Punjabi is an Indo-Aryan language spoken by about 130 million people mainly in West Punjab in Pakistan and in East Punjab in India. There are also significant numbers of Punjabi speakers in the UK, Canada, the UAE, the USA, Saudi Arabia and Australia. Punjabi descended from the Shauraseni language of medieval northern India and became a distinct language during the 11th century.
In India Punjabi is written with the Gurmukhi (ਗੁਰਮੁਖੀ) alphabet, while in Pakistan it is written with a version of the Urdu alphabet known as Shahmukhi (شاہ مکھی). The written standard for Punjabi in both India and Pakistan is known as Majhi (ਮਾਝੀ/ ماجھ), which is named after the Majha region of Punjab.
Punjabi is one of India's 22 official languages and it is the first official language in East Punjab. In Pakistan Punjabi is the second most widely-spoken language but has no official status.
The Gurmukhi alphabet developed from the Landa alphabet and was standardised during the 16th century by Guru Angad Dev Ji, the second Sikh guru. The name Gurmukhi means "from the mouth of the Guru" and comes from the Old Punjabi word guramukhī.
The Shahmukhi alphabet is a version of the Urdu alphabet used to write Punjabi in Pakistan. It is normally written in Nastaʿlīq style and has been used since the second half of the 20th century. The name Shahmukhi means "from the King's mouth" The chart below shows the Shahmuki script with Gurmukhi equivalents
The chart below shows the Shahmuki script with Gurmukhi equivalents
Sārā manukhkhī parivār āpaṇī mahimā, śān ate hakkāṃ de pakhkhoṃ janama toṃ hī āzād hai ate sute sippa sāre lok barābar han. Unhāṃ sabhanā nūṃ tarak ate zamīr dī saugāt silī hoī hai ate unhāṃ nūṃ bharātarībhāv dī bhāvanā rakhadiāṃ āpas vica vicaraṇā cāhīdā hai.
All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They
are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another
in a spirit of brotherhood.
(Article 1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights)
Online Punjabi lessons and other learning resources
Learn Punjabi and Hindi Online
Online collections of Punjabi phrases
Online Punjabi dictionaries
Punjab Online - information about the Punjabi language, history,
culture, etc (includes an online English <> Punjabi dictionary and language lessons)
Punjabilok - Punjabi news, history, language, etc
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