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Balti

A language of Pakistan

ISO 639-3bft

Population  270,000 in Pakistan (1992). Population total all countries: 308,800.
Region  Primarily northeast Pakistan, Baltistan District, Skardu, Rondu, Shigar, Khapalu, Kharmang, and Gultari valleys. Also in India.
Language map  Northern Pakistan, reference number 7
Alternate names   Baltistani, Bhotia of Baltistan, Sbalti
Dialects  Chorbat is most divergent dialect. Lexical similarity: 87%–100% among dialects, 78%–85% with Purik [prx].
Classification  Sino-Tibetan, Tibeto-Burman, Himalayish, Tibeto-Kanauri, Tibetic, Tibetan, Western
Language use  Some also use Shina [scl] or Urdu [urd].
Language development  Literacy rate in L2: 3%–5% in Urdu. Bible portions: 1903–1940.
Writing system  Arabic script. Balti script, no longer in use. Devanagari script.
Comments  Muslim (Shi’a).

Also spoken in:

India

Language name   Balti
Population  38,800 in India (2001 census).
Region  Jammu and Kashmir.
Alternate names  Baltistani, Bhoti of Baltistan, Sbalt
Language use  Some also use Shina [scl] or Urdu [urd]. Many Purik have shifted to Balti.
Language development  Literacy rate in L2: 62%.
Comments  A Scheduled Tribe. Muslim.