Balti is a Tibetic language spoken by about 290,000 people mainly in the Baltistan division of Gilgit-Baltistan in Pakistan. There are also some Balti speakers in Kashmir, Kargil, Karachi, Rawalpindi, Islamabad and Lahore.
Balti is closely related to Ladakhi, Purik and Zangskari, and more distantly related to Tibetan, though is not mutually intelligible with any of these languages.
Balti was written with a version of the Tibetan alphabet from 727 AD, when Baltistan was conquered by Tibetans, until the late 14th century, when the Balti people converted to Islam and started using a version of the Persian alphabet. However the Tibetan alphabet continued to be used until the 17th century, and recently there have been efforts to revive its use by scholars and social activitists. A way of writing Balti with the Devanagari alphabet was devised by the Central Institute of Indian Languages in the 1970s.
ث, ح, ذ, ص, ض, ط, ظ, ف, ء, ے and ق are only used in loanwords.
Čā zernah xudā-shi khuri bui-kha čes-lux bya-khan kun mi ši, do-pace khong-lah hrtane duk-pi xson-luk thop-tuk, zere, khuri bu čik-bu mins; dice khosi mi-yul-po-lah rgas.
For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him might not perish but might have eternal life.
Details provided by Michael Peter Füstumum and Biswajit Mandal (biswajitmandal[dot]bm90[at]gmail[dot]com)
Information about Balti
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Page last modified: 23.04.21
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