Controversial Punjabi Language On The Decline?

Gyani Jarnail Singh

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This is just one Pakistani..and there are many many more..and NOT all are Sikhs..

http://articles.timesofindia.indiat...ment-of-punjabi-language-nankana-sahib-sindhi

Heres another...

http://lahorenama.wordpress.com/2009/06/01/first-gurmukhi-course-concludes-2/

Out of a total 100,000 websites in Punjabi on Google..ONLY 2 are in Shahmukhi...and the remaining 100,998 are in GURMUKHI/Romanised Transliterated Punjabi.
countless discussion forums like this abound...

http://www.unp.me/f16/punjabi-te-gurmukhi-de-vich-ki-farak-hai-18079/
 
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As a linguist, I'd say it's too early to ring the death knell on one of the world's most spoken languages. There are many factors that are contributing to the state of the language in the various countries in which it is spoken. In India, both Hindi and English are seen as prestige languages as vehicles for both commerce and popular culture. This is undeniable.

But I think there are some signs that Punjabi isn't on its deathbed by any means. The Punjabi pop culture scene is expanding rapidly, both in India and abroad. Punjabi language cinema is growing exponentially each year, and as more youth see it as a viable alternative for self-expression, the language will develop its own cache. I'm not suggesting this will happen tomorrow, but I don't see signs that it's going to disappear in our lifetime by any stretch of the imagination.

:mundabhangra:
 

Kanwaljit.Singh

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Yes there is hope in middle of the sadness, of kids like me, who grew up in Delhi speaking Hindi mostly. I have the tough task of going back and speaking only in Punjabi. And my family could think of me as an extremist trying to save what is ours!
 

Auzer

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As a linguist, I'd say it's too early to ring the death knell on one of the world's most spoken languages. There are many factors that are contributing to the state of the language in the various countries in which it is spoken. In India, both Hindi and English are seen as prestige languages as vehicles for both commerce and popular culture. This is undeniable.

But I think there are some signs that Punjabi isn't on its deathbed by any means. The Punjabi pop culture scene is expanding rapidly, both in India and abroad. Punjabi language cinema is growing exponentially each year, and as more youth see it as a viable alternative for self-expression, the language will develop its own cache. I'm not suggesting this will happen tomorrow, but I don't see signs that it's going to disappear in our lifetime by any stretch of the imagination.

:mundabhangra:
Well we have a linguist on this forum? :) Welcome!

Do you think that Punjabi language needs an 'over-haul' ? We add new words in English vocabulary every year...Do you have any such system for Indian-Pakistani languages? (Punjabi and Urdu etc?) ...
 

Ishna

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Auzerji

Singhitwithmeji can probably give a better response, but this is what the Punjabi language book Complete Punjabi has to say about English words being added to Punjabi:

Complete Punjabi page 39:
Nouns borrowed from English
Words borrowed from English are also classified in terms of gender and are pluralized according to the pattern of Punjabi nouns.

Presumably this same mechanism operates for words from other languages being assimilated into Punjabi. Therefore the Punjabi language must be growing.
 

Gyani Jarnail Singh

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Its Growing all right..But similar to an adopted child/in step mother's house...the PUNJAB which is its HOMELAND has sold out to Hindi/English..its sons disowned her..its Govt disowns her...but she still GROWS...
 
"Now , in Pakistan , most people speak Urdu..right? and people can't even write Punjabi...though they can speak it...mmm well in this case , Punjabi language's future does look bleak."
Reference:: Sikh Philosophy Network http://www.sikhphilosophy.net/showthread.php?t=38946

Urdu in Pakistan is spoken by the elite of Urban areas only. Rural population in Pakistani Panjab almost entirely speaks Panjabi. Rural Pakistani population in Sindh, Balochistan, Northwest Frontier area speak, Sindhi, Balochi, and Pasto respectively not Urdu.

"Secondly , as Gyani ji said , Punjabi is losing its social relevance...People would rather read sign boards in Urdu/Hindi or English rather than Punjabi...As older generations die out...so will the Punjabi language..."
Reference:: Sikh Philosophy Network http://www.sikhphilosophy.net/showthread.php?t=38946

In Vancouver in Canada and some places in UK where most Panjabis live the street signs are written in Gurmukhi as well.

In UK, and elsewhere, Sikh parents who are concerned about their children wandering away from their culture have realised that if they send their children to Panjabi schools in Gurdwaras they would learn Panjabi, as they in fact do, and also attend the classes introducing them to their religion. The groups of students attending these classes within the group feel no inferiority about their language and culture and in fact begin to adorn 'Bana' etc. The education system in UK accepts Panjabi language qualifications such as GCSE 'O' levels or 'A' levels and the grades in Panjabi boost the chances of students competing for admission to universities, hence encouraging youth and their parents to follow this trend.
Another mechanism is to send children to the 'Gurmat Camps' organised by various Sikh organisations. Participants may or may not become good Sikhs but for parents it is an encourging social interaction between young males and females in the camps under the superivision of organisers. Such interactions result quite often in engagements and Anand Karaj of the copules. I have attended many such weddings over the years.

Thus, the Panjabi Sikh parents have found these positive interactions in western countries not so much to make their children Barahm Gyanis but a successful attempt to preserve their culture in their future generations, including Language, religion and social values. This takes away the major worry of parents about their children marrying in non-Panjabi families.

In my opinioin, unlike back home in Panjab, Panjabis abroad are more aware of these issues and finding positive ways to deal with these.

It was the Panjabi singers in UK who inspired the Bollywood crowd to adopt Panjabi music as part of their musical masaala. Now we find, no film is successful if it doesn't have Panjabi lyrics in its songs. There are more Panjabi films that are produced by or helped financially by Panjabi 'NRI's.

Future of Panjabi is cetainly not so bleak as portrayed.

Humbly
Serjinder Singh
 

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