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Bihar Languages

Bihar is a state located in the eastern part of India that is known for its rich linguistic diversity. The state has a number of languages spoken in it, including Hindi, Urdu, Maithili, and various Bhojpuri dialects. In this article, we will explore the languages of Bihar in detail, covering their history, characteristics, and current status.


Bihar has a long and rich linguistic history, with a number of languages having been spoken in the region over the centuries. The earliest known language of Bihar was Sanskrit, which was spoken by the Vedic people who lived in the region. Over time, other languages, such as Prakrit and Pali, also developed in Bihar.

Despite the large number of speakers of Bihari languages, they have not all been constitutionally recognized in India, except Maithili which is recognized under the Eighth Schedule of the Constitution. The struggle between Hindi and Urdu has led to the neglect of the potential claims of Bhojpuri, Maithili, and Magahi as separate languages.

Official Languages

Hindi is the official language of Bihar and is spoken by a majority of the population. It is an Indo-Aryan language that is written in the Devanagari script. Hindi is one of the two official languages of India, along with English, and is spoken by millions of people across the country.

Urdu is the second official language in 15 districts of Bihar. It is an Indo-Aryan language that is written in the Perso-Arabic script. Urdu is the national language of Pakistan and is spoken by millions of people in the country and around the world.

Recognized Languages

Maithili is a recognized language of Bihar and is spoken in the northern part of the state. It is an Indo-Aryan language that is written in the Devanagari script. Maithili is spoken by millions of people in Bihar and the surrounding states. It was recognized as a regional language of India under the Eighth Schedule to the Constitution in 2003, which allows it to be used in education, government, and other official contexts.

Other Languages and Dialects

Bihar has a number of other languages and dialects spoken in the state, including Bhojpuri, Magahi, Khortha, Santali, Surjapuri, and Tharu. These are classified as dialects of Hindi and are spoken by large numbers of people in Bihar.

Classical Languages

Pali and Sanskrit are classical languages that have played an important role in the cultural and linguistic history of Bihar. Pali is a Middle Indo-Aryan language that was used as the liturgical language of Theravada Buddhism. Sanskrit is an ancient Indo-Aryan language that is considered the classical language of Hinduism.

Writing Systems

The languages of Bihar are written in a variety of scripts, including Devanagari, Perso-Arabic, Tirhuta, and Kaithi. Devanagari is the script used for writing Hindi and Maithili, while Perso-Arabic is used for writing Urdu. Tirhuta and Kaithi are scripts used for writing Maithili and other Bihari languages.


  • Hindi
  • Urdu
  • Maithili
  • Bhojpuri dialects (including Bhojpuri, Maithili, Magahi, and Khortha)
  • Angika
  • Bajjika
  • Magahi
  • Santali
  • Surjapuri
  • Tharu
  • Pali
  • Sanskrit

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