85+ Incredible Persian And Arabic Loan Words In Punjabi For You

Loan Words In Punjabi

Did you know that apart from being some of the most popular foods in the Indian subcontinent and Indian diaspora across the world, what else is common between Kulcha (ਕੁਲਚਾ – kulcā), Paneer (ਪਨੀਰ – panīr), Pista Kulfi (ਪਿਸਤਾ ਕੁਲਫ਼ੀ – pistā kulfī) and Falooda (ਫ਼ਲੂਦਾ – falūdā)? All these are Persian loan words in Punjabi.

Yep, that’s true! Kulcha came from the Persian word kulīča (کلیچه‎), so did panir (پنیر‎), pistâ (پسته), qulfī (قلفی), and fâluda (فالوده‎). And it isn’t the only language to loan words to the Punjabi language. Interesting, right? Let’s dig in deeper.

Loan Words In Punjabi

Loan Words In Punjabi

The Punjabi language has also borrowed words from other languages like Arabic, Sanskrit, Urdu, and English, to name a few. But in this article, we will speak about the Persian and Arabic influence on the Indian subcontinent, particularly on the Punjab region. Now let’s have a look over the borrowed words along with their meanings.

Persian Loanwords In Punjabi

Here are words borrowed from Persian Into Punjabi.

EnglishPunjabiRoman TranscriptionPersian
Free, independentਅਜ਼ਾਦAzādآزاد‎
Story, taleਅਫ਼ਸਾਨਾAfasānāافسانه‎
Distillate, spiritਅਰਕArakعرق‎
Applicationਅਰਜ਼ੀArazīعرضی
EasyਅਸਾਨAsānآسان‎
Man, personਆਦਮੀādmīآدمی‎
Respect, honourਇੱਜ਼ਤIzzatعزت‎
Cost, value, priceਕ਼ੀਮਤQīmatقیمت
Martyred, sacrificedਕ਼ੁਰਬਾਨQurbānقربان‎
Paperਕਾਗਜ਼Kāgazaکاغذ
Rule, principle, methodਕਾਇਦਾKāidāقاعده‎
Artisan, craftsmanਕਾਰੀਗਰKārīgarکارگر‎
NatureਕੁਦਰਤKudratقدرت‎
Happy, contentਖੁਸ਼Khuśخوش‎
Thought, reasoningਖਿਆਲKhiālaخیال‎
Wellbeing, welfareਖੈਰKhairخیر‎
Heat, summerਗਰਮੀGarmīگرمی‎
Sin, crimeਗੁਨਾਹGunāhگناه‎
SpoonਚਮਚਾCamcāچمچه‎
Bedsheet, sheet, shawlਚਾਦਰCādarچادر‎
Procession, pageantਜਲੂਸJalūsجلوس‎
Woman, wifeਜ਼ਨਾਨੀZanānīزنانى‎
Earth, land, fieldਜ਼ਮੀਨZamīnزمین‎
Poison, venom, toxinਜਹਿਰZahrزهر‎
More, excessiveਜਿਆਦਾZyâdaزيادة
PocketਜੇਬJêbجیب‎
Jewel, precious stoneਜੌਹਰJauharجوهر‎
Salary, payਤਨਖ਼ਾਹTanxāhتنخواه‎
Politeness, mannersਤਮੀਜ਼Tamīzتمیز
Divorcedਤਲਾਕਸ਼ੁਦਾTalākśudāطلاق شدہ‎
AcidਤੇਜਾਬTejābتیزاب‎
Brainਦਿਮਾਗ਼Dimāgaدماغ‎
HeartਦਿਲDilدل‎
Large cooking pot, cauldronਦੇਗDegدیگ‎
SaltਨਮਕNamakنمک‎
Pearਨਾਸ਼ਪਾਤੀNāśpātīناشپاتی‎
SteelਫੁਲਾਦPhulādفولاد‎
Idol, statueਬੁੱਤButtaبت‎
UselessਬੇਕਾਰBekārبیکار‎
PrisonerਬੰਦੀBandīبندی‎
CountryਮੁਲਕMulakملک‎
Difficultਮੁਸ਼ਕਲMuśkalمشکل‎
Tableਮੇਜ਼Mezمیز‎
RedਲਾਲLālلال‎
However, butਲੇਕਿਨLekinلیکن‎
LawyerਵਕੀਲVakīlوکیل‎
Heir, descendantਵਾਰਸVārasوارث
White, blankਸਫ਼ੈਦSafaidسفید‎
RiderਸਵਾਰSavārسوار‎
Marriageਸ਼ਾਦੀśādīشادی‎
Doubtਸ਼ੱਕśakkaشک‎
VinegarਸਿਰਕਾSirkāسرکه‎
AppleਸੇਬSebaسیب‎
Box, chestbox, trunkਸੰਦੂਕSandūkصندوق
Weekਹਫ਼ਤਾHaftāهفته‎
IndiaਹਿੰਦੋਸਤਾਨHindostānهندوستان‎
TreeਦਰਖਤDarkhatدرخت

Arabic Loanwords In Punjabi

Here are words borrowed from Arabic Into Punjabi.

EnglishPunjabiRoman TranscriptionArabic
Politeness, courtesyਅਦਬAdabأَدَب‎
Reality, truthਅਸਲAsalأَصْل‎
Common, ordinaryਆਮāmaعَامّ‎
Permission, authorizationਇਜਾਜ਼ਤIjāzatإِجَازَة‎
Loveਇਸ਼ਕIśakaعِشْق‎
Age, lifetimeਉਮਰUmarعُمْر‎
WomanਔਰਤAuratعَوْرَة‎
Value, importanceਕਦਰKadarقَدَر‎
Perfection, excellenceਕਮਾਲKamālكَمَال‎
EstablishedਕਾਇਮKaimقَائِم
Letterਖ਼ਤXatخَطّ‎
Againstਖ਼ਿਲਾਫ਼Xilāfخِلَاف‎
Body, physiqueਜਿਸਮJisamجِسْم‎
Method, mannerਤਰੀਕ਼ਾTarīqāطريق‎
Like, in the manner ofਤਰ੍ਹਾਂTarhā̃طَرْحًا‎
Picture, imageਤਸਵੀਰTasvīrتَصْوِير‎
Distance, deviationਫ਼ਰਕFarakفَرْق
Currentlyਫ਼ਿਲਹਾਲFilhālفِي ٱلْحَال‎
Withoutਬਗ਼ੈਰBaġairبغير‎
Famousਮਸ਼ਹੂਰMaśhūrمَشْهُور
Mansion, palace‎ਮਹਿਲMahilمَحَلّ
Visit, encounterਮੁਲਾਕਾਤMulākātمُلَاقَاة‎
PresentਮੌਜੂਦMaujūdموجود‎
HomelandਵਤਨVatanوَطَن‎
Correct, accurateਸਹੀSahīصَحِيح‎
Beginingਸ਼ੁਰੂśurūشُرُوع‎
Master, ownerਸਾਹਿਬSāhibصَاحِب‎
Morningਸੁਬ੍ਹਾSubhāصُبْح‎
Reference, custodyਹਵਾਲਾHavālāحَوَالَة‎‎
Order, instructionਹੁਕਮHukamحُكْم‎
BeautyਹੁਸਨHusanحُسْن‎
Boundary, limitਹੱਦHaddحَدّ‎

Loanword Phonology: Impact On Pronunciation

According to linguistic research, loanwords are words borrowed from one language to another with the same or similar meanings. The prevalent term used for the word ‘loan’ in Punjab is Karazā (ਕਰਜ਼ਾ) – itself a loan word from Persian! The word is also used in the Urdu and Hindi languages alike.

What usually happens is that these borrowed words then undergo adaptation into the structural constraints of the borrowing language phonology. So, for instance, in a modern language like Punjabi, Persian words like qulfī or kulīča transform slightly into kulfī (ਕੁਲਫ਼ੀ) and kulcā (ਕੁਲਚਾ).

As per linguistics, the important distinction to note here is that there is no concept of a half-sound either in the Punjabi language or in the Punjabi script (Gurmukhi) like in Hindi, Sanskrit, Persian, or Arabic. Therefore, the Persian word qulfī (قلفی) is written as कुल्फ़ी in Hindi with a half-alphabet or semi-consonant (ल्) to denote the half-sound. But in Punjabi script, the same word is written as ਕੁਲਫ਼ੀ with the consonant (ਲ), eliminating the half-sound. However, the pronunciation, more or less, remains the same when spoken.

Loan Words In Punjabi

Journey Of Persian And Arabic Loanwords Into Punjabi

Language travels with people, and so does culture. With the Mughal invasion of the Indian subcontinent came Persian and Arabic influence on language, culture, and food. The name of the region itself – Punjab – is derived from the Persian Panj-āb meaning ‘five waters’, a reference to the five rivers crisscrossing the region.

Before that, Punjab was known by its Sanskrit name, Panchananda, which also means the ‘land of five rivers’. As is known, the Punjabi language developed earlier from the Middle Indo-Aryan Prakrit languages and later as its degenerated form or Apabhraṃśa. As the Mughals continued spreading their reign over most of the Indian subcontinent, they continued influencing the spoken languages and literature in the regions.

Punjabi Spoken In India And Pakistan

By the time the Mughal reign ended, Urdu and Hindi had already taken birth in the Delhi region – both heavily influenced by Persian, Arabic, Turkish, and Sanskrit. By the time British rule ended, the subcontinent saw the Punjab region of undivided India being divided into two, as Pakistan came into existence. The Punjabi language had by now also been influenced by the English language. English loanwords became a part of Punjabi vocabulary.

Not only Punjabi but other languages like Urdu, Hindi, Sindhi, Gujarati, Bangla, and so on in India and Pakistan saw the entry of English loanwords in their lexicon. So today, millions in India and Pakistan – with their first language being Punjabi, Hindi, and Urdu – can understand each other to an extent, thanks to the common loanwords these languages share.

Excited For More?

Now, that was an interesting read, wasn’t it? Comment below to let us know! Learning Punjabi is so much fun when you have the right tools and techniques at your disposal. But more than that, language learning is about how willing and flexible you are to open your mind to something new. For the rest, Ling – a language-learning platform offering more than 60 languages – is there to support you.

The Ling app is an optimum amalgamation of linguistic techniques and modern technology to provide you with a unique and fulfilling learning experience. With its gamified interface, interactive exercises, and fun quizzes, you are bound to make quick progress regarding your fluency, reading, and writing skills.

So, without wasting much time, go to your Google Play Store or Apple App Store and download the Ling app for free now!

Share this post

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


The reCAPTCHA verification period has expired. Please reload the page.

What makes learning with Ling special

Interactive exercises

Improve your pronunciation by starting a conversation with our app’s interactive chatbot

Engaging activities

Practice your skills with mini-games and track your progress with fun quizzes

Mix of languages

Choose from over 60 languages, both big and small, and listen to audio from native speakers

Proven results

Backed by linguistic research, our learning methods can help you achieve fluency in record time