Pashto, Northern


A language of Pakistan

Alternate Names
Pakhto, Pashtu, Pushto, Yousafzai Pashto, Yusufzai Pashto

9,590,000 in Pakistan (1993). Includes all Pashto varieties. Population total all countries: 11,430,000. Ethnic population: Possibly 49,600,000 Pashto in all countries.


Afghanistan border, most of NWFP, Yusufzai, and Peshawar. Also in Afghanistan, Canada, India, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United States.

Language Status

4 (Educational).


Eastern Afghan Pashto, Ningraharian Pashto, Northeastern Pashto. Much similarity with Northwestern Pashto in Afghanistan. Subdialects of Northeastern Pashto are Kohat (Khatak), Yusufzai (Peshawar), Afridi, Shinwari, Mohmand, Shilmani. Lexical similarity: 80% between Northeastern and Southwestern Pashto.

Language Use

Rich literary tradition. The Powinda are a nomadic Pashto-speaking group.

Language Development
Literacy rate in L2: Low. Taught in primary schools. Poetry. Magazines. Newspapers. New media. Radio programs. Films. TV. Videos. Dictionary. Grammar. Bible: 1895.
Arabic script, Nastaliq and Naskh styles.
Other Comments

Muslim (Sunni), Muslim (Shi’a).

Also spoken in:

Expand All Collapse All