The Pashto language also recognized as Pashtu, Pakhto, or Pushto is associated with the Indo Iranian branch of an Indo- European family of language. The language is extensively used and spoken in different countries worldwide such as Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, Afghanistan, etc. Some regions of the countries such as India, the United States, and the United Kingdom also involve people that speak the Pashto language.
Overall, it is estimated that 40 to 50 million people around the world speak the Pashto language. The Pashto language is mainly segregated into two major dialects that can be differentiated based on pronunciation and vocabulary. These dialects also include numerous variants.
Generally, it has been observed that the Pashto speakers can easily understand each other within the same dialect and can easily comprehend what the other person is saying. It has also been observed that the lexical similarity between the southern and northern Pashto can be seen around 80% of the overall ratio.
Pashto is considered one of the majorly spoken and one of the two formal languages being spoken within the premises of Afghanistan. One of the formal languages is said to be Pashto and the other one is known as Dari. The two languages have been spoken within the countryside by side for a longer period. Pashto speakers are estimated to be twice as compared to the Dutch speaker in the world. In Pakistan, the total number of Pashto speakers is around 25 million which is considered to be quite a significant number of people.
The Pashto language is full of enriching poetry and tradition and full of culture. The tradition and practices of the Pashto language involve quality and long poetry and also folk stories that represent the true heritage and culture of Pashto-speaking regions. The various genres of poetry are different express the challenges and trials of daily life in the best way possible. There are differences between Pakistani and Afghani Pashto which are as follows:
- The Afghani speaks Persian and mixed Pashto as compared to Pakistanis.
- Pashto is the official national language of Afghanistan.
- The Pashto language represents the largest ethnic group that belongs to Afghanistan involving various majorities of the native Pashto speakers.
- Afghani Pashtun can conveniently read and write the mother language of their country that is Pashto as compared to the Pakistani Pashtun.
- The media and television industry of Afghani Pashtun is quite weaker and less active as compared to the Pakistani Pashtun industry because the Taliban that is ruling over there have strict rules and also the current situation of terrorism.
- Pakistani Pashtun is usually Urdu mixed. Many Urdu speaking words are being mixed with the Pashto language being spoken in Pakistan because the education sector, media industry, telecommunication department, and majority of the other sectors are mainly in Urdu.
- Pakistani Pashto has a soft dialect when compared to the Afghani Pashto.
- The Pakistani Pashto involves no official status at the federal level of Pakistan. However, it is considered to be the second-largest language spoken at the regional level of the country.
- The Pakistani Pashto language is spoken widely on the northwest and west side of Pakistan such as within Baluchistan and Khyber Pakhtoonkhwa.
The Pashto language is indeed one of the most interesting and exciting languages to learn and understand worldwide. The language is full of vocabulary, dialects, and interesting pronunciation to enhance cognitive abilities and skills. Having proper knowledge and understanding of the language allows people to speak and understand language within a shorter period.
Muhammad Junaid is a senior Analyst and Search Engine Expert. Extensive experience being a lead writer in Languages Tutor | Urdu Languages Tutor. Work for years with local and international enterprises. Also, represent well-known brands in the UAE.