Punjabi Language and Major Punjabi Dialects

Punjabi is an Indo-Aryan language spoken by inhabitants of the historical Punjab region (north western India and in Pakistan). For Sikhs, the Punjabi language stands as the official language in which all ceremonies take place. Even though Punjabi is the most spoken language in Pakistan, it has no official status. According to the Ethnologue 2005 estimate, there are 88 million native speakers of the Punjabi language, which makes it approximately the 12th most widely spoken language in the world. According to the 2008 Census of Pakistan, there are 76,335,300 native Punjabi speakers in Pakistan and according to the 2001 Census of India, there are 29,102,477 Punjabi speakers in India. Punjabi language has many different dialects, spoken in the different sub-regions of greater Punjab. Since the Partition of British India in 1947, the Punjabi spoken in the two countries has deviated from each other, with Pakistanis retaining strong on Persian and Arabic vocabulary through Urdu, and Indians relying more heavily on Sanskrit vocabulary through Hindi. The Majhi dialect is the prestige dialect of Punjabi. It is spoken in the historical region of Majha, centralizing in Lahore and Amritsar. Due to the geographical location of Lahore and Amritsar, being the central point for peripheries of Jurdga and Lahindā Punjab , the Majhi dialect is a binding force to the other dialects of Punjabi language i.e. Pothohari, Hindko, Jhangochi / Rachnavi/ Changvi or Chenavari, Shahpuri, Dhani, Saraiki/Multani, Malwi, Doabi, Pwadhi and Dogri dialects, therefore Majhi dialect is considered as the textbook Punjabi. 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. 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. 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 Hindimajority. In the 1960s, the Shiromani Akali Dal proposed "Punjabi Suba", a state for Punjabi speakers in India. 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. The movement for a Punjabi Suba led to trifurcation of Indian Punjab into three states: Punjab (India), Haryana and Himachal Pradesh. In India, Punjabi is one of the 22 languages with official status in India. It is the first official language of Punjab (India). In Pakistan, Punjabi is the most spoken language and is the provincial language of Punjab (Pakistan) the second largest and the most populous province of 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, because of that 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. Census History of Punjabi Speakers in Pakistan Year 1951 1961 1972 Population of Pakistan Percentage Punjabi Speakers 33,740,167 57.08% 22,632,905 42,880,378 56.39% 28,468,282 65,309,340 56.11% 43,176,004

1981 84,253,644 1998 132,352,279

48.17% 44.15%

40,584,980 58,433,431

In the National Census of Pakistan (1981) Saraiki, Pothohari and Hindko (Before categorized as "Western Punjabi") got the status of separate languages that’s why number of Punjabi speakers got decreased. Provinces of Pakistan by Punjabi speakers (2008) Rank – 1 2 3 4 5 6 India Punjabi is spoken as a native language by over 2.85% of Indians. Punjabi is the official language of the Indian state of Punjab. 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, Chamar, 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 1971 1981 1991 2001 Population of India Punjabi Speakers in India Percentage 548,159,652 14,108,443 2.57% 665,287,849 19,611,199 2.95% 838,583,988 23,378,744 2.79% 1,028,610,328 29,102,477 2.83% Division Punjabi speakers Percentage Pakistan 76,335,300 44.15% Punjab 70,671,704 75.23% Sindh 3,592,261 6.99% Islamabad Capital Territory 1,343,625 71.66% Khyber Pakhtunkhwa 396,085 0.97% Balochistan 318,745 2.52% Federally Administered Tribal Areas 12,880 0.23%

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) and Canada, where in recent times Punjabi has grown fast and has now become the fourth most spoken language. Countries by number of Punjabi speakers Rank Country First language 1 Pakistan 76,335,300 2 29,109,672 India 3 United Kingdom 500,000 4 Canada 300,000 5 United Arab Emirates 200,000 6 United States 200,000 7 Saudi Arabia 100,000 8 100,000 Hong Kong 9 Kingdom of Sarawak 185,000 10 South Africa 30,000 11 120,000 Burma 12 France 90,000 13 80,000 Greece 14 Thailand 75,000 15 75,000 Japan 16 Mauritius 70,000 17 70,000 Singapore 18 Oman 68,000 19 Libya 65,000 20 Bahrain 60,000 21 Kenya 55,000 22 Australia 50,000 23 45,000 Tanzania 24 Kuwait 40,000 25 Germany 35,000 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, Sialkot, Jhang, Sargodha, Sahiwal, Bahawalnagar, Multan, 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

1. Majhi Punjabi

The Majhi dialect is the prestige dialect of Punjabi's 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, 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.
2. Pothowari Punjabi

This Pothowari dialect is spoken in north area of Pakistani Punjab. It extends in the north from Muzaffarabad to as far south as Jhelum, Gujar Khan, Rawalpindi, 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. Pahari is 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.
3. Hindko Punjabi

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 Muzaffarabad.
4. Jhangochi /Rachnavi/Changvi or Chenavari Punjabi

Jhangochi dialect is spoken in Pakistani Punjab. Jhangochi or Rachnavi is the oldest and most idiosyncratic 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.
5. Shahpuri Punjabi

The Shahpuri dialect has been spoken by the people of the town Shahpur. This dialect has a slight element of Saraiki and Pothohari. This language has been spoken by the people of District Sargodha including Dera Chanpeer Shah, Khushab, Mianwali, Attock, Chakwal, Mandi Bahauddin and Jhang. Parts of Faisalabad, Dera Ismail Khan, Dera Ghazi Khan and Bahawalnagar districts.
6. Dhani Punjabi

The people of Chakwal or the Dhanni area in particular do not speak Pothohari and are ethnologically not regarded as Potoharis. They speak a distinctive Chakwali or Dhanni dialect of Punjabi, which is closer to Shahpuri, a dialect spoken in the Shahpur-Salt Range area.
7. Multani/ Saraiki Punjabi

Multani or Saraiki is a mixture of Jhangochi of Punjabi and Sindhi. Saraiki is the new name. For centuries, Multani was in use. It is now considered a separate language instead of merely a dialect of Punjabi. Historically, the speakers of dialects now recognized as belonging to Saraiki did not hold the belief that they constituted a cohesive language community or a distinct ethnicity. This consciousness developed among local elites in the years after the founding of Pakistan in 1947 in response to the social and political upheaval caused by the mass immigration of Urdu speaking refugee Muslims from India. Saraiki has various sub-dialects such as Derewali, Thalochi, Multani and Riasuti. It is mostly spoken in southern and western districts of Punjab, which comprises Dera Ghazi Khan, Muzaffargarh, Bhakkar, Layyah, Mianwali, western parts of Khushab districts, Multan, Lodhran, southern and western parts of Khanewal, Bahawalpur, southern parts of Bahawalnagar and Rahim Yar Khan. More than Saraiki waseb, Saraiki is native language in the districts of Chakwal, Hafizabad, Mandi Bahuddin, Faisalabad, Okara and Toba Teksingh are also Saraiki. It is widely spoken and understood as a second language in Northern and Western Sind down to the suburbs of Karachi and in Kachhi plain of Baluchistan. In Sindh Saraiki is widely spoken in Kashmore, Jacobabad, Shikarpur, Tando Allahyar, Sobho Khan Mastoi, Kamal Khan Mastoi and Ghotki. In Balochistan Saraiki is widely spoken in Barkhan, Naseerabad, Jafarabad and Jhal Magsi. In Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Saraiki is native language in the districts of Dera Ismail Khan. In India Saraiki is spoken in Sirsa, Fatehabad, Hisar, Bhiwani, Panipat districts of Haryana, some area of Delhi and Ganganagar district, Hanumangarh and Bikaner districts of Rajasthan.
8. Malwi Punjabi

Malwi dialect is spoken in the eastern part of Indian Punjab. Main areas are Ludhiana, Moga, Sangrur, Barnala, Faridkot, Patiala, Fatehgarh Sahib, Mansa, Muktsar, Ambala, Bathinda, Ganganagar, Malerkotla, Ropar, and 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, this shares its name.
9. Doabi Punjabi

Doabi dialect is spoken in Indian Punjab. The word "Do Aabi" means "the land between two rivers" and this dialect is spoken between the rivers of Beas and Sutlej. It includes Jalandhar, Nawanshahr, Kapurthala and Hoshiarpur districts.

Pwadhi Punjabi

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 Pwadhi dialect 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.

Dogri Punjabi

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.

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 physio-graphically 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. 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 Pahari/Mirpuri/ Pothohari) 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. 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. 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) that the language border between "western Panjabi" and "eastern Panjabi" has shifted since 1947 to coincide with the international border. Examples Majhi, Standard Pothohari Dogri Punjabi Ki karda Ka karne ain?/ki uo? karan deya ain?/ki karda pya





What are you doing? (masculine)

Ke karde Ke (kay) ke karende ki karda o? peya paye o? aa? karenanh?

ain? Ki kardi ain?/ki karan dayi Ka karani Ke karani ain?/ki ay? ae? kardi payi ain?

What are you doing? (masculine to address fem+ale)

Ke (kay) ke (kay) pai (payi) karende karepaye o? neenh?

ki kardi aa tu?

How are you?

Tudda ke keevein Ki haal ae? Keh aal e? ke aal a? haal e haal (eh)? tuhaade?

ki haal chal aa?

Do you speak Punjabi?

tu Tusi Punjabi tussan Punjabii Punjabi punjabi Punjabi Bol uburne punjabi bol bolne uo? bolde o? bol lainde o ? o? lainde o? laena? Tusi kithon tussan de o?/Tusi Tusa kudhr Tus kudhr Kathe ne kithon de kidron aaye nay aiyo? to o? o? o? o? Tenu/tuanu mil ke bahut khushi hoyi. Tusan Tusan nu milay tay miliye boo khushi bahut oye khusi oyi Tussan mil ke khushi thi. Tenu/tuanu mil ke bahut khushi thi e.

Where are you from?

kithon aa tu?

Pleased to meet you

tuhanu mil k bahut khushi hoyi

What's your name?

Tusan da Tudda ke tera Tuada naa Tusan naa Tuada naa naa kay naanh naam ki ki ae? ke aa? ki ae? ai? ve? aa? Mera naa ain... Mara naa ... e Mera naa ... e Mainda mainda naa mera naanh ... .... e. naam aa eh Tudde gerayenh na ke naanh tuade tere pind pind/graan da ki da kay naa naam aa ae?

My name is ...

What is your village's name? Tuade Tusane Tusan da pind/graan graana naa graan kay da naa ki ke aa? aa? ae?/ Tuada pind/graan

kehda ae? Yes No Haanji Nay Aaho Naa Aah Nahin

ve? Haan Nayin haanji naa hanji nai mitha khaunge tusi?

Mithaee Would you like (to eat) some lawoge? / Mithaee sweets? Mithaee khaso? Khawoge?

Kish Kuj tussan mithaee mitha mithaee khaani e? khaine o? ghinso?

I love you.

Main Main tenu Mai tugi tuhan Mai tuki pyaar karda pyar pyar pyar karna. haan. karna. karenanh. Assin Assa Cinema cinema gaye saan. gaye saa Assi As cinema cinema gaye he. gaye ayan.

mai main tenu tuhanu pyaar karda pyar haan. karda haan. aasan cinema gaye saa. asin cinema gye si.

We went to the Cinema

Where should I go?

Mainu Migi Mai kitthe jana kuthe kudhar jaa chahida ae? jaavnaah?

mainu kitthe mai kithe vanjna jawa chaida ae?

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. 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 neighboring Indian states such of Haryana and Himachal Pradesh, as well as the national capital territory of Delhi, sometimes uses the Devanāgarī script to write Punjabi.

While a Punjabi GCSE is available to students in the United Kingdom; its written exam is in Gurmukhi only. Punjabi in modern culture Punjabi is becoming more acceptable among Punjabis in modern media and communications. Punjabi has always been an integral 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. Punjabi music is very popular in modern times.

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