, 2.8 million are Nepalese people. It is the second largest national language of Nepal.[3] In ancient times, Maithili language was written in Mithilakshar.[4] Now it is written in Devanagari script.

मैथिली, মৈথিলী
Native toIndia, Nepal and Bangladesh
RegionBihar, Jharkand,West Bengal, Province No. 1, Bagmati Province, Rangpur Division
Native speakers
30 million (2000–2001)[1]
  • Central (Sotipura)
  • Western
  • Khortha (Eastern)
  • Dehati
  • Jolaha
  • Kisan
  • Southern
  • Thetiya
Tirhuta (Mithilakshar)
Kaithi (Maithili style)
Official status
Official language in
   Nepal Interim Constitution 2007
India 8th schedule of Constitution of India, Bihar
Language codes
ISO 639-2mai
ISO 639-3mai


  1. Maithili at Ethnologue (16th ed., 2009)
  2. "Maithili". Oxford English Dictionary. Oxford University Press. 2nd ed. 1989.
  3. Lewis, M. P. (ed.) (2009). Maithili Archived 2013-09-22 at the Wayback Machine Ethnologue: Languages of the World. Sixteenth edition. Dallas, Texas: SIL International.
  4. Yadava, Y. P. (2013). Linguistic context and language endangerment in Nepal. Nepalese Linguistics 28: 262–274.