What language is spoken in pakistan?

HotbotBy HotBotUpdated: July 3, 2024

Introduction to Pakistan's Linguistic Diversity

Pakistan is a country rich in cultural and linguistic diversity. With a population exceeding 220 million people, it is home to numerous languages and dialects. This linguistic landscape reflects the country's complex history and ethnic composition. In this article, we will explore the main languages spoken in Pakistan, including national, regional, and minority languages.

Urdu: The National Language

Urdu holds the status of the national language of Pakistan. It serves as a lingua franca, bridging communication between the diverse ethnic groups within the country. Urdu evolved during the Mughal era and incorporates elements from Persian, Arabic, Turkish, and indigenous South Asian languages. It is written in the Perso-Arabic script and is understood by a significant portion of the population.

Despite being the national language, Urdu is not the mother tongue of the majority. However, it is extensively used in media, education, and official communication, ensuring its widespread familiarity and usage.

English: The Official Language

English is the official language of Pakistan, inherited from the British colonial period. It is predominantly used in government, legal proceedings, higher education, and business. English proficiency is considered a marker of social status and educational attainment in Pakistan.

Many Pakistanis, especially in urban areas, are bilingual in Urdu and English. English is also the medium of instruction in many private schools, contributing to its continued prevalence.

Regional Languages


Punjabi is the most widely spoken language in Pakistan, particularly in the Punjab province. It is the native language of over 44% of the population. Punjabi has several dialects, including Majhi, which is considered the standard dialect. The language is written in the Shahmukhi script in Pakistan, a variant of the Perso-Arabic script.


Sindhi is predominantly spoken in the Sindh province. It is the mother tongue of about 14% of the population. Sindhi has a rich literary tradition and is written in an extended Perso-Arabic script. The language has its roots in the ancient Indus Valley Civilization, making it one of the oldest languages in the region.


Pashto is the native language of the Pashtun people, primarily spoken in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province and parts of Balochistan. It accounts for around 15% of the population. Pashto has a robust oral tradition, with folklore and poetry being significant aspects of its cultural expression. It is written in the Perso-Arabic script.


Balochi is spoken in the Balochistan province and by Baloch communities in other parts of Pakistan. It is the mother tongue of approximately 4% of the population. Balochi belongs to the Iranian branch of the Indo-Iranian languages and is written in the Perso-Arabic script. The language has several dialects, including Rakhshani and Makrani.

Minority Languages


Brahui is a Dravidian language spoken by the Brahui people in Balochistan. It is unique as it is geographically isolated from other Dravidian languages spoken in South India. Brahui is written in the Perso-Arabic script and is the mother tongue of about 1% of Pakistan's population.


Saraiki is spoken in the southern regions of Punjab and parts of Sindh and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. It is considered a dialect of Punjabi by some linguists, but it has distinct phonological and lexical features that set it apart. Saraiki is the mother tongue of around 10% of the population and is written in the Perso-Arabic script.


Hindko is spoken in the Hazara region of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and parts of Punjab. It is closely related to Punjabi and Lahnda. Hindko serves as the mother tongue for about 2% of the population. The language has several dialects and is written in the Perso-Arabic script.


Kashmiri is spoken by the people of Azad Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan. It belongs to the Dardic group of the Indo-Aryan languages. Kashmiri is written in the Perso-Arabic script and is the mother tongue of a smaller segment of the population.

Rare and Endangered Languages


Burushaski is a language isolate spoken by the Burusho people in the Gilgit-Baltistan region. It is not related to any other known language family, which makes it a subject of interest for linguists. Burushaski is an endangered language, with efforts being made to preserve it through documentation and education.


Shina is a Dardic language spoken in Gilgit-Baltistan and parts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. It has several dialects and is the mother tongue of a small community. Shina is traditionally written in the Perso-Arabic script but has limited written literature.


Wakhi is spoken by the Wakhi people in the remote northern areas of Pakistan, including Gilgit-Baltistan and Chitral. It belongs to the Eastern Iranian branch of the Indo-Iranian languages. Wakhi is an endangered language with a small number of speakers.

The linguistic diversity of Pakistan is a testament to its rich cultural heritage. From widely spoken languages like Urdu and Punjabi to lesser-known tongues like Burushaski and Wakhi, each language contributes to the country's vibrant tapestry. Understanding this diversity allows for a deeper appreciation of Pakistan's multifaceted identity. How this linguistic landscape evolves in the future remains an open question, inviting further exploration and discovery.

Related Questions

Where is pakistan located?

Pakistan is situated in South Asia, lying between latitudes 23° and 37° N, and longitudes 60° and 77° E. This positioning places Pakistan in a strategic location, acting as a bridge between the Middle East, Central Asia, and South Asia. The country spans a total area of approximately 881,913 square kilometers, making it the 33rd-largest country in the world by land area.

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What language does pakistan speak?

Pakistan's official language is Urdu, which serves as a unifying lingua franca for the diverse population. Urdu is a standardized register of the Hindustani language and shares a lot of similarities with Hindi. It is written in the Perso-Arabic script and incorporates a significant amount of Persian, Arabic, and Turkic vocabulary. Urdu is predominantly used in government, formal communication, and education. It is also the language of literature, poetry, and mass media in Pakistan.

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What is the capital of pakistan?

Islamabad, the capital city of Pakistan, is a modern, well-planned metropolis located in the northern part of the country. Established in the 1960s to replace Karachi as the capital, Islamabad is known for its high standard of living, safety, and abundant greenery. The city was carefully designed to be the political and administrative center of Pakistan, and it stands out for its organized layout and extensive public amenities.

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Where is pakistan?

Pakistan is a country located in South Asia. It shares borders with several countries: to the east, it borders India; to the west, Afghanistan; to the southwest, Iran; and to the north, China. Additionally, it has a coastline along the Arabian Sea to the south.

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