Tuesday, January 11, 2011

The "sh" and "kh" in Pashto - On Pashto Dialects

Dear readers,
Thank you for visiting! I have moved this post on the different dialects in Pashto to my new blog. Please click below to access it.
Thank you!


  1. wow. your blog posts are making me smart! i ll soon know it all :-)

    thanks for sharing valuable and interesting facts and knowledge!

  2. LOL. Hi, Sepo Jaan!
    Thanks! I'm happy to hear you found it useful! :D

  3. Now it is clear! Thanks. I like language stuff so I'll definitely try to have a look at the JSTOR article when I get a chance.

    Manana :D

  4. The map is incorrect.
    Baluchis do not associate with pakhtuns or rest of Pakistan or Afghanistan, therefore the map is totally incorrect.
    Baluchis would never join forces with Pakhtuns.

  5. Helloo, Anonymous!
    Thanks for your comment!

    You got a better map? 'Cause, while I'm a strong supporter of Baloch independence and Baloch culture and existence, we can't deny that Balochistan has both Pashtuns and Balochis.
    However, I don't believe that "Balochiiiiss" don't associate with Pakistan/Afghanistan or the rest of Pakhtuns. It's just like Pashtuns: There are those who love Pakistan, those who hate it, those who really don't care but all they want is justice and peace on their land and appreciation for their culture, and then those who want to be independent from Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iran, and all other oppressors of theirs. So I wouldn't categorize all of them in one box :)

  6. http://mapoftheunitedstates.files.wordpress.com/2008/03/map_pakistan.jpg

    This is how it is, this is how it was and INSHAHALLAH, this is how it will be. :)
    I think Muslims are already divided big time over linguistics and territorial issues. If anything, the map should be looking like this,


    Without ANY borders, of course it is not possible we are too busy wasting our energy on dividing ourselves on language and cultural lines.

    Anyways, keep up the good work and I appreciate you approving my comment even though it was not necessarily in your favor of your blog.

  7. Pa khair, Anonymous!
    Thank you for a link to the map you prefer! That's the map of Pakistan, though, and I was speaking specifically of Pashtunistan, which doesn't (yet?) exist, but many Pashtuns are hopeful that it will soon if/when the Pashtuns of Pakistan get their independence from Pakistan. I assume you're not in support of this view, which is not uncommon and in fact seems to be the majority view among Pakistani Pashtuns.

    The reason I personally don't support that map is that it excludes the Pukhtuns of Afghanistan, and I wish for the unity of all Pukhtuns in Afghanistan and Pakistan combined.

    As for the second map, the one you think that's how things should be ... :p Not only is it impractical and unrealistic, it's also unnecessary, I would say. Why? Because why does the word have to be divided into Muslims and non-Muslims? If we could break all language and ethnic and national barriers (again, unrealistic), then why not the religious one as well and unite as one world, one race -- the human race?

    Ka sanga?

    Quoting you: "we are too busy wasting our energy on dividing ourselves on language and cultural lines."
    Add to the "language and cultural lines" religious lines as well. Is there really a need, do you think?

    1. cha che ph awal zal ph zmaka krkha rakhkla ao oye wael che da zma da, dh insaneyat ghat dushmun woo.

  8. Oh yes - of course I accepted your comment, mara/marey! I wouldn't have if I'd found it offensive to me or anyone else, but you expressed your thoughts, which disagree with mine, without insults or attacks, so I had no reason not to approve it.

  9. hi mate can u share some websites thats show us how to read and write pashto plz thanx

  10. That map is innacurate. How can it only include half of Saidabad (the small south-east chunk of Wardak province) as being Pashto speaking when Pashtuns contribute over 85% of the population and span the South, East & North of the province! (and they all speak Pashto!).

    Grr, everytime I see maps like that it boils my blood. I would be very dissapointed if that is what any future 'Pashtunistan' would look like.

    I would also add that Wardags speak in the northern dialect although it is of the central-Afghan variety
    Wardag Pashto is in itself very distinct.

    For example, you say:

    "For instance, the soft dialect uses "zh" where the hard dialect uses "g" (e.g., mung vs muzh (both mean we))"

    But we say 'mugh'.
    Most Pashtuns say 'zmng/zmuzh' but we say 'de mugh'
    Most Pashtuns say 'zma' but we say 'de mo'
    Most Pashtuns say 'sta' but we say 'e tho'

    Some other examples too.
    Gotta love the variety, eh?

    1. khattaks kakar tareen durranis marwats say kandahari pashto dialects says zmuzh mashaam


  11. Thanks for your comment, Haris! Glad to have your feedback!

    I don't believe there's such a thing as an accurate or inaccurate map for contested lands/territories/boundaries - like the Durand Line or Pashtunistan. This is the map that Pashtun nationalists, as far as I know, prefer, and the Pashtuns of Pakistan actually do not want an independent Pashtunistan. So, this seems to me a dream of a minority of the Pashtuns, and at the rate we're going, I highly doubt this map will ever be carved onto the world map, so I wouldn't worry too much.

  12. It was my pleasure.

    Well one would think that if they were to forge a new state on ethnic lines that they would atleast try and include all the peoples of said ethnicity!

    lol but you are very right in what you say sis.
    I mean take a look at this map:

    This supposed Hazarajat encompasses the whole of Wardak as well as Ghazni and significant chunks of Zabul, Kandar & Helmand. Ridiculous.

    Nationalists of whatever background will always try and extend their influence and borders as far as possible and sometimes this may end up looking unreasonable & irrational (Russia & Poland in WWII for example, although that does have its own context admittedly).

    They rarely take into account the views & opinions of the other peoples they will be encroaching on or excluding. I mean how many Pashtuns talk about the opinions of Balochis or Hazaras or Tajiks in a Loy Afghanistan? Most deliberately avoid talking about them and taking their views into account.

    That is one factor I think that hampers the nationalist movement (and such movements in general). A state that fails to take into consideration the views of its citizens is doomed to failure.

    Not that we'll see such a state even forming in our lifetimes.

    Tbh, I don't know where to stand on the nationalism issue. There are so many things to consider, I want what is best for all Pashtuns but does that override what would be best for all Afghans & all Pakistanis? Is having a seperate state really *the* only way to improve the lives of Pashtuns? Would it not breed more animosity with the neighours? Do I see myself as Afghan or Pashtun (similarly would you consider yourself Pakistani or Pashtun)? Is nationalism based on ethnic lines Islamically acceptable?

    I think everyone has a different answer to each of those questions.

    Either way, it's upto fate. Time will tell what happens to the Pashtuns.

  13. I, too, am not sure where I stand on the issue - but I do know for a fact that, contrary to the popular nationalist opinion, there are more than one types of identities, including national and ethnic. So, to your question of whether I'd consider myself a Pashtun or a Pakistani, I say ... both, of course. Why do I have to choose? My Pakistani identity is my national identity; it'll remain such until/if Pakistan is somehow wiped off the map of the world! Pashtun is my ethnic identity; it's in my blood, and no matter where I go and what my country is, the blood in me will remain Pashtun. Also, recently, this Pashtun nationalist leader gave this lecture (I don't remember his name and I didn't hear the full lecture) in which he claimed that to say "Pashtun Afghan" or "Afghan Pashtun" is redundant -- as if one's saying Pashtu Pashtun or Afghan Afghan. I completely disagree because what about the non-Pashtun citizens of Afghanistan? I understand the importance of history in this matter, but in today's context, it is utterly unfair to make such a claim. And, importantly, the only Pashtuns in Pakistan who consider themselves Afghans are the nationalists. The rest will insist that they're Pukhtuns and not Afghans. And then the nationalists are like, "oh that's because you don't know your history," which I find extremely patronizing of them to say.

    And in response to the patronizing tones and arguments from the most nationalists I know, I once wrote a blog post that can be accessed here: http://qrratugai.blogspot.com/2011/03/anti-pakistan-pashtuns-and-pashtun.html

    Anyway, I'm sure you're familiar with all of this, since it's one of the most popular discussions in virtual Pashtun communities. It gets tiring reading and hearing the same thing over and over and over after some time. I stopped supporting nationalism after familiarizing myself with the personalities of most of the nationalists whose attitude was rather negative in my opinion - and, more importantly, after realizing that the same people these nationalist are supposedly "fighting" for actually don't want what the nationalists want for them.

  14. P.S. Per your question on FormSpring: No, I've never been to Afghanistan, but I sure as heck hope (if not intend) to go there at least thrice in my lifetime. For many reasons, but mainly 1) for research, 2) because I share a language and a brutal history with the people there and I consider them my own and my blood, and 3) I love traveling.

  15. Good post & good points raised.
    I can't say anymore other than I agree with you there.

    hahaha I thought that was going to be anonymous, I guess it became obvious when my new account was the only one following you lol

    I see, well make sure you try the Kabul-Jalalabad highway (if it is reasonably safe secuity-wise of course). You will never forget it :)

  16. Blush! Sorry! I should've let it remain anonymous, lol. I figured it was you 'cause I got a notification that you were following me and then I got a new question, so! But it was a good and important question (considering my both research and personal interests), so it didn't have to anonymous - not that any question would be bad and thus need to be anonymous or anything! I just mean it's alll good :)

  17. how to say i like this song its my favourite in pushto

  18. Hi, anonymous! Thanks for dropping by!

    I like this song; it's my favorite = "Zama daa sandara dera khwakha da."

  19. I just found your blog and love it! I am slowly and steadily learning Pashto because its the only way to communicate with the women in my husband's family who are also from Swat!My first phrase was, "Taso sanga ye?" :) I have found many dialect differences in Pashto speaking, so this post was so interesting. Your writings are so insightful, keep it up!

    1. Salaam, Gori and Khan! Welcome to my blog! What a delight to have you around :)
      Your husband's family's from Swat? No way! I like to believe our Pashto makes the most sense (duh! Naturally and all :D), but my favorite accent is the Quettan/Kandahari one. Their "sh" = "s" and "zh" = "j"! And lotsa other cool differences.

      I look forward to seeing you around more often. And I just got a peak at your blog and it looks great as well!

  20. Sahibzada ShabirJune 22, 2012 at 3:36 AM

    What a great blog, pleasure to read

    1. Thank you, Sahibzada :) that's very kind of you to say!

  21. Hello everyone I am doing a small research project on allophonic variation in consonants in pashto language so I need data for my project.


Dare to opine :)

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