Nepali is the official language, although some 20 different languages divided into numerous dialects are spoken. Nepali is spoken by about 90% of the population and is the language for most intertribal communication; it is used in government publications and has been the language of most of the written literature since the Gurkha unification of Nepal. More than 11% of the people speak Maithili as their first language, 7.6% Bhojpuri, 4% Tharu, and about 3% Newari and Tamang each. Except in primary schools, where children are taught in their own language, Nepali is the medium of instruction. English is taught as a second language in secondary schools and colleges and is widely understood in business and government circles.