Maithili is spoken mainly in Bihar and Jharkhand states in northeastern India, and also in the Terai region of southern Nepal. There are about 30 million speakers of Maithili in India, and another 4 million in Nepal [source]. Maithili belongs to the Eastern Bihari branch of the Indo-Aryan language family, and is closely related to Bhojpuri and Magahi.

Maithili is a constitutional recognized regional language in India, and a recognized Nepalese language in Nepal. It is used in education, government and literature.

The Central / Madhubani dialect, or Sotipura, is considered the standard form of Maithili. It is spoken maily in Darbhanga and Madhubani districts of Bihar. Other dialects include Thēthi, Dehati and Kisan, which are spoken in India and Nepal; Kortha, Jolaha and Thetiya, which are spoken only in India, and Bantar, Barmeli, Musar and Tati, which are spoken only in Nepal. Bajjika, which is spoken by about 12 million people in India and Nepal, is considered a separate language by those who speak it, however it has no official status.

Maithili was formerly written with the Tirhuta script, and which is sometimes still used. It has also been written with the Kaithi script. During the 20th century Devanāgarī became the most commonly used for Maithili.

Devanagari alphabet for Maithili

Devanagari alphabet for Maithili

Download an alphabet chart for Maithili (Excel)

Sample text

Sample text in Maithili (Maithili alphabet)


Sabh mānav janmataḥ svatantra achi tathā garimā ā, adhikārame samān achi. Sabhakeṃ apan - apan buddhi ā, vivek chaik āor sabhakeṃ ek dosarāk prati sauhārdapūrṇa vyavahār karabāk cāhī.


All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.
(Article 1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights)

Details provided by Biswajit Mandal (biswajitmandal[dot]bm90[at]gmail[dot]com) and Michael Peter Füstumum

Sample videos in Maithili

Information about Maithili | Phrases | Numbers


Information about Maithili

Maithili phrases

Bihari languages

Angika, Bhojpuri, Danwar, Khortha, Kurmali, Magahi, Maithili, Sadri

Languages written with the Devanāgarī alphabet

Aka-Jeru, Angika, Avestan, Awadhi, Balti, Bantawa, Bhili, Bhumij, Bilaspuri, Bodo, Bhojpuri, Braj, Car, Chamling, Chhantyal, Chhattisgarhi, Chambeali, Danwar, Dhimal, Dhundari, Dogri, Doteli, Garhwali, Gondi, Gurung, Halbi, Haryanvi, Hindi, Ho, Jarawa, Jaunsari, Kannauji, Kham, Kangri, Kashmiri, Khaling, Khandeshi, Kharia, Khortha, Korku, Konkani, Kullui, Kumaoni, Kurmali, Kurukh, Kusunda, Lambadi, Limbu, Lhomi, Magahi, Magar, Mahasu Pahari, Maithili, Maldivian, Malto, Mandeali, Marathi, Marwari, Mundari, Nancowry. Newar, Nepali, Nimadi, Onge, Pahari, Pali, Pangwali, Rajasthani, Rangpuri, Sadri, Sanskrit, Santali, Saraiki, Sirmauri, Sherpa, Shina, Sindhi, Sunwar, Sylheti, Tamang, Thakali, Thangmi, Wancho, Yakkha, Yolmo

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