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The problem with Punjabi as a language

Manzur Ejaz

June 15th, 2011

5 / 5 (4 Votes)

 

 

The other day a piece by an East Punjabi writer was published in Wichaar. The editor did not publish the Shahmukhi version because he could not follow the heavy use of Hindi-Sanskrit terminology used in the article. I am sure East Punjabis would have similar problem in reading Pakistani Punjabis’ material which is heavily laden with Persian terminology.

The issue of Sanskrit-Persian terminology does not pose much of a problem in literature: Pakistani Punjabis don’t feel any difficulty reading, Shiv Kumar Batalvi, Pash or any short story or novel. I am sure East Punjabis would have no difficulty in appreciating Najm Hossain Syed or Munir Niazi. However, the problem emerges when the writings involve concepts of social sciences or other intellectual discourse. There the East Punjabi writers borrow entire from Hindi-Sanskrit and Pakistani Punjabis from Persian. They do not work out to carve new concepts from Punjabi itself.

Urdu and Hindi have the same problem: these languages borrow concepts from Persian/Arabic or Sanskrit respectively. This is one of the reasons that they have not been very successful in creating lingo for social sciences and philosophical discourse. This is one of the reasons for continued domination of English.

If Punjabi adopts from Hindi/Sanskrit or Persian/Urdu it will fail as a serious language. This is the key question in development of Punjabi as a language.

 

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Name:Bibek Singh
Date:8th July

Comment: Hi,
I want to subscribe to Wichaar.

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Bibek


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