You might have heard of Hindi, but did you know that it has a sibling language called Punjabi? There are many reasons why this is an important language to learn. One reason is that the population of Punjabis is growing at an exponential rate. Another reason is that there are more than 100 million people who use Punjabi in India and Pakistan alone!
If you want to find out how you can learn this beautiful language, please continue reading on. I will be providing some tips for learning Punjabi in my blog post below!
If you like spicy food, you probably love Punjabi (the language and the cuisine- which incidentally is known for its spices). If you are completely mystified by Punjabi or a South Asian who would appreciate having access to all the poetry in your mother tongue that only a few know about, then this article may be for you.
What is Punjabi?
Punjabi is an Indo-Aryan language with about 100 million speakers worldwide.
It is the official language of Punjab, a state in northern India and one of the states that make up Pakistan (formerly known as West Pakistan). The scripts used are Gurmukhi (used primarily in Punjab, India) and Shahmukhi (used primarily in Punjab, Pakistan).
There are also a number of dialects across the Punjabi-speaking region. While they may not be written down or used on formal occasions, most Punjabis understand at least one dialect.
For example, in India, this includes Malwai and Doabi; In Pakistan, this includes Pothohari and Landi. The dialects may also be referred to as ‘Macch’ or ‘Jat’ which are the larger subgroups that they fall under.
Why Learn Punjabi?
As far as languages go, Punjabi is not spoken by a very large number of people.
However, it is quite similar to Hindi and other South Asian languages (including Urdu) with the same script system and alphabet. This means that you will be able to read signs in most cities in South Asia, which just might come in handy.
Furthermore, there are a number of songs and poems written in Punjabi that you can only read if you know the dialect. Learning Punjabi will gain you access to a whole new world of music.
How to learn Punjabi?
If you have some previous experience with South Asian languages, you will find the most difficult aspect of learning Punjabi is its pronunciation.
Unlike more common languages such as French or Spanish, there are multiple ways to pronounce each letter in Punjabi.
For example, the letter ‘W’ can be pronounced as /v/ or /b/. The letter ‘R’ can be pronounced like a trilled rolling r sound or the more familiar English r. The same goes for other letters such as: ‘L’, K, T, and so on. This may prove to be an obstacle if you are learning Punjabi as a second language and have trouble pronouncing certain sounds.
If you are learning this dialect from scratch, be prepared to deal with these differences early on. However, if you already speak an Indo-Aryan language or have some experience of speaking Hindi/Urdu will find this aspect easier.
There is no one way to learn a dialect of course, so I suggest going with what works best for you. In this post, we have listed out some resources that may help.
The benefits of learning Punjabi
When most people think about languages they believe the only benefit is being able to speak to another person in their own language when traveling abroad.
However there are many benefits to learning this language, in fact, there may be a number of reasons you should consider learning the dialect:
-An understanding of Punjabi will enable you to watch and appreciate Indian and Pakistani TV shows, movies, documentaries, etc.
-Learning about other cultures is an important part of life for many people. Learning the language will give you a new perspective on life and help you appreciate the heritage of Punjab.
-Punjabi is spoken by many other communities around the world, especially in countries such as Canada and Australia.
Learning this language will enable you to speak with people who may not be able to communicate with you in their mother tongue.
-It is an extremely useful language for anyone working in the education sector. Many National Curriculum Boards require teachers to have some proficiency in the languages they teach.
-Punjabi has been and continues to be a very popular choice as a foreign language studied at school and university level. A large number of students study Punjabi worldwide, especially in the UK.
-There are a large number of Punjabi speakers in international communities (North America, South Africa, etc) who may need to interact with people speaking languages other than Punjabi in an official sense.
– Access to Songs and Poetry written in Punjabi. This includes the songs of legendary artists like Surjit Bindrakhiya and the poetry that is handed down from generation to generation within families.
In fact, there are a number of popular songs that have been written in Punjabi but are not widely known, so learning the language will enable you to listen to them.
-Punjabi is a relatively easy language to grasp as it uses the Roman script and is not as complex as some other languages. It also has fewer tones than many South Asian Languages.
-It will give you knowledge of a language that is widely spoken in the Punjab region and beyond. Punjabi has been historically known to be a language that people across religious boundaries have used as an example of how different communities can work together and coexist.
Learning this language will give you an understanding of Punjabi heritage and what it means to be Punjabi.
-Punjabi is a major language of business in Asia, especially India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh.
Learning this language will make you more marketable to Indian and Pakistani businesses that are looking for bilingual people with an understanding of the logic behind the dialects.
Resources for Learning Punjabi
1. Apps for Learning Punjabi
This free language learning resource is a great place to start if you are interested in learning this language.
They offer a large range of audio and visual content for both beginner and more advanced learners. The site has a wide range of resources that will help you learn this language in both writing and speaking form.
This language-learning app allows you to find a tutor for one-on-one sessions. It is one of the most useful apps for the Punjabi course. The teachers teach in English if you prefer that. Through video calling they teach
You can also use it to create your own flashcards and track your progress. It is free to download, however, pricing starts at $9.99/month
The Pimsleur Program was the first audio-based foreign language course developed for the general public. They offer a full 30 lesson (30 hours) English Punjabi program. It is one of the best apps for the Punjabi course.
The Punjabi lessons are divided into three 10 lesson courses, each with its own vocabulary and introduction to the basic alphabet, letters, and grammar section. It is of value to note that this Punjabi program focuses on spoken Punjabi as well as reading Punjabi.
The Pimsleur Method is a scientifically proven method for learning dialects. The menu of the site contains video, search, version, review options among others
This popular app offers audio courses that will teach you the basics of Punjabi and also guides your basic tones in the right direction. Check out their free demo in English to see if it’s right for you.
This app is a great tool for all those who are planning to travel abroad and need to learn the language before going there. It is a website that has native speakers from all countries who can teach you their own language through your web browser, whether it’s English, Spanish or Punjabi.
There are two price options for the site. The first is the free version where you pay per lesson (15-30 minutes). A great option for people on a budget.
The second one is the monthly membership that includes, amongst others, unlimited access to all teachers and content; no ads; answers review; learning materials etc. which will cost $10/month for new members and $8/month for returning members.
Its lessons are short and effective, available in both audio and text formats so you can pick up in your own time. It is one of the best resources for learning this language online. Every session has a vocabulary section which allows you to understand the letters, alphabet, words along with their meaning.
It also offers the user with the chance to grasp and practice Punjabi phrases, cultural lessons and expressions, otherwise known as sentences with different courses. The app also has an inbuilt dictionary which is always useful when you don’t know how to spell or say a word.
It is free up until your first tutorial (this only gives you access to their vocal section), after which there are two options. The first is to pay for a month, which will allow you unlimited access to all the language courses on offer.
The second option is the lifetime plan which costs $179 per year or $14.95 per month. If paid annually, this works out as less than one dollar per day.
e) Go Punjabi App for Android
This Punjabi language acquisition application is available in Punjabi only. It includes lessons, quizzes, and flashcards.
It is a self-paced acquisition method that will help you reach your language learning goals. This also helps you to grasp to speak this beautiful dialect. This is one of the best apps for the Punjabi course.
2. Language Exercises and Games
If you have just started to pick up the Punjabi language, one of the best ways to practice your skills is by completing simple exercises.
For example, SikhVille.org is a Punjabi site that brings together different online resources such as transliteration quizzes, listening tasks, and crossword puzzles that allow you to review your knowledge in Punjabi.
If you are acquiring the dialect online, it is worth trying out these types of games as you could make new friends while practicing the dialect.
Online quizzes on sites like Fun Easy Learn provide people who are just starting out with some great opportunities for practicing their Punjabi language skills. This means that the site could be useful if you want to practice your skills and knowledge but might not be as helpful when it comes to identifying mistakes or improving your overall fluency.
If you are someone who prefers to grasp the Punjabi language in a more self-directed manner, flashcards can be a great way to achieve this. These cards allow you to study essential vocabulary and phrases related to situations commonly encountered in everyday life. You can scribble them in English for ease.
It is also worth exploring other zero-cost resources such as Memrise or Lingvist that offer lots of flashcard options for acquiring this dialect.
If you have never used flashcards before, it is recommended that you start with digital versions to get acquainted with the different styles and formats available. You can then progress onto offline versions where there are no distractions or time limits.
This is an excellent way of practicing writing the different scripts, which are essential if you want to become literate in the dialect.
4. Punjabi Podcasts
Podcasts give you a great opportunity to practice your conversation skills. You can find many different Punjabi podcasts online with English subtitles that are designed for learners of all abilities including English students and cover topics such as technology, news, music, and sport that would otherwise take a long search.
PunjabiFM also offers podcasts that allow you to listen to Punjabi songs for no cost at all and grasp new vocabulary and phrases. This site also has radio available if you want to find out more about the dialect from a Punjabi speakers perspective, make sure you check them out.
Learn Punjabi Like a Native podcast is another great resource for those looking to improve their Punjabi like local speakers.
5. YouTube Channels
Punjabi learning through videos is an excellent way of practicing your conversation skills in an interactive environment. The courses are available with English subtitles and in English audio too. There are lots of YouTube channels that offer Punjabi lessons with English subtitles but some of the best options for beginners include:
This YouTube channel has videos and courses that cover a variety of topics including alphabet pronunciation, letters, grammar, and vocabulary with English subtitles. It is also possible to find Punjabi songs here in English subtitles.
b) Anmol Punjabi
This channel provides useful lessons/courses that help English learners improve their conversation skills. The presenter uses examples from everyday life so you can easily understand how each concept works in real-life situations. The English subtitles are available too.
Nav Lehal is one of the Punjabi speakers who present short video clips on a range of interesting topics such as Jokes, Celebrities, and Meals. There are also quizzes available you want to test your knowledge.
6. Punjabi Websites and Blogs
There are lots of great Punjabi resources available online that you can access for zero cost. If you want to read the welcome events, listen to music or watch movies in the dialect, you can find plenty of options here.
Not only will these websites allow you to practice your vocabulary and improve your Punjabi reading skills, but they will also give you a greater insight into the history and provide details about the dialect itself. The descriptions are available in English for easy grasping capability. A few good examples are:
This website offers up-to-date news in Punjabi and is a great resource for those who want to stay informed on what’s going on including English students.
This website has lots of information in English about Punjabi learning, including tips and guidelines. It also features some simple vocabulary lessons if you are just beginning your Punjabi learning journey.
If you’re interested in reading short stories or watching Punjabi dramas, this site offers everything from funny anecdotes to horror stories. You can even listen to Gurmukhi (Punjabi written in the Gurmukhi script by Sikhs) songs here. If you want an online community where you can share content with other users, SaddaPind is a valuable resource.
These will help English learners to grasp the melodious dialect of Punjab.
7. Punjabi Newspapers and Magazines
If you prefer traditional methods of practicing your speaking skills there are lots of newspapers and magazines that contain useful lessons and activities which can be printed out easily.
For example, check out a copy of Punjabi Ajit (which is a good way to grasp the words quickly) and note down new vocabulary or phrases. It helps English learners in acquiring the official language of Punjab.
8. Punjabi Books
If you are an avid reader and prefer to study in your own time, there are lots of great resources that can be found online. For instance, International Punjabi teaching material can be explored on the Sikh Book Club website or you could try reading some children’s books.
The audio books are also available to aid English students. The site also aids in getting letters of the dialect right for English-speaking students so that they can improve on their conversation using helpful basics.
There are also many general English books available if you want to improve your Punjabi reading comprehension skills (this is especially useful for students who are learning the dialect at school). This aid English students get to know the Punjabi basics.
9. Punjabi Dictionaries
Dictionaries are a valuable source of information when studying any new dialect. There are some excellent resources available online(in English too) which can be accessed for no cost at all and allow learners to explore Punjabi in more depth. Here are a few examples:
a) ePunjabi Dictionary (you can type in any word in both English or Punjabi and find the translation).
This is very helpful for getting English meanings of words.
b) Punjabi Dictionary (this includes many words from different fields such as medicine, culture, English, etc.).
English descriptions for all expressions are available here.
c) English – Punjabi Dictionary (there is also an android application for this dictionary if you prefer using your phone to access the website).
You will get to know the meaning of the English words in Punjabi.
It helps English learners in learning the official language of Punjab. It aids English using students to learn letters of the native country with complete information
10. Punjabi Radio
Listening to radio programs is a great way to pick up new Punjabi words and phrases and you can access podcasts from a variety of radio stations. These programs talk about various categories like food, personal stories, places to visit, history, cultural diversity in an interactive manner. This media aids to improve the basic conversation that you can carry out with friends.
Some websites even enable you to listen to the radio over the net so all you need is an internet connection and headphones. Here are some examples:
a) Punjabi Radio Australia
It contains lots of useful information about current affairs in Punjabi along with cultural music and weather forecasts. This also helps you to enjoy conversing in this beautiful dialect in basic conversation.
b) Kanwar Sandhu’s Show
If you want to find out more about the latest events or chat with other listeners then check out this YouTube channel which broadcasts every week. It helps learners in learning the official language of Punjab. It has programs on history, basic conversation, review matters, personal care, home visit, and other helpful categories.
11. Punjabi Television
Punjabi TV shows are another fantastic resource if you wish to improve your Punjabi language skills. The video transmission tells you of the history of native Pakistan and India, cultural welcome of native people that otherwise English speakers would know after a long search.
There are lots of programs available on YouTube which you can watch over the net (you may also be able to find some episodes on iPlayer) and there are many websites that list the latest shows so you can keep up-to-date with your favorite content. Here are a few examples:
a) Punjabi News and Entertainment –
This provides an opportunity for viewers to watch Punjabi events in Australia but it also offers other great features such as cooking classes, sports, and music festivals. It will help you learn how to use the local tones of the dialect.
b) APNA TV
This is another fantastic option because it allows users to live stream different TV channels from India. Some of these channels even have subtitles making them accessible to all learners. It helps learners in speaking the dialect of Punjab.
Learning Tips and Tricks
The best way to pick up the Punjabi language is to learn to speak with native speakers of Punjabi. If you do not know any, there are several ways in which you can meet native speakers who will be able to help you:
-If you live near a university, contact the Punjabi department to see if you can meet native speakers in person
-Search for a Punjabi community in your area (if there is one)
-Use iTalki or similar websites to find people who will be able to help. If you want to practice speaking with someone over the net, use Skype and choose a time when you are both cool to talk
-Join a Punjabi language learning group on Facebook and get advice from other people who are learning the dialect.
A list of common phrases in Punjabi, so you can start speaking right away!
ਨੀਵ ਸੁੱਟੀ ਹੈ ?
Neev suttay hai?
-Hi?/What’s up? ਜੇਹੜਾ ʃehaṛa
-How are you? ਆਪਣੀ ਸੁੱਟੀ ਹੈ ?
āpnī suttay hai?
-I am good, thank you. ਮੈਂ ʃikẖ rahī hō.
Main shikar Rahi hoe.
-I am bad, thank you ਮੇਰੀ ਸੁਖੀ ਹੈ
Mērī sukhī hai.
-Please/Yes please? ਕਿਸੇ ਸਮੇ ਕੀਤੀ ਹੋ?
kisē samē kītī hō
-No thank you! ਨਹੀ!
-Goodbye.. (to one person) ਦਾਵਾ ..
-Goodbye.. (to more than one person) ਦਾਵਾ ..
-I don’t understand! ਮੈਂ ʃekẖ nahīn samjhō/understand
Main shikar nahīn samjhō/understand.
-Where is this? ਇਹੋ ਕੀਤੀ ਹੈ ?
Īhō kītī hai?
-Where are you from? ਨੂੰ ਆਪ ਕੋਲ ਰਾਹੀਂ ਬੇਸੁਮਣੀ ਹੈ ?
Nūn āp kōl rāhiṃ besuṇī hai?
-I’m from Australia ਮੈਂ ਅਸਟਰੀਆ ਦੇ ਵਡ਼ੇ ਨੂੰ ਹਨ
Maiṃ astarīā dē vadē nūn han.
Learning Punjabi is not only an important step in understanding the Indian culture, but it also opens up a whole new world of opportunities. Once you catch up on what’s on this list, you’ll be able to speak with your friends and family no matter where they are.
It can be a fun and rewarding experience. It will open up your world to new cultures, people, and ideas that you may not have otherwise discovered. Give it a shot! You won’t regret it! Check out these helpful resources for learning Punjabi – we hope they help make the process go even smoother for you.
Learning How To Speak Punjabi?
To learn to speak Punjabi, one must first understand the Gurmukhi script.
The second step in developing proficiency is to learn the correct pronunciation of vowels and consonants along with their intonation and stress patterns.
The third step would be to practice speaking sentences out loud by saying them slowly at first, then increasing speed as you become accustomed to the words.
How Do You Speak Better Punjabi By Learning Gurmukhi?
The “Gurmukhi” script is used as a base in learning how to pronounce Punjabi.
This script is written from left-to-right, and predates modern English by hundreds of years, having been introduced to India in the 16th century by Guru Angad. The Gurmukhi script consists of 11 vowels and 33 consonants, which can be combined to form hundreds of Punjabi words.
The pronunciation of vowels and consonants along with their intonation and stress patterns requires practice as well as a good Punjabi-English dictionary.
You also need to learn about Punjabi grammar, vocabulary, alphabet, letters and sentence structure.
Words are usually written from the first letter of each word, so you must know which words belong together in a sentence and where to put spaces between them.
The best way to accomplish this is by learning through immersion.
What Is The Gurmukhi Script For “Punjabi”?
The Gurmukhi script is used to write Punjabi. It is a writing system, not a language in and of itself.
It was developed by Guru Angad in the 16th century.
The script consists of 11 vowels and 33 consonants. Punjabi is written from left to right, and spaces within words are usually omitted.
Each word is written with its first letter(s) capitalized and groups of words are joined together as one continuous word, with conjunctions between them set apart with a diacritic mark called a “bindi”.
If you want to write Punjabi correctly, you should learn Gurmukhi, also known as “the mother (source) of all Indian languages”.
Gurmukhi is a phonetic alphabet so you can learn how to read and write Punjabi by learning the sound that each character makes, which you can do with practice and a good dictionary.
You may also want to look into learning Devanagari and Roman transliteration simultaneously if your goal is true fluency in Punjabi.
The best way to learn any new language is through immersion. So take advantage of the chance to live and study Punjabi in a country where it’s spoken as a first or second language.
Like this Article? Subscribe to Our Feed!
Author: J Maver
Passionate in tech, software and gadgets. I enjoy reviewing and comparing products & services, uncovering new trends and digging up little known products that deserve an audience.