Persian Vs. Punjabi Vs. Urdu

I was going to write a long post about my thoughts on Janus-faced Pakistan and thankfully I deleted it. Instead I stumbled across these rather interesting clips. They should the distinction between popular culture in Pakistan (Punjabi) and the Urdu High Culture.

It’s an interesting clip where Talha can understand virtually all the Persian words but for the accent and Amir can’t get a single Punjabi word.

I found this clip as well and incidentally Amir’s success rate with understanding Urdu just shot up. It is simply unbelievable and wonderful. Also when Talha is in “Urdu” mode he is able to tackle with the Persian words far better than when he was in Punjabi mode because his frame of references shifts away from rustic.

Also as a quibble (I may have to write in) but Pakistani Punjabi (like all languages spoken cis-Radcliffe) is written in Nasta’liq. I do not know why Amir has “over-exoticised” the Punjabi script when he has made subsequent videos with Sikhs etc. Gotta love the Persians and their complete amnesia when it comes to the East; a bit like how Indian has forgotten her historic sway in South East Asia, where Hinduism is the fundamental sub-strata.

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12 Replies to “Persian Vs. Punjabi Vs. Urdu”

  1. these arguments about persian are like arguments about latin in western europe. not a perfect analogy.

    but what has been undone shall not be redone

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  2. I could identify most of the Farsi words too, though I think it’s because of Farsi borrowing into Hindu/Urdu over the past few centuries rather than any deep IE connection. Like Seeb/Sabe and Ziad/Zyada.

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      1. Persian speakers (mostly Turks and Afghans actually) came to India, not the other way around. So its more like India’s pull.

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    1. Had seen these clips before. I believe the Iranian chap cherry-picked Persian loanwords in this exercise. The choice was quite non-random.

      Lots of Farsi loanwords in Urdu of course, though no where near the lexical inventory of Arabic lent in Farsi or French in English (including verbs). Obv nobody considers Farsi an Arabic creole or English a French creole.

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      1. It would really on Amir having an extensive familiarity with Urdu..

        Ur lucky I’m only half-Persian so I’m only half offended by the Arabic creole comment 🙂

        FWIW Ferdowsi has provided a pure Persian text but we aren’t obsessed with purity (unlike the Shuddh lot).

        Urdu isn’t by any stretch of the imagination creole but something indefinable (for some reason when i think the language of the Horde reminds me of Hungarian).

        God speaks Arabic to his Prophets, Persian to his handmaiden and Urdu to his waterboy..

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          1. God has forgotten Turkish to speak his (her ?) sommelier and Erdogan is trying to jog His Memory.

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          2. Turkish, Kurdish, Barbary and what not are reserved for the staff outside the harem. God’s been pretty peeved off with Ataturk for quite a while; God loves Naksh & Nasta’liq

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        1. I’m only half offended by the Arabic creole comment

          I said it is *not* an Arabic creole. Or are you offended by the terms Farsi and Arabic creole being in the same sentence?

          God speaks Arabic to his Prophets, Persian to his handmaiden and Urdu to his waterboy..

          haha 😀 Apt..

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