Burushaski (Urdu: بروشسکی - burū́šaskī) is a language isolate spoken by some 87,000 (as of 2000) Burusho people in the Hunza, Nagar, Yasin, and parts of the Gilgit valleys in the Northern Areas of Pakistan. It is also spoken by some 300 speakers in Srinagar, Indian-administered Kashmir. Other names for the language are Kanjut (Kunjoot), Werchikwār, Boorishki, Brushas (Brushias).

Native toPakistan
EthnicityBurusho people
Native speakers
87,000 in Pakistan (2000)[1]
  • Hunza–Nagar
  • Yasin (Werchikwar)
Language codes
ISO 639-3bsk
Area of Burushaski speakers

Today Burushaski contains many loanwords from Urdu (including English words received via Urdu) and from neighbouring Dardic languages such as Khowar and Shina, as well as a few from Turkic languages and from the neighboring Sino-Tibetan language Balti, but the original vocabulary remains largely intact. The Dardic languages also contain large numbers of loanwords from Burushaski.

There are three dialects, named after the main valleys: Hunza, Nagar, and Yasin (also called Werchikwār). The dialect of Yasin is thought to be the least affected by contact with neighboring languages and is generally less similar to the other two than those are to each other; nevertheless all three dialects are mutually intelligible.


  1. Burushaski at Ethnologue (16th ed., 2009)