Punjabi ( /pʌnˈdʒɑːbi/ ; Gurmukhi : ਪੰਜਾਬੀ pañjābī ; Shahmukhi : پنجابی paṉjābī ) [5] is an Indo-Aryan language spoken by over 100 million native speakers worldwide, ranking as the 10th most widely spoken language (2015) [6] [7] in the world. It is the native language of the Punjabi people , who associate with the historical Punjab region of India and Pakistan . Among Indo-European languages , it is unusual in having lexical tone . [46] [46] [46]

Punjabi is the most widely spoken language in Pakistan , [46] the 11th most widely spoken in India , and the third most-spoken native language in the Indian Subcontinent . Punjabi is the fourth most-spoken language in the United Kingdom , [47] and the fifth most-spoken native language (after English , French , Mandarin and Cantonese ) in Canada . It also has a significant presence in the United Arab Emirates , United States and Australia . The Punjab is one of the relatively few regions in the world with a situation of digraphia ; Punjabi is written in both the Shahmukhi and the Gurmukhi scripts; the former mainly by Muslims , the latter mainly by Sikhs and Hindus .



The word Punjabi has been derived from the word Panj-āb, Persian for "Five Waters", referring to the five major eastern tributaries of the Indus River . Panj is cognate with Sanskrit pañca and Greek πέντε (pénte) "five", and "āb" is cognate with the Av- of Avon . The historical Punjab region , now divided between 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 .


Punjabi developed from Sanskrit through Prakrit languages and later Apabhraṃśa (Sanskrit: अपभ्रंश; corruption or corrupted speech) [46] 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 India and Punjabi and western dialects of Hindi developed from this Prakrit. Later in northern India Shauraseni Prakrit gave rise to Shauraseni Aparbhsha, a descendent of Prakrit. Punjabi emerged as an Apabhramsha, a degenerated form of Prakrit, in the 7th century A.D. and became stable by the 10th century. By the 10th century, many Nath poets were associated with earlier Punjabi works. [51] [51]

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 subcontinent . [52] The Persian language was introduced in the subcontinent a few centuries later by various Persianized Central Asian Turkic and Afghan dynasties including that of Mahmud of Ghazni . Many Persian and Arabic words were incorporated in Punjabi. [53] Punjabi has more Persian and Arabic vocabulary than Bengali , Marathi , and Gujarati due to the proximity of the Punjab with western Asia . [54] It is noteworthy that the Hindustani language 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 Hindi . [55]

Geographic distribution

Punjabi is the most widely spoken language in Pakistan, the seventh-most widely spoken in India and spoken Punjabi diaspora in various countries.


Punjabi is the most widely spoken language in Pakistan. Punjabi is the provincial language in the Punjab Province of Pakistan. Punjabi is spoken as a native language by over 44.15% of Pakistanis. About 70.0% of the people of Pakistan speak Punjabi as either their first or second language, and for some as their third language. Lahore , the capital of the Punjab Province of Pakistan, is the largest Punjabi-speaking city in the world. Moreover, Punjabi first-language (native) speakers constitute 86%, 72%, and 98% of the population in Lahore , Islamabad , and Faisalabad ., and there are large numbers of Punjabi speakers in Karachi .

Census history of Punjabi speakers in Pakistan [47]
Year Population of Pakistan Percentage Punjabi speakers
1951 33,740,167 57.08% 22,632,905
1961 42,880,378 56.39% 28,468,282
1972 65,309,340 56.11% 43,176,004
1981 84,253,644 48.17% 40,584,980
1998 132,352,279 44.15% 58,433,431

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.


A book cover from Pakistan, written in Shahmukhi script, which is used in Pakistan.

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 states of Punjab, Haryana and Delhi. Some of its major urban centres in northern India are Ambala , Ludhiana , Amritsar , Chandigarh , Jalandhar , and Delhi .

Census history of Punjabi speakers in India [27]
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%

Punjabi diaspora

" Jallianwala Bagh " written in Hindi, Punjabi, and English in Amritsar , India .
Areas of the Indian subcontinent where Punjabi is spoken.

Punjabi is also spoken as a minority language in several other countries where Punjabi people have emigrated in large numbers, such as the United States, Australia, the United Kingdom, and Canada, [47] where it is the fourth-most-commonly used language, . [47] There were 76 million Punjabi speakers in Pakistan in 2008, [47] 33 million in India in 2011, [47] 1.3 million in the UK in 2000, [59] 368,000 in Canada in 2006, [47] and smaller numbers in other countries.

Official status

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 employed Hindi and 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 sanction, the 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 Gudwaras , 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 Haryana . 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 language in Pakistan after Urdu. It is, however, the official provincial language of Punjab, Pakistan , the second largest and the most populous province of Pakistan as well as in Islamabad Capital Territory. The only two official national languages in Pakistan are Urdu and English , which are considered the lingua francas of Pakistan.

Modern Punjabi

Standard Punjabi

  • Punjabi is spoken in many dialects in an area from Islamabad to Delhi . The Majhi dialect has been adopted as standard Punjabi in Pakistan and India for education, media etc. The Majhi (in Shahmukhi ماجھی، in Gurumukhi ਮਾਝੀ) dialect originated in the Majha region of the Punjab. The Majha region consists central districts of Pakistani Punjab and in India around Amritsar and Gurdaspur regions, known. The two most important cities in this area are Lahore and Amritsar.
  • In 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 Gurumukhī script in offices, schools, and media. Gurumukhi is considered the 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 Urdu does.

In modern culture

Southall Station (United Kingdom) sign in Punjabi, in the Gurmukhī script.

Punjabi pop and folk songs are very popular both in India and Pakistan at the national level. 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. In India, the number of students opting for Punjabi Literature as an optional subject in IAS examinations has increased along with the success rate of the students. Punjabi music is very popular today in the Indian subcontinent and among the Indian diaspora around the world. [25]

Signs in Punjabi (along with English and Chinese) of New Democratic Party of British Columbia , Canada during 2009 elections

Punjabi has variously been assigned to either the Northwestern group of Indo-Aryan (together with Lahnda and Sindhi ) or to the Central group (together with Hindi ).

Standard dialect

The Majhi (ماجھی ਮਾਝੀ) dialect spoken around Amritsar and 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 and in Mandi Bahauddin(97’/.) districts. Majhi retains the nasal consonants / ŋ / and / ɲ / , which have been superseded elsewhere by non-nasals / ɡ / and / d͡ʒ / respectively. The Majhi (and Lahnda) spoken in Pakistan is more Persianized in vocabulary, and the usage of the sounds / z / , / x / and / ɣ / is more common. (In the following table, it should be noted that tabbar in both dialects is informal)

English Gurmukhi based (India) Shahmukhi based (Pakistan)
President ਰਾਸ਼ਟਰਪਤੀ ( rāśtarpatī ) صدرمملکت ( sadar-e mumlikat )
Article ਲੇਖ ( lēkh ) مضمون ( mazmūn )
Prime Minister ਪਰਧਾਨ ਮੰਤਰੀ ( pardhān mantarī ) وزیراعظم ( wazir-e aʿzam )
Family ਪਰਵਾਰ/ਟੱਬਰ ( parvār/ṭabbar ) ٹبّر/خاندان ( khāndān/ṭabbar )
Philosophy ਫ਼ਲਸਫ਼ਾ/ਦਰਸ਼ਨ ( falsafā/darśan ) فلسفہ ( falsafā )
Capital ਰਾਜਧਾਨੀ ( rājdhānī ) دارالحکومت ( dārul haqūmat )
Viewer ਦਰਸ਼ਕ ( darśak ) ناظرین ( nāzrīn )

In India, Punjabi is written in Gurmukhī , a standardised script. The word Gurmukhi translates into 'from the Guru's mouth'. [21] In Pakistan, the Shahmukhī script, meaning "from the King's mouth", based on the Persian abjad is used.


Front Central Back
Close i(ː) u(ː)
Near-close ɪ ʊ
Close-mid e(ː) o(ː)
Mid ə
Open-mid ɛ(ː) ɔ(ː)
Open a(ː)

The long vowels (the vowels with [ː] ) also have nasal analogues .

Labial Dental /
Retroflex Palatal Velar Glottal
Nasal m n ɳ ɲ ŋ
Stop /
tenuis p ʈ t͡ʃ k
aspirated t̪ʰ ʈʰ t͡ʃʰ
voiced b ɖ d͡ʒ ɡ
Fricative voiceless f ਫ਼ s ʃ ਸ਼ ( x ਖ਼)
voiced z ਜ਼ ( ɣ ਗ਼)
Flap ɾ ɽ
Approximant ʋ l ɻ ਲ਼ j ɦ


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 modally 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 modally voiced and left a low tone on the two syllables following it: maghāuṇā [məɡɑ̀ːʊ̀ɳɑ̀ː] "to have something lit". Other syllables have mid tone.


The grammar of the Punjabi language concerns the word order, case marking, verb conjugation, and other morphological and syntactic structures of the Punjabi language. The main article discusses the grammar of Modern Standard Punjabi as defined by the sources cited therein.

Writing systems

Punjabi has two major writing systems in use: Gurmukhi, which is a Brahmic script derived from the Laṇḍā script , [60] and Shahmukhi, which is an Arabic script . The word Gurmukhi translates into "Guru's mouth", [21] and Shahmukhi means "from the King's mouth".

In the Punjab province of Pakistan, the script used is Shahmukhi and differs from the Urdu alphabet in having four additional letters. [20] In the Indian states of Punjab , Haryana and Delhi and other parts of India, the Gurmukhī script is generally used for writing Punjabi. [20] Historically, various local Brahmic scripts including Laṇḍā were also in use.

Sample text

This sample text was taken from the Punjabi Wikipedia article on Lahore .

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 ਤੇ ਪੜ੍ਹਾਈ ਦਾ ਗੜ੍ਹ ਹੈ ਅਤੇ ਇਸ ਲਈ ਇਹਨੂੰ ਪਾਕਿਸਤਾਨ ਦਾ ਦਿਲ ਵੀ ਕਿਹਾ ਜਾਂਦਾ ਹੈ । ਲਹੌਰ ਦਰਿਆ-ਏ-ਰਾਵੀ ਦੇ ਕੰਢੇ ਤੇ ਵਸਦਾ ਹੈ । ਤੇ ਇਸਦੀ ਲੋਕ ਗਿਣਤੀ ਇੱਕ ਕਰੋੜ ਦੇ ਨੇੜੇ ਹੈ ।

Shahmukhi :

لہور پاکستانی پنجاب دا دارالحکومت اے۔ لوک گنتی دے نال کراچی توں بعد لاهور دوجا سبھ توں وڈا شہر اے۔ لاهور پاکستان دا سیاسی، رہتلی تے پڑھائی دا گڑھ اے تے اس لئی ایھنوں پاکستان دا دل وی کیھا جاندا اے۔ لاهور دریاۓ راوی دے کنڈھے تے وسدا ۔ اے اسدی لوک گنتی اک کروڑ دے نیڑے اے ۔

Transliteration : lahaur pākistānī panjāb dī rājdā̀ni ài. lok giṇtī de nāḷ karācī tõ bāad lahaur dūjā sáb tõ vaḍḍā šáir ài. lahor pākistān dā siāsī, rátalī te paṛā̀ī dā gáṛ ài te is laī ínū̃ pākistān dā dil vī kihā jāndā ài. lahaur dariāe rāvī de kaṇḍè te vasdā ài. te isdī lok giṇtī ikk karoṛ de neṛe ài.

Translation : Lahore is the capital city of the Pakistani Punjab. After a number of people from Karachi , Lahore is the second largest city. Lahore is Pakistan's political stronghold and education capital and so it is also the heart of Pakistan . Lahore lies on the bank of the Ravi River . And, its population is close to ten million people.

IPA : [lə̄ɦɔ̄ːɾ pāːkɪ̄st̪āːnīː pə̄̃d͡ʒāːb d̪īː ɾāːd͡ʒt̪àːnɪ̄ ɦɛ̀ː ‖ lōk ɡɪ̄ɳt̪īː d̪ē nāːl kə̄ɾāːt͡ʃīː t̪ō̃ bāːə̄d̪ lə̄ɦɔ̄ːɾ d̪ūːd͡ʒāː sə́p t̪ō̃ ʋːə̄ɖāː ʃə̄ɦɪ̄ɾ ɦɛ̀ː ‖ lə̄ɦɔ̄ːɾ pāːkɪ̄st̪āːn d̪āː sɪ̄āːsīː | ɾə́ɦt̪ə̄līː t̪ē pə̄ɽɦàːīː d̪āː ɡə́ɽɦ ɦɛ̀ː t̪ē ɪ̄s lə̄īː ɪ́ɦnū̃ pāːkɪ̄st̪āːn d̪āː d̪ɪ̄l ʋīː kɪ̄ɦāː d͡ʒā̃ːd̪āː ɦɛ̀ː ‖ lə̄ɦɔ̄ːɾ d̪ə̄ɾɪ̄āːē ɾāːʋīː d̪ē kə̄̃ʈè t̪ē ʋə̄̃sd̪īː ɦɛ̀ː ‖ t̪ē īsd̪īː lōk ɡɪ̄ɳt̪īː ɪ̄kː kə̄ɾōɽ d̪ē nēɽē ɦɛ̀ː ‖]

Literature development

Medieval era, Mughal and Sikh period

  • The earliest 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 of Pak Pattan is generally recognised as the first major poet of the Punjabi language. [9] Roughly from the 11th century to 19th century, many great Sufi saints and poets preached in the Punjabi language. Bulle Shah is considered one of the greatest Sufi poets. Punjabi Sufi poetry developed under Shah Hussain (1538–1599), Sultan Bahu (1628–1691), Shah Sharaf (1640–1724), Ali Haider (1690–1785), Saleh Muhammad Safoori (son of Hazrat Mai Safoora Qadiriyya, whom Ali Haider had given great tribute) and Bulleh Shah (1680–1757).
Gurmukhi alphabet excluding vowels
a sample of Punjabi language written in Devanagri script at Manda zoo, Jammu(India). It is noteworthy that Devanagari is used unofficially and rarely to write Punjabi language.

The Janamsakhis (ਜਨਮਸਾਖੀ, جنم ساکھی ‎), stories on the life and legend of Guru Nanak (1469–1539), are early examples of Punjabi prose literature.

  • The 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 (1802–1892).
  • 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, Jangnama of Shah Mohammad (1780–1862). [7]

British Raj era and post-independence period

Dialects of Punjabi language

The Victorian novel, Elizabethan drama, free verse and Modernism entered Punjabi literature through the introduction of British education during the Raj. Nanak Singh (1897–1971), Vir Singh, Ishwar Nanda, 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 Pakistan and 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 (1936–1973), Surjit Patar (1944–) and Pash (1950–1988) are some of the more prominent poets and writers from India.

In Pakistan

When Pakistan was created in 1947, although Punjabi was the majority language in West Pakistan and Bengali the majority in East Pakistan and 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 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. [7] 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 students in Punjab Province (unlike Sindhi and Pashto in other provinces). [62] 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 Punjab in Lahore which began in 1970 with the establishment of its Punjabi Department. [7] [7]

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 Urdu has become a much more dominant language in film production. Additionally, television channels in Punjab Province (centred on the Lahore area) are broadcast in Urdu. The preeminence of Urdu in both broadcasting and the Lollywood film industry is seen by critics as being detrimental to the health of the language. [65] [67]

Language demands in Punjab province

Great Punjabi poet Waris Shah
Sufi poets have enriched Punjabi literature

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 promotion of 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 [68] [69] [70] 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 established in Lahore and that Punjabi language should be declared as the medium of instruction at the primary level. [71] [72] 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. [73] [74] Additionally, several thousand Punjabis gather in Lahore every year on International Mother Language Day .

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. [75] 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 Conference.
  • Notable activists include Tariq Jatala, Farhad Iqbal, Diep Saeeda, Khalil Ojla, Afzal Sahir, Jamil Ahmad Paul, Mazhar Tirmazi, Mushtaq Sufi, Biya Je, Tohid Ahmad Chattha and Bilal Shaker Kahaloon, Nazeer Kahut [76] [77]

In India

At the federal level, Punjabi has official status via the Eighth Schedule to the Indian Constitution . [78] 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 Haryana and Delhi. [80]

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. [81] Punjabi is also a compulsory language in Haryana, [82] and other states with a significant Punjabi speaking minority are required to offer Punjabi medium education.

There is a vibrant Punjabi language movie industry in India, however Punjabi has a much smaller presence in television. [83] Despite Punjabi having far greater official recognition in India, attitudes of the Punjabi speaking elite towards the language are ambivalent as they are in neighboring Pakistan. [78] : 37 There are also claims of state apathy towards the language in non-Punjabi majority states. [84] [85] [86]

Institutes working for Punjabi

  1. Research Centre for Punjabi Language Technology, Punjabi University, Patiala. [87] 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. [88] Machine translation tool for Punjabi to Hindi, Punjabi to Urdu nad vice versa and machine transliteration system between Gurumukhi and Shahmukhi scripts are very popular.
  2. Punjabipedia an online encyclopaedia is also launched by Patiala university in 2014. [89] [90]
  • The Dhahan Prize : 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 Canada India Education Society (CIES). [91]

Various governmental academies and institutes working for Punjabi language

logo of academy Academy or institute and establishing year Government Note
Varan Gyan Ratnavali by 16th century historian Bhai Gurdas .
Punjabi Sahit academy, Ludhiana ,1954 [92] [93] Punjab,India It works exclusively for promotion of Punjabi language.
Ghadar di Gunj 1913, newspaper in Punjabi of Ghadar Party , US-based Indian revolutionary party.
Punjabi academy, Delhi ,1981-1982 Delhi ,IndiaThis academy organise numerous activities and events and works exclusively for Punjabi language.
A demonstration by Punjabis at Lahore, Pakistan, demanding to make Punjabi official language of Punjab and Pakistan as well.
Jammu and Kashmir academy of art,culture and literature [94] Jammu and Kashmir ,IndiaThis academy works for Punjabi and other languages like Urdu,Dogri,Gojri etc.Haryana sahitya sangam [95] Haryana ,IndiaIt works for Punjabi and other languages like Hindi,Urdu alsoPunjabi academy [96] Uttar Pradesh ,IndiaPunjabi academy Uttarakhand ,IndiaPunjabi academy,2 006 [97] Rajasthan it was established in 2006
in Pakistan a very small number of newspapers, magazines are published in Punjabi language,Front cover of a kid's Punjabi magazine from Pakistan,to make Punjabi popular among children
Pilac(Punjab Institute of Language , Art and Culture, Lahore ,2004 Punjab,Pakistan It is works for patronage, promotion and development of Punjabi Language. PILAC also focuses on conservation, protection, promotion and enhancement of the Art and cultural richness of Punjab.


  • 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 has included 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 [98] support. Most Linux Desktop distributions allow the easy installation of Punjabi support and translations as well. [99] Apple implemented the Punjabi language keyboard across Mobile devices . [100] Google also provides many applications in Punjabi, like Google Search, [101] Google Translate [102] and Google Punjabi Input Tools. [103]

See also


  1. . Ethnologue . Ethnologue . Retrieved 13 August 2017 .
  2. . Ethnologue . Ethnologue . Retrieved 13 August 2017 .
  3. "Världens 100 största språk 2010" (The World's 100 Largest Languages in 2010), in Nationalencyklopedin
  4. . Census.gov.pk. Archived from on 12 September 2011 . Retrieved 4 January 2014 .
  5. Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2017). . Glottolog 3.0 . Jena, Germany: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.
  6. Laurie Bauer, 2007, The Linguistics Student's Handbook , Edinburgh
  7. Kachru, Braj B.; Kachru, Yamuna; Sridhar, S. N. (27 March 2008). . Cambridge University Press . p. 128. ISBN 978-1-139-46550-2 . Retrieved 24 October 2014 . Sikhs often write Punjabi in Gurmukhi, Hindus in Devanagari, and Muslims in Perso-Arabic.
  8. [The world's 100 largest languages in 2010]. Nationalencyklopedin (in Swedish). 2010 . Retrieved 12 February 2014 .
  9. .
  10. Bhatia, Tej (1999). "Lexican Anaphors and Pronouns in Punjabi". In Lust, Barbara; Gair, James. Lexical Anaphors and Pronouns in Selected South Asian Languages . Walter de Gruyter. p. 637. ISBN 978-3-11-014388-1. Other tonal Indo-Aryan languages include Lahnda and Western Pahari .
  11. 16 July 2015 at the Wayback Machine .
  12. Geeti Sen. Crossing Boundaries . Orient Blackswan, 1997. ISBN 978-81-250-1341-9. 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..."
  13. . Census.gov.pk. Archived from on 12 September 2011 . Retrieved 4 January 2014 .
  14. (XLS) . ONS . Retrieved 27 April 2013 .
  15. .
  16. 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 ]..."
  17. 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."
  18. . "This Middle Indic language originated in Mathura, and was the main language used in drama in Northern India in the mediaeval era. Two of its descendants are Hindi and Punjabi."
  19. Brard, G.S.S. (2007). . Hemkunt Publishers. p. 81. ISBN 9788170103608 . Retrieved 13 January 2017 .
  20. Mir, F. (2010). . University of California Press. p. 35. ISBN 9780520262690 . Retrieved 13 January 2017 .
  21. Schiffman, H. (2011). . Brill. p. 314. ISBN 9789004201453 . Retrieved 13 January 2017 .
  22. Menon, A.S.; Kusuman, K.K. (1990). . Mittal Publications. p. 87. ISBN 9788170992141 . Retrieved 13 January 2017 .
  23. . Archived from on 26 September 2009 . Retrieved 2009-09-17 .
  24. . Census of India . Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India . Retrieved 22 February 2015 .
  25. . The Times of India . 14 February 2008.
  26. 17 February 2006 at the Wayback Machine .
  27. . Censusindia.gov.in. Archived from on 6 February 2012 . Retrieved 4 January 2014 .
  28. McDonnell, John (7 March 2000). . Parliamentary Business: Commons Debates . UK Parliament. p. Column 142WH . Retrieved 15 July 2012 .
  29. . 0.statcan.gc.ca. 13 February 2013 . Retrieved 4 January 2014 .
  30. . 9 March 2011 . Retrieved 9 March 2011 .
  31. Masica, Colin P. (1991). The Indo-Aryan languages . Cambridge language surveys. Cambridge University Press. pp. 446–63. ISBN 978-0-521-23420-7.
  32. Khalsa, Sukhmandir. . About.com . Retrieved 15 March 2013 .
  33. Saini, Tejinder, Lehal Gurpreet, and Kalra Virinder (2008). Shahmukhi to Gurmukhi Transliteration System. p. 177.
  34. Masica (1991:97)
  35. Harjeet Singh Gill, "The Gurmukhi Script", p. 397. In Daniels and Bright, The World's Writing Systems. 1996.
  36. . www.omniglot.com . Retrieved 7 December 2016 .
  37. . University of California, Los Angeles . Retrieved 30 July 2013 .
  38. Shackle, Christopher (2003). "Panjabi". In George Cardona, Dhanesh Jain (eds.). The Indo-Aryan languages . Routledge language family series. Y. London: Routledge. p. 594. ISBN 978-0-7007-1130-7.
  39. (citation: Encyclopaedia of Indian Literature )
  40. sikh-heritage.co.uk.
  41. Melvin Ember; Carol R. Ember; Ian A. Skoggard, eds. (2005). Encyclopedia of Diasporas: Immigrant and Refugee Cultures Around the World . Springer. p. 1077. ISBN 978-0-306-48321-9.
  42. The Encyclopaedia of Indian Literature (Volume One - A to Devo). Volume 1. Amaresh Datta, ed. Sahitya Akademi: 2006, 352.
  43. . pakistani.org . Retrieved 30 December 2016 .
  44. Zaidi, Abbas. .
  45. University of the Punjab (2015), "B.A. Two-Year (Pass Course) Examinations"
    • . pu.edu.pk . Retrieved 13 January 2017 .
  46. University of the Punjab (2015). .
  47. Masood, Tariq (21 February 2015). . The Express Tribune . Retrieved 19 September 2015 .
  48. Warraich, Faizan; Ali, Haider (15 September 2015). . DailyTimes . Archived from on 30 June 2015 . Retrieved 15 September 2015 .
  49. . apnaorg.com . Retrieved 13 January 2017 .
  50. "Inferiority complex declining Punjabi language: Punjab University Vice-Chancellor". PPI News Agency
    • . ppinewsagency.com . Retrieved 13 January 2017 .
  51. . The Express Tribune . 4 May 2015 . Retrieved 30 December 2016 .
  52. . The Nation . 21 February 2011 . Retrieved 15 September 2015 .
  53. . The Nation. 26 August 2015.
  54. . The Nation . 15 September 2015 . Retrieved 15 September 2015 .
  55. . Business Recorder . 14 September 2015 . Retrieved 15 September 2015 .
  56. "Pakistan should have adopted Punjabi as national language: Hafiz Saeed" Zee News . 6 Mar 2016
    • . zeenews.india.com . Retrieved 13 January 2017 .
  57. "Mind your language—The movement for the preservation of Punjabi". The Herald . 2 September 2106.
    • . herald.dawn.com . Retrieved 13 January 2017 .
  58. "Punjabi in schools: Pro-Punjabi outfits in Pakistan threaten hunger strike". The Times of India . 4 Oct. 2015.
    • . timesofindia.indiatimes.com . Retrieved 13 January 2017 .
  59. "Rally for Ending the 150 year-old Ban on Education in Punjabi" The Nation. 21 Feb 2011.
    • . nation.com.pk . Retrieved 13 January 2017 .
  60. Khokhlova, Liudmila (January 2014). (PDF) . Language Endangerment and Preservation in South Asia . Retrieved 2017-04-29 . Punjabi was nonetheless included in the Eighth Schedule of the Constitution of India and came to be recognized as one of the fifteen official languages of the country.
  61. Ayres, Alyssa (2008). (PDF) . The Journal of Asian Studies . 67 (3): 917–946. doi : . Retrieved 2017-04-28 . in India, Punjabi is an official language as well as the first language of the state of Punjab (with secondary status in Delhi and widespread use in Haryana).
  62. Kumar, Ashutosh (2004). . Economic & Political Weekly . 39 (14/15): 1515–1520 . Retrieved 2017-04-28 . Punjabi was made the first compulsory language and medium of instruction in all the government schools whereas Hindi and English as second and third language were to be implemented from the class 4 and 6 respectively
  63. (PDF) (Report). National Commission on Linguistic Minorities. 2015. p. 25 . Retrieved 2017-04-28 . Languages taught in the State under the Three Language Formula: First Language : Hindi Second Language : Punjabi Third language : English
  64. Singh, Jasmine (13 September 2015). . The Tribune . Retrieved 15 September 2015 .
  65. . Hindustan Times . 30 July 2015 . Retrieved 15 September 2015 .
  66. Aujla, Harjap Singh (15 June 2015). . Punjab News Express . Retrieved 19 September 2015 .
  67. Singh, Sanjeev (13 July 2013). . Kirpan . Retrieved 15 September 2015 .
  68. . punjabiuniversity.ac.in . Retrieved 13 January 2017 .
  69. . learnpunjabi.org . Retrieved 13 January 2017 .
  70. . punjabipedia.org . Retrieved 13 January 2017 .
  71. . hindustantimes.com . Retrieved 13 January 2017 .
  72. . dhahanprize.com . Retrieved 13 January 2017 .
  73. . microsoft.com . Retrieved 13 January 2017 .
  74. . sourceforge.net . Retrieved 13 January 2017 .
  75. . itunes.apple.com . Retrieved 13 January 2017 .
  76. . google.co.in . Retrieved 13 January 2017 .
  77. . translate.google.co.in . Retrieved 13 January 2017 .
  78. . google.com . Retrieved 13 January 2017 .