A language of Pakistan

Alternate Names
Baltistani, Bhotia of Baltistan, Sbalti

270,000 in Pakistan (1992). Population total all countries: 290,000.


Primarily northeast Pakistan, Baltistan district, Skardu, Rondu, Shigar, Khapalu, Kharmang, and Gultari valleys. Also in India.

Language Status

5 (Developing).


Chorbat is most divergent dialect. Lexical similarity: 87%–100% among dialects, 78%–85% with Purik [prx].

Language Use

Some also use Shina [scl] or Urdu [urd].

Language Development
Literacy rate in L2: 3%–5% in Urdu. Dictionary. Grammar. Bible portions: 1903–1940.
Arabic script, used since the 17th century. Balti script, no longer in use. Devanagari script, used since the 1970s. Tibetan script, used between 8th and 17th century, recent efforts to revive usage.
Other Comments

Muslim (Shi’a).

Also spoken in:

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