Balti (སྦལ་ཏི་སྐད།) or Bhotia is a language spoken in the Baltistan region of northeastern Pakistan and a few neighboring villages of the disputed territory of Indian-administered Kashmir. The language is an archaic dialect of the Tibetan language, but many of the consonants of Classical Tibetan that are silent in most modern Tibetan dialects are pronounced in Balti.
|Native to||Pakistan, India|
|Region||Baltistan and small pockets in Ladakh, Karachi, Rawalpindi/Islamabad and Lahore|
|c.484,000 in Pakistan (2018)|
|Tibetan script, Nastaliq script|
History & People change
Greeks used the word Byaltae instead of Bal-ti, which in Tibetan means water gorge. The historian Ptolemy who was also a general in the army of Alexander the Great had named the region (Byaltae) in his book. Baltistan is the Persian translation of the native term Baltiyul meaning “The Homeland of Balti”. The people belonging to Balti nationality are settled on both banks of the river Indus from Turtuk (in the east) to Haramosh (in the west) and from Karakoram range (in the north) to Deosai plains (in the south). Majority of Balti language speakers are of Tibetan origin. However people from Indus Plains (Monpa's) and Central Asia (Horpa's) migrated to this area in different periods of ancient times, on account of different reasons and after merging in the prevailing Tibetan society, they also speak the Balti language, which is a branch of the ancient Tibetan language. Small pockets of Brokskat, Purgi, Changthang and Ladakhi also exist in Baltistan.
The Balti people are a very forbearing, cheerful,brave and hospitable people. They ruled the area of Ladakh and Western Tibet under the Makpon reign (from 12th century to 1840 A.D.).
The Balti language has kept many honorific words like all other Tibetan dialects and many other languages. Below are a few examples:
|Ngid tong||gZim tong||Ngid tong||Sleep (go to)|
- "Preservation of the original Balti language". The Nation. 2023-11-24.
- PeopleGroups.org. "PeopleGroups.org - Baltistani Bhotia of Pakistan". peoplegroups.org. Retrieved 2023-11-24.
- Sprigg, R. K. (2013-07-04). Balti-English / English-Balti Dictionary. Routledge. ISBN 978-1-136-84517-8.
- Beyer, Stephan V. (1992-01-01). The Classical Tibetan Language. SUNY Press. ISBN 978-0-7914-1099-8.
- Everson, Michael. ISO/IEC JTC1/SC2/WG2 N2985: Proposal to add four Tibetan characters for Balti to the BMP of the UCS. 2005-09-05
- Hussainabadi, Mohamad Yusuf. Balti Zaban. 1990.
- Read, A.F.C. Balti grammar.London:The Royal Asiatic society, 1934.
Other websites change
- Koshur: The Balti Language
- Tibetan script makes a comeback in Pakistan Archived 2007-08-18 at the Wayback Machine
- Proposal to add four Tibetan characters for Balti to the BMP of the UCS
- Tibetan Extensions 2 : Balti Archived 2010-10-17 at the Wayback Machine
- Pakistan's Northern Areas dilemma
- Northern Areas Development Gateway Archived 2008-05-11 at the Wayback Machine
- Pakistan's Northern Areas Archived 2004-01-07 at the Wayback Machine