Balochi language

Pashto Persian language Wikipedia

Balochi in Balo-Rabi and Latin script
Native toPakistan, Iran, Afghanistan, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan
Native speakers
7.6 million (2007)[1]
Official status
Regulated byBalochi Academy, Quetta, Pakistan
Language codes
ISO 639-2bal
ISO 639-3bal – inclusive code
Individual codes:
bgp – Eastern Balochi
bgn – Western Balochi
bcc – Kachi Dialect(Southern Balochi)
ktl – Koroshi
Linguasphere58-AAB-a > 58-AAB-aa (East Balochi) + 58-AAB-ab (West Balochi) + 58-AAB-ac (South Balochi) + 58-AAB-ad (Bashkardi)
Geographic distribution of Balochi (yellow) and other Iranian languages
This article contains IPA phonetic symbols. Without proper rendering support, you may see question marks, boxes, or other symbols instead of Unicode characters. For an introductory guide on IPA symbols, see Help:IPA.
A speaker of Eastern Balochi recorded for Wikitongues

Balochi (بلۏچی‎, Balòci) is a Northwestern Iranian language spoken primarily in the Balochistan region divided between Pakistan, Iran, and Afghanistan.



The Balochi vowel system has at least eight vowels: five long and three short.[3][page needed] These are /aː/, /eː/, /iː/, /oː/, /uː/, /a/, /i/ and /u/. The short vowels have more centralized phonetic quality than the long vowels. The variety spoken in Karachi also has nasalized vowels, most importantly /ẽː/ and /ãː/.[4][page needed]


The following table shows consonants which are common to both Northern and Southern Balochi.[5][page needed] The consonants /s/, /z/, /n/, /ɾ/ and /l/ are articulated as alveolar in Western Balochi. The plosives /t/ and /d/ are dental in both dialects.

Labial Dental Alveolar Retroflex Palato-
Palatal Velar Glottal
Stop pb td ʈɖ kɡ ʔ
Affricate t͡ʃd͡ʒ
Fricative sz ʃʒ[cn 1] h[cn 2]
Tap ɾ ɽ[cn 3]
Nasal m n
Approximant w l j
  1. ^ Words with /ʒ/ are uncommon.
  2. ^ Word-initial /h/ is dropped in Balochi as spoken in Karachi.
  3. ^ The retroflex tap has a very limited distribution.

In addition, /f/ occurs in a few words in Southern Balochi. /x/ (voiceless velar fricative) in some loanwords in Southern Balochi corresponding to /χ/ (voiceless uvular fricative) in Western Balochi; and /ɣ/ (voiced velar fricative) in some loanwords in Southern Balochi corresponding to /ʁ/ (voiced uvular fricative) in Western Balochi.

In Eastern Balochi, it is noted that the stop and glide consonants may also occur as aspirated allophones in word initial position as [pʰ tʰ ʈʰ t͡ʃʰ kʰ] and [wʱ]. Allophones of stops in postvocalic position include for voiceless stops, [f θ x] and for voiced stops [β ð ɣ]. /n l/ are also dentalized as [n̪ l̪].[6]


The normal word order is subject–object–verb. Like many other Indo-Iranian languages, Balochi also features split ergativity. The subject is marked as nominative except for the past tense constructions where the subject of a transitive verb is marked as oblique and the verb agrees with the object.[7]


Much of the Balochi number system is borrowed from Persian.[8] According to Mansel Longworth Dames, Bolochi writes the first twelve numbers as follows:[9]

Cardinal numerals
Balochi Kachi Dialect English
Yak Yak One[a]
Do Do Two
Sai Three
Chyār Càr Four
Phanch Panc Five
Shash Šaš Six
Hapt Hapt Seven
Hasht Hašt Eight
Nuh Noh Nine
Dah Dah Ten
Yāzhdah Yàzdah Eleven
Dwāzhdnh Dowàzdah Twelve
Ordinal numerals
Balochi Kachi Dialect English
Peshī Pèsari - Pèši First
Duhmī, gudī Domi - Goďďi Second
Saimī, sohmī Saemi Third
Chyarumī Càromi Fourth
Phaṅchumī Pancumi Fifth
Shashumī Šašomi Sixth
Haptumī Haptomi Seventh
Hashtumī Haštomi Eighth
Nuhmī Nohomi Ninth
Dahmī Dahomi Tenth
Yāzdamī Yàzdahim Eleventh
Dwāzdamī Dowàzdahomi Twelfth
  1. ^ The latter ya is with nouns while yak is used by itself.


There are two main dialects: the dialect of the Mandwani (northern) tribes and the dialect of the Domki (southern) tribes.[10] The dialectal differences are not very significant.[10] One difference is that grammatical terminations in the northern dialect are less distinct compared with those in the southern tribes.[10] An isolated dialect is Koroshi, which is spoken in the Qashqai tribal confederation in the Fars province. Koroshi distinguishes itself in grammar and lexicon among Balochi varieties.[11]

Writing system

Balochi was not a written language before the 19th century,[12] and the Persian script was used to write Balochi wherever necessary.[12] However, Balochi was still spoken at the Baloch courts.[citation needed]

British colonial officers first wrote Balochi with the Latin script.[13] Following the creation of Pakistan, Baloch scholars adopted the Persian alphabet. The first collection of poetry in Balochi, Gulbang by Mir Gul Khan Nasir was published in 1951 and incorporated the Arabic Script. It was much later that Sayad Zahoor Shah Hashemi wrote a comprehensive guidance on the usage of Arabic script and standardized it as the Balochi Orthography in Pakistan and Iran. This earned him the title of the 'Father of Balochi'. His guidelines are widely used in Eastern and Western Balochistan. In Afghanistan, Balochi is still written in a modified Arabic script based on Persian.[citation needed]

In 2002, a conference was held to help standardise the script that would be used for Balochi.[14]


The following alphabet was used by Syed Zahoor Shah Hashmi in his lexicon of Balochi Sayad Ganj (سید گنج) (lit. Sayad's Treasure).[15][16]

آ، ا، ب، پ، ت، ٹ، ج، چ، د، ڈ، ر، ز، ژ، س، ش، ک، گ، ل، م، ن، و، ھ ہ، ء، ی ے

Kachi dialect(Southern Balochi) standarded Alphabets

The Balochi alphabet, standardized by Balochi Academy Sarbaz, consists of 29 letters.[17]

Latin Arabic Example words
A / a ءَ Aps(Horse) - Apserk(Cold)
À / à (aa) آ Àp(Water) - Àmàd(Ready)
B / b بـ / ـبـ / ـب Bàl(Wing) - Bàsk(Arm)
C / c (ch) چـ / ـچـ / ـچ Coll(Channel)
D / d د Dast(hand)
Ď / ď (dh) ڈ ⇦ ذ Ďàmp(Fucking)
E / e (é) ءِ Ezm(art) Ezmkàr(artist)
È / è (ie) ݔـ / ـݔـ / ـے Èràn(Iran)
G / g گـ / ـگـ / ـگ Guhàr(Sister) Gal(happy) Gall(group)
H / h هـ / ـهـ / ـہ Hapt(seven) Hodà(god)
I / i (í) ایـ / ـیـ / ـی Pir(old) Sir(wedding)
J / j جـ / ـجـ / ـج Jost(question) Jàh(place)
K / k کـ / ـکـ / ـک Kaur(river) Kamm(little)
L / l لـ / ـلـ / ـل Laiť(lamp)
M / m مـ / ـمـ / ـم Mam(beer) Mà(we,us) Man(I)
N / n نـ / ـنـ / ـن Nàl(one of Balochi Promise)
O / o (ó) ءُ Poll(flower)
Ò / ò (ou) ۏ Òpàr(hope)
P / p پـ / ـپـ / ـپ Pàd(foot) Pašk(shirt)
R / r ر Rang(color) Ròp(Clean) Ròpag(cleaner)
S / s سـ / ـسـ / ـس Sàng(marriage)
Š / š (sh) شـ / ـشـ / ـش Šap(night)
T / t تـ / ـتـ / ـت Tors(fear)
Ť / ť (th) ٹـ / ـٹـ / ـٹ ⇦ ث‍ـ / ـثـ / ـث Ťulàsk(tower)
U / u (ú) ـو / او Luď
W / w و Wàd(salt) Waď(kind)
Y / y یـ / ـیـ Yak(one)
Z / z ز Zend(live) Zit(soon) Zòr(power)
Ž / ž (zh) ژ Žand(tierd)
Ligatures / digraphs
Æ / æ (ae) ـئ Sae(three) Tau ae(you are)
Ai / ai (ay) ئی Tai(yours) Mai(our)
Au / au (aw) ؤ Kaur(river) Maut(death

Latin alphabet

The following Latin-based alphabet was adopted by the International Workshop on "Balochi Roman Orthography" (University of Uppsala, Sweden, 28–30 May 2000).[18]

Alphabetical order

a á b c d ď e f g ĝ h i í j k l m n o p q r ř s š t ť u ú v w x y z ž ay aw (33 letters and 2 digraphs)

Letter Example words
A / a bawar (snow/ice), cattre (umbrella), bachek (son)
Á / á dárman (medicine), wádh (salt)
B / b (be)
C / c (che)
D / d (de)
Ď / ď Is the same as Ř / ř (ře) so this latter is preferably used to simplify the orthography.
E / e
F / f (fe) Only used for loanwords: Fráns (France), fármaysí (pharmacy).
G / g (ge)
Ĝ / ĝ Like ĝhaen in Perso-Arabic script.
Used for loanwords and in eastern dialects: ghair (others), ghali (carpet), ghaza (noise)
H / h (he)
I / i (i)
Í / í (í)
J / j (je)
K / k (ke)
L / l (le)
M / m (me)
N / n (ne)
O / o (o)
P / p (pe)
Q / q ()
R / r (re)
Ř / ř (ře)
S / s (se)
Š / š (še) eš (this)
T / t (te)
Ť / ť (ťe)
U / u
Ú / ú (ú) Sounds like the "oo" in English word "root".
V / v (ve) Exclusively used for loanwords (like in the English words: service, very).
W / w (we) hawa (wind)
X / x (khe) Xudá (God)
Y / y (ye) biryání (meat in rice)
Z / z (ze) zor (power)
Ž / ž (že) mauž (waves)
Latin digraphs
Ay / ay
Aw / aw


  1. ^ Mikael Parkvall, "Världens 100 största språk 2007" (The World's 100 Largest Languages in 2007), in Nationalencyklopedin
  2. ^ Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2017). "Balochic". Glottolog 3.0. Jena, Germany: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.
  3. ^ Farrell 1990. Serge 2006.
  4. ^ Farrell 1990.
  5. ^ Serge 2006. Farrell 1990.
  6. ^ JahaniKorn 2009, pp. 634–692.
  7. ^ "Balochi". National Virtual Translation Center. Archived from the original on 18 November 2007. Retrieved 20 June 2015.
  8. ^ Korn, Agnes (2006). "Counting Sheep and Camels in Balochi". Indoiranskoe jazykoznanie i tipologija jazykovyx situacij. Sbornik statej k 75-letiju professora A. L. Grjunberga (1930–1995). Nauka. pp. 201–212. Retrieved 16 January 2020.
  9. ^ Dames 1922, pp. 13–15.
  10. ^ a b c Dames 1922, p. 1.
  11. ^ Borjian, Habib (December 2014). "The Balochi dialect of the Korosh". Acta Orientalia Academiae Scientiarum Hungaricae. 67 (4): 453–465. doi:10.1556/AOrient.67.2014.4.4.
  12. ^ a b Dames 1922, p. 3.
  13. ^ Hussain, Sajid (18 March 2016). "Faith and politics of Balochi script". Balochistan Times. Retrieved 16 January 2020.
  14. ^ "Script for Balochi language discussed". Dawn. Quetta. 28 October 2002. Retrieved 16 January 2020.
  15. ^ Shah Hashemi, Sayad Zahoor. "The First Complete Balochi Dictionary". Sayad Ganj. Retrieved 16 January 2020.
  16. ^ "Sayad Zahoor Shah Hashmi: A one-man institution". Balochistan Times. 14 November 2016. Retrieved 16 January 2020.
  17. ^ "Balochi Standarded Alphabet". Retrieved 16 January 2020.
  18. ^ "Baluchi Roman ORTHOGRAPHY". Retrieved 23 October 2015.