Pashai, Southeast


A language of Afghanistan

Alternate Names
Pashai, Southeast Pashayi

180,000 (2011 Pashai Language Development Project), increasing. 75,000 Laghman, 95,000 Nangarhar, 10,000 Kunar. 100,000 monolinguals. Ethnic population: 400,000.


Upper and Lower Darrai Nur valley, Damench, Shale (Shari); Nangarhar Province, north of Shewa; south Laghman Province, Alingar valley area.

Language Maps
Language Status

6a (Vigorous). Statutory language of provincial identity in Nangahar, Laghman provinces (2004, Constitution, Article 16(2)).


None known. Somewhat intelligible of Southwest Pashai [psh]; hardly intelligible of Northeast Pashai [aee] and Northwest Pashai [glh]. Lexical similarity: about 30% with Southwest Pashai [psh], Northeast Pashai [aee], and Northwest Pashai [psh].



Language Use

Vigorous. Home, market, all informal settings. All ages. Positive attitudes. Also use Northern Pashto [pbu], Southern Pashto [pbt].

Language Development
Literacy rate in L1: Below 1%. Literacy rate in L2: Less than 20%. Many books for early readers have been produced by the Pashai people as part of their literacy program. The Afghanistan Ministry of Education plans to produce Pashai Language textbooks for 1st through 12th grades. The 1st grade textbook is in progress. Poetry. Radio programs. Dictionary.

Arabic script [Arab].

Other Comments

Muslim (Sunni).