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Pashto language

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Pashto in Nastaliq.png
Pashto written in Pashto script (Naskh style).
Pronunciation IPA: [paʂˈto], [paçˈto], [puxˈto]
Native to Afghanistan, Pakistan, and the Pashtun diaspora
Ethnicity Pashtun people
Native speakers 40–60 million  (2007–2009)[1][2]
Language family
Standard forms
Writing system Arabic (Pashto alphabet)
Official status
Official language in  Afghanistan[4]
Recognised minority language in  Pakistan[6]
Regulated by Academy of Sciences of Afghanistan
Pashto Academy (Pakistan)[5]
Language codes
ISO 639-1 ps
ISO 639-2 pus
ISO 639-3 pusinclusive code
Individual codes:
pst – Central Pashto
pbu – Northern Pashto
pbt – Southern Pashto
wne – Waneci
Linguasphere 58-ABD-a
Map of Pashto-speaking regions (orange)

Pashto (Pushto or Pakhto) is the official language of Afghanistan.[7] It is spoken by the Pashtuns living in Afghanistan and Pakistan. It is the provincial language in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan.

Pashto belongs to the Indo-European languages family. It has two main dialects, western dialect and eastern dialect. The small difference between these two dialects is in the use of sounds.

Related pages


  1. Nationalencyklopedin "Världens 100 största språk 2007" The World's 100 Largest Languages in 2007 (39 million)
  2. Penzl, Herbert; Ismail Sloan (2009). A Grammar of Pashto a Descriptive Study of the Dialect of Kandahar, Afghanistan. Ishi Press International. pp. 210. ISBN 0-923891-72-2 . Retrieved 2010-10-25. "Estimates of the number of Pashto speakers range from 40 million to 60 million..."
  3. "AFGHANISTAN vi. Paṧto". G. Morgenstierne. Encyclopaedia Iranica. Retrieved 2010-10-10. "Paṧtō undoubtedly belongs to the Northeastern Iranic branch."
  4. Constitution of Afghanistan - Chapter 1 The State, Article 16 (Languages) and Article 20 (Anthem)
  5. Sebeok, Thomas Albert (1976). Current Trends in Linguistics: Index. Walter de Gruyter. pp. 705.
  6. "Population by Mother Tongue". Population Census Organization, Government of Pakistan. Retrieved 28 December 2011.
  7. "Article Sixteen of the Constitution of Afghanistan". 2004. Retrieved June 13, 2012. "From among the languages of Pashto, Dari, Uzbeki, Turkmani, Baluchi, Pashai, Nuristani, Pamiri (alsana), Arab and other languages spoken in the country, Pashto and Dari are the official languages of the state."