Languages in Afghanistan

Pashto and Dari are the official languages of Afghanistan with both belonging to the Indo-European language family. Being bilingual in both languages is very common.

Pashto (also written Pushtu) is the native tongue of the Pashtun people. It was declared the National Language of the country during the beginning of Zahir Shah's reign. According to estimates, approximately 35% of the Afghan population speaks Pashto.

Dari is spoken or understood by the majority of the Afghan people. It is a variety of Persian (mainly spoken in Iran) and functions as the lingua franca in business and government transactions in Kabul as well as in much of the northern and northwestern parts of the country.

There are smaller regional languages spoken in Afghanistan including Uzbek, Turkmen, Balochi, Pashayi, and Nuristani.

Uzbek, Turkmen, Pashayi, Nuristani, Balochi and Pamiri declared third official in areas where the majority speaks them. A number of Afghans are also fluent in Urdu, English, and other foreign languages.