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, Northern Areas, Hunza-Nagar district; Baltistan region, Skardu, Rondu, Shigar, Khapalu, Kharmang, and Gultari valleys.

Language Status

5 (Developing).


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

Language Use

Also use Shina [scl], Urdu [urd].

Language Development
Literacy rate in L2: 3%–5% in Urdu. Dictionary. Grammar. Bible portions: 1903–1940.

Arabic script [Arab], used since the 17th century. Balti script [Qaab], no longer in use. Devanagari script [Deva], used since the 1970s. Tibetan script [Tibt], used between 8th and 17th century, recent efforts to revive usage.

Other Comments

Muslim (Shi’a).

Also spoken in:

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