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Magahi, otherwise known as Magadhi, is a Bihari language belonging to the Indo-Aryan language family. As of a 2011 census, there are 20.7 million speakers of Magadhi, most of whom live in the states of Bihar, Jharkhand, and West Bengal in eastern India. Magadhi has numerous dialects, including Central, Northern, and Southern Magahi, in addition to the Khortha dialect. Magadhi is derived from the ancient language Magadhi Prakrit, from which its name originates. Magadhi Prakrit is the language that Gautama Buddha was believed to have spoken, and was also used as the official language of the Mauryan court. The evolution of current Magahi is largely unknown; however, historians believe that from the 8th to 11th centuries, Magahi and other languages, including Assamese and Bengali, originated from Mithila Prakrit or Bengali Prakrit, and over time, each language variety grew to be more differentiated. Culturally, Magahi has numerous folk songs and stories, a rich and historical tradition of the language. Currently, a sizable amount of Magahi literary publications exist, including magazines and journals. Magahi is written with the Devanagari script, which is also used for Hindi, Punjabi, and Urdu, amongst many other languages, and is written from left to right.