Eastern Magahi
The word "Khortha" written in Devanagari script
Native toIndia
RegionNorth Chotanagpur and Santhal Pargana, Jharkhand
Native speakers
8.04 million (2011 census)[1][2](additional speakers counted under Hindi)
Official status
Official language in
Language codes
ISO 639-3

Khortha (also romanized as Kortha or Khotta) or alternatively classified as Eastern Magahi[4] is a language variety (which is considered a dialect of the Magahi language) spoken primarily in the Indian state of Jharkhand, mainly in 16 districts of three divisions: North Chotanagpur, Palamu division and Santhal Pargana.[3] Khortha is spoken by the Sadaans as native language and used by the tribal as a link language.[5][4] It is the most spoken language variety of Jharkhand.[6][7][8]

Geographical Distribution

Khortha is spoken in North Chota Nagpur division and Santal Pargana division of Jharkhand. The 7 districts are Hazaribagh, Koderma, Giridih, Bokaro, Dhanbad, Chatra, Ramgarh.[2]

In Bihar, districts where Khortha is spoken include Aurangabad, Gaya and Nawada.[9]


George Grierson classified Khortha as a dialect of the Magahi language in his linguistic survey.[5] However, recent study demonstrate that Khortha is more similar to other Bihari languages of Jharkhand called Sadani than the Magahi language.[10]


In 1950, Sriniwas Panuri translated Kali Das's Meghadutam in Khortha. In 1956, he composed two works Balkiran and Divyajyoti. Bhubaneswar Dutta Sharma, Sriniwas Panuri, Viswanath Dasaundhi and Viswanath Nagar were among first people who started literature in Khortha. Some prominent writers in Khortha language are A.K Jha, Shivnath Pramanik, B.N Ohdar.[5]For the first time, efforts were made to reach Khortha language and literature to the People of Jharkhand through the Internet by the founder of the Sarkari Library, Mr Mananjay Mahato.  Khortha literature became available on the Internet for the first time due to the efforts of Mr. Mananjay Mahato.

Sample phrases

English Khortha Khortha (Devanagari)
Ramu felt shy. Ramuke laj lagi gele. रामुके लाज लगि गेले।
Amit has courage. Amit-ke sãhas he. अमित के साहस हे।
I feel shy Hammar laj laga हम्मर लाज लगा।
Give the horse the feed. Ghora-ke khabe-ke de. घोड़ा के खाबेके दे।
The child did not hit his sister. Baccha-ta appan bahin-ke nai mar-k-o. बच्चाटा अप्पन बहिनके नइ मारको।
Ram’s sister wedding is tomorrow. Kalkhin ram-ke bahin-ke biha hau. कलखिन रामके बहिनके बिहा हउ।
The boy ate a banana. Chhourata ekta kela khalelko. छौड़ाटा एकटा केला खालेलको।
Buy twenty five rupees’ sugar. Pacchis taka-ke chini kini-an पच्चीस टाकाके चीनी किनिअन।
Ajay wrote a letter to his mother yesterday. Ajay kalkhin appan ma-ke chitthi likk-o. अजय कलखिन अप्पन माके चिट्ठी लिक्को।

See also


  1. ^ "Statement 1: Abstract of speakers' strength of languages and mother tongues - 2011". Office of the Registrar General & Census Commissioner, India. Retrieved 2018-07-07.
  2. ^ a b "Magahi". ethnologue.
  3. ^ a b "Jharkhand gives second language status to Magahi, Angika, Bhojpuri and Maithili". Avenue Mail. 2018-03-21. Archived from the original on 2019-03-28. Retrieved 2020-05-27.
  4. ^ a b "LSI Vol-5 part-2". dsal. p. 145. Eastern Magahi
  5. ^ a b c Atul Aman, Niladri Sekhar Dash, Jayashree Chakraborty (January 2020). "DESIGNING A LINGUISTIC PROFILE OF KHORTHA: A LESS RESOURCED LANGUAGE SPOKEN IN THE STATE OF JHARKHAND, INDIA". ResearchGate. Retrieved 11 August 2022.((cite web)): CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  6. ^ Pattanayak, Binay. Language Diversity in Jharkhand.
  7. ^ "Magahi". Ethnologue. 2014-01-17. Retrieved 2022-08-14.
  8. ^ "Khortha a Dying Language and Urgency to Retain its Pure Variety". ResearchGate.
  9. ^ Shekhar Dash, Niladri. "Language Attitude of Khortha Speakers in Giridih: A Survey Report". Linguistic Research Unit, Indian Statistical Institute, Kolkata.
  10. ^ Paudyal, Netra P.; Peterson, John (2020-09-01). "How one language became four: the impact of different contact-scenarios between "Sadani" and the tribal languages of Jharkhand". Journal of South Asian Languages and Linguistics. 7 (2): 275–306. doi:10.1515/jsall-2021-2028. ISSN 2196-078X.