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Learn Pashto or Dari - Afghanistan's official languages - this fall


  • July 27, 2010

For the first time, during fall quarter Cal State East Bay students and community members will have the opportunity to learn elementary Pashto or Dari, the two dominant languages of Afghanistan.

This is a perfect opportunity for anyone, whether of Afghan heritage or another background, who is interested in working in Afghanistan or with Afghan businesses or government or for anyone interested in enhancing their career opportunities, according to program organizer Valerie Smith, a Department of Communication instructor.

The classes will be held from 6 to 7:50 p.m. Mondays and Wednesdays from Sept. 22 through Dec. 8 on the Hayward Campus, 25800 Carlos Bee Blvd. Additionally, enrollees will be encouraged to participate weekly in one hour of language practice before or after class.

Pashtuns are the country’s largest ethnic group and its historic rulers, comprising 40 percent of the residents. As the language of government and business, Pashto is spoken by 35 percent of the country’s population and is also spoken in neighboring regions. Dari, on the other hand, is the language of 50 percent of the nation’s residents. Both languages are spoken widely by the Bay Area’s large Afghan community.

The classes will provide an introduction to speaking, listening to, reading and writing the languages, and will emphasize the nation’s culture. The university plans to offer intermediate beginning, advanced beginning, intermediate and advanced courses in these languages during future academic terms.

CSUEB students may enroll in either three-hour course as they would for any university class. In the catalog, Pashto is listed as MLL 3999-01; Dari is MLL 3999-02. The courses fulfill a general education requirement. Non-students may enroll by completing the Open University Application Form, available online (PDF).

Space is limited and available on a first come basis. For information, contact Valerie Smith at

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