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  1. #1
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    Your view of Punjabi language in Pakistani Punjab

    Do you consider it as your language or do you prefer Urdu.

    I am trying to get a sense of the Punjabi language in Pakistani Punjab. Do people take pride in that its their language. How about the media, or the education system. Is punjabi taught in schools?


    Btw, what is the mother tongue of the majority of Punjabis in Pakistan

    Please do share your thoughts.

    I would like to see where it stands in terms of Punjabi in eastern Punjab

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    My parents and everyone at home in Pakistan both speak punjabi, however with us kids, usually its 50-50. Mom and Dad speak punjabi among themsevles, mom speaks punjabi with us occasioanlly but they all of a sudden they switch to urdu mode with us and cousins we all speak urdu and also punjabi or mix it up, Urdu is the national language so we speak it naturally and punjabi is the mother language of our forefathers so we always stay in touch with that. Usually from what I have seen, the previous generation speaks punjabi most of the time, us today usually speak urdu with a mix of punjabi. Education system are in urdu but people speak it constantly. Punjabi villages and small towns are all 100% speakers, urdu is barely spoken, urdu is usally spoken in major urban centres, usually its business as usual in punjabi. I personally love punjabi and hearing it makes me feel at home.
    Last edited by Zechariah; 8th June 2007 at 10:01.


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    I am from Karachi but I tried to learn it but it didn't work. I could understand quite a bit of the regular punjabi??? (what I mean some punjabi is easier then others) but couldn't speak it well. Now I can hardly speak

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    I speak punjabi with friends and family some members of my family talk to me in urdu while I respond back in punjabi. The children are being tought to speak urdu now days in my house and elsewhere too.

    I truely hate the fact people from punjab can't speak punjabi or think something is wrong with speaking punjabi. Urdu might as well be our national language but some people seem to think you look more professional when speaking urdu than punjabi...which I don't get. Punjabis need to take pride in being punjabi


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    Quote Originally Posted by feather
    I speak punjabi with friends and family some members of my family talk to me in urdu while I respond back in punjabi. The children are being tought to speak urdu now days in my house and elsewhere too.

    I truely hate the fact people from punjab can't speak punjabi or think something is wrong with speaking punjabi. Urdu might as well be our national language but some people seem to think you look more professional when speaking urdu than punjabi...which I don't get. Punjabis need to take pride in being punjabi
    no man its not that punjabi is not professional, i just feel that i can't speak in punjabi to my elders becaus eit seems rude to me somehow. While urdu is more polite. I can speak both, infact when i was about 4 or 5 i used to speak punjabi only. Then started learning urdu and now thats what i speak at home. But all my family back in pakistan speak punjabi.

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    An interesting read::

    LINGUISTIC CLEANSING:
    The Sad Fate of Punjabi in Pakistan

    By Abbas Zaidi


    Punjabi is the mother tongue of well over 120 million people. It is the language of two groups: the Sikhs of East Punjab in India (who use Sanskritised script), and the Punjabis of West Punjab in Pakistan (who use Persianised script). The two groups cannot read or write each other's writing, but their oral communicability is one hundred percent.

    Before the partition of India in 1947 these two peoples used to live side by side. Some of the richest poetical traditions--the Sufi and romantic--of the Indian-Pakistani subcontinent are to be found in Punjabi. The immortal Punjabi love epic Hir-Ranjha is the acme of what Matthew Arnold called "high seriousness". And yet, Punjabi is also the most jokes-inclusive language of the Subcontinent. Even the non-native speakers of Punjabi accept that it is an exceptionally rich language: just one expression couched in the right tonal emphasis or written from the right perspective is worth scores of locutions, and the same expression can convey a variety of meaning in the same and different contexts if given the right twist. It is a language of nuances and double entendres. Sometimes the two meanings are contradictory (e.g., "X is a healthy man" or "X's figure is athletic" can mean just the opposite.). Sometimes one meaning is wit-packed and the second is serious (e.g., "The mullahs efficiently carry out their sacred duties in the mosque" can also mean they do wicked sexual things there). Most of the time one meaning is an ordinary, intended statement, while the other is playfully sexual (e.g., "Shall I pour [milk/water]?" secondarily refers to penetration, and more). If someone wants to experience synaesthesia, let him learn Punjabi.

    Recently I met a Sikh in Brunei. He was in his mid-20s, born in Malaysia, and had never been to the place of his origin, i.e., the Indian Punjab. But he could speak perfect Punjabi. He said to me, "If a Sikh cannot speak Punjabi, he is a fake Sikh."

    And yet, Pakistani Punjabis must be the only linguistic group in the world that has a dismissive--even derogatory--attitude towards their own language. I have lived in or visited a number of countries. I have talked to countless Punjabis both in Pakistan and outside. Most of them, Pakistani Punjabis wherever they may actually reside, are willingly, even proudly, dumping their own language in favor of Urdu.

    The most aggressive anti-Punjabi-ists come from the educated and semi-educated classes. As soon as they acquire the most minimal academic advancement, the first thing they do is jettison their natural language. I have never seen or heard of an educated, or even semi-educated, Punjabi parent who is willing to communicate with his or her own child in their native tongue. Rather, they strongly discourage and often rebuke their children if they even suspect that they might be talking to other children in Punjabi, because speaking Punjabi is considered a mark of crudeness and bad manners.

    A young child speaking Punjabi is at best an amusing curiosity for adult Punjabis. In a posh social or academic gathering anyone speaking that language is either trying to be funny or himself soon becomes the butt of jokes. A poet who writes in Punjabi finds an audience predisposed only to ribald entertainment.

    Pakistani Punjabis' negative attitude towards their language can be demonstrated by the fact that there is not a single newspaper or magazine published in Punjabi for the 60 million-plus Punjabi speakers. Historically, every Punjabi journalistic venture has died soon after its launching. The latest venture was a daily newspaper, Sajjan ("Friend"), edited and published by Hussain Naqi, an Urdu-speaking Indian emigrant. It only lasted a few months. Yet, all the regional and provincial languages like Sindhi and Pushto have a proud history of publication. Sindhi, a minor language compared with Punjabi, can boast scores of daily newspapers and periodicals. Yet, while Pakistani Punjabis can certainly speak their language, they can neither read nor write it. I estimate that not more than two percent of Punjabis can read or write Punjabi. Add to this the fact that, after Urdu speakers, Punjabis on average are the most literate group in Pakistan and you see what irony there is.

    Consider the following breakdown of the speakers of the various Pakistani languages:

    Punjabi 48.2 %
    Pushto 13.1 %
    Sindhi 11.8 %
    Seraiki 9.8 %
    Urdu 7.6 %
    Other 9.5 %

    What can one make of this situation? Is it not a linguistic schizophrenia on the part of Punjabis? Urdu is regarded as the "correct language", the language of taste and class, by the Punjabis themselves. Quite apart from what others think, it is they, the Punjabis, who think that Punjabi is an "indecent" or "vulgar" language. Some of them say this is because of the Punjabi accent, the rude way individual words and expressions are uttered, or because Punjabi is the language of the illiterate and the uncouth; or because there are countless swear words and double entendres in Punjabi; or because Punjabi is just plain dclass. Hence, Punjabi has multiple semiotic indictments against it even before it is expressed.

    And yet, a language's capacity for double entendre is actually at the heart of its expressiveness and power, making these objections to Punjabi as ridiculous as General Franco's charge that Basque was a "language of dogs".

    The only places in Pakistan where Punjabi is uninhibitedly spoken are the so-called backward rural areas or city slums. These misfortunate people look up to prosperous educated Punjabis--the landed aristocrats, industrialists, the yuppies and the bourgeoisie--as role models. As they become educated they discard their mother tongue along with their uncouth dress and manners. Hence the formula seems simple enough: the more educated a Punjabi is, the more anti-Punjabi and Punjabi-less he or she becomes. Ironically, the illiterate Punjabis are the most genuine Punjabis.

    The responsibility for such a state of affairs lies with the Punjabis themselves, especially the "Wake Up Punjabi" slogan-mongers. Is it not significant that in Pakistan's history no Punjabi leader of stature has addressed a mass rally in Punjabi? Nawaz Sharif, Pakistan's current and twice-elected prime minister, is a Punjabi. It was he who some time back raised the "Wake Up Punjabi" slogan while challenging then Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto's supremacy. Yet his track record on Punjabi is as bad as any other Punjabi leader's. Bhutto, who was also twice elected prime minister, is a Sindhi. She always talks to the Sindhis in Sindhi. Similarly, Urdu-, Pushto-, Seraiki-, and Baluchi-speaking leaders and intellectuals always use their own languages when talking to their people either in private or in public.

    Sindhi, Pushto and Urdu are compulsory languages for Sindhi, Pathan and Mohajir students, and the Baluchis are working hard to evolve a script for their own language. A number of official activities are transacted in these languages. The Punjabis are the largest linguistic group in Pakistan. They are also the most powerful political and economic group. Pakistan is an agrarian society, and the Punjab feeds the whole of Pakistan ("Punjab" means "the land of five rivers"). But there is not a single school where Punjabi is taught. Nor has Punjabi ever been part of the school syllabi. Pre-university as well as college courses in the Punjab are taught in Urdu. In a majority of cases, the characters, their names, and the situations projected in narratives, poems and social descriptions are based on the culture of Urdu speakers and have nothing to do with the Punjab. There are a number of universities in the Punjab, but it is only in the University of Lahore that a small MA Punjabi department exists, and even then the students admitted are more interested in finding a cheap residence in Lahore than in studying Punjabi.

    The books published in Punjabi in any given year can be counted on one hand. Compared with scores of Urdu, Sindhi, Pushto, and other minority languages (e.g., Seraiki and Kashmiri), there is not a single full-fledged Punjabi research institution in Pakistan except for a misshapen Punjabi Adabi Board which is notable principally for its inactivity. The few research works in Punjabi owe their existence to individual efforts. One may argue that this state of affairs can be explained by economics, but why does economics affect only Punjabi in this way?

    The average Pakistani Punjabi would answer my questions thusly: (i) The reason the Sikhs have never discarded their language is that their holy book, the Garanth, is in Punjabi; (ii) we must use Urdu because it is our national language.

    To which I reply: (i) The Koran is in Arabic, but its readers have not dumped their own native languages simply because of that fact. Moreover, the Punjabis, along with other Pakistanis, never learn Arabic; they read the Koran without understanding a word of Arabic. And: (ii) All the different ethnic groups in Pakistan know Urdu, but they have not jettisoned their own languages for the sake of a national language whose native speakers make up less than eight percent of the general population.

    Language has played a very significant role in Pakistan's history, a fact which makes the Punjabi question all the more ironic and tragic. When Pakistan was created in 1947 as East and West Pakistan, it was claimed by its then rulers--who were Urdu speaking emigrants from India--that Pakistan would last till the Day of Judgement with Allah's blessing: two (East and West) wings, one religion, one nation, one country, and one national language-Urdu.

    But the blessing was not realized, and before it could celebrate its first anniversary the whole of East Pakistan was rocked to its foundations with bloody "language riots". The Bengalis refused to accept Urdu because it was an imposed, not their own, language. They said they would lose their identity without their mother tongue. In turn, they were dubbed "anti-Pakistan" for their opposition to Urdu.

    The pro-Urdu lobby in West Pakistan then played the Islamic card: Urdu amounted to Islamic identity. Anti-Urdu was anti- Islamic. Calling the Bengalis anti-Islam, the religious scholars of West Pakistan argued that Islamic identity should transcend Bengali identity if the Bengalis were to consider themselves true Muslims.

    But the language of theology could not overcome the theology of language, and in 1971, before Pakistan could celebrate its silver jubilee, East Pakistan had become Bangladesh, "Land of the Bengali-speaking People". And as the Bengalis were about to start preparations to celebrate their first independence anniversary, the province of Sindh became a scene of language riots between the speakers of Sindhi and Urdu, shaking the very foundations of the newly-elected government of Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto, the most popular and powerful leader (he was both the country's president and chief martial law administrator) in Pakistan's history. Bhutto appeared on TV and spoke in English, Sindhi and Urdu. He joined his hands together and, pointing them towards the people said, "For God's sake, let it (i.e., language rioting) go!"

    Again the religious scholars played the Islamic card. One of them said, "The end of Urdu will mean the end of Pakistan and Islam."

    The province of Sindh has continued to be a hotbed of ethnic violence between Sindhi and Urdu speakers. Sindhi nationalists want a separate homeland, Sindhudesh, exclusively for speakers of Sindhi, while Urdu speakers threaten that any "conspiracy" against "Pakistan and Urdu" would meet with an "iron fist". They themselves had planned to establish "Jinnahpur", an Urdu-speaking province within Sindh itself. Their scheme was thwarted by an army action against the Mohajirs in 1992.

    Since Pakistan's creation, the Pathans have been lobbying for Pakhtoonistan, the "Land of the Pushto speakers". Nowadays they talk about separating from Pakistan itself and forming a greater Pakhtoonistan with Afghanistan, a majority Pathan country, even though severe differences exist between medieval religious obscurantist Talibaans and so-called liberals. The nationalist movement in the South of the Punjab is based upon the Seraiki language. Other examples can be multiplied. Yet, no similar debate exists amongst the Punjabis about Punjabi. They are secure in the belief that their language is merely a source of embarrassment rather than of a proud common identity.

    Amrita Pretam, a Punjabi poet and fiction writer, once invoked the soul of Waris Shah (the Hir-Ranjha poet) when hundreds of thousands of Punjabi women had been raped by their own countrymen during India's partition. One is tempted to again invoke the name of this great Punjabi bard whose language is being consigned to an historical black hole by the Pakistani Punjabis themselves. What are the inheritors of the language of Waris Shah and numerous other Punjabi literary titans, both inside and outside Pakistan, doing about this shameful neglect of the Punjabi language? Will Punjabi ultimately become like Latin, a dead language with no one left who can actually speak it?

    We find throughout history that dictators who want to terminate a target group are assiduous in their attempt to first efface the language of that group. Pakistani Punjabis are their own dictators. If they continue to treat their language the way they are doing at present, in future there will be a strange, baffling mass of "ethnic" Punjabis who will not know their own language. Or, if somehow miraculously Punjabi isn't lost in Pakistan, it will become at best a pidgin.

    Love for one's native tongue is a universal phenomenon. At minimum, a language is a mark of personal as well as national identity. It's a glue that holds its speakers together as a people. This is why language has been so pivotal in the history of nations, a stronger bond than religion, land and even race. At present, written and spoken Punjabi is heavily punctuated with Urdu words and phrases which are foreign both semantically and phonetically. Mohajir (i.e., the Urdu-speaking people) and Punjabi temperaments are poles apart in terms of cultural values and attitudes. Many would argue that Islam is the common bond among all Pakistani people, which in the course of time will transcend all the differences. I am not sure this is true, but what, however sadly, I am sure of is that at the rate things are going, Punjabi will have disappeared before the end of the next century.

    (Abbas Zaidi was editor of The Ravi (1985), Pakistan's premier and oldest academic magazine published by Government College, Lahore. He also edited Interface (1990-91) for the Program in Literary Linguistics, University of Strathclyde, Glasgow. Zaidi has taught English Literature in Bahauddin Zakariya University, Multan, and worked as assistant editor for The Nation, Lahore.)

  7. #7
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    I can only understand punjabi but Hindko is the language im most comfortable in even more than urdu.

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    This is really funny, but I understand Urdu, and speak urdu, quite easily

    However, I can understand punjabi, but I can't speak it, because I picked up both languages from my parents

    And I can't recognize when punjabi is spoken, but I can understand it

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    so the article seems to be correct going by most of your views here. Punjabi seems to have become almost a non-existant(maybe that's a bit harsh) but is definitely a fading language in Pakistan and that Punjabi Pakistanis do not have a pride to teach it to their kids. Thats sad I must say
    Last edited by cosine; 8th June 2007 at 08:22.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by cosine
    so the article seems to be correct going by most of your views here. Punjabi seems to have become almost a non-existant(maybe that's a bit harsh) but is definitely a fading language in Pakistan and that Punjabi Pakistanis do not have a pride to teach it to their kids. Thats sad I must say
    Punjabi is not fading.

    There are still more Punjabi speakers in pakistan than entire worlds Punjabis put together including Indian Punjabis.

    Most Pakistani Punjabis (90%) still live in rural areas and only Punjabi is spoken.

    Maybe in the cities like Lahore and Islamabad the Punjabi isnt as pure. Mixed with Urdu.

    This should help. Look at the figures on the right hand side of the page.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Punjabi

  11. #11
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    No punjabi is not fading, 90% of punjabis which is like 80 million people are active punjabi speakers!


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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by cosine
    but is definitely a fading language in Pakistan and that Punjabi Pakistanis do not have a pride to teach it to their kids. Thats sad I must say
    why is it sad? I am a Pakistani - not a Punjabi. and hence, Urdu is my language. if I was going to learn a regional language, I'd rather learn Sindhi anyway.

    if people would stop whinging about their individual languages and stop treating them as some sort of martyrs, this country would have fewer problems.

  13. #13
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    I'm a punjabi and I love both urdu and punjabi. I'm a big fan of punjabi poetry and I think it's better than urdu poetry in many aspects.

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    don't think Punjabi is fading.
    above comments could b ppl in UK or living in major cities like Lahore, Rawalpindi etc. and most ppl in big cities speak Urdu which is our national language. but most ppl at home speak in Punjabi or in their local language (be it's Pushto etc)
    but most ppl speak Punjabi in smaller cities or viallages. except in schools where teachers give lecture in Urdu

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    well it is good to know that there are quite a few punjabi speaking people. Its surprising even though there's hardly anything in circulation in Punjabi in terms of newspapers, books, education.

    Considering that your figures are correct, 90% of Punjab speaks Punjabi. and the fact that Pakistan's political has a stronghold in Punjab, one must wonder how Urdu is the national language of Pakistan?
    Last edited by cosine; 8th June 2007 at 10:26.

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    punjabi people love urdu,full respect to them,even most column writers and authors and poets of urdu are actually punjabis,this shows how much they love our national languiauge, i understand why shikhs have to have know punjabi as a must since all their religious texts( guru grunt sahib) etc are in punjabi and all ,and its mostly punjabis that are sikh but whne it comes to pakistanis and muslims ,we dont have to do this, our texts are in arabic, a nd our national language in urdu plain n simple.and who says that a national language and a regional language can't exist side by side

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    Quote Originally Posted by Plasma
    no man its not that punjabi is not professional, i just feel that i can't speak in punjabi to my elders becaus eit seems rude to me somehow.
    No offense perhaps it is due to the fact you truely do not know punjabi? Punjabi happens to be extremely sweet and polite as well however if you are going to speak the broken/mixed up punjabi which changes from city to city...than perhaps your right.


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    Quote Originally Posted by feather
    No offense perhaps it is due to the fact you truely do not know punjabi? Punjabi happens to be extremely sweet and polite as well however if you are going to speak the broken/mixed up punjabi which changes from city to city...than perhaps your right.
    no doubt,i know very very little punjabi and even that because coz' i dated a sikh grl, and i can tell you that it is a very very deep language, espacially the poetry and the way they say things with that authentic punjabi accent,but it also sounds very very funny when ppl are fighting in punjabi

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    We should speak both. Urdu and Punjabi.
    and should feel pround about both.
    If you live in punjab, you should learn your state language which is punjabi. It will help you communicate better with people.
    I myself, speak both urdu and punjabi, but I feel more confortable if someone talk to in punjabi.

    If, I were to live in Sindh, I should learn Sindhi.
    I would feel proud in that as well.

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    Comedy is best when done in punjabi...Are there any punjabi stage drama fans?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Adeel786
    Comedy is best when done in punjabi...Are there any punjabi stage drama fans?
    only Sohail Ahmad's dramas

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    Quote Originally Posted by from_da_lost_dim3nsion
    no doubt,i know very very little punjabi and even that because coz' i dated a sikh grl, and i can tell you that it is a very very deep language, espacially the poetry and the way they say things with that authentic punjabi accent,but it also sounds very very funny when ppl are fighting in punjabi
    i agree lol

    generally i just find punjabi funny

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    I love Punjabi as it adds such a lot of informality in relationships.

    A lot of Punjabis I know will shift to Urdu when attempting to be formal.

    Cosine - In India, most people speak Hindi - does that mean Punjabi is dead ?


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    saaday kaar vich punjabi hi punjabi chal diye


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    I have never seen or heard of an educated, or even semi-educated, Punjabi parent who is willing to communicate with his or her own child in their native tongue.
    That is a wild exaggeration, to say the least. It's Punjabi all the way in my household.




    I truely hate the fact people from punjab can't speak punjabi or think something is wrong with speaking punjabi. Urdu might as well be our national language but some people seem to think you look more professional when speaking urdu than punjabi...which I don't get. Punjabis need to take pride in being punjabi
    I absolutely agree.

    Forget Urdu, it's English which then is considerd to be the ultimate step towards social recognition and people shift into that mode when trying to impress others in Pak.

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    My father and his family migrated from Jallinder to Karachi after the partition. Since I can remember, he always asked me to learn and speak Punjabi. There are many Punjabi speaking families where the children converse with their parents in Urdu 'as a sign of respect'.

    A bizarre nuance is that I have always coversed with my father in Urdu, whilst he sticks to speaking Punjabi with me. Never has this arrangement ever been an issue or questioned.

    I lived in Pakistan for 7 years during my teen years but the irony is that I started learning to speak Punjabi when I came back to Glasgow (Scotland), since a majority of my friends were/are Punjabi speaking.

    Whenever I go back to Pakistan, the Punjabi speaking helps me integrate seamlessly and allows me to get local prices for things that I buy. As soon as the seller senses you are from abroad, the prices for items automatically go up.

    There was a moment when I went my brother to buy a CD in Pakistan recently and the seller asked me regarding my brother 'Aye baaron aye ne?'

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    Quote Originally Posted by MIG
    I love Punjabi as it adds such a lot of informality in relationships.

    A lot of Punjabis I know will shift to Urdu when attempting to be formal.

    Cosine - In India, most people speak Hindi - does that mean Punjabi is dead ?

    That is where the problem lies, that kids speak in Urdu "because of respect".
    NOw these kids' kids will not speak PUnjabi. Hence the third generation would hardly know PUnjabi.


    There is no doubt that there are more Hindi speaking people in India. But that is because the population of non-punjabis is that much more. In Punjab, the first language is Punjabi, then Hindi or English and there are a lot of books, newspapers in Punjabi.

    I dont have a problem with people proficient in English or the national language, but one must always know the mother tongue. For once a language has diminished so does the culture of that region.
    Last edited by cosine; 8th June 2007 at 20:48.

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    Speak all 3.. punjabi and english and urdu.

    Punjabi with most of my family.. english out side and urdu with my kids.

    BUT my kids can understand all 3 too.. its all exposure aint it

    More exposure u get, the more ur brain opens and makes u think out side of the box IMO.

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    Quote Originally Posted by cosine
    well it is good to know that there are quite a few punjabi speaking people. Its surprising even though there's hardly anything in circulation in Punjabi in terms of newspapers, books, education.

    Considering that your figures are correct, 90% of Punjab speaks Punjabi. and the fact that Pakistan's political has a stronghold in Punjab, one must wonder how Urdu is the national language of Pakistan?
    it may be difficult for you to understand because from what i understand sikhs take a lot of pride in their culture and language...in islam, the culture aspect is not very important (or it shouldn't be in theory, however not always the case especially in pakistan)...

    urdu is the national language because it is the common medium between all ethnic groups...most if not all groups in pakistan can understand the language...furthermore, urdu also has islamic significance to it with it being a mix of turkish, persian, arabic, and hindi as well...our national anthem is entirely in persian but would also be considered pure urdu...

    and when it comes to punjabi, its hard for people to judge the language if they can understand it...i can't understand a word of it and it sounds very crude to me no offense...one of my friends who's punjabi says he doesn't speaks urdu to his parents because punjabi is very informal and impolite...


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    Quote Originally Posted by cosine
    so the article seems to be correct going by most of your views here. Punjabi seems to have become almost a non-existant(maybe that's a bit harsh) but is definitely a fading language in Pakistan and that Punjabi Pakistanis do not have a pride to teach it to their kids. Thats sad I must say
    ur right! its considered very rude if u speak punjabi in offices in islamabad. overall punjabi is considered a rude language for kids and urdu is considered a decent language. punjabi is considered an open and friendly language. u speak it with ur friends only. ppl who speak pure punjabi misuse the language by speaking bad words in it which gives the impression that punjabi is language of bad ppl.

    ur right. its fading away but i think its gonna be there for atleast next 2 centuries easily.

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    Quote Originally Posted by cosine


    There is no doubt that there are more Hindi speaking people in India. But that is because the population of non-punjabis is that much more. In Punjab, the first language is Punjabi, then Hindi or English and there are a lot of books, newspapers in Punjabi.

    .
    Its the same in Pakistan Punjab - Punjabi is by far the most widely spoken language, followed by Urdu and then English (though may be pushto with Pathan immigrants).

    Where there is a difference is that I suspect almost all Sikhs in E Punjab can speak Punjabi whereas in W Punjab you will get some native Punjabis who never use Punjabi or are unable to and only speak Urdu and English. This category is made up of urban, wealthy educated types.

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    going by the number of Punjabi songs and young singers who are popular, I doubt punjabi is fading away

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    urdu. more elequont.


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    Punjabi is going to die a slow death just like the way berber languages in North Africa and Aramic, Syriac and Cotpic have died in Iraq, Syria and Egypt....i.e absorbed into Arabic.


    it may take 2-3 centuries but the way educated Punjabis are leaving their language is a sure indicator that after a couple of centuries Punjabi will vanish

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sheraz1977
    Punjabi is going to die a slow death just like the way berber languages in North Africa and Aramic, Syriac and Cotpic have died in Iraq, Syria and Egypt....i.e absorbed into Arabic.


    it may take 2-3 centuries but the way educated Punjabis are leaving their language is a sure indicator that after a couple of centuries Punjabi will vanish
    I honestly don't agree w/ Punjabi dying away anytime soon. I have seen almost 90% of educated folks speaking Punjabi. Even Imran Khan, Wasim Akram and almost every crickter speaks Punjabi. Punjabi is a free flowing language with not too many syllabels. Once you learn it you will only speak this language. My mother language is Urdu but when I was in 10th grade I started learning Punjabi and now 80% of times I speak Punjabi, 19% English and 1% Urdu.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Toony
    urdu. more elequont.
    I agree but I've always thought urdu was more 'universal' than punjabi?



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    All those who keep saying punjabi is happens to be a rude impolite language seriously have no idea what punjabi is all about even the punjabi speakers can't speak the real punjabi which is sad.

    Are you guys telling me urdu can't be spoken in a rude impolite manner? I am not too sure but don't urdu speaking people have a little go at 'bhaiyee' type people who speak urdu in rude manner as well.

    I don't understand the concept of having to blend in everything together just to show unity. We can all be proud Pakistanis speaking pusto, punjabi, sindhi or whatever rocks your boat but when you have to give up things just so you can look more Pakistani or professional to others...your really becoming shallow.

    Like Farhad has already said this and we don't agree on things often...if you really want something better than urdu start speaking english it seems even more professional.


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    I can speak both punjabi and urdu. Generally the language I speak depends on my mood although i live in the UK the area i'm far so true punjabis so tend to speak punjabi more often.
    Anyway when i'm angry i only speak punjabi because even swearing in urdu sounds polite.


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    Punjabi is 'Meethi

    Urdu is is urdu, that's it.


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    For those that are saying it not eloquent or polite. It depends on the tone that you speak it in. If you hear a doctor speaking he/she will be polite. If you talking to your adversary, ofcourse it wont sound good. You guys do know that Punjabi has a very rich heritage in terms of literature comparable to any other language.

    On a side note, you wouldnt give up children for one that looks more cuter, would you?

    Regarding the fact that Urdu has Islamic roots and Punjabi doesnt. If your main concern is Islamic roots, you should be learning and writing in Arabic which you guys dont. So that defeats the argument

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    Quote Originally Posted by Muddaser
    Punjabi is not fading.

    There are still more Punjabi speakers in pakistan than entire worlds Punjabis put together including Indian Punjabis.

    Most Pakistani Punjabis (90%) still live in rural areas and only Punjabi is spoken.

    Maybe in the cities like Lahore and Islamabad the Punjabi isnt as pure. Mixed with Urdu.

    This should help. Look at the figures on the right hand side of the page.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Punjabi
    Spot on, people always look to the city, but the real Punjabis are the ones from the Pind. I'm 100% Punjabi and speak it fluently like i speak English and i never speak Urdu and neither does anyone else in my family.

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    Quote Originally Posted by cosine
    For those that are saying it not eloquent or polite. It depends on the tone that you speak it in. If you hear a doctor speaking he/she will be polite. If you talking to your adversary, ofcourse it wont sound good. You guys do know that Punjabi has a very rich heritage in terms of literature comparable to any other language.

    On a side note, you wouldnt give up children for one that looks more cuter, would you?

    Regarding the fact that Urdu has Islamic roots and Punjabi doesnt. If your main concern is Islamic roots, you should be learning and writing in Arabic which you guys dont. So that defeats the argument
    yes we do...as you may know...the language of islam is arabic and we learn to read it at an early age...i would be a proponent of learning it in speech as well actually and i hope it would become much more common...

    for now though, urdu fulfills both the historical and religious aspects...many words in urdu are derived from arabic...


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    Quote Originally Posted by Gujar
    Spot on, people always look to the city, but the real Punjabis are the ones from the Pind. I'm 100% Punjabi and speak it fluently like i speak English and i never speak Urdu and neither does anyone else in my family.
    Neither do mine.

    The only time my parents speak Urdu is when they are speaking to someone who aint Punjabi like Pathans and Gujaratis.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Aurangzeb
    yes we do...as you may know...the language of islam is arabic and we learn to read it at an early age...i would be a proponent of learning it in speech as well actually and i hope it would become much more common...

    for now though, urdu fulfills both the historical and religious aspects...many words in urdu are derived from arabic...
    Hmm... I was going by the article that was posted earlier and in it it says that Punjabis do not learn Arabic. Ofcourse you maybe able to read it but do they understand or use it in everyday langauage or in school. I think the answer to that is no.

    Also, what would you say to you Bengali friends for not knowing Urdu?

    Btw, what language is spoken in Indonesia?


    From the article

    The responsibility for such a state of affairs lies with the Punjabis themselves, especially the "Wake Up Punjabi" slogan-mongers. Is it not significant that in Pakistan's history no Punjabi leader of stature has addressed a mass rally in Punjabi? Nawaz Sharif, Pakistan's current and twice-elected prime minister, is a Punjabi. It was he who some time back raised the "Wake Up Punjabi" slogan while challenging then Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto's supremacy. Yet his track record on Punjabi is as bad as any other Punjabi leader's. Bhutto, who was also twice elected prime minister, is a Sindhi. She always talks to the Sindhis in Sindhi. Similarly, Urdu-, Pushto-, Seraiki-, and Baluchi-speaking leaders and intellectuals always use their own languages when talking to their people either in private or in public.

    Sindhi, Pushto and Urdu are compulsory languages for Sindhi, Pathan and Mohajir students, and the Baluchis are working hard to evolve a script for their own language. A number of official activities are transacted in these languages. The Punjabis are the largest linguistic group in Pakistan. They are also the most powerful political and economic group. Pakistan is an agrarian society, and the Punjab feeds the whole of Pakistan ("Punjab" means "the land of five rivers"). But there is not a single school where Punjabi is taught. Nor has Punjabi ever been part of the school syllabi. Pre-university as well as college courses in the Punjab are taught in Urdu. In a majority of cases, the characters, their names, and the situations projected in narratives, poems and social descriptions are based on the culture of Urdu speakers and have nothing to do with the Punjab. There are a number of universities in the Punjab, but it is only in the University of Lahore that a small MA Punjabi department exists, and even then the students admitted are more interested in finding a cheap residence in Lahore than in studying Punjabi.
    Last edited by cosine; 9th June 2007 at 02:18.

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    Quote Originally Posted by cosine
    Hmm... I was going by the article that was posted earlier and in it it says that Punjabis do not learn Arabic. Ofcourse you maybe able to read it but do they understand or use it in everyday langauage or in school. I think the answer to that is no.

    Also, what would you say to you Bengali friends for not knowing Urdu?

    Btw, what language is spoken in Indonesia?


    From the article
    we all learn arabic as a religious requirement...but like i said, i hope we continue to learn it as a language as well...

    urdu is for pakistani's significant in that a) its a common medium...like the post below mentions, it allows for communication with other pakistani's who don't speak the regional language...and b) it has islamic significance as words are derived from arabic, turkish, and persian...we also have a history of speaking urdu and not arabic so its natural to adopt it...

    most of my religious teachers were bengali and they all knew urdu and that's how they communicated with me...however, those that don't speak urdu i don't hold anything against them...why should i?

    i don't know what this has to do with the conversation but indonesians speak bahasa which is a dialect of malay spoken in malaysia...


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    Urdu cannot be rude, hmmmm!!! what about Altaf Hussein and his gang. These guys are more rude than any Punjabi can ever be, thoughts?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Muddaser
    Neither do mine.

    The only time my parents speak Urdu is when they are speaking to someone who aint Punjabi like Pathans and Gujaratis.
    Precisely - URDU is the uniting factor among Pakistanis and is important. We are all nnot Punjabis or Sindhis etc - a common language is needed - there is nothing sinister at play.


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    Quote Originally Posted by MIG
    Precisely - URDU is the uniting factor among Pakistanis and is important. We are all nnot Punjabis or Sindhis etc - a common language is needed - there is nothing sinister at play.
    True.

    Urdu is the Lingua Franca of Pakistan and every Pakistani should know it.

    Not stopping anyone from learning other languages.

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    good to hear all of your views and comments.
    Thanks

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sheraz1977
    Punjabi is going to die a slow death just like the way berber languages in North Africa and Aramic, Syriac and Cotpic have died in Iraq, Syria and Egypt....i.e absorbed into Arabic.


    it may take 2-3 centuries but the way educated Punjabis are leaving their language is a sure indicator that after a couple of centuries Punjabi will vanish

    Not quite. There is a resurgence now and I can think of many elite circles in Lahore where they on purpose speak only in Punjabi and in English.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Farhad
    Not quite. There is a resurgence now and I can think of many elite circles in Lahore where they on purpose speak only in Punjabi and in English.
    You dont seem to be too fond of urdu, are you. Another of Inzi's legacies?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Daoud
    You dont seem to be too fond of urdu, are you. Another of Inzi's legacies?
    Nahee yar. I do not hate Urdu at all. But I hate it when some Punjabis feel shy of owning up to their mother tongue. but i'm confident the times will change. That malaise hit the French some centuries ago and look at how proud they have now become of French.

    And Inzamam's legacies!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Farhad
    Not quite. There is a resurgence now and I can think of many elite circles in Lahore where they on purpose speak only in Punjabi and in English.
    i hope this is the case...though i havent encountered such a scenario myself.

    In my home both of my parents are quite fluent in Punjabi......i can understand Punjabi quite well but i m not fluent in it ......while my younger sister can't even understand most of the Punjabi words.

    With every passing generation the educated Punjabi population is getting distanced from its mother tounge.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Farhad
    Nahee yar. I do not hate Urdu at all. But I hate it when some Punjabis feel shy of owning up to their mother tongue. but i'm confident the times will change. That malaise hit the French some centuries ago and look at how proud they have now become of French.

    And Inzamam's legacies!
    I can assure you that Farhad is a fluent speaker of URDU - I suppose his point is that even though URDU is the national language of Pakistan, it shouldnt stop people from feeling "inferior" when they speak Punjabi.


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    Punjabi spoken by Indian people is a treat for ears whereas we Pakistani speak 'rude' punjabi!!

    I AM A PAKISTANI PUNJABI BTW AND WE SPEAK PUNJABI!!

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    This thread is blast from the past. I'm Punjabi and speak Punjabi. Urdu doesn't quite tickle my taste buds.


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    We speak Potohari, Urdu and English at home

    I'm (as a British Pakistani) am proud of Potohari (Punjabi like) as well as (obviously) the beautiful language known as Urdu.
    I'm proud of all languages in Pakistan tbh...because I can speak Potohari, I can also speak Saraiki, a little Hindko (as well as easily understand them)...I've even self taught myself Pushto (though that was mainly because everyone thinks I'm Pathan lol) and a little Sindhi too.

    Now hopefully somehow learn Farsi (because Iranians come upto me speaking Farsi too sometimes thinking I'm Iranian lol) and Balochi, though that's the hardest as there's hardly anything online and don't know anyone who speaks it lol


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    Quote Originally Posted by Mohsin View Post
    We speak Potohari, Urdu and English at home

    I'm (as a British Pakistani) am proud of Potohari (Punjabi like) as well as (obviously) the beautiful language known as Urdu.
    I'm proud of all languages in Pakistan tbh...because I can speak Potohari, I can also speak Saraiki, a little Hindko (as well as easily understand them)...I've even self taught myself Pushto (though that was mainly because everyone thinks I'm Pathan lol) and a little Sindhi too.

    Now hopefully somehow learn Farsi (because Iranians come upto me speaking Farsi too sometimes thinking I'm Iranian lol) and Balochi, though that's the hardest as there's hardly anything online and don't know anyone who speaks it lol
    Ok we get it, you have a fair complexion. Now stop with this people confuse me with so and so....


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    I think it's a tragedy as to what has happened to the Punjabi language in Pakistan. There has been a systematic effort since our country's inception to sideline and suppress Punjabi and somehow relegate it to a crude and less civilized language used only by rural people. A lot of Punjabi families themselves are responsible for this degradation of their language. Urdu was promoted as the language of "Pakistan", a language of the elite, ber and sophisticated class. It was used to suppress regional autonomy and ambitions of self rule. This resulted in suppression of Punjabi and didn't even caused any national unity or bonding. Time to revive this great, sweet and beautiful language of ours and embrace it as a strong part of our culture.


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    Trust me I wasn't trying to say anything pragmatically, but apologies if it seemed so


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    i was mistaken to be a sri lankan when i was in delhi.. maybe because i had shaved my head and looked like a monk.. they mistook me for a tourist and guides were after me.. it was fun acting like a tourist in india.

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    @mohsin

    No apologies needed, just sometimes these kind of proclamations can come across as giving the impression of a person being too vain.


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    Quote Originally Posted by saadibaba View Post
    Ok we get it, you have a fair complexion. Now stop with this people confuse me with so and so....
    Thank you.

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    Quote Originally Posted by saadibaba View Post
    I think it's a tragedy as to what has happened to the Punjabi language in Pakistan. There has been a systematic effort since our country's inception to sideline and suppress Punjabi and somehow relegate it to a crude and less civilized language used only by rural people. A lot of Punjabi families themselves are responsible for this degradation of their language. Urdu was promoted as the language of "Pakistan", a language of the elite, ber and sophisticated class. It was used to suppress regional autonomy and ambitions of self rule. This resulted in suppression of Punjabi and didn't even caused any national unity or bonding. Time to revive this great, sweet and beautiful language of ours and embrace it as a strong part of our culture.
    It is unfortunate that the language which was representing only 7% of the population made the national language. If we would have made the Bangla as our national language ( since it was spoken in majority), we would still be one country.

    Since Urdu was a language of elite in Uttar Pardesh and as an inferiority complex nation, we have adopted a language which was only representing by 7% people of the country and still facing the consequences.

    The problem with Punjabi, they suffer from severe inferiority complex. They feel more secure when they talk in Urdu with the kids than Punjabi and consider an elite, while you would not see any Pathan, Sindhi or Baluchi speaking Urdu with their kids.


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    Interesting to read replies in this thread as it was before my time here, and many of the posters must have now left, but some quality replies.

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    Quote Originally Posted by zaid65 View Post
    It is unfortunate that the language which was representing only 7% of the population made the national language. If we would have made the Bangla as our national language ( since it was spoken in majority), we would still be one country.

    Since Urdu was a language of elite in Uttar Pardesh and as an inferiority complex nation, we have adopted a language which was only representing by 7% people of the country and still facing the consequences.

    The problem with Punjabi, they suffer from severe inferiority complex. They feel more secure when they talk in Urdu with the kids than Punjabi and consider an elite, while you would not see any Pathan, Sindhi or Baluchi speaking Urdu with their kids.
    The seeds of dissent in the hearts of Bengali people were probably sown that day. Our founding fathers from UP used Islam and Urdu as ideological tools to legitimize their own hold on power and to curb regional aspirations. Like Liaqat Ali Khan, guy took a bullet for Pakistan but, clearly knew he doesn't have a constituency to win elections from and therefore deliberately used these maneuvers to hold onto power.


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    Quote Originally Posted by saadibaba View Post
    I think it's a tragedy as to what has happened to the Punjabi language in Pakistan. There has been a systematic effort since our country's inception to sideline and suppress Punjabi and somehow relegate it to a crude and less civilized language used only by rural people. A lot of Punjabi families themselves are responsible for this degradation of their language. Urdu was promoted as the language of "Pakistan", a language of the elite, ber and sophisticated class. It was used to suppress regional autonomy and ambitions of self rule. This resulted in suppression of Punjabi and didn't even caused any national unity or bonding. Time to revive this great, sweet and beautiful language of ours and embrace it as a strong part of our culture.
    While I haven't seen that in my immediate family, I've seen it in our circles where parents speak Punjabi between themselves, yet talk to their children in Urdu. There is something very artificial about it, but to tell the truth it seems to bother non-Punjabis more than Punjabis themselves. I've never seen anyone even discussing it except on here.

    One thing I will say though, the Sikhs in the UK are far more protective of the language than Pakistani Punjabis. A bit too much if truth be told. It's similar to the flag waving Americans or "Proud to be Pakistani" slogans. Trying too hard.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cpt. Rishwat View Post
    While I haven't seen that in my immediate family, I've seen it in our circles where parents speak Punjabi between themselves, yet talk to their children in Urdu. There is something very artificial about it, but to tell the truth it seems to bother non-Punjabis more than Punjabis themselves. I've never seen anyone even discussing it except on here.

    One thing I will say though, the Sikhs in the UK are far more protective of the language than Pakistani Punjabis. A bit too much if truth be told. It's similar to the flag waving Americans or "Proud to be Pakistani" slogans. Trying too hard.
    I don't think there is any need to be bothered or up in arms about it. The preservation and proliferation of a language after all is dependent on the desire of the people who speak that language.


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    Quote Originally Posted by saadibaba View Post
    I think it's a tragedy as to what has happened to the Punjabi language in Pakistan. There has been a systematic effort since our country's inception to sideline and suppress Punjabi and somehow relegate it to a crude and less civilized language used only by rural people. A lot of Punjabi families themselves are responsible for this degradation of their language. Urdu was promoted as the language of "Pakistan", a language of the elite, ber and sophisticated class. It was used to suppress regional autonomy and ambitions of self rule. This resulted in suppression of Punjabi and didn't even caused any national unity or bonding. Time to revive this great, sweet and beautiful language of ours and embrace it as a strong part of our culture.
    Agreed. My parents are both Punjabi yet they are very reluctant to speak Punjabi except with a certain class of people(mechanics/drivers etc). They didn't really teach me the language either so I'm very bad at Punjabi as a result.

    I think a lot of Pakistanis expect you to speak accentless Urdu so if they detect a Punjabi accent they consider you paindoo. Its like an interesting parallel with Americans and their Southern accent I guess. A shame really as you say...

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    As far as I now , Urdu is the preferred language of elites and the urban population .

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    Quote Originally Posted by saadibaba View Post
    I don't think there is any need to be bothered or up in arms about it. The preservation and proliferation of a language after all is dependent on the desire of the people who speak that language.
    This isn't just a Pakistani issue by the way, the English used to worry about American slang encroaching on their language, and now it's in reverse with many Americans adopting fake English accents.

    Bollywood is couched entirely in Hindi/Urdu ignoring many local dialects.

    In France they refuse to speak in English because they are so enraged that their language is being overrun.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Saudi View Post
    Agreed. My parents are both Punjabi yet they are very reluctant to speak Punjabi except with a certain class of people(mechanics/drivers etc). They didn't really teach me the language either so I'm very bad at Punjabi as a result.

    I think a lot of Pakistanis expect you to speak accentless Urdu so if they detect a Punjabi accent they consider you paindoo. Its like an interesting parallel with Americans and their Southern accent I guess. A shame really as you say...
    Brave of you to admit that. I think the culture at that time was such that it was difficult for a person from Punjab to feel proud of their language. Several great urdu poets and writers such as Faiz and Ashfaq Ahmad were Punjabi but hardly ever indulged in any Punjabi literature or art.


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    I actually speak Punjabi at home (English is the main language) and really honestly can't understand Urdu. For example Urdu people say 'Apna Naam kay eh' I say 'Tera Nam kay eh' (atleast I think that's Punjabi). It's harder to communicate with relatives so I speak a bit of English with them as well as Punjabi, however my mother says I speak it a sort of broken Punjabi dialect, so my Punjabi isn't exactly perfect either.
    Last edited by dzor; 24th January 2013 at 05:00. Reason: Added something extra


    everyone hurting each other, when will this madness end? peace for humans!

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    on the other hand we find speaking Punjabi cool..despite being bengalis we have friends who would say "tussi dasso" "koi gal nai" "raihn de".. if anything sounds profound if spoken in latin, then to us anything sounded witty and cool if spoken in punjabi..

    and it is urdu that has been dying in India. interesting effect of partition.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Daniyal99 View Post
    I actually speak Punjabi at home (English is the main language) and really honestly can't understand Urdu. For example Urdu people say 'Apna Naam kay eh' I say 'Tera Nam kay eh' (atleast I think that's Punjabi). It's harder to communicate with relatives so I speak a bit of English with them as well as Punjabi, however my mother says I speak it a sort of broken Punjabi dialect, so my Punjabi isn't exactly perfect either.
    ???

    Sorry but both of your examples are almost completely gibberish. You say you speak Punjab but you don't even know that its supposed to be tuadda not tera in your example of Punjabi.

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    Quote Originally Posted by GentleMan View Post
    on the other hand we find speaking Punjabi cool..despite being bengalis we have friends who would say "tussi dasso" "koi gal nai" "raihn de".. if anything sounds profound if spoken in latin, then to us anything sounded witty and cool if spoken in punjabi..

    and it is urdu that has been dying in India. interesting effect of partition.
    I think Bollywood has a lot to do with it. This recent trend of semi-Punjabi comedies like "Singh is King" etc. being huge hits and bhangra music being hip has made Punjabi cool.


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    Quote Originally Posted by Saudi View Post
    ???

    Sorry but both of your examples are almost completely gibberish. You say you speak Punjab but you don't even know that its supposed to be tuadda not tera in your example of Punjabi.
    Like I said I speak mostly English at home, and my Punjabi isn't great.


    everyone hurting each other, when will this madness end? peace for humans!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Saudi View Post
    ???

    Sorry but both of your examples are almost completely gibberish. You say you speak Punjab but you don't even know that its supposed to be tuadda not tera in your example of Punjabi.
    How is it gibberish? Didn't Daniyal explain quite clearly that his/her pronunciation might not be perfect?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Daniyal99 View Post
    Like I said I speak mostly English at home, and my Punjabi isn't great.
    I think you should head into the Languages forum of PP. Some good threads in Urdu/Punjabi on there.

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    Quote Originally Posted by GentleMan View Post
    on the other hand we find speaking Punjabi cool..despite being bengalis we have friends who would say "tussi dasso" "koi gal nai" "raihn de".. if anything sounds profound if spoken in latin, then to us anything sounded witty and cool if spoken in punjabi..

    and it is urdu that has been dying in India. interesting effect of partition.
    Urdu isn't dying in Bollywood. The big films are still broadcast in very understandable language from Bangladesh to Afghanistan.


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