The Magahi language (Devanagari: मगही; also known as Magadhi, मगधी) is a language spoken in India and Nepal. In Nepal it is known as ancient Nepali. Magadhi Prakrit was the ancestor of Magadhi, from which the latter’s name derives. The ancestral language, Magadhi Prakrit, is believed to be the language spoken by the Buddha, and the language of the ancient kingdom of Magadha. Magadhi is closely related to Bhojpuri and Maithili, and these languages are sometimes referred to as a single language, Bihari. These languages, together with several other related languages, are known as the Bihari languages, which form a sub-group of the Eastern Zone of Indo-Aryan languages. Magadhi has approximately 18 million speakers. It is a dialect of the old languages from which Hindi originated. It has a very rich and old tradition of folk songs and stories. It is spoken in eight districts in Bihar, three in Jharkhand, and has some speakers in Malda, West Bengal. Though the number of speakers in Magadhi is large, it has not been constitutionally recognized in India. Even in Bihar, Hindi is the language used for educational and official matters since Magadhi and Hindi are inter-changeable. Magadhi was legally absorbed under Hindi in the 1961 Census.