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Pashto

Photo courtesy of Drsaeed90 Licensed under Creative Commons

Quick Facts

 

Total Worldwide Speakers: 45-55 million

 

Language Family: Indo-European, Indo-Iranian

 

Spoken in:

 

Afghanistan, India, Iran, Pakistan, Tajikistan,

 

History:
 
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.

 

Sources:The Ethnologue & Omniglot

Web-Based Resources

Web-Based Software

Mango Languages LogoMango Languages is available free to all Saint Michael's students, faculty, and staff in a number of languages. Each Mango lesson is focused on practical, common conversation skills and includes instruction on vocabulary, pronunciation, grammar, and culture. For assistance with Mango, please see the Getting Started with Mango Languages guide.