Khowar language

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Kho
Khowar
کهو
Kho.svg
Native to Pakistan
Region Chitral District
Ethnicity Kho people
Native speakers 1,000  (2004)e19
Language family
Writing system Nastaliq alphabet
Language codes
ISO 639-3 khw

Kho is a Dadikai language. It is spoken by fewer than 1,000 peoples in the upper Chitral District, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pakistan.

History[change | change source]

The kho language is mention many times in varous book including persians and ancient greek books. It is mentioned in herodotus famous book histories. There are many persian language loanwords in urdu.


The ancient kho language was spoken before 7th century it was much different from Present. It has many ancient greek and sanskrit loanword. It was oldest surviving language of northen indian about 2,300 years old spoken in this region.

In old kho the word is ase kur asistai for where was he?

Aš esum which means i am in modern khowar it uses awa asum the word awa from taken from arabic awad

tu kaip esus is ancient kho word for how are you?


there are also ancient greek word like asteri for star which was replaced by istari.

the word aghonia in old kho language, which means equally was replaced by ghon in modern kho which means like.

The history of kho dates back 23,000 years ago it came into india it is consider a group of proto-baltic language with sanskrit and ancient greek words it came into india morethan 2300 years ago during 15th century many loanwords from other neighbour languages are added.

Loanwords[change | change source]

Khowar has many loanwords borrowing from Persian, Ghalchah and it contain Sanskrit and Ancient Greek words for example in persian the word neŝastan for sit in khowar neiŝe and neŝastan and noŝtan in khowar nevŝik for write.

During, 19 century many hindustani languages words are added to khowar like afas from aas which means hope ruphi from rukna which means to stop usna from uthana which means to lift up choghi from chori which means to theft.

See also[change | change source]

More reading[change | change source]

  • Elena Bashir, (2001) Spatial Representation in Khowar. Proceedings of the 36th Annual Meeting of the Chicago Linguistic Society. Chicago: Chicago Linguistic Society.
  • Kendall D. Decker, (1992) Languages of Chitral ISBN 969-8023-15-1
  • Erik L’Homme, (1999) Parlons Khowar. Langue et culture de l’ancien royaume de Chitral au Pakistan. Paris: L’Harmattan
  • Georg Morgenstierne, (1936) Iranian Elements in Khowar. Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies, Vol. VIII, London.
  • Badshah munir Bukhari (2001) Khowar language. University publisher.Pakistan
  • Georg Morgenstierne, (1947) Some Features of Khowar Morphology. Norsk Tidsskrift for Sprogvidenskap, Vol. XIV, Oslo.
  • Georg Morgenstierne, (1957) Sanskritic Words in Khowar. Felicitation Volume Presented to S.K. Belvalkar. Benares. 84-98 [Reprinted in Morgenstierne (1973): Irano-Dardica, 267-72]
  • Mohammad Ismail Sloan (1981) Khowar-English Dictionary. Peshawar. ISBN 0-923891-15-3.