Punjabi language: Wikis


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ਪੰਜਾਬੀ, پنجابی, पंजाबी, Pañjābī
The word "Punjabi" in Gurmukhi and Shahmukhi.
The word "Punjabi" in gurmukhi and in shahmukhi.
Spoken in India and Pakistan. Minor populations in United Kingdom, Canada, Malaysia, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, United States
Region Punjab
Total speakers 88,000,000 (Ethnologue 2005 estimate)[1]
57,129,000 (Encarta)[2]
Western Punjabi: 61–62 million, Eastern Punjabi 28 million (2000 WCD)
Ranking 11
Language family Indo-European
Writing system Gurmukhi in Punjab (India) and Sikh diaspora
Shahmukhi in Punjab (Pakistan) and Sarhad
Devanagari in Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Delhi and Punjabi Hindu diaspora)[3]
Official status
Official language in
Regulated by No official regulation
Language codes
ISO 639-1 pa
ISO 639-2 pan
ISO 639-3 variously:
pan – Punjabi (Eastern)
pnb – Punjabi (Western)
pmu – Punjabi (Mirpuri)
Distribution of native Punjabi speakers in India and Pakistan
Indic script
This page contains Indic text. Without rendering support you may see irregular vowel positioning and a lack of conjuncts. More...

Punjabi or Panjabi (ਪੰਜਾਬੀ in Gurmukhi script, پنجابی in Shahmukhi script, पंजाबी in Devanagari script, Pañjābī in transliteration) is an Indo-Aryan language spoken by inhabitants of the historical Punjab region (in Pakistan and north western India).

According to the Ethnologue 2005 estimate[1], there are 88 million native speakers of the Punjabi language, which makes it approximately the 13th most widely spoken language in the world. According to the 2008 Census of Pakistan[4], there are 76,335,300 native speakers of (Various Dialects) Punjabi in Pakistan and according to the Census of India, there are 29,102,477 (Eastern Dialects) Punjabi speakers in India[5].

Punjabi language has many different dialects, spoken in the different sub-regions of greater Punjab. The Majhi dialect is Punjabi's prestige dialect, and is spoken in the historical region of Majha,[6] which spans East-central districts of Pakistani Punjab and the Indian State of Punjab.

Along with Lahnda and Western Pahari languages, Punjabi is unusual among modern Indo-European languages in being a tonal language.[7][8][9][10]

The Language Punjabi today generally refers to "Eastern Punjabi" based on the Majhi, Malwi and Doabi dialects spoken in East Punjab and surrounding areas of Lahore in West Punjab.



Punjabi is an Indo-Aryan language like many other modern languages of South Asia. It is a descendant of Sauraseni Prakrit, which was the chief language of medieval northern India[11][12][13].

Punjabi emerged as an independent language in the 11th century from the Sauraseni Apabhramsa.[14] The literary tradition in Punjabi started with Fariduddin Ganjshakar (Baba Farid) (1173-1266), many ancient Sufi mystics and later Guru Nanak Dev ji, the first Guru of Sikhism. The early Punjabi literature was principally spiritual in nature and has had a very rich oral tradition. The poetry written by Sufi saints has been the folklore of the Punjab and is still sung with great love in any part of Punjab.

Between 1600 and 1850, Muslim Sufi, Sikh and Hindu writers composed many works in Punjabi. The most famous Punjabi Sufi poet was Baba Bulleh Shah (1680 – 1757), wrote in the Kafi style. Bulleh Shah practiced the Sufi tradition of Punjabi poetry established by poets like Shah Hussain (1538 – 1599), Sultan Bahu (1629 – 1691), and Shah Sharaf (1640 – 1724). His lifespan also overlapped with the legendary Punjabi poet Waris Shah (1722 – 1798), of Heer Ranjha fame. Waris Shah's rendition of the tragic love story of Heer Ranjha is among the most popular medieval Punjabi works. Other popular tragic love stories are Sohni Mahiwal, Mirza Sahiba and Sassi Punnun. Shah Mohammad's Jangnama is another fine piece of poetry that gives an eyewitness account of the First Anglo-Sikh War that took place after the death of Maharaja Ranjit Singh.

The linguist George Abraham Grierson in his multivolume Linguistic Survey of India (1904-1928) used the word "Punjabi" to refer to several languages spoken in the Punjab region: the term "Western Punjabi" (ISO 639-3 pnb) covered dialects (now designated separate languages) spoken to the west of Montgomery and Gujranwala districts, while "Eastern Punjabi" referred to what is now simply called Punjabi (ISO 639-3 pan)[15] After Saraiki, Pothohari and Hindko (earlier categorized as "Western Punjabi") got the status of separate languages, the percentage of Punjabi speakers in Pakistan decreased from 59% to 44%.

Association with the Sikhs

Punjabi is not the predominant language of the Sikh scriptures (which are written in several dialects, though in Gurmukhi script).[16] A few portions of Guru Granth Sahib use the Punjabi dialects, but the book is interspersed with several other languages including Brajbhasha, Khariboli), Sanskrit and Persian.[17] Guru Gobind Singh, the last Guru of the Sikhs composed Chandi di Var in Punjabi, although most of his works are composed in other languages like Braj bhasha and Persian.

However, in the 20th century, the Punjabi-speaking Sikhs started attaching importance to the Punjabi written in the Gurmukhi script as a symbol of their distinct identity.[16] The Punjabi identity was affected by the communal sentiments in the 20th century. Bhai Vir Singh, a major figure in the movement for the revival of Punjabi literary tradition, started insisting that the Punjabi language was the exclusive preserve of the Sikhs.[18] After the partition of India, the Punjab region was divided between Pakistan and India. Although the Punjabi people formed the 2nd biggest linguistic group in Pakistan after Bengali, Urdu was declared the national language of Pakistan, and Punjabi did not get any official status. The Indian Punjab, which then also included what are now Haryana and Himachal Pradesh, became Hindi-majority.

In the 1960s, the Shiromani Akali Dal proposed "Punjabi Suba", a state for Punjabi speakers in India. Paul R. Brass, the Professor Emeritus of Political Science and South Asian Studies at the University of Washington, opines that the Sikh leader Fateh Singh tactically stressed the linguistic basis of the demand, while downplaying the religious basis for the demand—a state where the distinct Sikh identity could be preserved.[16] The movement for a Punjabi Suba led to trifurcation of Indian Punjab into three states: Punjab (India), Haryana and Himachal Pradesh.

Modern Punjabi

Punjabi is native to the Punjab region of South Asia

In India, Punjabi is one of the 22 languages with official status in India. It is the first official language of Punjab (India) and Union Territory State Chandigarh and the 2nd official language of Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and Delhi. In Pakistan, Punjabi is the provincial language of Punjab (Pakistan) the second largest and the most populous province of Pakistan.

The famous Punjabi writers from Pakistan include:

The famous Indian Punjabi poets in modern times are:

Geographic distribution


Administrative Divisions of Punjab Pakistan.

Punjabi is the most spoken language of Pakistan. Punjabi is spoken as first language by over 44.15% of Pakistanis. Punjabis comprise the largest ethnic group in the country. Punjabis are dominant in key institutions such as business, agriculture, industry, government, army, navy, air force, and police which is why about 70% of Pakistanis can understand or speak Punjabi.

The Punjabis found in Pakistan are composed of various social groups, castes and economic groups. Muslim Rajputs, Jat, Tarkhans, Dogars, Gujjars, Gakhars, Khatri or Punjabi Shaikhs, Kambohs, and Arains, comprise the main tribes in the north, while Awans, Gilanis, Gardezis, Syeds and Quraishis are found in the south. There are Pashtun tribes like the Niazis and the lodhis, which are very much integrated into Punjabi village life. People in major urban areas have diverse origins, with many post-Islamic settlers tracing their origin to Afghanistan, Persia, Turkey, Arabia and Central Asia.[19]

Census History of Punjabi Speakers in Pakistan
Year Population of Pakistan Percentage Punjabi Speakers
1951 33,740,167 67.08% 22,632,905
1961 42,880,378 66.39% 28,468,282
1972 65,309,340 66.11% 43,176,004
1981 84,253,644 48.17% 40,584,980
1998 132,352,279 44.15% 58,433,431

Source: [20] In the National Census of Pakistan (1981) Saraiki, Pothohari and Hindko (Before categorized as "Western Punjabi") got the status of separate languages thats why number of Punjabi speakers got decreased.

Provinces of Pakistan by Punjabi speakers (2008)
Rank Division Punjabi speakers Percentage
Pakistan 76,335,300 44.15%
1 Punjab 70,671,704 75.23%
2 Sindh 3,592,261 6.99%
3 Islamabad Capital Territory 1,343,625 71.66%
4 North-West Frontier Province 396,085 0.97%
5 Balochistan 318,745 2.52%
6 Federally Administered Tribal Areas 12,880 0.23%


Districts of Punjab along with their headquarters

Punjabi is spoken as a native language by over 2.85% of Indians. Punjabi is the official language of the Indian state of Punjab and the shared state capital Chandigarh. It is one of the official languages of the state of Delhi and the second language of Haryana.

The Punjabis found in India are composed of various ethnic groups, tribal groups, social groups (caste) and economic groups. Some major sub-groups of Punjabis in India include Ahirs, Arora, Bania, Bhatia, Brahmin, Gujjar, Kalals/Ahluwalias, Kambojs, Khatris, Lobanas, Jats, Rajputs, Saini, Sood and Tarkhan. Most of these groups can be further sub-divided into clans and family groups.

Most of East Punjab's Muslims (in today's states of Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Delhi and Chandigarh) left for West Punjab in 1947. However, a small community still exists today, mainly in Malerkotla, the only Muslim princely state among the seven that formed the erstwhile Patiala and East Punjab States Union (PEPSU). The other six (mostly Sikh) states were: Patiala, Nabha, Jind, Faridkot, Kapurthala and Kalsia.

Census History of Punjabi Speakers In India
Year Population of India Punjabi Speakers in India Percentage
1971 548,159,652 14,108,443 2.57%
1981 665,287,849 19,611,199 2.95%
1991 838,583,988 23,378,744 2.79%
2001 1,028,610,328 29,102,477 2.83%

The Punjabi Diaspora

Punjabi is also spoken as a minority language in several other countries where Punjabis have emigrated in large numbers, such as the United States, Australia, the United Kingdom (where it is the second most commonly used language[21]) and Canada, where in recent times Punjabi has grown fast and has now become the fourth most spoken language.[22].

List in order of native speakers

Rank Country First language
1  Pakistan 76,335,300
2 India Republic of India 29,109,672
3  United Kingdom 2,300,000
4  Canada 1,100,000
5  United Arab Emirates 720,000
6  United States 640,000
7  Saudi Arabia 620,000
8  Hong Kong 260,000
9  Malaysia 185,000
10  South Africa 140,000
11  Myanmar 120,000
12  France 90,000
13  Italy 80,000
14  Thailand 75,000
15  Japan 75,000
16  Mauritius 70,000
17  Singapore 70,000
18  Oman 68,000
19  Libya 65,000
20  Bahrain 60,000
21  Kenya 55,000
22  Australia 50,000
23  Tanzania 45,000
24  Kuwait 40,000
25  Germany 35,000

Dialects: linguistic classification

In Indo-Aryan dialectology generally, the presence of transitional dialects creates problems in assigning some dialects to one or another "language".[23][24] However, over the last century there has usually been little disagreement when it comes to defining the core region of the Punjabi language. In modern India, the states are largely designed to encompass the territories of major languages with an established written standard. Thus Indian Punjab is the Punjabi language state (in fact, the neighboring state of Haryana, which was part of Punjab state in 1947, was split off from it because it is a Hindi speaking region). Some of its major urban centers are Ludhiana, Amritsar, Chandigarh, Jalandhar, and Patiala. In Pakistan, the Punjabi speaking territory spans the east-central districts of Punjab Province. Lahore, Rawalpindi, Faislabad, Gujranwala, Sargodha, Sialkot, Jhelum and Gujrat. Lahore the historic capital of Punjab is the largest Punjabi speaking city in the world. Lahore has 86% native Punjabis of total population of the city. and Islamabad the Capital of Pakistan has 71% Native Punjabis of total population.

Major Punjabi dialects

The Majhi dialect is Punjabi's prestige dialect and spoken in the heart of Punjab where most of the Punjabi population lives. The Majhi dialect, the dialect of the historical region of Majha,[6] which spans the Lahore, Sheikhupura, Kasur, Okara, Gujranwala, Wazirabad, Sialkot, Narowal, Gujrat and to some extant in Jhelum District of Pakistani Punjab and Amritsar, Tarn Taran Sahib, and Gurdaspur Districts of the Indian State of Punjab.
This dialect is spoken in north Pakistani Punjab. mainly The area where Pothowari is spoken extends in the north from Muzaffarabad to as far south as Jhelum, Gujar Khan, Chakwal and Rawalpindi. [phr] 49,440 (2000 WCD). Murree Hills north of Rawalpindi, and east to Bhimber. Poonchi is east of Rawalakot. Potwari is in the plains around Rawalpindi. Alternate names: Potwari, Pothohari, Potohari, Chibhali, Dhundi-Kairali. Dialects: Pahari (Dhundi-Kairali), Pothwari (Potwari), Chibhali, Punchhi (Poonchi), Jhelumi, Mirpuri. Pahari means 'hill language' referring to a string of divergent dialects, some of which may be separate languages. A dialect chain with Panjabi and Hindko. Closeness to western Pahari is unknown. Lexical similarity 76% to 83% among varieties called 'Pahari', 'Potwari', and some called 'Hindko' in Mansehra, Muzaffarabad, and Jammun. Classification: Indo-European, Indo-Iranian, Indo-Aryan, Northern zone, Western Pahari.
Jhangochi or Rachnavi
Jhangochi (جھنگوچی) dialect is spoken in Pakistani Punjab. Jhangochi or Rachnavi is the oldest and most idiosyncretic dialect of the Punjabi. It is spoken throughout a widespread area, starting from Khanewal and Jhang at both ends of Ravi and Chenab to Gujranwala district. It then runs down to Bahawalnagar and Chishtian areas, on the banks of river Sutlej. This entire area has almost the same traditions, customs and culture. The Jhangochi dialect of Punjabi has several aspects that set it apart from other Punjabi variants. This area has a great culture and heritage, especially literary heritage, as it is credited with the creation of the famous epic romance stories of Heer Ranjha and Mirza Sahiba. It is spoken in the Bar areas of Punjab, i.e., areas whose names are often suffixed with 'Bar', for example Sandal Bar, Kirana Bar, Neeli Bar, Ganji Bar and also from Khanewal to Jhang includes Faisalabad and Chiniot.
This dialect is spoken in Pakistani Punjab. The Shahpuri language has been spoken by the people of the town Shahpur. This language has been spoken by the people of District Sargodha including Dera Chanpeer Shah, Khushab, Jhang, Mianwali, Attock, parts of Faisalabad (foremerly Lyallpur), parts of Dera Ismail Khan, Dera Ghazi Khan, Bahawalnagar, Chakwal, Mianwali, Sargodha, Khushab and Mandi Bahauddin districts.
Classified under Lahnda languages by many linguists; perhaps differs from Punjabi. Hindko dialect is spoken in north west Pakistani Punjab and North-West Frontier Province mainly this dialect is spoken in districts of Peshawar, Attock, Nowshehra, Mansehra, Balakot, Abbottabad and Murree and the lower half of Neelum District and Muzafarabad.
Malwi spoken in the eastern part of Indian Punjab. Main areas are Patiala Ludhiana, Ambala, Bathinda, Ganganagar, Malerkotla, Fazilka, Ferozepur. Malwa is the southern and central part of present day Indian Punjab. It also includes the Punjabi speaking northern areas of Haryana, viz. Ambala, Hissar, Sirsa, Kurukshetra etc. Not to be confused with the Malvi language, which shares its name.
Doabi spoken in Indian Punjab. The word "Do Aabi" means "the land between two rivers" and this dialects is spoken between the rivers of Beas and Sutlej. It includes Jalandhar, Nawanshahr, Kapurthala and Hoshiarpur districts.
Powadh or Puadh or Powadha is a region of Punjab and parts of Haryana between the Satluj and Ghaggar rivers. The part lying south, south-east and east of Rupnagar adjacent to Ambala District (Haryana) is Powadhi. The Powadh extends from that part of the Rupnagar District which lies near Satluj up to the Ghaggar river in the east, which separates the states of Punjab and Haryana. Parts of Fatehgarh Sahib district, and parts of Patiala districts like Rajpura are also part of Powadh. The language is spoken over a large area in present Punjab as well as Haryana. In Punjab, Kharar, Kurali, Ropar, Nurpurbedi, Morinda, Pail, Rajpura and Samrala are the areas where the Puadhi language is spoken and the area itself is claimed as including from Pinjore, Kalka to Bangar area in Hisar district which includes even Nabha and Patiala in it.
Although Dogri is generally considered a separate language having its own vocabulary, some sources consider it a dialect of Punjabi. It is spoken by about 3.5 million peoples in the Jammu region of India.
Punjabi University classification

Punjabi University, Patiala, State of Punjab, India takes a very liberal definition of Punjabi in that it classifies Saraiki, Dogri, and Pothohari/Pothwari as Punjabi. Accordingly, the University has issued the following list of dialects of Punjabi:[25]

  • Thalochri
  • Wajeerawadi

The "Lahnda" construct

The name "Punjab" means "5 waters" in Persian (panj ab) and refers to five major eastern tributaries of the Indus River. The historical Punjab region, now divided between Pakistan and India, is defined physiographically by the Indus River and these five tributaries. The bulk of the Panjab, 3.5 rivers are located in Pakistan. One of the five, the Beas River, is a tributary of another, the Sutlej River, and lies entirely in present day India, well within the eastern half of historical Punjab.

The British linguist George Abraham Grierson came to the conclusion that a group of dialects known collectively as "western Punjabi" or Lahnda spoken north and west of the Punjab heartland, in the Indus valley itself and on the lower reaches of the other four tributaries (excluding the Beas River), in fact constituted a language distinct from eastern or jurdga Punjabi. He christened this group of dialects "Lahindā" in a volume of the Language Survey of India (LSI) published in 1919.[15] He grouped as "southern Lahnda" the dialects that are now recognized as multani or Saraiki. The northern Lahnda sub-Group has eveloved into Modern Panjistani (or pahiri/mirpur/pothoahri)and modern Hindko .Grierson tentatively identified the boundary between Punjabi and "Lahnda" as a north-south line running from the Gujranwala District to the former Montgomery District (near the town on Sahiwal). This line lies well west of Lahore and within the boundary of Pakistan.[26]

In the aftermath of the independence of Pakistan and subsequent Partition of 1947, some investigators supposed that the Punjabi speakers in new Pakistan might give up their native dialects and adopt one or another "Lahnda" dialect; but this did not occur.[26]

Classification by Ethnologue

Because of the stature of Ethnologue as a widely accepted authority on the identification and classification of dialects and languages, their divergent views of the geographical distribution and dialectal naming of the Punjabi language merit mention. They designate what tradition calls "Punjabi" as "Eastern Punjabi" and they have implicitly adopted the belief (contradicted by other specialists[27]) that the language border between "western Panjabi" and "eastern Panjabi" has shifted since 1947 to coincide with the international border.[28]


English Majhi, Lahori/Amritsari Pothohari Dogri Pahari
What are you doing? (masculine) Ki karda ae? Ka karne uo? Ke karde o? Ke (kay) peya kare-nanh?
What are you doing? (masculine to address female) Ki kardi aa? Ka karani ay? Ke karani ae? Ke (kay) pai (payi) kare-neenh?
How are you? Ki haal hai, Keh aal e? ke aal a? Tudda ke haal e (eh)?
Do you speak Punjabi? Tusi Punjabi Bol laende ho ? Punjabii bolne uo? Punjabi bolde o? Punjabi uburne o?
Where are you from? Tusi kidhar to ho?/ Tusi kidron aaye ho? Tusa kudhr nay aiyo? Tus kudhr to o? Kathe ne o?
Pleased to meet you Tenu mil ke bahut khushi hoyi Tusan milay tay boo khushi oye Tusan nu miliye bahut khusi oyi Tussan mil ke khushi thi.
What's your name? Todi naam ki-a? Tusan naa ke aa? Tusan da naa kay ai? Tudda ke naanh ve?
My name is ... Mera naam aah... Mara naa ... e Mera naa ... e Mainda naanh ... eh
What is your village's name? Todi pind/graan da naam ki hai?/ Tuhada pind/graan kehda hai? Tusane graana naa ke aa? Tusan da graan kay aa? Tudde gerayenh na ke naanh ve?
Yes Haanji Ahoo Ah Hanh
No Nay Naa Naa Nainh
Would you like (to eat) some sweets? Mithaee lainee aa? / Mithaee Khaauge? Mithaee Kaso? Mithaee khaani e? Kuj mitha khaine o?
I love you. Main tenu pyar kardaa Mai tuki pyar karna Mai tusi pyar karna Main tuhan pyar kare-nanh.
We went to the Cinema Assi Cinema gaye sige Assa cinema gaye saa Assi cinema gaye ayan.
Where should I go? Mainu kitthe jana chahida hai? mai kudhar jaa


Front Central Back
Close-mid ə
Open ɛː ɑː ɔː

There are also nasalized vowels.

Bilabial Labio-
Retroflex Palatal Velar Glottal
Nasal m n ɳ ɲ ŋ
Plosive and
voiceless p ʈ t͡ʃ k
voiceless aspirated t̪ʰ ʈʰ t͡ʃʰ
voiced b ɖ d͡ʒ ɡ
Fricative (f) s (z) (ʃ) ɦ
Flap ɾ ɽ
Approximant ʋ l ɭ j

Punjabi has three phonemically distinct tones that developed from the lost murmured (or "voiced aspirate") series of consonants. Phonetically the tones are rising or rising-falling contours and they can span over one syllable or two, but phonemically they can be distinguished as high, mid, and low.

A historical murmured consonant (voiced aspirate consonant) in word initial position became tenuis and left a low tone on the two syllables following it: ghoṛā [kòːɽɑ̀ː] "horse". A stem final murmured consonant became voiced and left a high tone on the two syllables preceding it: māgh [mɑ́ːɡ] "October". A stem medial murmured consonant which appeared after a short vowel and before a long vowel became voiced and left a low tone on the two syllables following it: maghāṇā [məɡɑ̀ːɳɑ̀ː] "to be lit". Other syllables and words have mid tone.[29]


Writing system

There are several different scripts used for writing the Punjabi language, depending on the region and the dialect spoken, as well as the religion of the speaker. In the Punjab province of Pakistan, the script used is Shahmukhi and differs from the standard Nastaʿlīq script as it has four additional letters.[30] The eastern part of the Punjab region, located in India, is divided into three states. In the state of Punjab, the Gurmukhī script is generally used for writing Punjabi. Punjabi Hindus, who are mainly concentrated in the neighbouring Indian states such of Haryana and Himachal Pradesh, as well as the national capital territry of Delhi, sometimes use the Devanāgarī script to write Punjabi.[30]

Punjabi in modern culture

Punjabi is becoming more acceptable among Punjabis in modern media and communications. Punjabi has always been an intergal part of Indian Bollywood cinema. In recent years a trend of Bollywood songs written totally in Punjabi can be observed. Punjabi pop and folk songs are very popular both in India and Pakistan at the national level. A number of television dramas based on Punjabi characters are telecast by different channels. The number of students opting for Punjabi literature has increased in Pakistani Punjab. Punjabi cinema in India has also seen a revival and more and more Punjabi movies are being produced.


Pothohari (Nothern Lahnda,pahari or Modern panjistani) dictionary by Sharif Shad

See also


  1. ^ a b Ethnologue. 15th edition (2005).
  2. ^ Languages Spoken by More Than 10 Million People. Encarta.
  3. ^ S. N. Sridhar; Yamuna Kachru (2008). Language in South Asia. Cambridge University Press. p. 128. ISBN 9780521781411. 
  4. ^ According to statpak.gov.pk 44.15% of the Pakistani speaks Punjabi natively. This translates to approximately 76,335,300 Punjabi speakers according to the 2008 census (Total population: 172,900,000).
  5. ^ List of Indian languages by number of native speakers, 2001
  6. ^ a b "Majhi" is a word used with reference to many other places and dialects in north India; these have nothing to do with the Majhi dialect of Punjabi
  7. ^ Barbara Lust, James Gair. Lexical Anaphors and Pronouns in Selected South Asian Languages. Page 637. Walter de Gruyter, 1999. ISBN 9783110143881.
  8. ^ [1]
  9. ^ Phonemic Inventory of Punjabi
  10. ^ Geeti Sen. Crossing Boundaries. Orient Blackswan, 1997. ISBN 9788125013419. Page 132. Quote: "Possibly, Punjabi is the only major South Asian language that has this kind of tonal character. There does seem to have been some speculation among scholars about the possible origin of Punjabi's tone-language character but without any final and convincing answer."
  11. ^ India's culture through the ages by Mohan Lal Vidyarthi. Published by Tapeshwari Sahitya Mandir, 1952. Page 148: "From the apabhramsha of Sauraseni are derived Punjabi, Western Hindi, Rajasthani and Gujerati [sic]..."
  12. ^ National Communication and Language Policy in India By Baldev Raj Nayar. Published by F. A. Praeger, 1969. Page 35. "...Sauraseni Aprabhramsa from which have emerged the modern Western Hindi and Punjabi."
  13. ^ The Sauraseni Pr?krit Language. "This Middle Indic language originated in Mathura, and was the main language used in drama in Northern India in the medieval period. Two of its descendants are Hindi and Punjabi."
  14. ^ Language India. Volume 5 : 12 December 2005. Editor: M. S. Thirumalai, Ph.D.
  15. ^ a b Shackle 1970:240
  16. ^ a b c {{cite book Punjabi is for sikhs not Template:Muslims. | first = Paul R. | last = Brass | title = Language, Religion and Politics in North India | publisher = iUniverse | year = 2005 | isbn = 9780595343942 | page = 326 }}
  17. ^ The Adi Granth: Or The Holy Scriptures Of The Sikhs by Ernest Trumpp. 2004. ISBN 8121502446.
  18. ^ Punjabis Without Punjabi By Ishtiaq Ahmed. The News, 24 May 2008.
  19. ^ Country Studies - Pakistan
  20. ^ http://www.statpak.gov.pk/depts/pco/index.html
  21. ^ "Punjabi Community". The United Kingdom Parliament.
  22. ^ Punjabi is 4th most spoken language in Canada-Indians Abroad-The Times of India
  23. ^ Masica 1991:25
  24. ^ Burling 1970:chapter on India
  25. ^ Advanced Centre for Technical Development of Punjabi Language, Literature and Culture
  26. ^ a b Masica 1991:20
  27. ^ e.g., Shackle 1970:240, Panjabi University in India, see below
  28. ^ Ethnologue country pages for Pakistan and India; page for Indo-Aryan languages
  29. ^ Harjeet Singh Gill, "The Gurmukhi Script", p. 397. In Daniels and Bright, The World's Writing Systems. 1996.
  30. ^ a b "Punjabi". University of California, Los Angeles. http://www.lmp.ucla.edu/Profile.aspx?LangID=95&menu=004. Retrieved 2009–10–31. 


  • Burling, Robbins. 1970. Man's many voices. New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston.
  • Ethnologue. Indo-Aryan Classification of 219 languages that have been assigned to the Indo-Aryan grouping of the Indo-Iranian branch of the Indo-European languages.
  • Ethnologue. Languages of India
  • Ethnologue. Languages of Pakistan
  • Grierson, George A. 1904-1928. Grierson's Linguistic Survey of India. Calcutta.
  • Masica, Colin. 1991. The Indo-Aryan languages. Cambridge Univ. Press.
  • Rahman, Tariq. 2006. The role of English in Pakistan with special reference to tolerance and militancy. In Amy Tsui et al., Language, policy, culture and identity in Asian contexts. Routledge. 219-240.
  • Shackle, C. 1970. Punjabi in Lahore. Modern Asian Studies, 4(3):239-267. Available online at JSTOR.

Further reading

  • Bhatia, Tej. 1993. Punjabi : a cognitive-descriptive grammar. Routledge. Series: Descriptive grammars.
  • Gill H.S. [Harjit Singh] and Gleason, H.A. 1969. A reference grammar of Punjabi. Revised edition. Patiala, Punjab, India: Languages Deparmtent, Punjab University.
  • Shackle, C. 1972. Punjabi. London: English Universities Press.

External links

Eastern Punjabi edition of Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Western Punjabi edition of Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Simple English

[[File:|thumb|Punjabi in Gurmukhi and Shahmukhi scripts]]

File:Dialects Of
Dialects of Punjabi

Punjabi is a language. It is mainly spoken in the state of Punjab, both the Republic of India and Pakistan. Punjabi is also spoken in the neighbouring states of Haryana, Himachal Pardesh and New Delhi in Hindustan is actually called Doabi, a person coming from there are called Doabis. Punjabi developed from the ancient language of Sanskrit just like many other modern northern Indian Languages like Hindi. Punjabi is spoken by as many as 100 million people, meaning that it is one of the top ten languages in the world by number of speakers.

Punjabi is written in two different scripts, called Gurmukhi and Shahmukhi. They are both very different from the English words you are reading. The word Punjabi looks like ਪੰਜਾਬੀ in Gurmukhi and پنجابی in Shahmukhi.

Here are a few simple Punjabi words:

File:Punjabi Speaking
Punjabi Speaking World:
Dark Green: Mother Tongue, primary language
Lime Green: Less than 5%
Light Yellow: About 2%
Yellowish Brown: Less than 1%
English Punjabi (Shahmukhi / Gurmukhi)
Hello Salaam-o-Alaikum / Sat Sri Akal
Welcome Jee Aaya Nu
Aajo Ji
My name is ... Mera naam..........hai
What is your name? thohada naam kee hai?
Thanks Shukria / Dhanvaad
Please Kirpa karke
God Rab
Okay Aacha
How are you? Kee hal chal ?
Yes Hun ji
No Nay ji
Tell more Haur dhas?
monkey bhander
dog khuta
home Ghar
come aa ja
Go ja
sit baith
speak bol
you eat kha
listen sun
laugh hus
happy khush
inside anda
after margo

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