How to Speak Basic Pashto

Pashto, or Pakhto, is one of the official languages of Afghanistan. Around 60 million people in Afghanistan, adjacent areas in Pakistan and worldwide speak Pashto as their mother tongue. It belongs to Indo-Iranian family of languages. Pashtun trace their history to the lost tribes of Israel and claim to be their descendants. Learn some useful phrases that may help you if you watch any TV show related to Afghanistan or meet any Pashtun.

Steps

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    Know how to greet others. Say "Assalam-o-alaikum (peace be on you)". When Pashtun meet, they greet with the Islamic greetings.
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    Say "with peace, you came" or "you are welcome". This could be used as a response to "thank you", or a greeting.
    • Is-taray-ma-sha (Don't get tired) is also used for "Welcome".
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    Ask how others are doing. Say "SaN-gay chaal da? (N as in 'strange' and da as in 'the', soft D)".
    • To reply to others with "I am fine", say "Za Teek Yum".
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    Show gratitude, or say "thank you)". The Pashto version of this is Dera Manana or Dera Mer-baani. Basically, you would be saying "thank you very much" (Dera=Very much, Manana=thank you).
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    Know how to give certain requests in Pashto:
    • Ask others to "come here". Say "Dalta Raasha" or "De Khwa Rasha". (Dalta=Here, Rasha=Come).
    • Request water. Say "Lgg Ubu Raka" - this means "give me some water". (Lgg= Some, Ubu=Water, Raka=Give me).
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    Ask for others' names. Say "Ta Soke Ay?" for "Who are you"? (Ta= You, Sok= Who, Ay= Are).
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    Introduce yourself in Pashto. Say "I am (Name). Za (name) Yum". (Za=I, Yum= Am).
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    Say goodbye to others before a departure. The Pashto version of this is "Khuda-ey Pa Adaha". (Khuda=God, Pa=With, Amaan=Safety)

Tips

  • Pashto/Pakhto is very similar to Persian. It shares the script with the Persian language.
  • Additional Words:
    • Father = Palaar,
    • Mother=More,
    • Brother=Rore,
    • Sister= Khor,
    • Son=Zoey,
    • Daughter=loor,
    • Meal=Dodai, Tikaala (Bread),
    • Man=Sarray (similar to r),
    • Woman=Khaza,
    • Boy=Halak,
    • Girl=Jinai,
    • House=Kore,
    • There=Ulta,
    • Listen to me=Zama Khabara waw-ra.
    • Taa-so= You (to elders, with respect).
    • My=Ma/Zama,
    • Your=Ista,
    • Our=Mong/Zmong,
    • It is raining= Baraan waregi (Baraan=Rain),
    • I am thirsty= Za Tagay Yam.
    • Yes=Aow/Kha,
    • No=Na,
    • Don't see=Ma Gora (Ma=Don't).
  • Pashtuns/Pakhtuns are also called Pathans. So you may search about Pashtuns through the word "Pathan" as well.

Article Info

Categories: World Languages