Khowar, or Chitrali, is a member of the Dardic branch of the Indo-Aryan language family. It has about a million speakers mainly in Pakistan, especially in Chitral in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, in the Ghizer district of Gilgit-Baltistan and in parts of Upper Swat.
There are also Khowar speakers in cities such as Peshawar, Islamabad, Lahore and Karachi, as well as in Gilgit and Hunza, where it is used as a second language. There are possibly a number of Khowar speakers in Shighnan in Afghanistan, in Xinjiang in China, and in Tajikistan and Turkey. Speakers of Khowar call themselves Chetrari or Chitrali (چترالی).
Since the early 20th century Khowar has been written with the Nasta'liq style of the Perso-Arabic script. Before then it was unwritten. Khowar has also been written with a version of the Latin alphabet since the 1996, when Rehmat Aziz Chitrali with the collaboration of Khowar Academy created the Khowar Latin alphabet.
There is a fortnightly newspaper, Chitral Vision (چترال وژن), in Khowar and Urdu published by the Khowar Academy in Karachi. There are also occasional radio broadcasts in Khowar.
This alphabet was devised by Rehmat Aziz Chitrali with the collaboration of Khowar Academy and has been used since 1966. It is designed to represent all the sounds of Khowar and avoids the problem of Arabic letters that are not supported by Unicode and which are used in the Khowar Arabic-based alphabet.
سف انسان آزاد وا حقوق اوچے عزتو اعتبارو سورا برابار پیدا بیتی آسونی، ھیتانتے ضمیر اوچے عقل عطا کورونو بیتی شیر، ھے بچین ھیتان تان موژی برارگاریو سلوکو کوریلک۔ کھوار ترجمہ: رحمت عزیز چترالی
Saf insān āzād wa ḥuqūq-ochay izzato ėʿtibāro sora barābaar paidā biti asuni. hetantey żamīr ôchay ʿaql ataa koronu biti sher. Hey bachen hetan taan muzhi brar gariyo sulūk korelik.
All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with
reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.
(Article 1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights)
Corrections and additions provided by رحمت عزیز چترالی (Rehmat Aziz Chitrali) from پاکستان، ضلع چترال (Chitral, Pakistan)
Information about Khowar
Khowar - English dictionary and word list
Font and keyboard layout for Khowar
Virtual Khowar keyboard
Online Khowar news
Videos in Khowar
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