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left-cor1.jpg (1241 bytes) Lesson prepared by: Rupinderpal Singh Dhillon
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ਪੰਜਾਬੀ ਸਿੱਖਣ ਲਈ ਕੁੱਝ ਲਾਭਦਾਇਕ ਵਿਡੀਓ

Lesson 1: In this lesson you will learn :

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The Gurmukhi Alphabet
dot_sq2.jpg (730 bytes) The Punjabi Sound System
dot_sq2.jpg (730 bytes) The Vowels
dot_sq2.jpg (730 bytes) The Basic Greetings
dot_sq2.jpg (730 bytes) Punjabi sentence word order
dot_sq2.jpg (730 bytes) Traditional and Diaspora Punjabi
The Gurmukhi Alphabet
In Punjabi, the Alphabet is called Varnhmaalaa ( ਵਰਣਮਾਲਾ). The script that we will be using is Gurmukhi Lipee (ਗੁਰਮੁਖੀ ਲਿੱਪੀ ).  Below is a table showing each letter how to pronounce it and the English (Roman script) equivalent sound.

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oorrha airhaa eerhee sassa hahaa
ooh a e s h

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kakkaa khakha gaggaa ghagha nganngaa






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chachchaa chachchaa jajjaa jhajjaa njannjaa
ch sh j jh nj

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tainkaa thaththaa daddaa dhaddhaa nhaanhaa
t th d dh nh

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tattaa thaththaa daddaa dhaddaa nannaa
t th d dh n

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pappaa phaphphaa babbaa bhabbaa mammaa
p ph b bh m

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yayyaa raaraa lallaa vavvaa rhaarhaa
y r l v/w rh

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shashshaa khakhkhaa ghaghghaa zazzaa faffaa
sh kh gh z f
The Punjabi Sound System
The Punjabi sound system is more complicated and different from the English one. As has been seen, there are thirty-five letters in the Punjabi Language. There are ten vowels in total
with some supporting consonants or accents. Below is an indication how these work and how to pronounce letters.
is pronounced like the s in snake.

is pronounced like h as in hot.
is said like k as in kite.
does not have an English equivalent, but is pronounced like kh as in khaki.
is pronounced as g as  in goat.
is the same as gh in ghost.
is pronounced like the middle of Penguin or the end in wing.
is pronounced as ch as  in the word cheat.
is pronounced like sh as in shower, robustly aspirated.
is pronounced like j as in Jungle, the tongue being positioned next to the lower teeth.
is pronounced as jh robustly aspirated.
is a sound not found in the western languages, and is uttered with a palatal sound.
is pronounced like t as in the middle of the word constrain, with less discharge of breath and the tongue placed further back.
sounds like the end of wheat, with the last letter robustly aspirated.
is pronounced as d as in dumb, the d rounded heavily, however less expiration of breath and the tongue much further back
is pronounced as dh is in drummer robustly aspirated.
is a retroflex nasal sound as in ' nah' if the 'a' was deleted.
is softly unaspirated, being similar to a softly said 'Tim'.
is pronounced as th as in the word third, but robustly aspirated.
is pronounced as d as in then, with less expiration of breath.
is pronounced dh as is like 'then', powerfully aspirated.
is pronounced as n as  in night, with the tongue firmly placed next to the teeth.
is pronounced as p as in aspirin with less expiration of air.
is pronounced as f as in fight, being the aspirated version of p .
is pronounced as b as in bin and bat.
is pronounced as bh as in bard, if the word was pronounced as a halfway between a p and bh.
is pronounced as m as in marriage or mother.
is pronounced as y as in yard.
is pronounced as r as in matador or in razor , without dropping the r.
is pronounced as l as in like or lion .
pronounced as v and is a cross between a V in vexed and W in wart, without rounding the lips and without the upper teeth being grazed by the lower lip.
the closest example to this is the English name ' Barrat', but said as if a h is placed in between the two R's.
is as in Shimmer.
As in the Scottish Loch.
as in gosh pronounced as if a h follows g.
as in Zebra
As in Frankenstein.
The last five row of letters have a dot or Paireen Bindee ( ਪੈਰੀਂ ਬਿੰਦੀ ), literally dot at letter's foot. Many of these sounds originate from Urdu (or Persian). There are also subjoined consonants, which are just ਪੈਰੀਂ) Paireen, or ' of the foot'. There are three.

( ਰ੍ਹ )  

( ਪ੍ਰ )    r

( ਸ੍ਵ ) v
There are also five nasally pronounced consonants.
The Vowels

(O),       (A),      (E)

Dependent vowels are a little more complex, so the table below compares both types to provide the reader with a feel for their use.

Dependent Vowels

Accent Example Vowel English
 - a


ਮੁਕਤਾ Muktaa

ਵਾ vaa

ਕੰਨਾ Kannaa
 ਿ i

ਜ਼ਿ zi 

ਸਿਹਾਰੀ Sihaaree


ਬਿਹਾਰੀ  Bihaaree
 u u


ਔਂਕੜ Aunkarh
 ੂ oo


ਦੁਲੈਂਕੜ  Dulainkar
 ੇ e

ਲੇ le

ਲਾਂਵ Laanv

ਸੈ sai

ਦੁਲਾਂਵ Dulaanvaan

ਰੋ ro

ਹੋੜਾ Horhaa

ਗੌ gau

ਕਨੌੜਾ  Kanaurhaa

Independent Vowels

Accent Example Transliteration English
a ਅਸੀਂ   assi     us
aa  ਆਲੂ alloo potatoe
i ਇੱਕ eik one
ee ਈਸਟ eesat East
oh ਉਹ ohho They
oo ਊਠ ooth Camel
e     eis is
ai ਐਤਵਾਰ aitavaar Sunday
O ਆਓ ahaaoh come
au ਔਟੋ auto auto
This brings us onto two subjects regarding accents. Primarily Punjabi is an intoned language like that of the Chinese, but with a low pitch, high pitch and levelled out one. Secondly,  the behaviour of the letter or symbol is dependant upon the carried accent (mainly vowels). The most alien one to the English speaker is the Mukhta or invisible a. Whereas in English the silent n is written but not heard, in Punjabi the soft a is heard but not written. So mar is spelt mr, that is ਮਰ
In the next lesson we'll learn about the rules governing the use of these vowels. >> Lesson 2

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ਆਪਣੇ ਵਿਚਾਰ ਸਾਨੂੰ ਲਿਖੋ