Central Asian Arabic

variety of Arabic spoken in Afghanistan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan

Central Asian Arabic (العربية الآسيوية الوسطى) is a severely endangered variety of Arabic historically spoken widely across Central Asia including Khorasan, but now dying out. Many are now switching to Persian or Tajik.

Central Asian Arabic
Native toAfghanistan, Iran, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Pakistan, Turkmenistan
Native speakers
(ca. 2,000, not counting Khorasani cited 1997–2003)[1]
  • Bakhtiari
  • Bukharian
  • Kashkadarian
  • Khorasani
  • Chitrali
Language codes
ISO 639-3Either:
abh – Tajiki Arabic
auz – Uzbeki Arabic
Enclaves in Afghanistan, Iran and Uzbekistan where Central Asian Arabic is still spoken. In brackets, after the name of each region, is the number of villages with Arabic-speaking inhabitants.



Much of the region of Central Asia was under the rule of Islamic Arab caliphates. Many nomadic Arabs moved from Khuzestan and Oman to Samarkand and other parts of Central Asia.[2] After Soviet forces took the region, Arabic started dying. The majority of Arabic speakers have switched to Dari in Afghanistan and Tajikistan.


  1. Tajiki Arabic at Ethnologue (13th ed., 1996).
    Uzbeki Arabic at Ethnologue (13th ed., 1996).
  2. "Afghanistan - Arab".