Punjabi is a member of the Indo-Aryan branch of the Indo-European language family. It is the mother tongue of approximately 130 crores people and is the tenth most widely spoken language in the world. Eastern Punjabi is spoken by around 3 crores people (Ethnologue) as their mother tongue, mainly in the Indian state of Punjab. Western Punjabi (also known as Lahnda) is spoken by more than 6 crores people in Punjab Province from Pakistan (Ethnologue). Nationalecyklopedin estimates the total number of native Punjab speakers to be around 10 crores. It is also widely used in Haryana, India, Himachal Pradesh, India and Delhi, India, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Bihar, Jammu and Kashmir, as well as other states. It is spoken by the majority of the Pakistani population. There are also speakers of these dialects in several other countries, including Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Kenya, Great Britain, the United States, and Canada.
The ancestors of the Punjabis are said to have been around since at least 2500 BC lived in the Indus valley. The Indo-Aryan invasions had a significant impact on the language of the ancient Punjabis, with the result that Punjabi, like other Indo-Aryan languages, evolved from Sanskrit through Prakrit, the latter being a large group of ancient Indian languages spoken between the 6th and 13th centuries.
In India, Punjabi is written within the distinctive Gurmukhi script, which is especially related to the Sikhs. That script may be a member of the Indic family of scripts, written from left to right, however, in its organization, it differs considerably from the Devanagari accustomed write Hindi. The Urdu script, written from right to left, is used for writing Punjabi in Pakistan, wherever it's today typically given the imitative name Shahmukhi. Punjabi is so today one amongst the only a few languages in the world to be written in 2 quite completely different and reciprocally unintelligible scripts.
There are many variations of Punjabi, which form a virtual continuum between the eastern and western variations of the language. Despite the differences in pronunciation and vocabulary, dialects are largely mutually intelligible. A language that increasingly deviates from the Punjabi standard used in India and Pakistan. In India, the most important Punjabi dialects are: Majhi, Doabi, Malwi and Pwadhi. In Pakistan, the main dialects are Majhi, Shahpuri, Jhangvi, Dhanni, Pothoari and Hindko.
Majhi is the key dialect of Punjabi as it forms the standard for writing in Punjabi. It is spoken in central Punjab, including the districts of Lahore, Kasur, Sheikhupura, Okara, Faisalabad, Nankana Sahib, Gujranwala, Narowal, Sialkot, Gujrat, Hafizabad, Pakpattan, and Mandi Bahauddin. In India, it is spoken in the districts of Amritsar, Tarn Taran Sahib and Gurdaspur.
Other dialects of Punjabi are Pahari, Rachnavi, Chenavari, Chhachi, Jandali, Ghebi. Saraiki, spoken in southern Punjab, and Dogri, spoken in Kashmir, are closely related to Punjabi. The relationship of various dialects to languages other than Punjabi creates problems when assigning to one or the other "language".
The grammar of Punjabi is similar to that of other Indo-Aryan languages. Like all of these languages, Punjabi is agglutinative, that is, it adds suffixes to the roots to form words and express grammatical relationships. The normal word order in Punjabi is subject - object - verb.
The basic vocabulary of Punjabi is of Sanskrit origin, but over the years Punjabi has borrowed words from other languages. Eastern Punjabi has many loanwords from Hindi and English, while western Punjabi has many loanwords from Persian, Arabic, and Urdu.
Below are a few basic words and phrases in Punjabi.
Hello --> Sat shri akaal (Sikhs), Namaste (Hindus ), Assalaam alaikam (Muslims)
Goodbye --> Sat siri akaal (Sikhs, Hindus), Khudaa haafiz (Muslims)
Yes --> Haan ji
No --> Naheen
Please --> Merhebani kerke
Excuse me --> Maf karna
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