Pashto (پښتو)

Pashto is a member of the southeastern Iranian branch of Indo-Iranian languages spoken in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iran. There are three main varieties of Pashto: Northern Pashto, spoken mainly in Pakistan; Southern Pashto, spoken mainly in Afghanistan; and Central Pashto, spoken mainly in Pakistan.

The exact number of Pashto speakers is not known for sure, but most estimates range from 45 million to 55 million. Pashto is the first language of between 40% and 55% (11 to 15.4 million) of the people of Afghanistan, and 10% to 28% (2.8 to 7.8 million) speak it as a second language, and the total is around 18 or 19 million.

Pashto has about 25 million speakers in Pakistan (15% of the population) in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA), and the provinces of Balochistan, Mianwali, Attock, Sindh, Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

Pashto at a glance

  • Native name: پښتو [paʂˈto]
  • Alternative names: Pushtu, Pushto, Pukhto, Afghan(i)
  • Linguistic affliation: Indo-European, Indo-Iranian, Iranian, Southeastern
  • Number of speakers: c. 45-55 million
  • Spoken in: Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iran, India, Tajikistan
  • First written: 16th century
  • Writing system: Arabic script
  • Status: one of the official languages of Afghanistan

There are also communities of Pashto speakers in the northeast of Iran, Tajikistan and India, as well as in the UAE, Saudi Arabia and a number of other countries.

Pashto was made the national language of Afghanistan by royal decree in 1936. Since then, the Pashto spelling system has been revised to some extent. Today both Dari and Pashto are official languages there.

Pashto first appeared in writing during the 16th century in the form of an account of Shekh Mali's conquest of Swat. It is written with a version of the Arabic script. There are two standard written forms: one based on the dialect of Kandahar, the other on the dialect of Peshawar.

The name Pashto is thought to derive from the reconstructed proto-Iranian form, parsawā 'Persian language. In northen Afghanistan speakers of Pashto are called Pakhtūn; in sourthen Afghanistan they are known as Pashtūn, and as Pathān or Afghan in Pakistan.

Pashto alphabet (د پښتو الفباء)

Pashto alphabet

Pashto numbers

Pashto numbers

Pashto sample text

Pashto sample text (Article 1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights)

Transliteration

Də bašar ṫol afrād āzād naṙəy tâ rāźī au də ḥays̱iyat au ḥuqūqo lâ palwâ sarâ barābar dī. ṫol də ʿaqəl au wijdān ḫāwandān dī au yo lâ bal sarâ də warorəy pâ rūḥiye sarâ bāyad čaland kəṙī.

Translation

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)

Information about Pashto | Pashto phrases | Pashto learing materials

Links

Information about the Pashto language
http://www.afghanan.net/pashto/
http://www.khpalapashtu.com/homee.htm
http://www.khyber.org/pashtolanguage.shtml
http://www.afghanwiki.com/en/index.php?title=Pashto

Online Pashto lessons
http://www.youtube.com/user/LearnPashto
http://www.uso.org/pashto-course.aspx
http://www.khyberwatch.com/forums/
http://www.glovico.org/en/pashto

Pashto phrases
http://www.masteranylanguage.com/cgi/f/pCat.pl?tc=MALPashto&la=
http://wikitravel.org/en/Pashto_phrasebook
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7cbqaI45tEo
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tt3hK2DqF9Q

Online Pashto dictionaries
http://dsal.uchicago.edu/dictionaries/raverty/
http://www.qamosona.com

Pashto fonts
http://www.wazu.jp/gallery/Fonts_Pashto.html
http://www.khpalapashtu.com/sitee/downloads/fonts.htm

Online Pashto radio and news
http://www.bbc.co.uk/pashto/
http://www.trtpashto.com/international/news.aspx?dil=pa
http://www.voanews.com/pashto/news/
http://www.bbc.co.uk/pashto/

Pashto songs, poetry, proverbs, books, videos, etc.
http://www.pukhto.net/
http://pashtomp3.com

Pashto Names / پښتو نومونه
http://www.khyber.org/culture/names/names.shtml

Iranian languages

Avestan, Baluchi, Dari, Gilaki, Juhuri, Kurdish, Mazandarani, Ossetian, Persian, Parthian, Pashto, Shabaki, Tajik, Talysh, Tat, Wakhi, Yaghnobi, Zazaki

Other languages written with the Arabic script