Punjabi (English: /pʌnˈdʒɑːbi/;
Punjabi: [pəɲˈdʒaːbi] ਪੰਜਾਬੀ / پنجابی
pañjābī) is an Indo-Aryan language with more than
100 million native speakers in the
Indian subcontinent and around
the world. It is the native language of the Punjabi people, an
ethnolinguistic group of the cultural region called the Punjab, which
India and eastern Pakistan.
Punjabi is the most widely spoken language in Pakistan, the
11th most widely spoken language in India, and the third most-spoken
native language in the Indian subcontinent. It is also the fifth
most-spoken native language in
Canada after English, French, Mandarin
Punjabi is unusual among
Indo-European languages in its use of lexical
tone; see § Tone below for
Punjabi language is written in one of two alphabets:
Shahmukhi or Gurmukhi. In the Punjab, both writing systems are used (a
rare occurrence called synchronic digraphia):
Shahmukhi is used mainly
by Punjabi Muslims,
Punjabi Sikhs and
Punjabi Hindus. There are over 31 types of sub-accents in
the Punjabi language.[full citation needed]
Arabic and Persian influence on Punjabi
1.4 Modern times
2 Geographic distribution
2.3 Punjabi diaspora
3 Major dialects
3.1 Majhi (Standard Punjabi)
6 Writing systems
7 Sample text
8 Literature development
8.1 Medieval era, Mughal and
8.2 British Raj era and post-independence period
9.1 In Pakistan
9.1.1 Language demands in
9.2 In India
10.1 Governmental academies and institutes
12 See also
15 Further reading
16 External links
Main article: History of the Punjabi language
The word Punjabi (sometimes spelled Panjabi) has been derived from the
word Panj-āb, Persian for "Five Waters", referring to the five major
eastern tributaries of the Indus River. The name of the region was
introduced by the
Turko-Persian conquerors of South Asia
and was a translation of the
Sanskrit name for the region, Panchanada,
which means "Land of the Five Rivers". Panj is
Sanskrit पञ्च (pañca) and Greek πέντε
(pénte) "five", and "āb" is cognate with
Sanskrit अप् (áp)
and with the Av- of Avon. The historical
Punjab region, now divided
India and Pakistan, is defined physiographically by the Indus
River and these five tributaries. One of the five, the Beas River, is
a tributary of another, the Sutlej.
Tilla Jogian, district Jehlum, Punjab,
Pakistan a hilltop associated
Nath jogis (considered among compilers of earlier Punjabi
Punjabi developed from
Sanskrit through Prakrit languages and later
Apabhraṃśa (Sanskrit: अपभ्रंश; corruption or
corrupted speech) From 600 BC
Sanskrit gave birth to
many regional languages in different parts of India. All these
languages are called Prakrit (Sanskrit: प्राकृत
prākṛta) collectively. Shauraseni Prakrit was one of these Prakrit
languages, which was spoken in north and north-western
Punjabi and western dialects of
Hindi developed from this Prakrit.
Later in northern
India Shauraseni Prakrit gave rise to Shauraseni
Aparbhsha, a descendant of Prakrit. Punjabi emerged as an Apabhramsha,
a degenerated form of Prakrit, in the 7th century A.D. and became
stable by the 10th
By the 10th century, many
Nath poets were associated with earlier
Punjabi works.
Arabic and Persian influence on Punjabi
Arabic and Persian influence in the historical
Punjab region began
with the late first millennium Muslim conquests on the Indian
Persian language was introduced in the
subcontinent a few centuries later by various
Many Persian and
Arabic words were incorporated in
Punjabi. It is noteworthy that the Hindustani
language is divided into Hindi, with more Sanskritisation, and Urdu,
with more Persianisation, but in Punjabi both
Sanskrit and Persian
words are used with a liberal approach to language. Later, it was
influenced by Portuguese and English, though these influences have
been minor in comparison to Persian and Arabic. However, in India,
English words in the official language are more widespread than
Gurmukhi-based (Punjab, India)
Shahmukhi-based (Punjab, Pakistan)
ت (sadar-e mumlikat)
ਪਰਧਾਨ ਮੰਤਰੀ (pardhān mantarī)*
م (wazīr-e aʿzam)
ਪਰਵਾਰ (parvār)* ਟੱਬਰ (ṭabbar) ਲਾਣਾ
ن (kḥāndān) ٹبّ
ਫ਼ਲਸਫ਼ਾ (falsafā) ਦਰਸ਼ਨ (darshan)
ت (dārul hakūmat)
Note: In more formal contexts, hypercorrect
Sanskritized versions of
these words (ਪ੍ਰਧਾਨ pradhān for ਪਰਧਾਨ pardhān
and ਪਰਿਵਾਰ parivār for ਪਰਵਾਰ parvār) may be
Punjabi is spoken in many dialects in an area from
Islamabad to Delhi.
Majhi dialect has been adopted as standard Punjabi in
India for education, media etc. The
Majhi dialect originated in the
Majha region of the Punjab. The
Majha region consists of several
eastern districts of Pakistani
Punjab and in
India around Amritsar,
Gurdaspur, and surrounding districts. The two most important cities in
this area are
Lahore and Amritsar.
India technical words in Standard Punjabi are loaned from Sanskrit
similarly to other major Indian languages, but it generously uses
Arabic, Persian, and English words also in the official language. In
India, Punjabi is written in the
Gurmukhī script in offices, schools,
Gurmukhi is the official standard script for Punjabi,
though it is often unofficially written in the
Devanagari or Latin
scripts due to influence from
Hindi and English, India's two primary
official languages at the Union-level.
In Pakistan, Punjabi is generally written using the Shahmukhī script,
created from a modification of the Persian Nastaʿlīq script. In
Pakistan, Punjabi loans technical words from Persian and Arabic
languages, just like
Punjabi is the most widely spoken language in Pakistan, the eleventh
-most widely spoken in
India and spoken
Punjabi diaspora in various
Punjabi is the most widely spoken language in Pakistan, being the
native language of 44% of its population. It is the provincial
language in the
Census history of Punjabi speakers in Pakistan
Population of Pakistan
Beginning with the 1981 census, speakers of Saraiki and
Hindko were no
longer included in the total numbers for Punjabi, which could explain
the apparent decrease.
See also: States of
India by Punjabi speakers
"Jallianwala Bagh" written in Hindi, Punjabi, and English in
Punjabi is spoken as a native language, second language, or third
language by about 30 million people in India. Punjabi is the
official language of the Indian state of Punjab. It is additional
Haryana and Delhi. Some of its major urban centres in
India are Ambala, Ludhiana, Patiala, Amritsar, Chandigarh,
Bathinda and Delhi.
Census history of Punjabi speakers in India
Population of India
Punjabi speakers in India
Main article: Punjabi diaspora
Signs in Punjabi (along with English and Chinese) of New Democratic
Party of British Columbia,
Canada during 2009 elections
Punjabi is also spoken as a minority language in several other
Punjabi people have emigrated in large numbers, such
as the United States, Australia, the United Kingdom, and Canada, where
it is the fourth-most-commonly used language.
There were 76 million Punjabi speakers in
2008, 33 million in
India in 2011,
Canada in 2006, and smaller numbers in other
Majhi (Standard Punjabi)
The Majhi (ماجھ
ی ਮਾਝੀ /'má:d͡ʒi:/) dialect spoken
Lahore is Punjabi's prestige dialect. Majhi is
spoken in the heart of
Punjab in the region of Majha, which spans
Lahore, Amritsar, Gurdaspur, Kasur, Tarn Taran, Faisalabad, Nankana
Sahib, Pathankot, Okara, Pakpattan, Sahiwal, Narowal, Sheikhupura,
Sialkot, Chiniot, Gujranwala and Gujrat districts.
Majhi retains the nasal consonants /ŋ/ and /ɲ/, which have been
superseded elsewhere by non-nasals /ɡ/ and /d͡ʒ/
Shahpuri dialect (also known as
Sargodha dialect) is mostly spoken in
Pakistani Punjab. Its name is derived from former Shahpur District
(now Shahpur Tehsil, being part of
Sargodha District). It is spoken
throughout a widespread area, spoken in
Sargodha and Khushab Districts
and also spoken in neighbouring
Bhakkar Districts. It is
mainly spoken on western end of
Sindh River to Chennab river crossing
Malwai is spoken in the southern part of Indian
Punjab and also in
Vehari districts of Pakistan. Main areas are Barnala,
Ludhiana, Patiala, Ambala, Bathinda, Sangrur,[Mansa , Malerkotla,
Fazilka, Ferozepur, Moga.
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],
Narnaul etc. Not to
be confused with the Malvi language, which shares its name.
Doabi is spoken in both the Indian
Punjab as well as parts of Pakistan
Punjab owing to post-1947 migration of Muslim populace from East
Punjab. The word "Do Aabi" means "the land between two rivers" and
this dialect was historically spoken between the rivers of the Beas
Sutlej in the region called Doaba. Regions it is presently
spoken includes the Jalandhar, Hoshiarpur and Kapurthala districts in
Indian Punjab, specifically in the areas known as the Dona and Manjki,
as well as the Toba Tek Singh and Faisalabad districts in Pakistan
Punjab where the dialect is known as Faisalabadi Punjabi.
Main article: Puadhi dialect
Puadh 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 Puadhi. The Puadh
extends from that part of the
Rupnagar District which lies near Satluj
to beyond the Ghaggar river in the east up to Kala Amb, which is at
the border of the states of Himachal pradesh and Haryana. Parts of
Fatehgarh Sahib district, and parts of
Patiala districts like Rajpura
are also part of Puadh. The
Puadhi dialect is spoken over a large area
Punjab as well as Haryana. In Punjab, Kharar, Kurali,
Ropar, Nurpurbedi, Morinda, Pail, Rajpura and Samrala are areas where
Puadhi is spoken and the dialect area also includes Pinjore, Kalka,
Ismailabad, Pehowa to Bangar area in Fatehabad district.
Jhangochi (جھنگوچی) dialect is spoken in Pakistani Punjab
throughout a widespread area, starting from
Jhang at both
ends of Ravi and Chenab to Hafizabad district.
Jangli is a dialect of former nomad tribes of areas whose names are
often suffixed with 'Bar' derived from jungle bar before irrigation
system arrived in the start of the 20th century, for example, Sandal
Bar, Kirana Bar, Neeli Bar, Ganji Bar. Former Layllpur and western
half of Montgomary district used to speak this dialect.
West of Chenaab river in
Jhang district of Pakistani
dialect of Jhangochi merges with Thalochi and resultant dialect is
Chenavari. Name is derived from Chenaab river.
Punjabi has a distinction between peripheral vowels, /i e ɛ a ɔ o
u/, which in
Gurmukhi script are written as if they were long (and are
thus sometimes mistakenly called 'long' vowels), and centralized
vowels, /ɪ ə ʊ/, which are written as if they were short.
The peripheral vowels have nasal analogues.
Punjabi is a tonal language and in any word there is a choice of three
tones, high-falling, low-rising, and level
Level tone is found in about 75% of words and is described by some as
absence of tone. There are also some words which are said
to have rising tone in the first syllable and falling in the second.
(Some writers describe this as a fourth tone.) However, a
recent acoustic study of six Punjabi speakers in America found no
evidence of a separate falling tone following a medial
ਮੋਢਾ móḍà (rising-falling) "shoulder"
Some Punjabi distinct tones for gh, jh, ḍh, dh, bh
It is considered that these tones arose when voiced aspirated
consonants (gh, jh, ḍh, dh, bh) lost their aspiration. At the
beginning of a word they became voiceless unaspirated consonants (k,
c, ṭ, t, p) followed by a high-falling tone; medially or finally
they became voiced unaspirated consonants (g, j, ḍ, d, b), preceded
by a low-rising tone. (The development of a high-falling tone
apparently did not take place in every word, but only in those which
historically had a long vowel.)
The presence of an [h] (although the [h] is now silent or very weakly
pronounced except word-initially) word-finally (and sometimes
medially) also often causes a rising tone before it, for example
Gurmukhi script which was developed in the 16th century has
separate letters for voiced aspirated sounds, so it is thought that
the change in pronunciation of the consonants and development of tones
may have taken place since that time.
Some other languages in
Pakistan have also been found to have tonal
distinctions, including Burushaski, Gujari, Hindko, Kalami, Shina, and
Main article: Punjabi grammar
Gurmukhi alphabet including vowels
Punjabi has a canonical word order of SOV
(subject–object–verb). It has postpositions rather
Punjabi distinguishes two genders, two numbers, and five cases of
direct, oblique, vocative, ablative, and locative/instrumental. The
ablative occurs only in the singular, in free variation with oblique
case plus ablative postposition, and the locative/instrumental is
usually confined to set adverbial expressions.
Adjectives, when declinable, are marked for the gender, number, and
case of the nouns they qualify. There is also a T-V
Upon the inflectional case is built a system of particles known as
postpositions, which parallel English's prepositions. It is their use
with a noun or verb that is what necessitates the noun or verb taking
the oblique case, and it is with them that the locus of grammatical
function or "case-marking" then lies.
The Punjabi verbal system is largely structured around a combination
of aspect and tense/mood. Like the nominal system, the Punjabi verb
takes a single inflectional suffix, and is often followed by
successive layers of elements like auxiliary verbs and postpositions
to the right of the lexical base.
The grammar of the
Punjabi language concerns the word order, case
marking, verb conjugation, and other morphological and syntactic
structures of the Punjabi language.
Main articles: Gurmukhi,
Shahmukhi alphabet, and Punjabi braille
Punjabi has two major writing systems in use: Gurmukhī, which is a
Brahmic script derived from the Laṇḍā script, and
Shahmukhi, which is an
Arabic script. The term
Gurmukhī derives from
the term for the followers of
Sikhism attested in
Gurmukhs (literally, those with their faces (mukh) toward the Guru, as
opposed to a Manmukh, or facing base desires); the script thus came to
be known as Gurmukhī, "the script of those guided by the
Guru." The word
Gurmukhi is often also held to mean "from
the Guru's mouth", and following this precedent, Shahmukhi
means "from the King's mouth".
Punjab province of Pakistan, the script used is Shahmukhī and
differs from the
Urdu alphabet in having four additional
letters. In the Indian states of Punjab,
Haryana and Delhi
and other parts of India, the
Gurmukhī script is generally used for
writing Punjabi. Historically, various local Brahmic
scripts including Laṇḍā were also in use.
This sample text was taken from the Punjabi article on
Gurmukhi: ਲਹੌਰ ਪਾਕਿਸਤਾਨੀ ਪੰਜਾਬ
ਦੀ ਰਾਜਧਾਨੀ ਹੈ । ਲੋਕ ਗਿਣਤੀ
ਦੇ ਨਾਲ ਕਰਾਚੀ ਤੋਂ ਬਾਅਦ ਲਹੌਰ
ਦੂਜਾ ਸਭ ਤੋਂ ਵੱਡਾ ਸ਼ਹਿਰ ਹੈ ।
ਲਹੌਰ ਪਾਕਿਸਤਾਨ ਦਾ ਸਿਆਸੀ,
ਰਹਤਲੀ ਅਤੇ ਪੜ੍ਹਾਈ ਦਾ ਗੜ੍ਹ
ਹੈ ਅਤੇ ਇਸੇ ਲਈ ਇਹਨੂੰ
ਪਾਕਿਸਤਾਨ ਦਾ ਦਿਲ ਵੀ ਕਿਹਾ
ਜਾਂਦਾ ਹੈ । ਲਹੌਰ ਰਾਵੀ ਦਰਿਆ
ਦੇ ਕੰਢੇ 'ਤੇ ਵਸਦਾ ਹੈ । ਇਸਦੀ
ਲੋਕ ਗਿਣਤੀ ਇੱਕ ਕਰੋੜ ਦੇ ਨੇੜੇ
ت اے۔ لوک گنت
ھ توں وڈ
ا سیاسی، رہتل
ے اتے، اس
ا اے۔ لہور
ا ۔ اسد
ی اک کرو
Transliteration: lahaur pākistānī panjāb dī rājtā̀ni ài. lok
giṇtī de nāḷ karācī tõ bāad lahaur dūjā sáb tõ
vaḍḍā šáir ài. lahaur pākistān dā siāsī, rátalī ate
paṛā̀ī dā gáṛ ài te ise laī ínū̃ pākistān dā dil vī
kihā jāndā ài. lahaur rāvī dariā de káṇḍè te vasdā ài.
isdī lok giṇtī ikk karoṛ de neṛe ài.
IPA: [ləɦɔːɾᵊ paːkɪst̪aːniː pənd͡ʒaːbᵊ d̪iː
ɾaːd͡ʒᵊt̪àːni: ɦɛ̀ː ‖ lo:kᵊ ɡɪɳᵊt̪iː d̪e
naːlᵊ kəɾaːt͡ʃiː t̪õ: baːəd̪ᵊ ləɦɔːɾᵊ
d̪uːd͡ʒaː sə́bᵊ t̪õ: ʋːəɖ:aː ʃəɦɪɾ ɦɛ̀ː ‖
ləɦɔːɾᵊ paːkɪst̪aːnᵊ d̪aː sɪaːsiː
ɾə́ɦt̪əliː ət̪e: pəɽàːiː d̪aː ɡə́ɽ ɦɛ̀ː
ət̪e: ɪse: ləiː ɪ́ɦnū̃ paːkɪst̪aːnᵊ d̪aː d̪ɪlᵊ
ʋiː kɪɦaː d͡ʒa:nd̪aː ɛ̀ː ‖ ləɦɔːɾᵊ ɾaːʋiː
d̪əɾɪa: d̪e: kə́ɳɖe: t̪e: ʋəsᵊd̪iː ɛ̀ː ‖
ɪsᵊd̪iː lo:kᵊ ɡɪɳᵊt̪iː ɪkːᵊ kəɾo:ɽᵊ d̪e:
ne:ɽe: ɛ̀ː ‖]
Lahore is the capital city of Pakistani Punjab. After
Lahore is the second largest city.
Lahore is Pakistan's
political, cultural, and educational hub, and so it is also said to be
the heart of Pakistan.
Lahore lies on the bank of the Ravi River. Its
population is close to ten million people.
Main article: Punjabi literature
Medieval era, Mughal and
Punjabi literature is found in the fragments of writings
of the 11th
Nath yogis (ਨਾਥਯੋਗੀ, ناتھیوگی)
Gorakshanath and Charpatnah which is primarily spiritual and mystical
in tone.
Fariduddin Ganjshakar (1179-1266) is generally recognised as the first
major poet of the Punjabi language. Roughly from the 12th
century to the 19th century, many great Sufi saints and poets preached
in the Punjabi language, the most prominent being Bulleh Shah. Punjabi
Sufi poetry also developed under
Shah Hussain (1538–1599), Sultan
Shah Sharaf (1640–1724), Ali Haider
Waris Shah (1722–1798), Saleh Muhammad Safoori
(1747-1826), Mian Muhammad Baksh (1830-1907) and Khwaja Ghulam Farid
Sufi poets have enriched Punjabi literature
Sikh religion originated in the 15th century in the
and Punjabi is the predominant language spoken by Sikhs.
Most portions of the
Guru Granth Sahib
Guru Granth Sahib use the Punjabi language
written in Gurmukhi, though Punjabi is not the only language used in
Varan Gyan Ratnavali by 16th-century historian Bhai Gurdas.
Janamsakhis (ਜਨਮਸਾਖੀ, جن
م ساکھی), stories on
the life and legend of
Guru Nanak (1469–1539), are early examples of
Punjabi prose literature.
Punjabi language is famous for its rich literature of qisse
(ਕਿੱਸੇ, قصّے), most of the which are about love,
passion, betrayal, sacrifice, social values and a common man's revolt
against a larger system. The qissa of
Heer Ranjha by Waris Shah
(1706–1798) is among the most popular of Punjabi qissas. Other
popular stories include
Sohni Mahiwal by Fazal Shah,
Mirza Sahiban by
Hafiz Barkhudar (1658–1707),
Sassui Punnhun by Hashim Shah (c.
1735–c. 1843), and Qissa Puran Bhagat by Qadaryar
Heroic ballads known as
Vaar (ਵਾਰ, وار) enjoy a rich oral
tradition in Punjabi. Famous Vaars are Chandi di Var (1666–1708),
Nadir Shah Di
Vaar by Najabat and the Jangnama of Shah Mohammad
British Raj era and post-independence period
Ghadar di Gunj
Ghadar di Gunj 1913, newspaper in Punjabi of Ghadar Party, US-based
Indian revolutionary party.
The Victorian novel, Elizabethan drama, free verse and Modernism
Punjabi literature through the introduction of British
education during the Raj.
Nanak Singh (1897–1971), Vir Singh, Ishwar
Amrita Pritam (1919–2005),
Puran Singh (1881–1931), Dhani
Ram Chatrik (1876–1957),
Diwan Singh (1897–1944) and Ustad Daman
(1911–1984), Mohan Singh (1905–78) and
Shareef Kunjahi are some
legendary Punjabi writers of this period.
After independence of
India Najm Hossein Syed, Fakhar
Zaman and Afzal Ahsan Randhawa, Shafqat Tanvir Mirza, Ahmad Salim, and
Najm Hosain Syed, Munir Niazi, Pir Hadi abdul Mannan enriched Punjabi
literature in Pakistan, whereas
Amrita Pritam (1919–2005), Jaswant
Singh Rahi (1930–1996),
Shiv Kumar Batalvi
Shiv Kumar Batalvi (1936–1973), Surjit
Patar (1944–) and
Pash (1950–1988) are some of the more prominent
poets and writers from India.
Despite Punjabi's rich literary history, it was not until 1947 that it
would be recognized as an official language. Previous governments in
the area of the
Punjab had favoured Persian, Hindustani, or even
earlier standardised versions of local registers as the language of
the court or government. After the annexation of the
Sikh Empire by
the British East
India Company following the Second Anglo-
Sikh War in
1849, the British policy of establishing a uniform language for
administration was expanded into the Punjab. The British Empire
Urdu in its administration of North-Central and
North-West India, while in the North-East of India, Bengali was used
as the language of administration. Despite its lack of official
Punjabi language continued to flourish as an instrument
of cultural production, with rich literary traditions continuing until
modern times. The
Sikh religion, with its
Gurmukhi script, played a
special role in standardising and providing education in the language
via Gurdwaras, while writers of all religions continued to produce
poetry, prose, and literature in the language.
In India, Punjabi is one of the 22 scheduled languages of India. It is
the first official language of the Indian State of Punjab. Punjabi
also has second language official status in
Delhi along with Urdu, and
In Pakistan, no regional ethnic language has been granted official
status at the national level, and as such Punjabi is not an official
language at the national level, even though it is the most spoken
Pakistan after Urdu, the national language of Pakistan. It
is, however, the official provincial language of Punjab, Pakistan, the
second largest and the most populous province of
Pakistan as well as
Islamabad Capital Territory. The only two official national
Urdu and English, which are considered the
lingua francas of Pakistan.
Pakistan was created in 1947, although Punjabi was the majority
language in West
Pakistan and Bengali the majority in East Pakistan
Pakistan as whole, English and
Urdu were chosen as the national
languages. The selection of
Urdu was due to its association with South
Asian Muslim nationalism and because the leaders of the new nation
wanted a unifying national language instead of promoting one ethnic
group's language over another. Broadcasting in
Punjabi language by
Pakistan Broadcasting Corporation decreased on TV and radio after
1947. Article 251 of the Constitution of
Pakistan declares that these
two languages would be the only official languages at the national
level, while provincial governments would be allowed to make
provisions for the use of other languages. However, in the
1950s the constitution was amended to include the Bengali language.
Eventually, Punjabi was granted status as a provincial language in
Punjab Province, while the
Sindhi language was given official status
in 1972 after 1972 Language violence in Sindh.
Despite gaining official recognition at the provincial level, Punjabi
is not a language of instruction for primary or secondary school
Punjab Province (unlike Sindhi and
Pashto in other
provinces). Pupils in secondary schools can choose the
language as an elective, while Punjabi instruction or study remains
rare in higher education. One notable example is the teaching of
Punjabi language and literature by the University of the
Lahore which began in 1970 with the establishment of its Punjabi
In the cultural sphere, there are many books, plays, and songs being
written or produced in the Punjabi-language in Pakistan. Until the
1970s, there were a large number of Punjabi-language films being
produced by the
Lollywood film industry, however since then
become a much more dominant language in film production. Additionally,
television channels in
Punjab Province (centred on the
are broadcast in Urdu. The preeminence of
Urdu in both broadcasting
Lollywood film industry is seen by critics as being
detrimental to the health of the language.
Language demands in
A demonstration by
Punjabis at Lahore, Pakistan, demanding to make
Punjabi as official language of instruction in schools of the Punjab.
The use of
Urdu and English as the near exclusive languages of
broadcasting, the public sector, and formal education have led some to
fear that Punjabi in
Pakistan is being relegated to a low-status
language and that it is being denied an environment where it can
flourish. Several prominent educational leaders, researchers, and
social commentators have echoed the opinion that the intentional
Urdu and the continued denial of any official sanction or
recognition of the
Punjabi language amounts to a process of
"Urdu-isation" that is detrimental to the health of the Punjabi
language In August 2015, the
Pakistan Academy of Letters, International Writer’s Council (IWC)
and World Punjabi Congress (WPC) organised the Khawaja Farid
Conference and demanded that a Punjabi-language university should be
Lahore and that
Punjabi language should be declared as
the medium of instruction at the primary
level. In September 2015, a case was filed in
Supreme Court of
Pakistan against Government of Punjab,
Pakistan as it
did not take any step to implement the
Punjabi language in the
province. Additionally, several thousand
Punjabis gather in
Lahore every year on International Mother Language
Hafiz Saeed, chief of Jama'at-ud-Da'wah (JuD) has questioned
Pakistan's decision to adopt
Urdu as its national language in a
country where majority of people speak Punjabi language, citing his
interpretation of Islamic doctrine as encouraging education in the
mother-tongue. The list of thinktanks, political
organisations, cultural projects, and individuals that demand
authorities at the national and provincial level to promote the use of
the language in the public and official spheres includes:
Cultural and research institutes: Punjabi Adabi Board, the Khoj Garh
Research Centre, Punjabi Prachar, Institute for Peace and Secular
Studies, Adbi Sangat, Khaaksaar Tehreek, Saanjh, Maan Boli Research
Centre, Punjabi Sangat Pakistan, Punjabi Markaz, Sver International
Trade unions and youth groups: Punjabi Writers Forum, National
Students Federation, Punjabi Union-Pakistan, Punjabi National
Conference, National Youth Forum, Punjabi Writers Forum, National
Students Federation, Punjabi Union, Pakistan, and the Punjabi National
Notable activists include Tariq Jatala, Farhad Iqbal, Diep Saeeda,
Khalil Ojla, Tajammul Kaleem, Afzal Sahir, Jamil Ahmad Paul, Mazhar
Tirmazi, Mushtaq Sufi, Biya Je, Tohid Ahmad Chattha and Bilal Shaker
Kahaloon, Nazeer Kahut
At the federal level, Punjabi has official status via the Eighth
Schedule to the Indian Constitution, earned after the
Punjabi Suba movement
Punjabi Suba movement of the 1950s. At the state level,
Punjabi is the sole official language of the state of Punjab, while it
has secondary official status in the states of
Both federal and state laws specify the use of Punjabi in the field of
education. The state of
Punjab uses the Three Language Formula, and
Punjabi is required to be either the medium of instruction, or one of
the three languages learnt in all schools in Punjab.
Punjabi is also a compulsory language in Haryana, and
other states with a significant Punjabi speaking minority are required
to offer Punjabi medium education.[dubious –
There are vibrant
Punjabi language movie and news industries in India,
however Punjabi serials have had a much smaller presence within the
last few decades in television due to market forces.
Despite Punjabi having far greater official recognition in India,
Punjabi language is officially admitted in all necessary
social functions, while in
Pakistan it is used only in a few radio
and TV programs," attitudes of the English-educated elite towards the
language are ambivalent as they are in neighboring
Pakistan.:37 There are also claims of state apathy towards
the language in non-Punjabi majority areas like
Punjabi University, It was established on the 30 April 1962, and is
only the second university in the world to be named after a language,
after Hebrew University of Jerusalem. The Research Centre for Punjabi
Language Technology, Punjabi University, Patiala. It is
working for development of core technologies for Punjabi, Digitisation
of basic materials, online Punjabi teaching, developing software for
office use in Punjabi, provinding common platform to Punjabi cyber
community. Punjabipedia, an online encyclopaedia was also
Patiala university in 2014.
The Dhahan Prize was created award literary works produced in Punjabi
around the world. The Prize encourages new writing by awarding $25,000
CDN annually to one "best book of fiction" published in either of the
two Punjabi scripts,
Gurmukhi or Shahmukhi. Two second prizes of
$5,000 CDN are also awarded, with the provision that both scripts are
represented among the three winners.
The Dhahan Prize is awarded by
India Education Society (CIES).
Governmental academies and institutes
The Punjabi Sahit academy, Ludhiana, established in
1954 is supported by the
government and works exclusively for promotion of the Punjabi
language, as does the Punjabi academy in Delhi. The Jammu
and Kashmir academy of art, culture and literature in
Jammu and Kashmir,
India works for Punjabi and other regional
languages like Urdu, Dogri, Gojri etc. Institutions in neighboring
states as well as in Lahore, Pakistan also
advocate for the language.
Punjabi Sahit academy, Ludhiana,1954
Punjabi academy, Delhi,1981-1982
Jammu and Kashmir
Jammu and Kashmir academy of art, culture and literature
Punjab Institute of Language, Art and Culture, Lahore,2004
Software are available for
Punjabi language for almost all platforms.
These software are mainly in
Gurmukhi script. Nowadays, nearly all
Punjabi newspapers, magazines, journals, and periodicals are composed
on computers via various Punjabi software programmes, the most
widespread of which is
InPage Desktop Publishing package. Microsoft
Punjabi language support in all new versions of Windows
and both Windows Vista, Mircrsoft Office 2007, 2010 and 2013, are
available in Punjabi through the Language Interface Pack
Linux Desktop distributions allow the easy installation
of Punjabi support and translations as well. Apple
Punjabi language keyboard across Mobile
Google also provides many applications in
Google Punjabi Input Tools.
Guru Granth Sahib
Guru Granth Sahib in Gurmukhi
Bhulay Shah poetry in Punjabi (
Munir Niazi poetry in Punjabi (
A sign board in
Punjabi language along with
Hindi at Hanumangarh,
Languages of Pakistan
Languages of India
List of Indian languages by total speakers
List of Punjabi-language newspapers
Punjabi language at
Ethnologue (21st ed., 2018)
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Wikibooks has a book on the topic of: Punjabi
Wikimedia Commons has media related to Punjabi language.
Eastern Punjabi edition of, the free encyclopedia
Western Punjabi edition of, the free encyclopedia
Punjabi language at Curlie
Punjabi language at Encyclopædia Britannica
English to Punjabi Dictionary
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