languages in pakistan

What Languages are Spoken in Pakistan?

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What Languages are Spoken in Pakistan?

If you are wondering about what languages are spoken in Pakistan, this article will give you a list of languages that people speak in different areas of Pakistan.

Pakistan is a country in South Asia and is famous for its culture, northern areas, and Southern beaches. It came into being in 1947 based on the ideology of Pakistan. Indus valley civilization of the bronze age grows up here. Several dynasties and empires have ruled over this region in the past. These empires leave their traces in the form of culture and languages. Pakistan has very rich linguistic diversity, and people here speak different languages.

Popular Languages Spoken in Pakistan

Here is the list of languages based on the percentage of their speakers.

  • Urdu-10%
  • Punjabi-48%
  • Sindhi-12%
  • Saraiki-10%
  • Pashto-8%
  • Hindko-2%
  • Balochi-3%
  • Brahui-1%

Here is the detail of languages in Pakistan.

1. Urdu

Urdu is the first language of around 70 million people, and it is spoken as a second language by over 100 million people in Pakistan and India. Urdu is a member of the Indo-European family of languages. This language has a long history that dates back to the 12 century. Urdu is formed by intermingling many languages such as Persian, English, and Arabic.

Urdu was given different names such as Zaban-e-Hind, Hindvi, Rekhta, etc. Urdu or horde in Turkish means the language of the camp. Urdu is the national language of Pakistan. In the 19th century lot of Urdu literature was written by scholars, writers, and poets.

2. Punjabi

Punjabi is the most common language in Pakistan and India. Punjabi is also known as the most common Indo-Aryan language in today’s world. In Pakistan, the Punjabi language is popular in Punjab province, and almost 60 million people speak this language. Punjabi has many dialects that don’t have much difference and sound familiar.

Different dialects of Punjabi are spoken in India and Pakistan. In India, the popular dialects are Majhi, Pwadhi, Malvi, and Doabi. In Pakistan, the popular dialects are Pothohari, Majhi Hindko, and Multani.

3. Sindhi

Sindhi is one of the most popular languages of Pakistan. It is based on Arabic and Devanagari script. Sindhi is the combination of different regional languages that are spoken in different areas of South Asia. Sindhi is an ancient Indo-Aryan language spoken by more than 2 million of the population of India and Pakistan.

The major dialects of Sindhi are Lasi, Siroli, Thari, Thareli, Kachhi, Kathiawari, Muslim Sindhi, etc.

4. Saraiki

Saraiki is another popular Indo-Aryan language that 17 million people speak of Sindh and Punjab. Saraiki is the minor language of India and is only spoken in some regions of Punjab. This language is also known by different names such as Seraiki, Siraiki, Multani, Lahndi, and western Punjabi. It has the dialect of Punjabi, and the Perso-Arabic script is followed to write Saraiki. In India, the alphabets of Gurmukhi and Devanagari are used for writing scripts.

5. Pashto

Pashto, also known as Pukhto,  is the popular language belonging to the south-eastern Iranian branch of the Indo-Iranian language. This language is spoken in many parts of South Asia, such as Iran, Afghanistan, and Pakistan. This language has three main regional varieties such as Northern Pashto, Southern Pashto, and Central Pashto.

The popular variants of Pashto are northern and southern variants which are spoken in Pakistan. Pashto-speaking people are mostly found in KPK and Balochistan.

6. Hindko

Hindko is the ancient language spoken in Pakistan which belongs to the Indo-Aryan family of languages. The people who spoke Hindko are mostly live in the regions of northern areas of Pakistan. The name of the language is the combination of two words Hind which means Sindh, and ko, which means language.

The language got its name from the invaders that came from Afghanistan, and in that era, this language was spoken from Peshawar to UP. This language is also known as the less popular dialect of the Punjabi language.

7. Balochi

Balochi is one of the most common languages spoken by Pakistani people. This is the oldest living language in the subcontinent, and it belongs to the Indo-European language group. The people mainly speak this language of Afghanistan, Iran, and Pakistan.

Balochi scholars adopted the script of Perso-Arabic to write literature in this language after 1947. The popular dialects of the Balochi language are Eastern Balochi, Western Balochi, Northern Balochi, and Southern Balochi.

8. Brahui

Brahui is a popular language in the distant parts of Balochistan and some regions of Iran. It is the unique and rare language of the group Indo-Iranian region. Brahui is also spoken in Afghanistan, Qatar, UAE, and Turkmenistan and is considered the minor language of these countries.

Wrapping Up:

Pakistan is famous for its diverse culture and languages. In Pakistan, people speak more than eight languages. Some languages are spoken across the country, such as Urdu, while some are spoken in certain regions. Every region has its language and its dialect.


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