AIMAQ 480,000 in Afghanistan (1993).Central northwest Afghanistan. Dari Persian dialects with some Turkic and Mongolian elements, possibly quite distinct. Agriculturalists, pastoralists. Hanafi Sunni Muslim. (More info on Aimaqs)
ARABIC, TAJIKI SPOKEN 5,000 in Afghanistan (1967).Spoken in a few villages west of Daulatabad (Khushalabad), near Balkh (Yakhdan), Aq Chah (Sultan Aregh), Shiberghan (Hassanabad), and south of Taloqan in Takhar Province; 4 northern provinces. Persianized Arabic. Speakers are reported to be bilingual in Tajiki. Muslim.
ASHKUN 7,000. 195,000 in all Nuristani groups (1993). Pech Valley around Wama, northwest of Asadabad in Kunar Province. Dialects: ASHURUVERI, SURUVIRI. Not Written. Muslim.
AZERBAIJANI Ethnic group in Afghanistan. Afshari dialect spoken in small groups north of Kabul, Chandaul quarter of Kabul city, also some in Herat city. Part of the Qizilbash merchant group speak Afshari dialect, which is strongly influenced by Persian. Part of the Qizilbash speak Dari. All are bilingual in Persian or Pashto. Most do not know the Cyrillic script. Muslim.
BALOCHI 200,000 in Afghanistan (1979); Along Helmand River and Zaranj area, in the southwest desert region. Dialect: RAKHSHANI. Largely nomadic. A literary language in Afghanistan. The only literature is a newspaper. Arabic script used. Sunni Muslim. (More info on Balochis)
BRAHUI 200,000 in Afghanistan (1980); Among the Baluchi in the south, from Shorawak to Chakhansoor. Pastoralists. Muslim.
DARWAZI 10,000 (1983). Town of Darwaz on the Ammu Darya River, in the northernmost tip of Afghanistan. May be called Badakhshani. Muslim.
FARSI, DARI: 40% of population; Provinces of Herat, Hazarajat, Balkh, Ghor, Ghazni, Budaksham, Panjsher, and Galcha-Pamir Mountains and Kabul regions. Dialects: DARI (AFGHAN FARSI, HERATI, TAJIKI, KABULI). Dari is taught in schools; radio Afghanistan broadcasts are promoting a standardized pronunciation of the literary language which is based on the old dictional tradition of the country, with its archaic phonetic characteristics. Phonological and lexical differences between Iran and Afghanistan cause little difficulty in comprehension. Most Afghan dialects are closer to literary Persian than Iranian dialects are to literary Persian. Arabic script. National language. Sunni and Shi'a Muslim. 70 Jews (1980) speak the same dialect as Muslims. (More info on Tajiks)
GAWAR-BATI 8,000 in Afghanistan; 8 or 9 villages in the Kunar Valley. Indo-Aryan, Northwestern zone, Dardic, Kunar. 47% lexical similarity with Shumashti. Related to Grangali, Zemiaki, and Nangalami. Some bilingualism in Pashto. 5% to 15% literate. Mountain valleys. Sunni Muslim.
GUJARI 2,000 or fewer in Afghanistan (1994); Nomads traveling in the summer in the valleys of eastern Afghanistan. Pastoralists. Muslim.
HAZARAGI 1,403,000 in Afghanistan (1989), 9% of the population (1989); 70,000 in Pakistan (1993); 283,000 in Iran (1993); 1,756,000 or more in all countries. Some estimates go as high as 6,000,000. Central Afghanistan mountains between Kabul and Herat (Hazarajat), in Kabul, in area between Maimana and Sari-Pul, in settlements in north Afghanistan. Ethnic group names are (Central) Dai Kundi, Dai Zangi, Behsud, Yekaulang, (Southern) Polada, Urusgani, Jaguri, Ghazni Hazaras, Dai Miradad. They speak a variety related to Dari; possibly distinct. Agriculturalists, semi-sedentary pastoralists. Imami Shi'a Muslim.
JAKATI1,000 in Afghanistan (1967); Kabul (25 families); Jalalabad (50 families); Charikar (15 families). Spoken by the Jats (Gypsies of Afghanistan). Jati is reported to be a dialect of Bangaru, but it is related to Arabic. Nomads. Ironsmiths, fortune tellers. Muslim.
KAMVIRI 4,000 in Afghanistan (1973) Lower Bashgal Valley, mainly around Kamdesh and Kishtoz villages. Pashto is the second language used. Mountain valleys.
KARAKALPAK 2,000 in Afghanistan; North of Jalalabad, also some south of Mazar-i Sharif. Aralo-Caspian.There may be none now in Afghanistan; the reference to them is from many years ago. They may now speak closely related Uzbek, or have been absorbed into Farsi or Pashto. Muslim.
KAZAKH 2,000 in Afghanistan; Northern Afghanistan, especially Chahar Dara District west of Kunduz, and around Khanabad and Andkhoi. 500 in Herat city. Muslim.
KIRGHIZ 500 in Afghanistan (445 in the Great Pamir, plus a few in Badakhshan); Great Pamir Valley east of 73E, in the very northeast. It is spoken by a few Kirghiz who wander across the Chinese and Kyrghyzstan frontiers. Aralo-Caspian. Afghan Kirghiz do not read Cyrillic. Sunni Muslim. (More info on Kirghizis)
MALAKHEL 2,000 (1983). Southwest of Kabul in Logar, north of Baraki. Unclassified. May be the same as Ormuru. Muslim.
MOGHOLI 200 or fewer speakers, apparently only elderly, out of an ethnic group of a few thousand. Two villages near Herat: Kundur and Karez-i-Mulla. Unintelligible to remaining body of Mongol speakers; linguistically relatively well explored. In the two villages Farsi is the common language, and is rapidly replacing Mogholi. Moghol people in northern Afghanistan now speak Pashto. Sunni Muslim.
PASHTO 8,000,000 in Afghanistan (1989), 50% of the population; East, south, and southwest. Dialects: GHILZAI, DURRANI. Since the early 1930's the Afghan government has been exerting considerable effort to standardize and publicize the language. One of the two official languages taught in schools and used everywhere around the country. The people are called 'Pukhtoon' in the north and 'Pushtoon' in the south. The Ghilzai speakers are nomadic and 24% of the national population. The Durrani are urban people, 20%, live in permanent settlements. Clans are: Mohmand, Ghilzai, Durrani, Yusufzai, Afridi, Kandahari (Qandahari), Waziri, Chinwari (Shinwari), Mangal, Wenetsi. Kandahari is the standard dialect, in Kandahar, a major city. National language. Mainly Hanafi Sunni Muslim. (More info on Pashtuns)
PASHAYI 1% of the population in Afghanistan (1982) From Gulbahar across Kapisa and Laghman provinces to Nuristan on the Alingar River, especially the Alisheng Valley and valleys north of Sarobi. Upper and Lower Darrai Nur Valley, Damench, Shale (Shari). North of Shewa in Nangarhar Province, and adjacent regions of the Alingar Valley in southern Laghman Province. In the upper Darrai Nur there are ten villages which form a single people group with their own dialect., including all Pashayi languages or dialects. Tagau Valley, north of Sorobi, northeast of Kabul. Side valleys between the Kunar and Pech rivers, in Kunar Province, west of Asadabad. The villages of Kandak, Shemul, Aret, Shumasht, and Kordar belong to the Chugani people; All Pashayi peoples have rich folklore and songs preserved by oral tradition. Muslim.
SANGLECHI-ISHKASHIMI 2,000 in Afghanistan; Sanglech Valley, Ishkashim area. Ishkashimi spoken in 17 villages; Sanglechi in 2. Bilingual in Persian. Spoken mainly in villages; formerly used more widely. Muslim.
TANGSHEWI 10,000 (1994). East of Darwazi on the Amu Darya, far northeast of Badakhshan. May be called Tajiki. Probably closely related to Darwazi. Muslim.
TATAR 350 in Afghanistan; There are a few speakers, probably immigrants in Afghanistan, but they may be quite bilingual in Persian or Pashto, and cannot use the Cyrillic script. Sunni Muslim.
TIRAHI A few elderly speakers. There may be 5,000 members of the ethnic group in all countries. Southeast of Jalalabad, and west of the Khyber Pass; village of Nangarhar. Northwestern zone, Dardic, Kohistani. Muslim.
TURKMEN 500,000 in Afghanistan (1995); 5,397,500 in all countries. Along the border of Turkmenistan, especially the border regions of Faryab and Badghis Provinces. Some in Andkhoi town and Herat city. Sharp dialect differences. Probably mainly Ersari dialect in Afghanistan. A literary language in Afghanistan, but the only literature is a newspaper. Arabic script. Some better educated persons can read Cyrillic. Second language is Pashtu. Refugee group in Kabul. Nomadic, cultivators, pastoralists, Persian lamb export, Persian rugs. Hanafi Sunni Muslim. (More info on Turkic groups)
UYGHUR 3,000 in Afghanistan; Spoken in a few villages in Badakshan and Abi-i-Barik. Sunni Muslim.
UZBEK 1,403,000, or 9% of population in Afghanistan (1991) Many places in north Afghanistan, especially Fariab Province. Maimana town is largely Uzbek. A literary language in Afghanistan, but the only literature is 2 journals, circulation 400. Arabic script used, but orthography not yet standardized. City dwellers are bilingual in Dari; village dwellers have limited ability in Dari. Mainly settled agriculturalists, some nomads, some craftsmen in gold, jewels, pottery, leather. Hanafi Sunni Muslim. (More info on Uzbeks)
WAIGALI 8,000 to 10,000 (1974). Southeast Nuristan, north of Pech in central Kunar Province. Varjan is in north Waigal Valley, villages of Waigal, Zonchigal, Jamach, Ameshdesh, and eastward in the Veligal Valley and villages there. Chima-Nishey is in villages in the lower valley. Indo-Aryan and Nuristani. Muslim. (More info on Nuristanis)
WAKHI 7,000 in Afghanistan (1979) East of Ishkashim, Pamir Mts., in 64 villages on the left bank of the Panj River in the Wakhan Corridor, as far as Sarhad village (about 73E). Center is Khandud. Most have scattered as refugees in Afghanistan. People are called 'Guhjali'. There may be none in Afghanistan now. Muslim. (More info on Wakhans)
WARDUJI 5,000 (1994). Werdoge River area west of Ishkashim, northeast Afghanistan. Unclassified. Probably a Persian dialect. May be Pamir. Muslim. Survey needed.