The first country on the list is Afghanistan, which has a population of around 33 million people. Located on what were once some of the most traversed trade routes, this country has a rich history and complex demographics. The two official languages of the country are Dari and Pashto. There are also a number of other languages spoken by minority groups which I will be going over. However, for this piece and part 2, I will be focusing on the most widely spoken and official languages, Dari and Pashto.
For Part 1: Dari
Dari is what the Persian spoken in Afghanistan is called. While people who are ethnically Tajik do not make up the majority of Afghans, Dari is the most widely spoken language. In Afghanistan, around 5 million people speak Dari. The reason for Dari being so popular is that it is often used in Afghan schools and for inter-ethnic communicating. Afghans who might not be able to understand one another will use Dari as a lingua franca. A large percentage of the country can speak Dari as a second language.
Being just a renamed Persian that is used in Afghanistan, Dari comes from the Indo-Iranian language family. Although the language is quite different from Arabic, Dari is written in a modified Arabic alphabet along with Persian.
Persian and Dari do have a high degree of mutual intelligibility. An Iranian and Dari-speaking Afghan would not find communicating to be difficult.
Dari does have some differentiating factors to it. Dari has more consonant sounds and the language has really slight grammatical differences with things like inflection of words.
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