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Last three people in the world who speak Swat’s Badeshi

Torwali becomes dominant language in the area

SAMAA | - Posted: Sep 21, 2021 | Last Updated: 1 month ago
Posted: Sep 21, 2021 | Last Updated: 1 month ago

In the Bishigram Valley of Swat only three people are left who can speak the Badeshi language.

“I, my brother and his son are only people who can speak in Badeshi but generations ago it was spoken across the village,” said Mohabbat Khan.

Young Saboor Khan said they tried to learn but they failed because they were so used to speaking in Torwali and Ushojo.

Maulana Muhammad Shoaib, a language expert, said this tribe came to the area 200 years ago but now only two or three people can speak some lines in Badeshi. Otherwise everyone speaks in Torwali.

Torwali is the dominant language in the area but it is under pressure itself from Pashto.

According to Muhammad Ali Dinakhel writing in the journal Putaj Humanities & Social Sciences (Jul-Dec2020), Swat is home to nine indigenous languages. Pukhto (Pashto), Gujro (Gujri), Torwali, Gawri, Ushojo, Qashqari, Badeshi, Shina Kohistani, and Westren dialect of Kohistani. "Among these languages the Ushojo and Badeshi are endangered languages," he writes.

Badeshi is an Indo-Iranian language of the Chail Valley, write researchers from the University of Karachi. "Only a few hundred native speakers of this language are alive." It is spoken in upper Swat, as in Tret and Bishigram in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. It is also spoken in areas near Mansehra and Alai. Some residents claim their families had migrated from Badakhshan in Afghanistan and that is why the language is also called Badakhshi.

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Badeshi, Torwali, Swat, tribal language
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