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Index / Languages / Iranian /
Iran / Languages /
Balochi



Dialects
Figures in 1000
% of all Balochi speakers
Southern
1,220 59.0%
Western
850 41.0%
By country
Figures in 1000.
% of country population.
Iran
1,600 2.2%
Oman
160 4.7%
United Arab Emirates
310 6.5%

Indo-European Iranian language (Northwestern), spoken by 2.07 million in the MENA region, most in Iran, but also in United Arab Emirates and Oman.
Balochi is also spoken in Pakistan, Afghanistan and Turkmenistan, totalling an estimate of 11 million. It is the language of the Balochi people, an ethnic group living in southeastern Iran and southwestern Pakistan.
Balochi is closely related to Kurdish, but is also strongly influenced by Persian.
No uniform scripts have been applied for Balochi, but in the countries where Balochis live, different forms of Arabic script has been applied.
Different sources differ on categorizing Balochi dialects. One system distinguishes Eastern, Western and Southern, all being distinct from one another. The other system divides into 7 regions and regional names for the language: Rakhshani, Sarawani, /*/Lashari\*\, Kechi, Coastal, Eastern Hill and /*/Mazari\*\/*/Lotuni\*\. In the preparation for Contents, there is correspondence for 4 of these 7 to the first classification (see below). The most widely used of these is Rakhshani, used in broadcasting in both Pakistan and Afghanistan. Coastal dialects are however those with the richest literature.

Eastern Balochi
Mainly spoken in Pakistan, by about 1.8 million (1998).

Southern Balochi
Also mainly spoken in Pakistan, there by about 2.8 million (1998). In other countries, 400,000 in Iran, 130,000 in Oman and 100,000 in United Arab Emirates. For the two latter countries, Balochi speakers are immigrants from Pakistan.
From the second dialect classification, here belongs Coastal, Kechi.

Western Balochi
Spoken by 1.2 million in Pakistan, 200,000 in Afghanistan, 450,000 in Iran, 30,000 in Turkmenistan (1998).
From the second dialect classification, here belongs Rakhshani, Saravani.




By Tore Kjeilen