Hindi vs Punjabi: Difference and Comparison

Languages are something that connects people. They enable us to communicate with each other.

They also help us to convey our message to the other person. Languages are very important; one couldn’t imagine communicating without any language.

India is a country that is rich in a variety of languages. 22 official languages are spoken in India, and two are Hindi and Punjabi.

Key Takeaways

  1. Hindi is an Indo-Aryan language spoken primarily in India, with official status in the country; Punjabi is an Indo-Aryan language spoken in India and Pakistan, with significant diaspora communities worldwide.
  2. Hindi uses the Devanagari script, while Punjabi uses the Gurmukhi script, which derives from the Brahmi script.
  3. Hindi is the fourth most spoken language in the world, with over 600 million speakers; Punjabi has over 100 million speakers worldwide.

Hindi vs Punjabi

Hindi is the national language of India, derived from the Devanagari script, and contains 45 alphabets. 341 million people in the world speak Hindi. Punjabi is derived from the Gurumukhi script, and it contains 35 alphabets. It is one of the 22 languages of India, with 102 million speakers. 

Hindi vs Punjabi
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Comparison Table

Parameter of ComparisonHindi Punjabi
GeneralIt is considered the national language of India.It is counted among one of the 22 languages spoken in India.
ScriptDevanagariGurumukhi
No. of AlphabetsThe total no. of alphabets is 45 in Hindi. The total no. of alphabets is 35 in Punjabi.
OriginIt is a direct descendant of Vedic Sanskrit and it emerged in the 7th century CE.It originally emerged as Apabhramsha, a descendent of Prakrit in the 7th century A.D
Native speakersThe no. of Hindi speakers all around the world is 341 million.The no. of Punjabi speakers all around the world is 102 million.

What is Hindi?

Hindi is an Indo-Aryan language spoken mostly in India. It is written in Devanagari script and is highly influenced by Sanskrit.

Originally Hindi was called “Hindui.” It is the 4th most spoken language in the world.

It is also one of the two official languages of the Government of India, along with English. It is also an official language for 9 states and 3 union territories and an additional official language in the other 3 states.

Hindi is based on the “Khari Boli” dialect north and east of Delhi. There are many dialects of Hindi, such as Awadhi, Bhojpuri, Bundeli, Chhattisgarhi, Haryanvi, Kanauji, Marwari, Bagheli, Garhwali, Kumayuni, and Magahi.

These dialects are the regional languages of the Hindi-speaking zone of India.

Hindi is a descendant of the Sanskrit and Prakrit languages. In general, the adjective changes with the number and gender of the noun, but in Hindi, the adjective doesn’t always change with the change in the noun since Persian influenced it.

Also, the number of genders has reduced to two in Hindi, namely, masculine and feminine. So, Hindi’s grammatical approach is simpler than other languages.

The vocabulary of Hindi is quite large. It is also inspired by many other languages from other countries like Afghanistan, Iran, Turkey, etc., whose immigrants contributed to the creation of new Hindi and has a great number of words that are inspired by the Persian language, like “divar” wall, “sabun” soap, “kursi” chair, “chador” bedding, “pajama” pants, etc.

hindi

What is Punjabi?

The Punjabi language is one of the most spoken Indo-Aryan languages. The spelling “Punjabi” is given by Britishers and is commonly used, whereas the academically correct spelling is “Panjabi.”

There are more than 30 million people who speak Punjabi in India. It is also the official language of Punjab and one of the 22 official languages of India.

Apart from India, Punjabi is also spoken in Pakistan. There are more than 70 million speakers of Punjabi in Pakistan.

The number of people who speak Punjabi is huge in Canada and the United Kingdom.

Punjabi is written in Gurumukhi script in India and is associated with Sikhs. It is written from left to right, like Hindi in India. In Pakistan, the script is called Shahmukhi and is written from right to left, like Urdu.

The two countries where Punjabi is most popular are:

  1. Punjabi in India: There are huge numbers of Punjabi speakers in India. This language is mostly spoken by Sikh people who live in Punjab, a state in India or nearby states. Punjabi is written in Gurumukhi script and is more influenced by Hindi and Sanskrit.
  2. Punjabi in Pakistan: There are many Punjabi Speakers in Pakistan as well. They use the Shahmukhi script for writing Punjabi, and Urdu influences it.
punjabi

Main Differences Between Hindi and Punjabi

  1. Hindi is considered the national language of India and is one of the two official languages of India, whereas Punjabi is one of the 22 languages officially used in India.
  2. Hindi is written in Devanagari script, whereas Punjabi is written in Gurumukhi and Shahgiri scripts, depending on the country.
  3.  The total number of alphabets in Hindi is 45. Among them, 35 are “Vyanjan,” and 10 are “Swar,” whereas, in Punjabi, there are only 35 alphabets.
  4. Hindi is a direct descendant of Vedic Sanskrit, and it emerged in the 7th century CE whereas Punjabi originally emerged as Apabhramsha, a descendent of Prakrit in the 7th century A.D.
  5. The no. of Hindi speakers all around the world is 341 million, whereas the no. of Punjabi speakers all around the world is 102 million.
Difference Between Hindi and Punjabi
References
  1. https://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007/978-3-319-03844-5_70
  2. http://pt.learnpunjabi.org/assets/A%20Reference%20Grammar_Final.pdf

Last Updated : 11 June, 2023

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