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Pakistani Punjabi Language: 10+ Intriguing Things You Need To Know

September 6, 2022

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The Punjabis can be found in Eastern Pakistan and Northwestern India. Due to the Punjab region falling into Pakistan and India, there are also Punjabi people in Pakistan. Initially, it can be confusing, isn't it? Why should Pakistani people be Punjabi when they are known to be Urdu speaking? We will cover that in this article!

Here are 10 interesting facts you should know about the Pakistani Punjabi language.

History Of Punjabi Language

As mentioned earlier, the Punjab province extends into both Pakistan and India. On the other hand, the Punjabi language can be dated back to the 12th century. Sufi poets used it, and Persian words were also added, written in the Shahmukhi script. The Shahmukhi script and Gurmukhi scripts are two ways of writing the Punjabi language. The first means "from the mouth of the Shah" and is used by Pakistani Punjabi Muslims.

Gurmukhi script means "from the mouth of the Guru" and was made to preserve sacred religious writings of the time. In the 16th century, during the formation of Sikhism, Sikh Gurus developed the Gurmukhi script, Hindu Punjabis continued to use the Devanagari script, and Sanskrit was used for religious ceremonies.

Initially, as Islam took over India, Persian and Arabic influence affected the language. Punjabi incorporated several words from these languages. After the Sikh empire fell, Urdu became the primary language of the Punjab province.

Punjabi Geographically

The most common dialect of Punjabi is the Majhi Punjabi. Two main cities where the Majhi dialect is spoken are Lahore, Pakistan, and Amritsar, India. Punjabi is the most widely spoken language in Pakistan. It is the official language of 108.5 million people, which holds about 44.7% of the population, of whom 97% are Muslims. 

It is the mother tongue of this mighty population in Pakistan. Meanwhile, we can find Indian Punjabi in northern India, like Delhi, Patiala, Ludhiana, Amritsar, Bhatinda, and more.

Punjab can be noted as the very essence of Pakistan due to the magnitude of people in that province.

Urdu - The Language Of The State

Urdu gained its official status as the national language of Pakistan in 1947. It was chosen as a symbol of unity as it was a language used between Muslims in the north and British India in the northwest regions. It is also the preferred language used to communicate with other ethnic groups.

Only 7% of the people speak Urdu as their first language. In fact, many languages are at risk of language endangerment in Pakistan.

Recently, it has been proposed to remove English from the co-official languages of Pakistan.

Pakistani Punjabi Or Pakistani Urdu?

Punjabi or Urdu?
Punjabi or Urdu?

In 1947, Pakistan was formed. East Pakistan spoke Bengali, and West Pakistani spoke Punjabi. No languages were accepted as the country's official language; instead, Urdu was announced as the official language, with English as the co-official language.

In addition, there are various ethnic groups with their own languages in Pakistan. These include 38% Punjabi, 8% Pashto, 15% Sindhi, 12% Saraiki, Urdu, Balochi, and others. Punjabi holds the status of being the ethnic group with the highest population. Surprisingly, Urdu-speaking groups are in fifth place.

Why Does Pakistani Punjabi Speak Urdu More?

When asked about their ethnicity, most Pakistanis agree that they are Punjabis. On the other hand, when asked what language they mostly speak, they answer "Urdu." Following this would be the question: Why not Punjabi? Sadly, the replies are often from embarrassment.

People have agreed that standard Punjabi can come out as a powerful language and may be misunderstood by the recipient. They have also said that Punjabi is used informally. It is not common for people to use Punjabi with anyone. They would prefer using it with very close family, friends, and peer, and in a casual atmosphere, and there is often an embarrassment.

The Indian Punjabi is not the same, though. Punjabis are known to walk, even strut with pride. They are people who can easily be identified as "larger than life." They are loud, welcoming, funny, and carefree. They are also very opinionated and are not afraid to take on challenges.

10+ Things You Need To Know

  • The Punjabi language can be written in two scripts: Shahmukhi script and Gurmukhi script
  • Most of Pakistan comprises the Punjab province and Punjabis
  • Punjabi is the native language of Pakistan
  • Urdu was made the official language and English, the co-official language
  • The Punjabi language is not spoken as much as Urdu in Pakistan
  • Most of the Punjabis in Pakistan are Muslims
  • Many Pakistanis feel Punjabi is a vital language and often may not be polite
  • Urdu is considered more polite and official to use in Pakistan
  • Pakistani Punjabi language is used more at home, among friends, bonding, and in-jokes
  • Indian Punjabi language is well used, especially in their cinema - but not so in Pakistan

Learn Punjabi With Ling

Learn Punjabi With Ling
Learn Punjabi With Ling

To visit Pakistan or understand its language, you will need to learn both Punjabi and Urdu. This is because of the sizeable Punjabi community and Punjabi speakers. Pakistani Punjab is not embarrassed or hesitant to speak Punjabi more outdoors, but they feel it is polite and respectful to abide by the nation's national language.

The Indian Punjab community is also extensive. The Punjabi language will be tremendously useful to know on a visit to Pakistan and India. This is where the Ling Language app can assist. 

A set of free lessons on a gamified app would be ideal for understanding words, written scripts, and pronunciation at a primary level. Ling is a one-stop solution for you! 

There is ample information on the culture, literature, and word in Punjabi or Urdu with meanings. Start discovering more about Punjabi today!

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2 comments on “Pakistani Punjabi Language: 10+ Intriguing Things You Need To Know”

  1. In Pakistan census 38% are Punjabi, which include Pothahari etc. In short Punjabi are only 28% according to ethnoluge.!8% Pashtun, 15% sindhi and 12% Saraiki can not Talk Punjabi. It may be in the site.

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