Torwali consists of two main dialects. The smaller Chail dialect is spoken primarily in two villages in the Chail valley about 5-8 kilometers east of Madyan. The larger Bahrain dialect is spoken along the Swat River, from Madyan northward thirty to forty kilometers to the village of Asret, south of Peshmal. A mix of Gujari, Torwali and Gawri speakers populate the area between Asret and Peshmal. Northward from there, the primary language spoken is Gawri, a distinct, but related language.


Bahrain is the cultural and administrative center for this language, and its population probably accounts for about 70% of the Torwali speakers living in the Swat valley. Torwali speakers are very proud of their language and culture. Although many of the men and a growing number of women also speak Urdu and Pashto (a major language of the KPK Province), they use Torwali when conversing with each other. However, primarily due to an increased exposure to other languages, Torwali speakers are incorporating Urdu, Pashto and English words and expressions into their everyday speech. In addition to this, since the conversion of the Torwali people to Islam about four centuries ago, numerous Arabic words have also been introduced. A number of people from the community have become involved in different ways to preserve and promote the Torwali language and culture. Much has been accomplished over the past decade.


Traditionally most Torwalis were subsistence farmers. Nowadays, they grow mostly corn, wheat, tomatoes, apples and pears, which they sell to local markets as well as to the larger cities to the south. Prior to the Taliban rise and control of the Swat valley, tourism had grown to become one of the main sources of income for its residents.

Covid-19 Awareness Message in Torwali