Pashto dialects (Pashto: د پښتو ګړدودونه da Pax̌to gəṛdodūna) can be divided into two main varieties, a "harsh" northern variety and a "soft" southern variety, whose dividing line passes through Zabul and Paktika provinces and then cuts right across the Durand line, the frontier between Afghanistan and Pakistan. The harsh "Pax̌to" is spoken in eastern and northeastern Afghanistan, central and northern Pakhtunkhwa and northern Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA), and the soft "Paṣ̌to" south of it, in southern Afghanistan, north Balochistan, southern FATA and southern Pakhtunkhwa. The harsh variety is spoken by more Pashtuns. The SILEthnologue divides Pashto into four dialects: Northern, Central and Southern Pashto, and Waneci.
The differences between the main southern and northern dialects are primarily phonological and there are simple conversion rules. The morphological differences between them are very few and unimportant. However, the east-central dialects, from Afridi and Wardaki to Zadrani and Wazirwola, are lexicologically different and very varied, and moreover, they have a tendency towards a change in the pronunciation of vowels. In the east-central dialects of Tani (southern Khost), Waziristan and Bannu which follow the vowel shift most radically, standard Pashto [a], [ɑ], [u], [o] change to [ɑ], [o], [i], [e], respectively. In Balochistan, the Waneci dialect is so divergent that it may even be considered a separate language which branched off from Pashto in the early Middle Iranian stage. The southern dialect of Kandahar is the most conservative with regards to phonology, retaining the retroflexfricatives and the alveolaraffricates, which have not merged with other phonemes.
One of the primary features of the dialects is the difference in the pronunciation of these seven phonemes represented in the column headings below (five of them are consonants written in the Pashto alphabet, and two are vowels written in the Latin script); sounds are transcribed in the IPA: