The Pashto-English Dictionary (Beta)


The online Pashto-English dictionary is a research project funded by the University of Arizona Libraries.



To create a recognized Pashto dictionary for the purpose of a standard language of Pashto with standardized spelling, vocabulary and pronunciation.


Pashto (پښتو ) alternatively spelled Pukhto, Pakhto or Pushto), historically as Afghani (افغاني ), is the one of the two official languages of Afghanistan (the other is Dari /Farsi/ Persian). It is also spoken as a regional language in Pakistan. Pashto is spoken by over 16 million people in Afghanistan and 30 million in Pakistan.

While building metadata records for Afghanistan Digital Libraries , We found several Pashto language dictionaries online but encountered several issues related to standardized spelling, pronunciation, romanization/transliteration, and limited content. Standard languages commonly feature: recognized dictionary (standardized spelling and vocabulary); recognized grammar; standard pronunciation; linguistic institution defining usage norms; constitutional (legal) status (frequently as an official language); effective public use (court, legislature, schools, news media) and acceptance in community.

The Pashto-English dictionary is almost near completion. There are currently about 12,000 words, and we are still expanding and adding many new words. In addition, we are working to improve and extend the English-Pashto Dictionary, which is not deployed at this moment.

The Pashto-English dictionary has been created with the following objectives in mind:

The dictionary is currently adopting the American Library Association - Library of Congress (ALA-LC) romanization scheme. There are several romanization systems used, including ALA-LC, BGN/PCGN, DIN 31635, ISO233, ArabTex and others. Normally published Pashto dictionaries either use one of the above or a combination of few romanization systems.