Maithili is mainly spoken by the Maithili ethnic group in India and Nepal. It is the second most spoken language in Nepal with circa 3 million speakers and a further 34 million speakers in India.
Previously, Maithili has been considered a dialect of Bengali or Hindi or grouped with other Bihari languages. There are several dialects within Maithili with a great variety between them but they are all mutually intelligible.
Maithili used to be written with Maithili script but is now written with the Devanagari script.