The Punjabi language
Punjabi is an Indo-Aryan language with a rich history and wide global reach.
Spoken by communities throughout India, Afghanistan, Canada, the United Arab Emirates and the UK, Punjabi has approximately 90 million speakers worldwide.
With different areas of the Punjab region containing populations that use a wide range of different Punjabi dialects, it’s important to use a Punjabi translation specialist who has used Punjabi since birth and has an in-depth understanding of the language. An Indo-Aryan language, Punjabi actually means ‘five waters’. This refers to the Indus River’s five major eastern tributaries. One of the official languages of India, Punjabi sits comfortably within the top ten most spoken languages in the world, making it an important language for international businesses. Interestingly, Punjabi is the most spoken language in Pakistan but does not have an official status there.
Origins and History:
- Punjabi originates from the ancient language of Sanskrit, much like Hindi. It evolved from the Shauraseni Prakrit, an old Indo-Aryan language.
- The influence of Persian, Arabic, and Turkic languages led to the creation of Punjabi as we know it, primarily due to Muslim rule from the 13th to 18th centuries.
- Modern Punjabi has two scripts: Gurmukhi, used primarily in India, and Shahmukhi, used in Pakistan.
Number of Speakers:
- Punjabi is the first language of around 125 million people worldwide.
- It is one of the most spoken languages in the world, and the 10th most widely spoken language in India.
Official Language Status:
- Punjabi is the official language in the Indian states of Punjab, Haryana, and Delhi.
- It’s also the provincial language of Punjab in Pakistan.
- Punjabi is used extensively in the Indian state of Punjab and parts of Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, and Delhi. It’s also widely spoken in the Punjab province of Pakistan.
- It is used in schools, government communications, media (TV, radio, cinema), and literature. Globally, Punjabi is taught in educational institutions and used in cultural exchanges.
Punjabi Words in English and English Words in Punjabi:
- Several Punjabi words have been incorporated into English, like ‘bhangra’ (a type of dance), ‘ghee’ (clarified butter), ‘papadum’ (a type of flatbread), and ‘panchayat’ (village council).
- English words, particularly in the fields of technology, science, and pop culture, are commonly used in Punjabi, such as ‘ਟੈਲੀਵਿਜ਼ਨ’ (television), ‘ਰੇਡੀਓ’ (radio), ‘ਬੱਸ’ (bus), ‘ਟ੍ਰੈਨ’ (train), and ‘ਕੰਪਿਊਟਰ’ (computer)
Punjabi is not only a critical part of Indian and Pakistani culture, but its influence also reaches beyond South Asia. Understanding Punjabi offers a window into a vibrant culture and an interconnected linguistic history.
Advantages of Translating Content into Punjabi for Market Penetration in India:
- Greater Reach: With over 125 million Punjabi speakers globally, translating your content into Punjabi can greatly increase your potential customer base.
- Growing Wealth: India is witnessing rapid economic growth. Translating content into Punjabi means tapping into a market with increasing disposable income and consumer spending.
- Cultural Respect: Using Punjabi shows respect for the local culture. This builds trust with your audience, as people tend to engage more with content in their mother tongue.
- Competitive Advantage: Despite the spread of English in India, a large population still prefers Punjabi. Businesses offering Punjabi content gain an edge over competitors targeting only English-speaking audiences.
- Digital Growth: India’s digital landscape is expanding, especially in rural and semi-urban areas, bringing more Punjabi speakers online. Government initiatives like “Digital India” are driving this change. Translating digital content, like websites and apps, into Punjabi can help you tap into this emerging market.
In a nutshell, if you’re looking to break into the Indian market, it’s worth considering translating your content into Punjabi. This approach widens your customer base, strengthens cultural connections, gives you a competitive advantage, and helps you harness India’s growing wealth and digital advancements.
At Brightlines Translation, we only use Punjabi translation specialists who have used Punjabi since birth
Our translation services - FAQ
Do you use native translators?
Yes, always. All our translators are native speakers and most are still resident in their native country. We pride ourselves on ensuring that all Brightlines’ translators are native. We do not accept applications from non-native candidates or allow them to register on our online recruitment database. All our translators are rigorously tested.
How long will the translations take?
The turnaround for the translation will depend on the word count. As a rough guide, assume that the translators can comfortably process about 2500 words of non-specialised text per day. Proofreading can effectively be completed on a basis of 4000-6000 words a day. Our minimum turnaround time is usually about three days, although it is possible to shorten this if you are in a rush for the final files and we will always be happy to discuss this with you.
What is the variation in your translators’ experience and qualifications? Are they native speakers? Will the cost increase if we use a more experienced translator?
All our translators have to go through a series of tests to make sure they are as good as they say they are, and only if they pass are they allowed to work for Brightlines. There is quite a range of experience and qualifications, but all translators have a minimum of five years’ experience. All translators translate into their mother-tongue without exception and are generally based in-country so they are up-to-date with the local language. We match translators with projects/clients depending on the subject matter, and most of our translators have industry experience in their speciality – there is no better experience than being immersed professionally in the industry they specialise in. Our costs are based on translator experience, speciality (i.e. medical, creative, scientific) and the language choice.
Which languages can you translate into?
We have an extensive database with hundreds of trusted and tested translators covering all commercial languages. If you cannot see the language or dialect you need please ask.
I don’t know the word count; can you base the quote on the number of pages?
Our pricing structure is based on a rate-per-word, but we can estimate from a page count. If we can’t see the source document then we would usually estimate between 300 – 500 words a page depending on the density of the text and the presence of photos and images.
Does the translation need to be proofread?
Brightlines is an ISO 9001:2015 certified company. This means that quality is safeguarded. We adhere to the “four-eyes principle” and translations are always checked by a second professional proofreader (who is not the translator). If the translation is for internal use and reference purposes only (i.e. not to be published, distributed or used in a court of law), or you simply don’t wish to have proofreading, we can remove the proofreading stage.