Balti

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A language of Pakistan

Alternate Names
Baltistani, Bhotia of Baltistan, Byltae, Sbalti
Autonym
بلتی‎ (Baltī), སྦལ་འཐུས་‎ (Balti)
Population

L1 users: 327,000 (2004 J. Leclerc). Total users in all countries: 347,000.

Location

Gilgit Baltistan province: Hunza-Nagar district; Baltistan region, Gultari, Khapalu, Kharmang, Rondu, Shigar, and Skardu valleys.

Language Status

5 (Developing).

Dialects

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 [urd]. Dictionary. Grammar. Bible portions: 1903–1940.
Writing

Arabic script, Naskh variant [Arab]. Arabic script, Nastaliq variant [Aran], used since the 17th century, primary usage. 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.

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