What Is Pachto language

The Pashto [ 1 ] or Pashto [ 2 ] [ 3 ] [ 4 ] [ 5 ] [ 6 ] [ 7 ] [ 8 ] ( پښتو, IPA : [pəʂ’to]), also known as Afghanistan or Afghani (if check- sometimes the foreignisms Pashto , pashtu , pashtun , Pushtu , Pushto , Pushtun or Pashto, in some sources) is one of the national languages of Afghanistan (the other is Persian Dari ) and one of the official languages of the western provinces of Pakistan . A member of the family of Iranian languages , the Pachto language is spoken by the Pachtos ( Pachtuns ), the “ethnic Afghans”, who reside mainly in both Afghanistan and the western provinces of Pakistan .

The pachto is written with a modified version of the Persian-Arabic alphabet . [ 2 ] [ 3 ]


The term vernacular pastó has been in Portuguese since the first dictionaries of the Portuguese language – it was already in the first edition of the Dictionary of Caldas Aulete, published in 1881, and continues today in Aulete as a synonym for ethnicity and Afghan language. He was also in the Brazilian Dictionary of the Portuguese Language, in the first edition of the Portuguese Language Vocabulary of the Brazilian Academy of Letters organized by Antônio Houaiss , in the great English-Portuguese dictionary by Houaiss, in the Michaelis and in the Portuguese dictionaries of the language. [ 2 ] [ 3 ] [ 4 ] [ 5 ] [ 6 ] [ 7] [ 8 ] [ 9 ] [ 10 ]

According to the Dictionary Houaiss , [ 11 ] the vernacular form will have arrived in the English Pashto or the French Pashto , from the word patxto – name of ethnicity in itself Pashto language. In the past, pastós were called “Afghans”, and the Pastó ethnic group was called “Afghan ethnicity”, and the Pastó language, Afghan language. In more recent times, the Portuguese version of Pashto has become more necessary, to differentiate the total population of Afghanistan, composed not only of “ethnic Afghans” (pastós), but also of Tajiks, Persians, etc., of the specific group pasó.

In turn, the gentile “Afghan”, according to Houaiss, corresponds to the aportuguesamento ( 1949 ) of the English “Afghan” and of the French “Afghan”, forms probably originated from the Persian Afghan .


The Pashto belongs to the subgroup Indo-Aryan north of the Indo-Aryan branch of the Indo-European family . It is related to Ossetian , a language spoken in the Caucasus .

Geographical distribution [ edit | edit source code ]

The pachto is spoken by about 28 million people in the Pakistani provinces of the Northwest Frontier and Baluchistan , as well as in the federal territory of the Tribal Areas . It is also employed by more than 12 million people in the south, east and in some northeastern provinces in Afghanistan . Approximately 776,000 Pachtuns speak the language in small pockets in India .


Due to life in mountainous areas, with weak socioeconomic interrelationships and also due to other linguistic and historical factors, there are many dialects of Pachto. There are, however, two predominant groups:

  • Smooth, light, from the North-West; with Ghilzai and Durani sub-dialects
  • Strong, heavy, from the North-East; with Kohat (Khatak), Yufzai (Penshawar), Afrid, Shinwari, Mohmand, Shilmani sub-dialects;

The two groups are 80% symmetrical to each other, the differences being mainly in the use of certain vowels and sounds.


The Pachto language has a SOV sentence structure, it is an absolute ergative ; the adjectives come before nouns . Adjectives and nouns vary in number , in both genders (male, female) and in direct and oblique cases.

The direct case is used in the present tense for both subject and direct object . The oblique case is used after pre- and postpositions and also in the past tense, as a subject of transitive verbs .

There is one article to both genders and both numbers as well as the statements “this”, “that” used more than the articles.

The verb system is very complex and includes:

  • Simple present
  • Perfect gift
  • Subjunctive
  • Simple past
  • Progressive past
  • Perfect past

Examples [ edit | edit source code ]

  • Note – All transliterated in the Kabul dialect ;

Examples of intransitive phases, using the auxiliary equivalent to “Go”;

Imperative – 2nd person singular

  • khawanze / shawanze ta dzaor khawanze / shawanze ta lāṛ ša !
  • “School to go” – “Go to school!”

Imperative – 2nd person plural masculine:

  • khawanze / shawanze ta lāṛ šəy!
  • “Go to school!”

Simple present:

  • zə khawanze / shawanze ta dzəm.
  • “I’m going to school” – “I’m going to school.”
  • zə ğwāṛəm če khawanze / shawanze ta lāṛ šəm.
  • “I want to go to school” (masculine “me” – verb form) – “I want to go to school”.

Perfect gift:

  • zə khawanze / shawanze ta tləlay yəm.
  • “I school (already) went (male verb form) I am” – “I went to school”.

Simple past:

  • zə khawanze / shawanze ta wəlāṛəm.
  • “I went to school” – “I went to school.”

Perfect past:

  • zə khawanze / shawanze ta tləlay wəm.
  • “I went to school” (Male, verb form) was – “I (finished) going to school.”

Progressive past:

  • zə khawanze / shawanze ta makh kay talay one.
  • “I was going to school” – “I was going to school or I used to go to school.”

Examples of transitive phrases using the verb “to eat” ” xwaṛəl “:

Imperative (2nd singular):

  • Panir wəxora!
  • “Cheese to eat” – “Eat the cheese!”
  • Panir məxora!
  • “Cheese don’t eat” – “Don’t eat cheese!”

Imperative (2nd plural):

  • Panir wəxorəy!
  • “Cheese to eat – Eat the cheese!”


  • Panir məxorəy!
  • “Cheese not to eat” – “Don’t eat the cheese!”

Simple present:

  • zə panir xorəm.
  • “I eat cheese – I eat cheese.”


  • zə ğwāṛəm če panir wəxorəm.
  • “I want this cheese to eat” (I – verbally) – “I want to eat cheese.”

Perfect gift:

  • mā panir xoṛəlay day.
  • “me (eu-obliquo) cheese eaten (masculine – singular form of the verb) is” – “I ate the cheese.”

Simple past:

  • mā panir wəxoṛə.
  • “me (I-oblique) cheese I ate” – “I ate the cheese”

Perfect past:

  • mā panir xoṛəlay wo.
  • “me (I-oblique) Cheese eaten (singular form of the verb) was” – “I finished eating the cheese.”

Progressive past:

  • mā panir xoṛə.
  • “me (I oblique) cheese was eating” (masculine-singular form) – “I was eating cheese or I used to eat cheese;”

Question: Stā num tsə day – “What is your name” – “What is your name?”


Vowels [ edit | edit source code ]

Front Central Later
Closed i u
Average and ə The
Open ɑ

Pachto also has diphthongs / aj / / əj / / aw /


Lip Dental Retroflexive Post-alveolar Palatal Velar Uvular Glottal
Nasal m n ɳ
Plosiva pb td ʈ ɖ kg q ʔ
Fricative fv sz ʂ ʐ ʃ ʒ x ɣ H
Africativa ts dz tʃ dʒ
Approx. l j w
Rotica r ɺ̡

The sounds / f /, / q /, / h / only exist in words of foreign origin. Less studied people tend to use them, respectively as [p] , [k] and without pronouncing ..

The lateral retroflexive “flap” / ɺ̡ / is pronounced as retroflexive approximately [ɻ] at the end of words.

Writing [ edit | edit source code ]

When Islam expanded into South and Central Asia , the Pashto used a modified version of the Arabic alphabet . In the 17th century there was a controversial debate, from the heterodox movement Roshani wrote his literature of Persian origin in Nastalic writing ( Naskh ). The followers and Akhund Darweza , who considered themselves as defenders of religion against syncretism, wrote in a Naskh in an “arabized” way. So, with few individual modifications, this Naskh writingeasily adaptable to mechanized writing, it was used in modern times between the 19th and 20th centuries. Even lithographed texts started to be done in Naskh , this being the standard script of the pashto until now. Since 1936 it is the official language of Afghanistan , along with Dari .

Pachto has many letters that do not exist in other versions of Arabic script. In this case, there are the “retroflexive” versions of the consonants / t /, / d /, / r /, / n /. These letters are written as in standard Arabic are ta ‘ , dal , ra , nun with a diacritic ( pandak , gharwandah or skarraen ) under them (a small circle); It also has the letters ge and xin (initial sound, similar to the “ch” of the German ich ) that look like ra and sin Arabic with a diacritic (dot) under them.

The letters of the Pachto alphabet are 44, being written from right to left. There are letters exclusive to pachto, some of which are also used in the Urdu language . There are five types of “Yaas” in Pachto writing.


Pachto has an ancient legacy of words from neighboring languages, such as Sanskrit and Arabic . There are still older traces of ancient Greek citation needed ] and Turkish , as well as more recent English .


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