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Domaaki language facts for kids

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Native to Pakistan
Region Nager and Hunza Valleys
Native speakers ca. 350  (2004)
Language family

Domaakí - also known as Dumaki or Domaá - is a language spoken in the Northern Areas of Pakistan.

It is the traditional tongue of the Dóoma (sg. Dóom), a small ethnic group scattered in extended family units among larger host communities. In former times, Domaaki speakers traditionally worked as blacksmiths and musicians, but nowadays they are also engaged in a variety of other professions.

In almost all places of their present settlement the Dooma, who are all Muslims, have long since given up their original mother tongue in favour of the language of their respective host community. Only in the Nager and Hunza Valleys has Domaaki survived until the present day.

Following its geographic location, Domaaki can be divided into two dialects: Nager-Domaaki and Hunza-Domaaki. Although there are considerable differences between these two varieties, they are not so severe as to prevent mutual intelligibility.

Presently Domaaki counts less than 350 (mostly elderly) speakers – ca. 300 of them related to Hunza; around 40 related to Nager – and is thus to be considered a highly endangered language.

  • Weinreich, Matthias. 2008. Two Varieties of Domaakí. Zeitschrift der Deutschen Morgenländischen Gesellschaft 158: 299-316.
  • Domaaki. Retrieved June 13, 2006, from Ethnologue: Languages of the World, fifteenth edition. SIL International. Online version.
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