Punjabi is in the top ten most spoken languages in the world. It is the official language of Punjab, a state in India. Although the highest number of Punjabi speakers belong to another land. It represents the Punjabi Culture in Punjab of both India and Pakistan. To know some more, go through these interesting facts about Punjabi Language:
1. The Connecting Language
As Punjabi is the official language of Punjab, it gets the name from the state itself meaning ‘The Land of Five Rivers’. Punjabi is the fourth most spoken language in the United Kingdom and third-most spoken native language after English and French in Canada. The language also has a significant presence in the United Arab Emirates, United States, Saudi Arabia and Australia.
2. Where Is It?
Most of you must have guessed Punjab, right? Well, you would be surprised to know that Punjabi is the most spoken language in Pakistan, and not Punjab. Given the fact that it is being spoken the most in Pakistan, it is indeed strange that it is not recognized very well there. It is not given an official status nor is it being taught to children in school.
source: onehourtranslation.com, image: wikimedia.org
3. How Did It Come Into Being?
Punjabi developed from Sanskrit through Prakrit language and later Apabhraṃśa. Sanskrit has given birth to many regional languages in different parts of India, one of them being Hindi. All of these languages fall into the category of Prakrit language 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. Punjabi emerged as an Apabhramsha, a degenerated form of Prakritand and became stable by the 10th century.
4. Punjabi Can Be Written In More Than One Script
There are very few languages in the world that can be written in more than one script and Punjabi is one of them. The Punjabi language can be written in the Shahmukhi and Gurmukhi scripts, making it one of the relatively unique languages written in more than one script.
source: encyclopedia.com, image: wikimedia.org
5. Game Of Tones
In layman language, a tonal language is one which uses alteration in pitch to convey different words rather than just using consonants. Punjabi is quite a tonal language and words that otherwise sound similar can be differentiated by various tones in Punjabi. It has three phonetically distinct tones that developed from the lost murmured (or “voiced aspirate”) series of consonants. Now, phonetically the tones can be always rising or sometimes rising sometimes falling and they can span over one syllable or two but phonemically they are categorized as mid, high and low.
6. Make It Friendly And Likable
Combo words or echo words are simply formed by making slight changes in the actual word and using the actual and altered word together to get a rhyming effect. Some common echo words in Punjabi are: roti – shoti, padhai – vadhai, khaana – vaana. The second part of the word usually doesn’t mean anything by itself, but the combination creates a new broader meaning.
7. The Recognition And Reach Of Punjabi Language
Punjabi has gained exceptional recognition in the past few years as it is spoken in several countries around the world, and it is not even a national language. Punjabi has also made its way through national and International Media, for instance, Hockey Night in Canada is now available in Punjabi as well. Also, Punjabi literature and poetry translated into other global languages. Punjabi music and of course its traditional dance form, Bhangra is considered to be one of the most energetic dance forms. Bhangra flash mobs are a common sight in downtown Vancouver and other parts of Canada.