Pashto, which is occasionally seen as "Pushtu," "Pushto" or "Pashtou," is referred to in older literature as Afghani, which is one of the two official languages of Afghanistan along with Dari. It is also the second-largest regional language of Pakistan. Globally, Pashto is the main language of the Pashtun diaspora. Thus it is estimated that 45 to 60 million people are native speakers of Pashto.
As a national language of Afghanistan, Pashto is primarily spoken in the east, south and southwest. However, it's also heard in some northern and western parts of the country. In Pakistan, Pashto is the second-largest language, being counted among the provincial languages. Pashto also belongs to the northeastern Iranian group of the Indo-Iranian branch, but Ethnologue lists it as southeastern Iranian. Other communities of Pashto speakers are found in Tajikistan.
Urdu and English are the two official languages of Pakistan. Pashto therefore has no official status at the federal level. For instance, private English secondary schools in areas where Pashto is spoken do not use the language. The imposition of Urdu as the primary medium of education in public schools has caused a systematic degradation and decline of Pashto. This has caused growing resentment among Pashtuns, who complain that their language has been disregarded by the state.
Significant Pashto-speaking communities also exist in the Middle East, particularly in the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia and northeastern Iran. They're also found in the United States, the United Kingdom, Thailand, India, Canada, Germany, the Netherlands, Sweden, Qatar, Australia, Japan, Russia and New Zealand. The U.K., in fact, is home to some 100,000 Pashtuns, making it one of the West's largest overseas Pashtun community. According to recent studies, the number of Pashtuns in European countries includes Germany (55,000), France (33,000), Austria (71,000) and the Netherlands (26,000).
The native Pashto linguists of Farsi Global have deep awareness of the nuances in this language and the manner in which it's distinguishes from neighboring tongues. For example, the form of Pashto spoken in Afghanistan is different from what is spoken in Pakistan, where it's influenced by the Urdu alphabet. Thus, if the client has no stated preference, we translate into the standard Pashto of Afghanistan. However, if the text is in regard to industry, marketing or business and is intended for the markets of Afghanistan, we can provide both Dari and Pashtu translation. This can greatly benefit the client, not only in terms of business but also at the personal level.
Interestingly, Pashto language speakers can understand Dari because it's used in education. Some Dari speakers, though, might not know Pashto. Thus, consultation with clients on projects pertaining to this area will help determine the correct region and language to be used. We at Farsi Global strive to ensure the quality of translated texts in all key areas, such as education, construction, engineering, law and medicine.