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To which language should you translate to localize in Pakistan?

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Pakistan, a nation marked by diverse landscapes and a rich cultural heritage, unfolds a captivating tapestry shaped by its languages and traditions. The official language, Urdu, acts as a cohesive element in this country of intricate linguistic diversity. Positioned at the crossroads of South Asia, Central Asia, and the Middle East, Pakistan showcases a linguistic and cultural landscape that resonates with the influences of centuries.

Urdu, one of the world’s most beautiful languages, is rooted in the Indian subcontinent and holds a special place in the hearts of Pakistanis. It emerged during the Mughal Empire as a language that combined elements of Persian, Arabic, and local dialects, creating a unique linguistic synthesis. The script, an elegant blend of Persian and Arabic characters, adds to Urdu’s distinctive charm.

This language serves as a binding force among the people of Pakistan. Its eloquent script and expressive vocabulary reflect a history shaped by the convergence of various civilizations. The linguistic nuances of Urdu, spanning from poetic charm to everyday colloquialisms, offer glimpses into regional identities. Intonations and idioms can distinctly place a speaker’s geographical roots, contributing to a linguistic mosaic that mirrors the country’s geographical and cultural variety.

Moving beyond language, Pakistan’s cultural panorama is a vibrant fusion of ancient traditions and contemporary influences. From the majestic peaks of the Himalayas to the fertile plains of the Indus River, each region adds a unique hue to the nation’s cultural kaleidoscope. Pakistani culture, rich in music, art, and literature, finds expression through Urdu, conveying the profound depth of emotions and stories that shape the collective identity of the nation.


متنوع اقسام کے خوبصورت قدرتی مناظراور ثقافتوں کی وجہ سے پہچانے جانے والا ملک پاکستان اپنی مختلف زبانوں اور روایات کے لحاظ سے ایک گلدستے کی شکل پیش کرتا ہے۔ اس رنگا رنگ ملک کی عوام کو اس کی آ فیشل   زبان ، اردو   آپس میں پروئے رکھتی  ہے۔ جنوبی ایشیا، وسطی ایشیا اور مشرق وسطیٰ کے سنگم پر واقع ہونے کی وجہ سے پاکستان ایک ایسا لسانی اور ثقافتی منظر پیش کرتا ہے جس میں ہمیں صدیوں کے اثرات کی جھلک نظر آتی  ہے۔

اردو زبان مغلیہ سلطنت کے دوران ایک ایسی زبان کے طور پر ابھری جس نے فارسی، عربی اور مقامی بولیوں کے عناصر کو ملا کر ایک منفرد لسانی ترکیب پیش کی۔ اردو زبان کا رسم الخط جو کہ فارسی اور عربی حروف کا ایک خوبصورت امتزاج ہے، اس کی مخصوص دلکشی میں اضافہ کرتا ہے۔

یہ زبان پاکستانی عوام کو لسانی طور پر آپس میں جوڑنے کا کام کرتی ہے۔ اس کا دلکش رسم الخط اور فصیح وبلیغ الفاظ ایک ایسی تاریخ کی عکاسی کرتے ہیں جس کی تشکیل مختلف تہذیبوں کے اتحاد سے ہوتی ہے۔ اردو کی لسانی باریکیاں، جو شاعرانہ انداز بیان سے لے کر روزمرہ کی بول چال پر محیط ہیں، منفرد علاقائی شناختوں کی جھلک پیش کرتی ہیں۔ اردو بولنے والوں کے لہجے اور محاورے ان کے جغرافیائی تعلق کو واضح طور پر ظاہر کر سکتے ہیں اور ان سے ایک ایسی لسانی تصویر ابھر کر سامنے آتی ہے جو ان کے ملک کی جغرافیائی اور ثقافتی پہچان کی آئینہ دار ہوتی ہے۔

اگر ہم زبان سے ہٹ کر بات کریں تو، پاکستان کا ثقافتی تانا بانا قدیم روایات اور عصری اثرات کا ایک شاندار امتزاج ہے۔ ہمالیہ کی اونچی چوٹیوں سے لے کر دریائے سندھ کے زرخیز میدانوں تک، ہر خطہ ملک کی ثقافتی تصویر میں ایک منفرد رنگ بھرتا ہے۔ پاکستانی ثقافت موسیقی، فن اور ادب سے مالا مال ہے اور اسے اردو کے ذریعے اظہار بیان کا ایک منفرد ذریعہ ملتا ہے جس کے ذریعے ایسے جذبات اور کہانیاں دنیا کے سامنے بیان ہوتی ہیں جو قوم کی اجتماعی پہچان کو تشکیل دیتی ہیں۔

Kashif Khalid, Member of CIOL (Chartered Institute of Linguists)

What the 150 top websites do

Of the top 150 website (Global by design ranking):

  • 41/150 translate into English

If you need others information, below you can find a selection of economic/social/cultural data



Official languages
English, Urdu

Urdu is not only the official language of Pakistan but also the national language of the country. However, only about 8% of Pakistanis speak Urdu as their first language whereas a vast section of the population speaking it as their second language (90%).

Actual languages
Punjabi, Pashto, Sindhi and Balochi.


T-Index ranks countries according to their potential for online sales.

Most studied languages
English and Arabic.

Low proficiency (EF) – 70 of 111 countries/regions in the world- 11/24 position in Asia.


Capital: Islamabad
Currency: Pakistani rupee
Population: 235,8 million
Population density: 295/km2


GDP: 376.53 billion USD (2022)
GDP per capita: 1,596.7 USD ‎(2022) ‎
Exports: $32.7 billion (2021)


Internet users: 36.7% penetration, 87.35 million
Unemployment rate: 6.3% (2021)
Urbanisation: 38% (2022)
Literacy: 58% (2019)


Numbering system
Arabic numerals with dot as decimal separator

Date format: dd – mm – yyyy
Time: 24h time system
Country code: 0092

Language data sources: Worldatlas/Britannica//EF/Wikipedia; Demography data sources: IMF/Worldometers; Conventions data source: Wikipedia; Economy data sources: WTO/OEC/CIA/Esomar/Datareportal; Statistics data sources: Datareportal/WorldBank/UN/UNESCO/CEIC/IMF/Culturalatlas/Commisceoglobal

Facts and data


$78.5 billion (2021). Refined Petroleum ($6.58B), Petroleum Gas ($6.41B), Crude Petroleum ($3.53B), Palm Oil ($3.36B), and Vaccines, blood, antisera, toxins and cultures ($3.06B), importing mostly from China ($23.5B), United Arab Emirates ($7.13B), Qatar ($4.8B), Indonesia ($4.05B), and United States ($3.51B).

In 2021, Pakistan was the world’s biggest importer of Tea ($622M), Hydraulic Turbines ($108M), Jute and Other Textile Fibers ($58.3M), and Metallic Yarn ($35.8M).

Financial inclusion factors (over 15 years of  age)
• 16.3% have an account with a financial institution
• 0.2% have a credit card
• 8.5% have a mobile money account

Ease of doing business
It is moderately easy to conduct business (rated 61 out of 100) and ranked 108th out of 190 countries worldwide (2022, World Bank).

$32.7 billion (2021). House Linens ($4.63B), Rice ($2.26B), Non-Knit Men’s Suits ($2.03B), Knit Sweaters ($1.5B), and Non-Knit Women’s Suits ($1.37B), exporting mostly to United States ($5.51B), China ($3.25B), Germany ($2.53B), United Kingdom ($2.21B), and United Arab Emirates ($1.28B).

Main local online stores,,,, Shophive, Yayvo,,

Economic freedom
It is mostly not free (rated 49.4 out of 100). Ranked 33rd out of 39 Asia-Pacific countries. Ranked 152nd out of 184 countries worldwide (2022, Heritage Foundation and Wall Street Journal).

Global Innovation Index
Ranked 6th out of 10 Central and Southern Asian countries, and 87th out of 132 worldwide.

The Global Innovation Index captures the innovation
ecosystem performance of 132 economies and tracks the most recent global innovation trends.

Economy data sources: WTO/OEC/CIA/Esomar/Datareportal

Service Imports (2019)
Service Exports (2019)

Source: OEC

Historical Data Trade Imports

The following section uses historical trade data imports from partners of Pakistan.

Historical Data Trade Exports

The following section uses historical trade data exports from partners of Pakistan.

Source: OEC

The Top Export Opportunities for Pakistan by Relatedness

Relatedness measures the distance between a country's current exports and each product by showing only products that Pakistan is not specialized in.

Pakistan's Most Complex Exports

The Product Complexity Index (PCI) measures the knowledge intensity of a product by considering the knowledge intensity of its exporters.

Source: OEC

Pakistan's Most Specialized Products

Specialization is measured using Revealed Comparative Advantage (RCA), an index that takes the ratio between Pakistan observed and expected exports in each product.

Source: OEC

Market Growth Imports (2019)

This score represents the likelihood that the given country will start importing that product in the next few years. It forecasts the opening of a new specific market.

Market Growth Exports (2019)

This score represents the likelihood that the given country will start exporting that product in the next few years. It forecasts the opening of a new specific market.

Source: OEC



Reach most of the online purchasing power

T-Index ranks countries according to their potential for online sales. It estimates the market share of each country in relation to global e-commerce.

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Media language English and Urdu.

Information channels
Pakistan is one of the world’s deadliest countries for journalists. Intelligence agents and members of banned militant organisations are behind “serious threats” to reporters, says Reporters Without Borders. The government uses legal and constitutional powers to curb press freedom and the law on blasphemy has been used against journalists. The broadcasting regulator can halt the carriage of foreign TV channels via cable, particularly Indian or Afghan ones. Television is the dominant medium and there are dozens of private channels. Most viewers watch them via cable; there are no private, terrestrially-broadcast stations. State-run Pakistan Television Corporation (PTV) is the sole national terrestrial broadcaster. More than 100 private FM radio stations are licensed. They are not allowed to broadcast their own news. Scores of unlicensed FM stations are said to operate in the tribal areas of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province bordering Afghanistan. Usually operated by clerics, some of the outlets are accused of fanning sectarian tension. Nearly 18% of Pakistani citizens use the internet (ITU, 2016). The rapid growth in mobile phone use is boosting the delivery of online content. Filtering targets content deemed blasphemous, secessionist, anti-state, or anti-military, OpenNet Initiative reports. The regulator has imposed temporary blocks on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and other sites over material it says is “sacrilegious”. Pakistani users active on Twitter include senior politicians and sports and entertainment stars.


Radio Pakistan – state-run, operates 25 stations nationwide, an external service and the entertainment-based FM 101 network, aimed at younger listeners
Azad Kashmir Radio – state-run, for Pakistani-administered Kashmir
Mast FM 103 – private, music
FM 100 – private, music-based

The press

Daily Jang – Karachi-based, Urdu-language; largest-circulation daily
Dawn – Karachi-based, largest-circulation English-language daily
The News – English-language daily, published by Jang group
The Nation – Lahore-based, English-language daily
The Frontier Post – Peshawar-based, English-language
Daily Ausaf – Islamabad-based, Urdu-language
Daily Times – English-language, publishes in Lahore and Karachi
Pakistan Observer – Islamabad-based daily
Business Recorder – financial daily
Pakistan and Gulf Economist – business weekly
The Friday Times – Lahore-based weekly, English-language
The Express Tribune – daily


Pakistan Television Corporation Ltd – state TV, operates PTV Home, regional network PTV National, Baluchi-language PTV Bolan, PTV News
Geo TV – leading private satellite broadcaster, owned by Jang publishing group; based in Dubai; services include Urdu-language Geo News
ARY Digital – private, via satellite; services include ARY News and entertainment channels
Dunya News TV – private, via satellite; Lahore-based
Dawn News – private satellite broadcaster, owned by Herald group; first English-language news channel
ATV – semi-private, terrestrial network
Aaj TV – private satellite broadcaster, owned by Business Recorder group
Indus TV – private, via satellite; services include Indus Vision, Indus News and entertainment channels

News agency

Associated Press of Pakistan (APP) – state-funded

Media data source: BBC

Internet Data

Internet users
36.7% penetration, 87.35 million

Share of web traffic by device
72.96% mobile phones, 26.03% computers (laptops and desktops), 0.99% tablet devices and 0.01% other devices.

Median speed of mobile Internet connection
14.93  Mbps

Median speed of fixed Internet connection
10.28 Mbps

Mobile connection as a percentage of total population: 80.5%

Percentage of mobile connections that are broadband (3G-5G): 62.1%

Most popular web search engines
Google (97.88%), Bing (1.4%), Yahoo! (0.43%), Yandex (0.12%), Petal Search (0.08%), other (0.09%).

Most used social media
Facebook (82.8%), Twitter (11.32%), YouTube (4.15%), Instagram (1.18%), Pinterest (0.45%), LinkedIn (0.05%), reddit (0.05%), other (0.01%).

Internet data sources: Datareportal/Statcounter

Social statistics

Life expectancy
66 yrs (2021)

Pakistan is a patriarchal society and women face various challenges and barriers that impact their participation in the labour force. However, despite all the challenges and contrary to Western perceptions, women are visible in leadership roles and do work in occupations that are seemingly male dominated. Pakistan is one of the countries with a former female prime minister and governor of the state bank. Women are reserved a special quota in the federal legislative assembly. Generally, Pakistani men are respectful towards women. However, harassment and discrimination issues still exist in the workplace.

Corruption perceptions Index
Pakistan scored 27 out of 100, ranked 140 out of 180 countries worldwide.

Current health expenditure
2.95% of GDP

Current education expenditure
75.4% of total expenditure in public institutions

CO2 emissions
0.8 metric tons per capita

World Happiness Index
Pakistan ranked 121 out of 146 countries, with a score of 2.404.

Class discrimination is very visible with the concept of class more complex than the Western definition. Pakistan has a huge economic disparity with a shrinking middle class. The colonial concept of servant and master is still prevalent and alien to Western culture. Class essentially does not mean “money”. It is a complex concept associated with power and family name.

Pakistan is a Sunni majority country. The persecution of certain religious minority groups has over recent years has uncovered seething conflict and targeted killings of minorities (e.g. Christians and Shias) is becoming a growing concern. Religion is a controversial topic. It is advisable to stay away from conversations that have anything to do with religion.

Pakistanis are not overly religious; however, expressing religious opinion is a matter of cultural identity. Morality is associated with religion and drinking alcohol is illegal in the country.

Pakistan is an ethnically diverse country with Punjabis being the dominant ethnicity. Ethnic clashes are a common occurrence in urban centres such as Karachi. However, it is not common to see confrontation on ethnic lines in workplaces. Nonetheless, Pakistanis are a culturally and ethnically diverse people and conversations related to ethnicity should be avoided.

Social statistics sources: WorldBank/UN/UNESCO/CEIC/IMF

The Data Factbook is a work in progress project. Our community is helping us to fill it up always with new and updated data. Your contribution is precious. If you want to help us, please write your advices at

Languages research

Languages spoken in Pakistan



  • Khowar

  • Shina

  • Wakhi

  • Burushaski

  • Balti

  • Kashmiri

  • Potohari

  • Ladakhi

  • Punjabi

  • Seraiki

  • Sindhi

  • Urdu

  • Southern Balochi

  • Brahui

  • Balochi

  • Hazaragi

  • Southern Pashto

  • Pashto

  • Northern Pashto

  • Kohistani

The language research that you will find in the maps published in this section is a work in progress. Our community is helping us to fill it up with always new and updated data. Your contribution is precious. If you want to help us, please write to

photo credit: Syed Bilal Javaid, Unsplash