Languages in Afghanistan

More than 30 languages are spoken in Afghanistan. The main languages are Dari (Afghan Persian) and Pashto (an eastern Iranian language). Dari and Pashto are Indo-European languages related to most languages spoken in Europe, including Swedish.

Dari and Pashtu, written with Arabic letters, are Afghanistan’s official languages. Additionally, there are a number of national languages.

In areas where the majority of the population speaks a third national language alongside the two official ones, such as the Turkic languages Uzbek, Turkmen or Balochi, Pashai, Nuristani and Pamiri, these are also local official languages. In such areas, children who have these languages as their mother tongue are entitled to schooling in their home language. Legal right and actual possibilities are, however, not always the same thing.

There are also more widely-spoken dialects such as Hazaragi which is a Persian dialect related to Dari.