The Marathi people or Maharashtrians are an Indo-Aryan ethnic group, that inhabit the Maharashtra region and state of western India. Their language Marathi is part of the southern group of Indo-Aryan languages...
of western and central India
India , officially the Republic of India , is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by geographical area, the second-most populous country with over 1.2 billion people, and the most populous democracy in the world...
. It is the official language
An official language is a language that is given a special legal status in a particular country, state, or other jurisdiction. Typically a nation's official language will be the one used in that nation's courts, parliament and administration. However, official status can also be used to give a...
of the state of Maharashtra
Maharashtra is a state located in India. It is the second most populous after Uttar Pradesh and third largest state by area in India...
. There are over 68 million fluent speakers worldwide. Marathi has the fourth largest number of native speakers in India and is the fifteenth most spoken language in the world. Marathi has some of the oldest literature of all modern Indo-Aryan languages, dating from about 1000 AD.