A language of Afghanistan

Alternate Names
Eshkashimi, Ishkashim, Ishkashmi

2,500 in Afghanistan (2009 S. Beck), decreasing. No monolinguals. Total users in all countries: 3,000.


Badakhshan province: Ishkashim and Wakham districts; north of Ishkashim in Bahar Bazar, Darwan, Qaz Deh, Xermani, Zargaran, and Zayad villages.

Language Status

6b (Threatened).


None known. Ishkashimi intelligible to Sanglechi [sgy] speakers, but Sanglechi not intelligible to Ishkashimi speakers. Lexical similarity: 70% with Sanglechi [sgy].

Language Use

Some parents used Dari [prs] with their children to provide them with better chances in school. Only now do the people realize that this might cause the language to become endangered. About half the households use Ishkashimi with the younger generation. Home, village. Some young people, all adults. Positive attitudes. All also use Dari [prs].

Language Development

Literacy rate in L2: 15%–25%. Most children now become literate in Dari [prs] because they attend school. Grammar.


Unwritten [Qaax].

Other Comments

Most Sanglechi [sgy] have a positive attitude toward Ishkashimi and consider it closely related, whereas the Ishkashimi do not have a good attitude toward Sanglechi. Muslim.

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