A language of Afghanistan

Alternate Names
Khik, Khikwar, Vakhan, Wakhani, Wakhigi

17,000 in Afghanistan (2011 S. Beck), increasing. Population total all countries: 47,100. Ethnic population: 17,000.


Badakhshan Province, Wakhan district, along the Panj river as far as Sarhad village. 42 villages. The center of the Wakhi-speaking area is Khandud village. Also in China, Pakistan, Tajikistan.

Language Status

6a (Vigorous).


Dialect intelligibility reportedly not a problem even with those in other countries. Lexical similarity: 84% with Ishkoman and Gojal dialects, 89% with Yasin and Gojal, 91% with Ishkoman and Yasin.



Language Use

Vigorous. Home, community, work. All ages. Positive attitudes. Men also use Dari [prs] in every-day situations. Very few bilingual women.

Language Development
Literacy rate in L1: Below 1%. Literacy rate in L2: 3%–15%. Pilot L1 literacy project ongoing (2012). Grammar. Bible portions: 2001.
Arabic script, used in Afghanistan. Cyrillic script, used in Tajikistan. Latin script, used in Tajikistan, preferred script, not firmly established.
Other Comments

Muslim (Ismaili).

Also spoken in:

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