|Native to||Afghanistan, Pakistan|
|6.5 million (2013)|
|Arabic (Pashto alphabet)|
|Regulated by||Academy of Sciences of Afghanistan|
Central Pashto (Pashto: منځنۍ پښتو manźanəi pax̌to) is the standardized variety of Pashto which serves as a prestige Pashto dialect, and is based on the northwestern or central dialect, spoken in the central Ghilji region, including the Afghan capital Kabul and some surrounding region. Central Pashto's vocabulary, however, also derives from Southern Pashto. Central Pashto is the literary variety of Pashto used in Afghan media.
Central Pashto has been developed by Radio Television Afghanistan and Academy of Sciences of Afghanistan in Kabul. It has adopted neologisms to coin new terms from already existing words or phrases and introduce them into the Pashto lexicon. Educated Standard Pashto is learned in the curriculum that is taught in the primary schools in the country. It is used for written and formal spoken purposes, and in the domains of media and government. This dialect of Pashto has been chosen as standard because the Pashtuns from north, south, east and west as well as those living in Pakistan, India and all around the world widely understand this dialect.
There has also been an effort to adopt a written form based on Latin script, but because of linking the Perso-Arabic based script with the religious views of Afghans, the effort of adapting a Roman alphabet has failed. However, Pashto is widely written in Latin script outside Afghanistan by the 2nd and 3rd generation of Pashtun refugees many of whom never learned how to read and write the Perso-Arabic based Pashto alphabet.
- Pashto alphabet
- List of Pashto-language poets
- List of Pashto-language singers
- Pre-Islamic scripts in Afghanistan
- Central Pashto at Ethnologue (18th ed., 2015)
- Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2017). "Central Pashto". Glottolog 3.0. Jena, Germany: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.
- Coyle, Dennis Walter (August 2014). "Placing Wardak among Pashto varieties" (PDF). University of North Dakota:UND. Retrieved 26 December 2014.
- BGN/PCGN romanization
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- "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2012-06-19. Retrieved 2012-02-04.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
- "NGA: Standardization Policies". nga.mil. Archived from the original on 2013-02-13.