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Languages of Afghanistan



Dari, Afghan version of Persian language, is the most spoken language in Afghanistan. Official languages of Afghanistan are Dari 50%, Pashtu 35%, Turkic languages (primarily Uzbek and Turkmen) 11%, and 30 minor languages, more popular among whom are Turkish languages like Turkmen and Uzbek. Most people in Afghanistan are bilingual.

Here is brief information about two brief languages of Afghanistan, Dari and Pashto:

Dari
Languages of Afghanistan Dari Persian is spoken in the provinces of Herat, Hazarajat, Balkh, Ghor, Ghazni, Budaksham, Panjsher, Galcha-Pamir Mountains and several regions of Kabul. Various dialects of Dari are Afghan Farsi, Herati, Tajiki and Kabuli. Word 'Dari' relates to word 'Dara' or 'Valley'. Language Dari was born in Khorasan, a mountainous land where valleys were abundant. Name Dari referes to the language spoken by the people of valleys. Dari belongs to the group of western Iranian languages. Dari in Afghanistan is written in Arabic script, and has enriched itself with vast Arabic vocabulary.

Pashto
More than 9 million people in Afganistan speak Pashto. Major Pashto speaking towns in Afghanistan include Capital Kabul and Kandahar. Pashto belongs to East Iranian group of languages. Pashto has two major dialects: Western Pashto spoken in Afghanistan, and Eastern Pashto spoken in North-Eastern Afghanistan. In Kandahar, southern Pashto dialect is spoken. Pashto has extensive writing tradition. Pashto has long tradition of classic poets, most notable among whom is Khoshal Khan Khattak, considered as national poet of Afghanistan. Thousands of two and four line folk poems are also part and parcel of Pashto.

Minor Languages
Turkmen and Uzbek are more popular among minor languages of Afghanistan. Other languages are Aimaq, Arabic (Tajiki Spoken), Ashkun, Azerbaijani, Balochi, Brahui, Darwazi, Gawar-Bati, Gujari, Hazaragi, Jakati, Kamviri, Karakalpak, Kazakh, Kirghiz, Malakhel, Mogholi, Pashayi, Sanglechi-Ishkashimi, Tangshewi, Tatar, Tirahi, Uyghur, Waigali, Wakhi, Warduji and Wotapuri-Katarqali.

Turkmen
Approximate 500,000 people in Afghanistan speak Turkmen. It is spoken along the border of Turkmenistan, in Faryab and Badghis provinces.

Uzbek
About 1,400,000 or 9% people in the country speak Uzbek. It is spoken in several places of North Afghanistan, especially Fariab province. Arabic script is used.

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