Punjabi/Shahmukhi/Lesson 9

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Lesson 9

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Welcome to Lesson 9. Here you will be taught the final components of Shahmukhi.

Extra Symbols

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hamzah - ء

tashdīd - ّ

nūn-ē ġunnah - ں

hamzah - ء
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Hamzah is used when there are two vowels next to each other without a consonant in between them in a word. The hamzah is placed above the first vowel. If the first vowel is short (which means that it won't be marked at all) hamzah is very useful.

ویٔانا - vīānā - Vienna

میں گٔے - mai~ gaē - I have gone

In the second example, the first vowel is short and is not marked. Therefore, if it not for the hamzah, it would read "mai~ gē" (which wouldn't make any sense) instead of "mai~ gaē".

tashdīd - ّ
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Tashdīd is used when there are doubled consonants without a vowel in between them (except in some verb infinitives where the consonants are written separately). It is placed above the consonant to double it.

ججّ - jajj - judge

ٹرکّ - ṭrukk - truck

nūn-e ġunnah - ں
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Nūn-e ġunnah is a modified form of nūn that is used only at the end of words to indicate nasalization (which is romanized as ~). But if there is nasalization in the middle of a word, then it is indicated by a nūn (or a mīm if it is an "m" sound) anyway.

میں - mai~ - I

سکنٹ - saki~ṭ - second

اولمپک - ōli~pik - Olympic


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In Shahmukhi, punctuation is a little different than that of English. Here are the different ones:

full stop (.) - ۔

comma (,) - ،

semicolon (;) - ؛

question mark (?) - ؟

percent sign (%) - ٪

asterisk (*) - ٭

date separator (/) - ؍

decimal separator (.) - ٫

thousands separator (,) - ٬


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These are Shahmukhi numerals. Keep in mind that although Shahmukhi Punjabi is written from right to left, numbers are written from left to right, just like in English.

0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9

۰ ۱ ۲ ۳ ۴ ۵ ۶ ۷ ۸ ۹


twenty five - ۲۵

seven hundred and thirty eight - ۷۳۸

Explanation of Multiple Letters

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In Shahmukhi, you have seen multiple letters for t, s, h, and z. This is because of loan words from Persian and Arabic.

Zāl - ذ , zōē - ظ , zuāt - ض , tōē - ط , sē - ث , suād - ص , and baṛī hē - ح are used to write words of Arabic/Persian origin. In Arabic and Persian, these letters were pronounced differently, but when they were assimilated into Punjabi, the original sounds were also assimilated and were transformed to be more Indic. This accounts for the multiple letters for one sound.

Tē - ت , sīn - س , chhōṭī hē - ہ , and zē - ز are used to write words of Indic origin.


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Congratulations! You have completed your final instructive Shahmukhi lesson. The final two lessons are reading exercises designed to help you further understand Shahmukhi. Proceed when you are ready.