Jadgali in Arabic script, in the three names of the language, Jadgali (Baloch name) and Numari (Native name)
Native toPakistan, Iran
Native speakers
no reliable data (2008)[1]
Arabic script (Nastaʿlīq)[2]
Language codes
ISO 639-3jdg

Jaḍgālī (also called Jatgali, Jatki,[3] Zadjali) is an Indo-Aryan language spoken by the Jadgal, an ethno-linguistic group[4] of Pakistan and Iran also spoken by few hundreds in Oman. It is one of only two Indo-Aryan languages found on the Iranian plateau.[4] It is a dialect of Sindhi language most closely related to Lasi.[5][6]

The majority of the Jadgali population is found in Pakistan, where a 2004 estimate placed it at 15,600,[7] and in Iran, where according to a 2008 estimate it is at least 25,000.[8] There are also immigrant communities in Oman and the United Arab Emirates, where the Jadgal are known as az-zighālī or az-zijālī.[9] In Iran at least two varieties are spoken, which are reportedly not easily intercomprehensible.[10]

The term Jadgal is of Balochi origin, but it is nowadays used by the Jadgal themselves, alongside their earlier endonym Nummaṛ, which is the source of the language names Nummaṛī and Nummaṛikī.[11]

Jadgali is underdocumented. According to Emeneau, it is likely to have been the source of early Indo-Aryan influences on Balochi and Brahui and therefore studies of the language could help bring insights into the linguistic history of the area.[12]

In Iran

Jadgali was known by the Arabs as Al-Zighali.

In Iran, Jadgali is spoken in the Dashtyari region in the south and south-east of Sistan and Balochistan Province, particularly in Pullān, Pīr Suhrāb and Bāhū Kalāt; all neighbouring communities are Balochi-speaking.[13] Most speakers of Jadgali ethnically self-identify as Jadgal,[14] fewer Jadgal claim to be of Baloch origin and to have changed their language because of interactions with their neighbours at the time when they were settled in Las Bela, a region at the eastern end of Balochistan. According to this story, they left their homeland after a defeat from the ruler of Sindh and then moved westward, eventually settling in Dashtyari during the reign of Shah Abbas.[15]

Balochi is the language of wider communication, all male adults are bilingual in it,[16] and it is more likely to be the one passed on to children in mixed marriages.[17] However, attitudes to Jadgali are positive and the language is vital.[18] Persian is used relatively often.[19] In addition to Balochi TV programmes, some people also watch Sindhi-language broadcasts from Pakistan.[20]


  1. ^ Delforooz 2008, p. 25
  2. ^ "Ethnologue report for Jadgali". Ethnologue.
  3. ^ Grimes, B. (2003). "Northwest Indo-Aryan Languages". International Encyclopedia of Linguistics. Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-513977-8.
  4. ^ a b Delforooz 2008, p. 23.
  5. ^ Delforooz 2008, pp. 27–28. The similarity to Lasi emerged from a study of recordings of lexical items. The author notes that there nevertheless are differences in both pronunciation and lexicon.
  6. ^ Jahani, Carina; Korn, Agnes; Titus, Paul Brian (2008). The Baloch and Others: Linguistic, Historical and Socio-political Perspectives on Pluralism in Balochistan. Reichert Verlag. p. 28. ISBN 978-3-89500-591-6. the Jadgal in Dashtyari and speakers of Lasi in Las Bela or by assuming that Jadgali is a separate Sindhi dialect.'
  7. ^ Ethnologue 2017. Ethnologue had earlier estimated the population in Pakistan at 100,000.(Ethnologue 2013).
  8. ^ Delforooz 2008, p. 25. The corresponding 2004 estimate reported in Ethnologue (2017) was 10,000.
  9. ^ Delforooz 2008, p. 25.
  10. ^ Based on the testimony of one speaker. (Delforooz 2008, p. 28).
  11. ^ Delforooz 2008, p. 28.
  12. ^ Bashir 2016, pp. 272, 277.
  13. ^ Delforooz 2008, pp. 25, 28.
  14. ^ "Documentation of the Jadgali language | Endangered Languages Archive". www.elararchive.org. Retrieved 2024-04-08. Jadgal people.........they are not aware of their origin. They consider themselves to be separate from the Baloch and call themselves Jadgal. Likewise, Baloch people also consider them to be a separate ethnic group
  15. ^ Delforooz 2008, pp. 25–26.
  16. ^ Spooner 1969, p. 144.
  17. ^ Delforooz 2008, p. 42.
  18. ^ Delforooz 2008, pp. 41–42.
  19. ^ Delforooz 2008, pp. 36, 42.
  20. ^ Delforooz 2008, p. 33.