The state language of Chandigarh is Punjabi. Punjabi is spoken by more than 100 million people across the world and it also happens to be the 10th most spoken language in the world. Chandigarh language Punjabi is written in Gurmukhi and Shahmukhi and is the only surviving language of the Indo-European languages that happens to be tonal language.
Besides Chandigarh, Punjab, Pakistan and Canada are the places where Punjabi is spoken widely.
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Besides Punjabi as the main language spoken in Chandigarh, Hindi is also spoken by the locals and English is used as their official language. Punjabi’s form the major population and Punjabi is commonly used amongst them for their daily conversations. Hindi and English both are used in government offices for written official work. Punjabi is used only for verbal communication.
Although the official language of Chandigarh is English, Punjabi is recognised as Main language of Chandigarh is Punjabi as 97% people living in Chandigarh speak Punjabi. The local people here speak a mix of Hindi and Punjabi. Haryanvi is also one of the languages spoken in Chandigarh by a community of people residing there.
Punjabi is the main language of Chandigarh and some of the main dialects of Punjabi are Powadhi, Majhi, Multani, Doabi, Pothohari and Malwai. The presence of transitional dialects in the Indo-Aryan dialectology usually poses problems in allocating dialects to one or other languages. In the recent past there were some differences when it came to describing the main region of Punjabi language. Geroge Abraham Grierson a British linguist concluded that collectively a handful of dialects would be known as ‘Western Punjabi’ which is spoken in the north and west of Punjab, lower parts of the four tributaries except for Beas River and the Indus Valley. This group of dialects are known as ‘Lahnda’. Southern Lahnda dialects are known as Saraiki.
|Second State Language||—|
|Regional/Local Language||Hindi, Haryanvi, Punjabi|
Chandigarh language Punjabi is known to have descended directly from Sanskrit through Sauraseni Apabhramsa and Sauraseni Prakrit. Punjabi has been influenced much by Persian, Portugese, Turkish, Arabic and English. In the 7th century Punjabi was a Apabhramsha, a relapsed form of Prakrit and it was only in the 10th century that it became stable.
With the Muslim invasions in the northern India there was much Persian influence in the Punjabi language. Between the 11th and 19th centuries many Sufi poets and saints preached and addressed the people in Punjabi, the greatest of all was Bulle Shah. Shah Hussain helped in the development of Punjabi poetry. Later in the 15th century after Sikhism developed and Sikh religion was practised by the people of Punjab and Punjabi was spoken among them. Even their Holy Book ‘Guru Granth Sahib’ was written mostly in Punjabi.
Punjabi language is written in Gurmukhi script and Shahmukhi scripts. Gurmukhi translates to, ‘from the mouth of the guru’ and has been derived from an old Punjabi word ‘guramukhi’. The Gurmukhi script was standardised in the 16th century by the second gurus of the Sikh’s – Guru Angad DevJi. It is written from left to right.
Another script in which Punjabi is written is Shahmukhi or ‘from the King’s mouth’. Shahmukhi is a verison of Urdu alphabet which is used in writing Punjabi in Pakistan. The style in which it is written is known as Nastaʿlīq style. The style is quite new and has been in use only since the later part of the 20th century.
Although Punjabi is not the official language of Chandigarh, but it is an important language of this Union Territory and of course the local language of Chandigarh. The main Punjabi literature is seen in the works of Fariduddin Ganjshankar who was famous for his Sufi poetry and his works were compiled in the AdiGranth after his death. There are earlier bits and pieces of Punjabi literature which mostly has mystical and spiritual tone and was written by yogi Charpatnah and Gorakshanath in the 11th centuries. The Janamsakhis were stories about Guru Nanak and his life which were composed by him in Arabic, Sanskrit, Persian and Indic languages. Sultan Bahu, Shah Hussain, Saleh Muhammad Safoori, Ali Haider and Bulle Shah are some of the great literary geniuses who composed ‘kafi’. Famous stories or ‘Punjabi Qissa’ such as HeerRanjha written by Waris Shah, SohniMahiwal by Fazal Shah, SassiPunnun by Hashim Shah, MirzaSahiba by Hafiz barkhudar are some of the famous works.
The regional language of Chandigarh is Punjabi and some of the literary writings of this language are truly commendable in nature. Amrita Pritam’s poetry and short stories, Professor Mohan Singh, Jaswant Singh Rahi, Pash and Shiv Kumar Batalvi are some of the renowned writers and poets of a more modern Punjabi literature.
Chandigarh language name is Punjabi and just like the legends of the Punjabi’s the language also has a rich cultural heritage that speaks about the history and bravery of their ancestors besides binding the people of the North in a strong bond.