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Hindi vs. Punjabi: Know the Difference

Shumaila Saeed
By Shumaila Saeed || Published on February 26, 2024
Hindi is an Indo-Aryan language primarily spoken in India, using Devanagari script, while Punjabi is spoken in Punjab, India and Pakistan, using Gurmukhi or Shahmukhi script.
Hindi vs. Punjabi

Key Differences

Hindi is a prominent language in India, used extensively in government, media, and education. It's written in the Devanagari script. Punjabi, on the other hand, is the language of the Punjab region, spanning India and Pakistan, and is written in Gurmukhi script in India and Shahmukhi in Pakistan. While Hindi is recognized as one of the official languages of India, Punjabi has a regional significance in the Punjab area.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Feb 26, 2024
In terms of grammar, Hindi has a more Sanskritized vocabulary and follows a subject-object-verb (SOV) order. Its grammar is characterized by gendered nouns and a complex tense system. Punjabi, while also following an SOV order, often features more Persian and Arabic loanwords, especially in Pakistan. It has a simpler tense system and unique phonetic tones that distinguish meaning.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Feb 26, 2024
Hindi is influenced by languages like Sanskrit, Persian, and Arabic, reflecting India's diverse linguistic history. It is also mutually intelligible with Urdu. Punjabi, with its distinct cultural identity, is influenced by languages such as Sanskrit and Persian, but also incorporates elements from Central Asian languages due to historical invasions. This results in a different phonetic and lexical repertoire from Hindi.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Feb 26, 2024
The literature in Hindi includes ancient scriptures, poetry, and modern prose, reflecting India's rich cultural heritage. Punjabi literature is renowned for its poetic forms like Ghazals and Qawwali, deeply rooted in Sufi traditions. While Hindi literature often explores themes related to Indian philosophy and society, Punjabi literature frequently celebrates the vibrancy of Punjab's folk culture.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Feb 26, 2024
In terms of global presence, Hindi is one of the most spoken languages in the world, with a significant diaspora. It's a lingua franca in many parts of India. Punjabi, though more regionally concentrated, has a substantial international presence, especially in countries like the UK, Canada, and the USA, where large Punjabi communities reside.
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Feb 26, 2024
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Comparison Chart

Script

Devanagari
Gurmukhi (India), Shahmukhi (Pakistan)
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Shumaila Saeed
Feb 26, 2024

Grammatical Structure

Complex tense system, gendered nouns
Simpler tense system, tonal language
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Shumaila Saeed
Feb 26, 2024

Linguistic Influences

Sanskrit, Persian, Arabic
Sanskrit, Persian, Central Asian languages
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Feb 26, 2024

Literary Characteristics

Diverse, including ancient to modern literature
Rich in poetry, Sufi traditions, folk culture
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Feb 26, 2024

Global Presence

Widely spoken worldwide, large diaspora
Concentrated in Punjab, significant diaspora
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Hindi and Punjabi Definitions

Hindi

Hindi vocabulary is heavily influenced by Sanskrit.
हिंदी शब्दावली में संस्कृत का गहरा प्रभाव है। (Hindi vocabulary is deeply influenced by Sanskrit.)
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Shumaila Saeed
Jan 13, 2024

Punjabi

Punjabi uses the Gurmukhi script in India and Shahmukhi in Pakistan.
ਭਾਰਤ ਵਿੱਚ ਪੰਜਾਬੀ ਗੁਰਮੁਖੀ ਲਿਪੀ ਵਿੱਚ ਲਿਖੀ ਜਾਂਦੀ ਹੈ। (In India, Punjabi is written in Gurmukhi script.)
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Shumaila Saeed
Jan 13, 2024

Hindi

Hindi is an Indo-Aryan language predominantly spoken in India.
मैं हिंदी सीख रहा हूँ। (I am learning Hindi.)
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Shumaila Saeed
Jan 13, 2024

Punjabi

Punjabi is an Indo-Aryan language spoken in the Punjab region.
ਮੈਂ ਪੰਜਾਬੀ ਸਿੱਖ ਰਿਹਾ ਹਾਂ। (I am learning Punjabi.)
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Shumaila Saeed
Jan 13, 2024

Hindi

Hindi is one of India's official languages.
भारत में हिंदी एक आधिकारिक भाषा है। (In India, Hindi is an official language.)
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Jan 13, 2024
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Punjabi

Punjabi is known for its rich oral and musical traditions.
ਪੰਜਾਬੀ ਭਾਸ਼ਾ ਆਪਣੀ ਅਮੀਰ ਮੌਖਿਕ ਅਤੇ ਸੰਗੀਤ ਪਰੰਪਰਾਵਾਂ ਲਈ ਜਾਣੀ ਜਾਂਦੀ ਹੈ। (Punjabi language is known for its rich oral and musical traditions.)
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Shumaila Saeed
Jan 13, 2024

Hindi

Hindi utilizes the Devanagari script.
हिंदी देवनागरी लिपि में लिखी जाती है। (Hindi is written in Devanagari script.)
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Shumaila Saeed
Jan 13, 2024

Punjabi

Punjabi incorporates Persian and Arabic loanwords.
ਪੰਜਾਬੀ ਵਿੱਚ ਫ਼ਾਰਸੀ ਅਤੇ ਅਰਬੀ ਦੇ ਬਹੁਤ ਸਾਰੇ ਸ਼ਬਦ ਹਨ। (Punjabi has many Persian and Arabic loanwords.)
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Shumaila Saeed
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Hindi

A group of vernacular Indic dialects spoken in northern India.
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Shumaila Saeed
Jan 12, 2024

Punjabi

Punjabi is the 10th most spoken language in the world.
ਪੰਜਾਬੀ ਦੁਨੀਆ ਵਿੱਚ ਦਸਵੀਂ ਸਭ ਤੋਂ ਵੱਧ ਬੋਲੀ ਜਾਣ ਵਾਲੀ ਭਾਸ਼ਾ ਹੈ। (Punjabi is the 10th most spoken language in the world.)
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Shumaila Saeed
Jan 13, 2024

Hindi

The literary and official language of northern India that is based on these dialects. It is written in Devanagari and uses Sanskrit as a resource language.
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Shumaila Saeed
Jan 12, 2024

Punjabi

Of or relating to the Punjab or the Punjabi language.
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Shumaila Saeed
Jan 12, 2024

Hindi

The name given by Europeans to that form of the Hindustani language which is chiefly spoken by native Hindus. In employs the Devanagari character, in which Sanskrit is written.
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Shumaila Saeed
Jan 12, 2024

Punjabi

A native or inhabitant of the Punjab.
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Shumaila Saeed
Jan 12, 2024

Hindi

The most widely spoken of modern Indic vernaculars; spoken mostly in the north of India; along with English it is the official language of India; usually written in Devanagari script
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Shumaila Saeed
Jan 12, 2024

Punjabi

An Indic language spoken in the Punjab.
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Shumaila Saeed
Jan 12, 2024

Hindi

Of or relating to or supporting Hinduism;
The Hindu faith
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Shumaila Saeed
Jan 12, 2024

Punjabi

A member of the majority people of Punjab in northwestern India
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Shumaila Saeed
Jan 12, 2024

Hindi

Hindi is mutually intelligible with Urdu.
हिंदी औरउर्दू एक-दूसरे की समझने योग्य हैं। (Hindi and Urdu are mutually intelligible.)
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Jan 13, 2024

Punjabi

The Indic language spoken by most people in Punjab in northwestern India
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed
Jan 12, 2024

Repeatedly Asked Queries

What influences Punjabi's vocabulary?

Punjabi's vocabulary is influenced by Sanskrit, Persian, and Arabic.
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Shumaila Saeed
Feb 26, 2024

Are Hindi and Punjabi mutually intelligible?

They are not mutually intelligible due to different linguistic structures.
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Shumaila Saeed
Feb 26, 2024

Is Hindi spoken outside of India?

Yes, Hindi is spoken in several countries with Indian diasporas.
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Shumaila Saeed
Feb 26, 2024

What is unique about Punjabi's phonetics?

Punjabi is a tonal language, where tone can alter the meaning of words.
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Shumaila Saeed
Feb 26, 2024

Is Hindi used in Indian media and entertainment?

Hindi is extensively used in Indian cinema, television, and news.
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Shumaila Saeed
Feb 26, 2024

What regions primarily speak Punjabi?

Punjabi is mainly spoken in the Punjab region of India and Pakistan.
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Shumaila Saeed
Feb 26, 2024

What is the main script for Hindi?

Hindi is primarily written in the Devanagari script.
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Shumaila Saeed
Feb 26, 2024

Do Hindi and Punjabi share common roots?

Both languages are part of the Indo-Aryan language family and share some common linguistic roots.
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Shumaila Saeed
Feb 26, 2024

What role does Punjabi play in Sikhism?

Punjabi is the sacred language of Sikhism and is used in religious texts and ceremonies.
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Shumaila Saeed
Feb 26, 2024

How significant is Punjabi's global presence?

Punjabi has a significant global presence, especially in the UK, Canada, and the USA.
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Shumaila Saeed
Feb 26, 2024

What role does Hindi play in Indian education?

Hindi is a key medium of instruction in many Indian schools and universities.
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Shumaila Saeed
Feb 26, 2024

How is Punjabi cuisine reflected in its language?

Punjabi language richly describes its diverse and flavorful cuisine.
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Shumaila Saeed
Feb 26, 2024

Can Hindi speakers easily learn Punjabi?

While there are similarities, Hindi speakers may need practice due to differences in script and phonetics.
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Shumaila Saeed
Feb 26, 2024

Is Gurmukhi script exclusive to Punjabi?

Yes, the Gurmukhi script is primarily used for the Punjabi language.
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Shumaila Saeed
Feb 26, 2024

Does the Indian constitution recognize Hindi?

Hindi, in the Devanagari script, is an official language of India.
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Shumaila Saeed
Feb 26, 2024

Are there different dialects of Hindi?

Yes, Hindi has several dialects, including Bhojpuri, Rajasthani, and Awadhi.
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Shumaila Saeed
Feb 26, 2024

What international influence does Punjabi have?

Punjabi has a significant cultural impact, especially in music and diaspora communities worldwide.
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Shumaila Saeed
Feb 26, 2024

How does Punjabi music contribute to its culture?

Punjabi music, especially Bhangra and folk, is integral to its vibrant cultural identity.
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Shumaila Saeed
Feb 26, 2024

How does the Hindi film industry impact the language?

Bollywood greatly popularizes and influences modern Hindi usage worldwide.
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Shumaila Saeed
Feb 26, 2024

Does Punjabi have a rich literary tradition?

Punjabi boasts a rich literary heritage, including poetry, folklore, and Sufi writings.
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Shumaila Saeed
Feb 26, 2024

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About Author
Shumaila Saeed
Written by
Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed, an expert content creator with 6 years of experience, specializes in distilling complex topics into easily digestible comparisons, shining a light on the nuances that both inform and educate readers with clarity and accuracy.

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