The “little Book” soon to be in Pashto
Pashto is the language of the Pashtuns. It is known in Persian literature as Afghāni and in Urdu and Hindi literature as Paṭhānī. Speakers of the language are called Pashtuns and sometimes Afghans.
Pashto is one of the two official languages of Afghanistan, and it is the second-largest regional language of Pakistan, mainly spoken in the west and northwest of the country. The total number of Pashto-speakers is estimated to be over 60 million people.
As a national language of Afghanistan, Pashto is primarily spoken in the east, south, and southwest, but also in some northern and western parts of the country. The exact number of speaker is unavailable, but different estimates show that Pashto is the mother tongue of up to 60% of the total population of Afghanistan.
In Pakistan, around 26 million people speak Pashto, according to the 2006 census, which was approximately 15% of Pakistan’s population at the time. Most of these people are in the northwestern areas of the country. There are also many Pashtun speakers in the major cities of Pakistan.
Other communities of Pashto speakers are found in Tajikistan, and further in the Pashtun diaspora. Also, sizable Pashto-speaking communities exist in the Middle East, especially in the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, northeastern Iran near the Afghan border. The Pashtun diaspora speaks Pashto in countries like the United States, United Kingdom, Thailand, Canada, Germany, the Netherlands, Sweden, Qatar, Australia, Japan, Russia, and New Zealand.
Clear and Simple Media is translating the book, Simple Truths, into Pashto this summer. It is one of the nine languages in the latest CSM project.