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Learn Punjabi Panjabi

namritanevaeh

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Oct 14, 2012
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Surrey, Canada
Main do ku mahinia to Panjabi parna likhna sikh rahi sii.

I've been learning to read and write (and speak and listen to!) Panjabi for 2+ months now...and I'm ACTUALLY getting somewhere. I always thought it would be a hard language to learn and I am finding it is actually easier by far than I thought. I can basically read at about a "grade 1" level, sounding out letters in Gurmukhi script to make a word, and while my vocabulary is smaller than what I read by far ;-) it is growing quickly.

It started by accident kind of. And I regret not starting sooner, or I'd probably be almost fluent by now. ;-) I turned on the Panjabi radio station and realised I could understand the basic gist of the conversation, but it came across to me at the time as "blah blah blah blah heart attack blah blah blah blah doctors blah blah blah blah specialists"...etc. and I'd be going "ok fine, they're talking about heart troubles etc." Not long after that I picked up a "teach yourself punjabi" book at a used bookstore and a few library books and went into it thinking maybe I could learn a few commonly used terms and such to be polite. Then, I realised since much of our assimilation of newly learned things happens during our dreams (yes, I'm serious...), I should play stuff in Panjabi at night while I sleep. Then, things kind of snowballed. I started looking at grammar rather than short "visitors phrases for a tourist guide book", I started hearing phrases over and over on the radio, wondering what they were, and finally figuring them out all by myself without anyone telling me what they mean!!

I am far from fluent still but I can piece together some short sentences that typically have some grammar mistakes. I also thought to begin with I would never learn Gurmukhi; it seemed way too complicated. But at Vaisakhi this year I came across a kiosk selling Gurmukhi workbooks like for the early elementary school aged kids, and treated myself to those and now am able to read very slowly. It is actually quite thrilling to me to be making this happen. I have some friends I ask for help occasionally (answer a question about a word, or sentence) but I do a LOT of the learning by myself. :)
:kaurkhalsaflagblue:
 

spnadmin

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Jun 17, 2004
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namritanevaeh ji

Your story is inspiring. I think from what you described, you are probably the best coach for someone just starting out. You know what the pitfalls are for a newbie. Please be steadfast with your studies, and give a hand of help when we need one. Welcome to SPN :winkingkudi:
 

namritanevaeh

Writer
SPNer
Oct 14, 2012
220
302
Surrey, Canada
namritanevaeh ji

Your story is inspiring. I think from what you described, you are probably the best coach for someone just starting out. You know what the pitfalls are for a newbie. Please be steadfast with your studies, and give a hand of help when we need one. Welcome to SPN :winkingkudi:
Dhanvad!! :)

You know what, it took me almost a month to figure out one "phrase" I heard on the radio over and over. I kept thinking that it must be really important since I kept hearing it. I would hear "che sau char" over and over. I finally figured out, before even asking anyone, that I heard it always after they said a phone number in English usually. Then the light dawned on me that it had to be part of the phone number. But it took an entire OTHER month to figure out it was not 6-0-4 but rather 604 (ie six hundred and four). It amazes me how I can learn all this from a bit of studying (reading up on it) and listening to radio lots. During Vaisakhi I was in a store and someone asked "purple meri size nao?" and while obviously 2 of those words are English ;-) a few months ago I wouldn't have understood what on earth it was all about. I was at a friend's house last week and he told his dad I was trying to learn Panjabi...in Panjabi. I said to him "you'd better watch what you say; I understood what you said to your dad". ;-) LOL. He was surprised. I won't claim that I understood every grammatical turn-about in his sentence, nor whether he said the equivalent of "She has been learning" or "she is learning" or "she wants to learn..." etc. but I heard sikkha and Panjabi and knew he was referring to me. It was enough to get the idea of what was being portrayed. :)

I feel pretty confident right now that someday I will have a working knowledge of the language. Maybe not perfect but if I can ask for directions, order a meal, help a lost kid find their mother ;-)...with or without an accent ;-)...I will be happy. :)

Right now some of the specific more gutteral sounds (a D sound I think?) are giving me a lot of trouble. We keep skipping over them and going back later and they still frustrate me. But I'll keep trying too...

As to learning languages...this is my 3rd. I learned my 2nd language when I was 18 and natives tell me I do not have an accent in it. I have a friend who is trying to learn Spanish and I give her tips on how to help herself out.

Watching a movie, particularly one where you already know the story line, can be very useful too.


:icecreamkaur::icecreamkaur:
 

Ishna

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May 9, 2006
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Apologies Namrita ji, but would you mind (and if Adminji doesn't mind) if the thread is possibly moved to the Learn Panjabi section of the forum instead of New to Sikhism? I was looking for it to watch the video posted by Findingmyway ji (I've only watched the intro so far and it looks really good for a noob who struggles with pronounciation like me) and I had trouble finding the thread as it wasn't under Learn Panjabi as expected. I hope you don't mind, sorry for the inconvenience.
 

spnadmin

1947-2014 (Archived)
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Jun 17, 2004
14,500
19,209
Moving the thread to Learn Punjabi is not a problem. It started here because it was more like a personal narration of positive experiences.
 

namritanevaeh

Writer
SPNer
Oct 14, 2012
220
302
Surrey, Canada
Apologies Namrita ji, but would you mind (and if Adminji doesn't mind) if the thread is possibly moved to the Learn Panjabi section of the forum instead of New to Sikhism? I was looking for it to watch the video posted by Findingmyway ji (I've only watched the intro so far and it looks really good for a noob who struggles with pronounciation like me) and I had trouble finding the thread as it wasn't under Learn Panjabi as expected. I hope you don't mind, sorry for the inconvenience.
Nahi, I do not mind Ishna ji.
 

namritanevaeh

Writer
SPNer
Oct 14, 2012
220
302
Surrey, Canada

Ishna

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May 9, 2006
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My Punjabi language book says 'shukria' is a Punjabi Muslim kinda word and Danwaad is a Punjabi Sikh kinda word. I like shukria cos its easier for me to say than danwaad, with my poxy Aussie accent. :grinningkudi:
 

namritanevaeh

Writer
SPNer
Oct 14, 2012
220
302
Surrey, Canada
My Punjabi language book says 'shukria' is a Punjabi Muslim kinda word and Danwaad is a Punjabi Sikh kinda word. I like shukria cos its easier for me to say than danwaad, with my poxy Aussie accent. :grinningkudi:
Well, where I am from, people use both Shukriya and Dhanvad, however I think Shukriya is more commonly used. And I think that is probably because we are such a melting pot of culture. There are people for whom Panjabi is a first language, those who have Hindi, some with urdu...etc.

I suspect Shukriya is just more widely understood by all...

*shrug*
 

Ishna

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May 9, 2006
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Is " meharbani" another word like "thank you"? If so, is it more or less formal than dhanwad? Does it have more significance in a particular environment, like you wouldn't say it at work but you would say it to respected family members or something?
 
Nov 14, 2008
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Is " meharbani" another word like "thank you"? If so, is it more or less formal than dhanwad? Does it have more significance in a particular environment, like you wouldn't say it at work but you would say it to respected family members or something?
Ishna ji

Shukriya , Dhanvaad ,Meharbaani are equivalent .

meharbaan ,mehar is used frequently in Guru Granth sahib ji .
 

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