Pashto/Dari: a general question about each


Senior Member
American English
Would it be accurate to say that Pashto has more of an Urdu like grammar while Dari is closer to Persian?

I am just curious because I have a friend who is from Kabul who told me that Pashto was quite difficult for her to learn in school.
  • If the person was a native Dari-speaker, then she'd have had to contend learning gender-sensitive grammar for Pashto. Quite a nightmare, so I've been told. Other than that, Pashto has a very similar sentence structure to Dari and Urdu.

    Although, learning Indic sounds like R and D still baffles some Dariphones (I witnessed this with a Turkmen gentlemen the other day, just to quote one instance). And then there's the intonation over vowels that you learn with a lot of practice. And
    the shift from vowel-stressed speech to consonant-stressed one.
    Dari is Persian; the written standards are very similar. My Persian instructors loved the emphasize the higher percentage of Persian-etymology words in both Dari and Tajiki; for example, some verbs that fell out usage in Iranian Persian are still quite colloquial in Dari and Tajiki.

    You might find it interesting to read into the politics of the name Dari and Tajiki. The Wikipedia articles provide some interesting facts: at times the languages where constitutionally called "Farsi" and other times the word "Farsi" was removed.

    I just enrolled in a Pashto class, so I'll post some more as I discover it. The Wiki article seems to suggest that Pashto is a bit like Persian and Urdu, which is unsurprising since they are all Indo-European languages.
    Pashto is an S-O-V language with split ergativity. Adjectives come before nouns. Nouns and adjectives are inflected for two genders (masc./fem.),[18] two numbers (sing./plur.), and four cases (direct, oblique I, oblique II and vocative). The verb system is very intricate with the following tenses: present, subjunctive, simple past, past progressive, present perfect and past perfect. In any of the past tenses (simple past, past progressive, present perfect and past perfect), Pashto is an ergative language; i.e., transitive verbs in any of the past tenses agree with the object of the sentence.
    farsi and dari are almost the same languages. The Dari speaking population are called as Farsiban in Afghanistan. Urdu is more nearer to Dari than Pushto. Urdu and dari/ farsi share more alphabet i.e all the dari and farsi alphabets are in use in urdu whereas many of pushto alphabets are specific to it and not used in urdu.