According to Ethnologue, there are 72 individual languages in Pakistan, all of which are living. Of these, 13 are institutional, 11 are developing, 38 are vigorous, 8 are in trouble, and 2 are dying. (Ethnologue, 2013)

The national language of Pakistan is Urdu, while English is the official language. Urdu, meaning ‘language of the army camp’ is a hybrid language which developed in the 14th century. It is predominantly a mixture of Turkish, Arabic, Persian, Sanskrit and other South Asian languages.

Besides Urdu, there are six major spoken the major provinces of Pakistan. These include: Punjabi, spoken by about 50% of the population; Sindhi, the second most common language in Pakistan; Pashto, spoken in Khyber-Pukhtunkhwa; Baluchi, spoken in Balochistan; Saraiki, and Hindko. There are also over fifty regional languages.

Languages in Pakistan

Photo Source: M. Izady, 2007-2013, URL Link:

For further details on the languages of Pakistan please click here.

To learn some basic Urdu phases please click here.


Ethnologue. (2013). Pakistan. Retrieved July 23, 2013, from***EDITION***