Dari is one of the two official languages of Afghanistan, and it’s the native tongue of about half of the population. The other official language is Pashto, spoken by about 35 percent. Although both Dari and Pashto are official languages, Dari is the primary means of communication. It’s taught in schools and heard on national radio, and it serves as the language of business and higher education.
Also called “Dari Persian” or “Eastern Persian,” Dari is one of the three major Persian dialects; modern Persian or Farsi (spoken in Iran) is another; and Tajik (spoken in Tajikistan) is the third.
Dari and Tajik are considered a purer form of Persian. That is, they show less Arab influence but all three dialects are more or less mutually intelligible. All belong to the Indo-Iranian group of languages, which is a sub-family of the Indo-European languages.
There are a number of dialects of Dari. The official form, “Kabuli Dari,” is the dialect taught in the Pimsleur program.
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Dari Persian-Speaking Countries
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