Considered as one of the 12 most widely spoken languages worldwide, Punjabi is an Indo-Aryan language. Spoken by more than 88 million people, Punjabi is one of the 22 languages with official status in India and is the official language of the state of Punjab in India.
The language is spoken in Punjab and north western parts of India. Although Punjabi is not the official language in Pakistan, it holds the status of the most spoken language in the country. Besides, Punjabi is also spoken by the Punjabi Diaspora in Mauritius, the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Tanzania, Malaysia, South Africa, Greece, Burma, France, Oman, Thailand, Germany, Bahrain, Australia, the UK, the USA, Canada and more.
For Punjabis in India, all religious ceremonies take place in the Punjabi language. Following the division of the imperial British India into two separate countries of India and Pakistan in 1947, the Punjabi spoken in these two countries has seen various changes, in their own different ways. Hence, the two languages are now quite different in usage. While the Punjabi spoken in India relies heavily on Hindi language containing Sanskrit vocabulary, the Punjabi used in Pakistan leans on Urdu with smatterings of Arabic and Persian words.
Punjabi boasts of a great Punjabi literature which has been contributed by various renowned authors such as Amrita Pritam, Balwant Gargi, Prof. Mohan Singh, Shiv Kumar Batalvi in India and Shareef Kunjahi, Mir Tanha Yousafi and Abid Tamimi in Pakistan.
There are various dialects in the Punjabi language. There is the Majhi dialect which is spoken in Amritsar, Gurdaspur Districts and Tarn Taran Sahib in India and Lahore, Wazirabad, Sialkot, and Kasur in Pakistan. Then there is the Malwi dialect which is used in Ludhiana, Sangrur, Patiala, Faridkot, Fatehgarh Sahib, Ambala, Bathinda and Ferozepur in Indian Punjab and Hissar and Kurukshetra in Haryana, India.
Similarly, there is the Potwari dialect which is used in Rawalpindi in Pakistan, and the Hindko dialect which is primarily used in Peshawar, Abbottabad, Attock and Murree in Pakistan. There are various other dialects as well such as Doabi, Pwadhi, Dhani, Dogri, Saraiki and Jhangochi dialects.
The Punjabi language in India is primarily written in the Gurmukhi alphabet which means “from the mouth of the Guru”. The Gurmukhi script was devised by Guru Nanak Devji in the 16th century. However, in Pakistan, Punjabi is written in the Shahmukhi script. Hence the way Punjabi is written depends upon the region where it is used.
Whenever you seek Punjabi translations, make sure to figure out your target audience first. As mentioned in the article above, the Punjabi spoken in India consists of Hindi vocabulary whereas Punjabi used in Pakistan uses Urdu vocabulary. Similarly there is a difference between how Punjabi is written in India and Pakistan.
As there are important differences between the Punjabi used in India and the Punjabi used in Pakistan in terms of the script and the use of vocabulary, it makes sense to use the services of a professional translation agency, be it a service for translation Vancouver or by certified translators in Calgary who understand the characteristics of the Punjabi language and can deliver accurate Punjabi translations according to your target audience.