Khowar (کھووار)

Khowar is a member of the Dardic branch of the Indo-Aryan language family spoken mainly in Pakistan, and also in India. Its spoken in the Gilgit district of Gilgit Baltistan province in the north of Pakistan, and in Jammu and Kashmir state in northern India. In 2016 there were about 313,000 Khowar speakers in Pakistan, and there were 19,200 speakers in India in the year 2000.

Khowar at a glance

  • Native name: کھوار [kʰowaɾ]
  • Alternative names: Chitrali, Kashkari, Arniya, Patu
  • Language family: Indo-European, Indo-Aryan, Dardic
  • Number of speakers: 1 million
  • Spoken in: Pakistan, Afghanistan, Turkmenistan, Turkey
  • First written: 20th century
  • Writing systems: Perso-Arabic script and Latin script
  • Status: one of the regional languages of Pakistan

There are also Khowar speakers in cities such as Peshawar, Rawalpindi and Karachi, as well as in Hunza, where it is used as a second language. There are possibly a number of Khowar speakers in Shighnan in Afghanistan, and in Turkmenistan 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 the 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.

Khowar alphabet and pronunciation


Khowar consonants

A recording of the Khowar alphabet

Aspirated consonants

Khowar aspirated consonants

A recording of the Khowar aspirated consonants


Khowar vowels

A recording of the Khowar vowels

Numerals and numbers

Khowar numerals

A recording of the Khowar numbers

Latin alphabet for Khowar

This alphabet was devised by Rehmat Aziz Chitrali with the collaboration of Khowar Academy and has been used since 1996. 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.

Latin alphabet for Khowar

Download a spreadsheet with the Khowar alphabets

Sample text in Khowar

Article 1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (Standard Khowar version)

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

Article 1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (Khowar Latin alphabet)

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.

A recording of this text


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, additions and recordings 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

Dardic languages

Indus Kohistani, Kalkoti, Kashmiri, Khowar, Palula, Sawi, Shina, Torwali

Languages written with the Arabic script

Adamaua Fulfulde, Afrikaans, Arabic (Algerian), Arabic (Chadian), Arabic (Egyptian), Arabic (Hassaniya), Arabic (Lebanese), Arabic (Libyan), Arabic (Modern Standard), Arabic (Moroccan), Arabic (Syrian), Arabic (Tunisian), Arwi, Äynu, Azeri, Balanta-Ganja, Balti, Baluchi, Beja, Belarusian, Bosnian, Brahui, Chagatai, Chechen, Comorian, Crimean Tatar, Dargwa, Dari, Dogri, Domari, Gilaki, Hausa, Hazaragi, Indus Kohistani, Kabyle, Kalkoti, Karakalpak, Kashmiri, Kazakh, Khowar, Khorasani Turkic, Konkani, Kurdish, Kyrgyz, Lezgi, Luri, Malay, Malay (Terengganu), Mandinka, Marwari, Mazandarani, Morisco, Mozarabic, Nubi, Ormuri, Palula, Parkari Koli, Pashto, Persian/Farsi, Punjabi, Qashqai, Rajasthani, Rohingya, Salar, Saraiki, Sawi, Serer, Shabaki, Shina, Shughni, Sindhi, Somali, Tatar, Tausūg, Tawallammat Tamajaq, Tayart Tamajeq, Torwali, Turkish, Urdu, Uyghur, Uzbek, Wakhi, Wanetsi, Wolof, Xiao'erjing

Green Web Hosting - Kualo

Why not share this page:


If you need to type in many different languages, the Q International Keyboard can help. It enables you to type almost any language that uses the Latin, Cyrillic or Greek alphabets, and is free.

If you like this site and find it useful, you can support it by making a donation via PayPal or Patreon, or by contributing in other ways. Omniglot is how I make my living.


Learn a nuevo language while you browse with toucan

Note: all links on this site to, and are affiliate links. This means I earn a commission if you click on any of them and buy something. So by clicking on these links you can help to support this site.