Kashmiri Language

Kashmiri (/kæʃˈmɪəri/)[5] (कॉशुर, کأشُر), or Koshur, is a language from the Dardic subgroup[6] of the Indo-Aryan languages and it is spoken primarily in the Kashmir Valley, in Jammu and Kashmir.[7][8][9] There are approximately 5,527,698 speakers throughout India, according to the Census of 2001.[10] Most of the 105,000 speakers in Pakistan are emigrants from the Kashmir Valley after the partition of India.[1][11] They include a few speakers residing in border villages in Neelam District.

Kashmiri is close to other dardic languages spoken in Gilgit, Pakistan and in northern regions of Kargil, India. Outside the Dardic group, tonal aspects and loanwords of Arabic, Persian and Sanskrit, especially its northern dialects.[12][13]

The Kashmiri language is one of the 22 scheduled languages of India,[14] and is a part of the eighth Schedule in the constitution of the Jammu and Kashmir. Along with other regional languages mentioned in the Sixth Schedule, as well as Hindi and Urdu, the Kashmiri language is to be developed in the state.[15] Most Kashmiri speakers use Urdu or English as a second language.[1] Since November 2008, the Kashmiri language has been made a compulsory subject in all schools in the Valley up to the secondary level.[16]


ISO 639-3 kas Alternate Names Cashmeeree, Cashmiri, Kacmiri, Kaschemiri, Keshur, Koshur Population

5,360,000 in India (2001 census). Population total all countries: 5,580,830.


Jammu and Kashmir, eastern Kupwara and Baramula districts, Badgam, Shupian, Kulgam, Ranban, Doda, Bandipore, Ganderbal, Anantag, Kishtwar, Kargil, and west Leh districts; Himachal Pradesh, Chamba, Lahul, and Spiti districts; Kashmir valley.

Language Status

4 (Educational). Statutory language of provincial identity in Jammu and Kashmir (1950, Constitution, Articles 345–347).

Classification Indo-European, Indo-Iranian, Indo-Aryan, Northwestern zone, Dardic, Kashmiri Dialects

Bakawali, Bunjwali, Kishtwari (Kashtawari, Kashtwari, Kathiawari, Kistwali), Miraski, Poguli, Rambani, Riasi, Shah-Mansuri, Siraji of Doda, Siraji-Kashmiri, Standard Kashmiri, Zayoli, Zirak-Boli. Transitional dialects to Punjabi [pan]. Kashtawari dialect is standard, other dialects are influenced by Dogri [dgo].



Language Use

Most also use Urdu [urd] (Koul 1983). Also use English [eng], Hindi [hin]. Used as L2 by Bhadrawahi [bhd], Changthang [cna], Gujari [gju].

Language Development Literacy rate in L1: 88% male; 12% female over 35 years of age (Koul and Schmidt 1983). Literacy rate in L2: 55% for Jammu and Kashmir (2001 census). 83% would prefer use of Kashmiri rather than Urdu as medium in primary school, 48% in middle school (Koul and Schmidt 1983). Newspapers. Radio programs. Films. Dictionary. Grammar. Bible: 1899–2005. Writing

Arabic script, Nastaliq variant [Aran]. Devanagari script [Deva]. Latin script [Latn]. Sharada script [Shrd], no longer in use.

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