It is divided into two main dialects which are so different that speakers of the one are almost unintelligible to speakers of the other.
In 1901 the total number of speakers of Mahratti in all India exceeded 18 millions.
By Max Muller especially it was employed as a convenient short term for the whole body of languages more commonly known as IndoEuropean or Indo-Germanic. In the same way Max Muller used Aryas as a general term for the speakers of such languages, as in his book published in 1888, Biographies of Words and the Home of the Aryas.
He is one of the speakers in the Phaedo of Plato, in which he is represented as an earnest seeker after virtue and truth, keen in argument and cautious in decision.
Celts, Germans, speakers of Sanskrit and Zend, Ldtins and Greeks, all prove by their languages that their tongues may be traced to one family of speech.