The Balochi vowel system has at least eight vowels: five long vowels and three short vowels. The long vowels are /aː/, /eː/, /iː/, /oː/, and /uː/. The short vowels are /a/, /i/ and /u/. The short vowels have more centralized phonetic qualities than the long vowels.
Southern Balochi (at least as spoken in Karachi) also has nasalized vowels, most importantly /ẽː/ and /ãː/.
The following consonants are common to both Western Balochi and Southern Balochi. The place of articulation of the consonants /s/, /z/, /n/, /ɾ/ and /l/ is claimed to be alveolar in Western Balochi, while at least the /ɾ/ is claimed to be dental in Southern Balochi. The stops /t/ and /d/ are claimed to be dental in both dialects.
|Stop||p b||t d||ʈ ɖ||k ɡ||ʔ|
|Fricative||s z||ʃ ʒ[cn 1]||h[cn 2]|
In addition, /f/ is listed for Southern Balochi, but is found in few words. /x/ (voiceless velar fricative) in some loanwords in Southern Balochi corresponding to /χ/ (voiceless uvular fricative) in Western Balochi; and /ɣ/ (voiced velar fricative) in some loanwords in Southern Balochi corresponding to /ʁ/ (voiced uvular fricative) in Western Balochi.
The normal word order is subject–object–verb. Like many other Indo-Iranian languages, Balochi has split ergativity. In the present tense or future tense, the subject is marked as nominative, and the object is marked as accusative. In the past tense, however, the subject of a transitive verb is marked as oblique, and the verb agrees with the object.
There are two main dialects among the Balochi language, one with the Mandwani or northern tribes and the other with the Mazaris or southern tribes. The differences among the Mazaris dialect from that among the Maris, the Bugtis, the Shambanis, the Kacchi Plains people and those of the Bolan Pass are slight and as such are said to all be the same. The grammatical terminations by the northern tribes are less full and distinct than those in the southern tribes.
Before the 19th century, Balochi was an unwritten language. The official written language was Persian, although Balochi was still spoken at the Baloch courts. British linguists and political historians wrote from with the Latin script, but following the independence of Pakistan, Baloch scholars adopted Urdu Arabic script. The first collection of poetry in Balochi, Gulbang by Mir Gul Khan Nasir was published in 1951 and incorporated the Urdu Arabic Script. But it was much later that Sayad Zahurshah Hashemi wrote a comprehensive guidance on the usage of Urdu Arabic script and standardized it as the Balochi Orthography in Pakistan and Iran. This earned Sayad Hashemi the title of 'the Father of Balochi'. Sayad's guidances are widely used in Eastern and Western Balochistan. In Afghanistan, however, Balochi is written in a modified Arabic script based on what is used for Persian.
ا آ ب پ ت ٹ ج چ د ڈ ر ڑ ز ژ س ش ک گ ل م ن و ھ ء ی ے
ا آ ب بھ پ پھ ت تھ ٹ ٹھ ث ج جھ ݘ چ چھ ح خ د دھ ڈ ڈھ ڋ ذ ڌ ڌھ ر ڑ ڑھ ز ژ س ش ص ض ط طھ ظ ع غ ف ق قھ ک کھ گ گھ ل لھ م مھ ن نھ ں ڹ و وھ ہ ھ ء ی ے ﻳﮭ ~٠
There are 47 letters in the Balochi language the orthography of the Balochi script was introduced by Taimur Mengal in his Balochi pamphlet "Balochi Nama Qasim" published in 1987. The same alphabet was published in his article "Balochki Mundh Likh" in the monthly Balochi Nama, Dera Ghazi Khan, August–September 1991, Vol. 1, issue 1, Pp. 24.
Aa Āā Bb Cc Çç Dd Đđ Ee Èè Gg Hh Ii Jj Kk Ll Mm Nn Oo Òò Pp Rr Ss Şş Tt Ţţ Uu Vv Ww Xx Yy Zz
The following Latin-based alphabet was adopted by the International Workshop on "Balochi Roman Orthography" (University of Uppsala, Sweden, May 28–30, 2000).
a á b c d ď e f g ĝ h i í j k l m n o p q r ř s š t ť u ú v w x y z ž ay aw (33 letters and 2 digraphs)
|A/a||amb (mango), angúr (grape), bagg (camel-caravan), sardar (Head man-nobleman), namb (mist)|
|Á/á||dár (wood), abba (father), árth (flour), bahá (price), pádh (foot), áeghah (coming), áhán (them)|
|B/b||(be) bawar (snow, ice), bám (dawn), bágpán (gardener), baktáwar (lucky)|
|C/c||(che) cattre (umbrella), bachek (son), kánc (knife), Karácí, Kulánc, Cákar, Bálác|
|D/d||(de) dard (pain), drad (rainshower), dárman (medicine), wádh (salt)|
|Ď/ď||is the same as Ř/ř (ře) so this latter is preferably used to simplify the orthography.|
|E/e||eš (this), cer (below), eraht (end of date harvest), pešraw (leader, forerunner), kamer (ploughshare)|
|F/f||(fe) To be used only in loan words where its use is inevitable, like Fráns (France), fármaysí (pharmacy).|
|G/g||(ge) gapp (talk), ganokh (mad), bágh (garden), bagg (herd of camels), pádagh (foot), Bagdád (Baghdad)|
|Ĝ/ĝ||(like ĝhaen in Perso-Arabic script) Only in loan words and in eastern dialects: Ghair (Others), Ghali (Carpet), Ghaza (Noise)|
|H/h||(he) hár (flood), máh (moon), koh (mountain), mahár (rein), hon (blood)|
|I/i||(i) istál (star), ingo (here), gir (take), kirr (near)|
|Í/í||(í) ímmán (faith), šír (milk), pakír (beggar), samín (breeze), gálí (carpet)|
|J/j||(je) jang (war), janagh (to beat), jing (lark), ganj (treasure), sajjí (roasted meat)|
|K/k||(ke) Kirmán (Kirman), kárc (knife), nákho (uncle), gwask (calf), kasán (small)|
|L/l||(le) láp (stomach), gal (joy), ghall (party, organization), gull (cheek), gul (rose)|
|M/m||(me) mát/más (mother), bám (dawn), camm (eye), mastir (leader, bigger)|
|N/n||(ne) nán/nagan/naghan (bread), nokk (new, new moon), dann (outside), kwahn (old), nákho (uncle)|
|O/o||(o) oštagh (to stop), ožnág (swim), roc (sun), dor (pain), socagh (to burn)|
|P/p||(pe) Pádh (foot), šap (night), šapád (bare-footed), gapp (talk), haptád (70)|
|Q/q||(qú) used in loan words, like Qábús.|
|R/r||(re) Rustum (a name), rekh (sand), baragh (to take away), giragh (to get), garragh (to bray), gurrag (to roar), šarr (good), sarag (head), sarrag (a kind of donkey's braying)|
|Ř/ř||(ře) řák (post), řukkál (famine), gařř (urial), guřř (last), guřřag (to chop)|
|S/s||(se) sarag (head), khass (someone), kasán (little), bass (enough), ás (fire)|
|Š/š||(še) šap (night), šád (happy), meš (sheep), šuwánag (shepherd), wašš (happy, tasty)|
|T/t||(te) taghard (mat), tahná (alone) thás (bowl), kilítt (kay), masítt (mosque), battí (lantern)|
|Ť/ť||(ťe) ťung (hole), ťíllo (bell), baťť (cooked rice), baťťág (eggplant)|
|U/u||uštir (camel), šumá (you), ustád (teacher), gužn (hunger), buz (goat)|
|Ú/ú||(ú, sounds like the "oo" in English word "root") úrt (thin), zúrag (to take), bizú (take), dúr (distant)|
|V/v||(ve) Used in loanwords only, like in the English word service, very.|
|W/w||(we) warag (food, to eat), wardin (provision), dawár (abode), wádh (salt), kawwás (learned), hawa (wind)|
|X/x||(khe) Xudá (God)|
|Y/y||(ye) yád (remembrance), yár (friend), yárah (eleven), biryání (meat in rice), raydyo (radio), yakk (one)|
|Z/z||(ze) zarr (monay), zí (yesterday), muzz (wages), moz (banana), nazzíkk (nearby), bazgar (tenant), Zor (power)|
|Ž/ž||(že) žand (tired), zindaghi (life), žáng (bells), pažm (wool), gažžag (to swell), gužnag (hungry), Mauz (waves)|
|Ay/ay||(h)ayrán (surprise), ayrát (distribution), say (3), may (our), kay (who), šumay (your)|
|Aw/aw||kawr (river), hawr (rain), kissaw (story), dawl (sort), dawr (jump), awlád (off-spring), kawl (promise), gawk (neck)|
Media related to Balochi language at Wikimedia Commons