|سِنڌِي • सिन्धी|
|Native to||Pakistan, India|
|Region||Sindh and near the border in neighbouring regions (e.g. Kutch and Balochistan)|
|c. 32 million (2017)|
Official language in
|Part of a series on|
|Constitutionally recognised languages of India|
|22 Official Languages of the Indian Republic|
| Asia portal|
Sindhi (English pronunciation: //; Sindhi: سِنڌِي (Perso-Arabic); सिन्धी (Devanagari); Sindhi pronunciation: [sɪndʱiː]) is an Indo-Aryan language spoken by about 30 million people in the Pakistani province of Sindh, where it has official status. It is also spoken by a further 1.7 million people in India, where it is a scheduled language, without any state-level official status. The main writing system is the Perso-Arabic script, which accounts for the majority of the Sindhi literature and is the only one currently used in Pakistan. In India, both the Perso-Arabic script and Devanagari are used.
Sindhi has an attested history from the 10th century CE. Sindhi was one of the first Indo-Aryan languages to encounter influence from Persian and Arabic following the Umayyad conquest in 712 CE. A substantial body of Sindhi literature developed during the Medieval period, the most famous of which is the religious and mystic poetry of Shah Abdul Latif Bhittai from the 18th century. Modern Sindhi was promoted under British rule beginning in 1843, which led to the current status of the language in independent Pakistan after 1947.
|Part of a series on|
The name "Sindhi" is derived from the Sanskrit síndhu, the original name of the Indus River, along whose delta Sindhi is spoken.
Like other languages of the Indo-Aryan family, Sindhi is descended from Old Indo-Aryan (Sanskrit) via Middle Indo-Aryan (Pali, secondary Prakrits, and Apabhramsha). 20th century Western scholars such as George Abraham Grierson believed that Sindhi descended specifically from the Vrācaḍa dialect of Apabhramsha (described by Markandeya as being spoken in Sindhu-deśa, corresponding to modern Sindh) but later work has shown this to be unlikely.
Literary attestation of early Sindhi is sparse. Historically, Isma'ili religious literature and poetry in India, as old as the 11th century CE, used a language that was closely related to Sindhi and Gujarati. Much of this work is in the form of ginans (a kind of devotional hymn).
Sindhi was the first Indo-Aryan language to be in close contact with Arabic and Persian following the Umayyad conquest of Sindh in 712 CE. According to Sindhi tradition, the first translation of the Quran into Sindhi was initiated in 883 CE in Mansura, Sindh. This is corroborated by the accounts of Al-Ramhormuzi but it is unclear whether the language of translation was actually a predecessor to Sindhi, nor is the text preserved.
Medieval Sindhi literature is of a primarily religious genre, comprising a syncretic Sufi and Advaita Vedanta poetry, the latter in the devotional bhakti tradition. The earliest known Sindhi poet of the Sufi tradition is Qazi Qadan (1493–1551). Other early poets were Shah Inat Rizvi (c. 1613–1701) and Shah Abdul Karim Bulri (1538–1623). These poets had a mystical bent that profoundly influenced Sindhi poetry for much of this period.
Another famous part of Medieval Sindhi literature is a wealth of folktales, adapted and readapted into verse by many bards at various times and possibly much older than their earliest literary attestations. These include romantic epics such as Sassui Punnhun, Sohni Mahiwal, Momal Rano, Noori Jam Tamachi, Lilan Chanesar, and others.
The greatest poet of Sindhi was Shah Abdul Latif Bhittai (1689/1690–1752), whose verses were compiled into the Shah Jo Risalo by his followers. While primarily Sufi, his verses also recount traditional Sindhi folktales and aspects of the cultural history of Sindh.
The first attested Sindhi translation of the Quran was done by Akhund Azaz Allah Muttalawi (1747–1824) and published in Gujarat in 1870. The first to appear in print was by Muhammad Siddiq in 1867.
Sindh was occupied by the British army and was annexed with the Bombay Presidency in 1843. Soon after, in 1848, Governor George Clerk established Sindhi as the official language in the province, removing the literary dominance of Persian. Sir Bartle Frere, the then commissioner of Sindh, issued orders on August 29, 1857, advising civil servants in Sindh to pass an examination in Sindhi. He also ordered the use of Sindhi in official documents. In 1868, the Bombay Presidency assigned Narayan Jagannath Vaidya to replace the Abjad used in Sindhi with the Khudabadi script. The script was decreed a standard script by the Bombay Presidency thus inciting anarchy in the Muslim majority region. A powerful unrest followed, after which Twelve Martial Laws were imposed by the British authorities. The granting of official status of Sindhi along with script reforms ushered in the development of modern Sindhi literature.
The first printed works in Sindhi were produced at the Muhammadi Press in Bombay beginning in 1867. These included Islamic stories set in verse by Muhammad Hashim Thattvi, one of the renowned religious scholars of Sindh.
The Partition of India in 1947 resulted in most Sindhi speakers ending up in the new state of Pakistan, commencing a push to establish a strong sub-national linguistic identity for Sindhi. This manifested in resistance to the imposition of Urdu and eventually Sindhi nationalism in the 1980s.
The language and literary style of contemporary Sindhi writings in Pakistan and India were noticeably diverging by the late 20th century; authors from the former country were borrowing extensively from Urdu, while those from the latter were highly influenced by Hindi.
In Pakistan, Sindhi is the first language of 30.26 million people, or 14.6% of the country's population as of the 2017 census. 29.5 million of these are found in Sindh, where they account for 62% of the total population of the province. There are 0.56 million speakers in the province of Balochistan, especially in the Kacchi Plain that encompasses the districts of Lasbela, Hub, Kachhi, Sibi, Sohbatpur, Jafarabad, Jhal Magsi, Usta Muhammad and Nasirabad.
In India, Sindhi mother tongue speakers were distributed in the following states:
|Dadra and Nagar||894|
|Jammu and Kashmir||19|
|Andaman and Nicobar Islands||14|
Sindhi is the official language of the Pakistani province of Sindh and one of the scheduled languages of India, where it does not have any state-level status.
Prior to the inception of Pakistan, Sindhi was the national language of Sindh. The Pakistan Sindh Assembly has ordered compulsory teaching of the Sindhi language in all private schools in Sindh. According to the Sindh Private Educational Institutions Form B (Regulations and Control) 2005 Rules, "All educational institutions are required to teach children the Sindhi language. Sindh Education and Literacy Minister, Syed Sardar Ali Shah, and Secretary of School Education, Qazi Shahid Pervaiz, have ordered the employment of Sindhi teachers in all private schools in Sindh so that this language can be easily and widely taught. Sindhi is taught in all provincial private schools that follow the Matric system and not the ones that follow the Cambridge system.
At the occasion of 'Mother Language Day' in 2023, the Sindh Assembly under Culture minister Sardar Ali Shah, passed a unanimous resolution to extend the use of language to primary level and increase the status of Sindhi as a national language of Pakistan.
The Indian Government has legislated Sindhi as a scheduled language in India, making it an option for education. Despite lacking any state-level status, Sindhi is still a prominent minority language in the Indian state of Rajasthan.
There are many Sindhi language television channels broadcasting in Pakistan such as Time News, KTN, Sindh TV, Awaz Television Network, Mehran TV, and Dharti TV.
Sindhi has many dialects, and forms a dialect continuum at some places with neighboring languages such as Saraiki and Gujarati. Some of the documented dialects of Sindhi are:
The variety of Sindhi spoken by Sindhi Hindus who emigrated to India is known as Dukslinu Sindhi. Furthermore, Kutchi and Jadgali are sometimes classified as dialects of Sindhi rather than independent languages.
Sindhi has a relatively large inventory of both consonants and vowels compared to other Indo-Aryan languages. Sindhi has 46 consonant phonemes and 10 vowels.[clarification needed] The consonant to vowel ratio is around average for the world's languages at 2.8. All plosives, affricates, nasals, the retroflex flap, and the lateral approximant /l/ have aspirated or breathy voiced counterparts. The language also features four implosives.
|Nasal||plain||m م||n ن||ɳ ڻ||ɲ ڃ||ŋ ڱ|
|breathy||mʱ مھ||nʱ نھ||ɳʱ ڻھ|
|plain||p پ||b ب||t̪ ت||d̪ د||ʈ ٽ||ɖ ڊ||tɕ چ||dʑ ج||k ڪ||ɡ گ|
|breathy||pʰ ڦ||bʱ ڀ||tʰ ٿ||dʱ ڌ||ʈʰ ٺ||ɖʱ ڍ||tɕʰ ڇ||dʑʱ جھ||kʰ ک||ɡʱ گھ|
|Implosive||ɓ ٻ||ɗ ڏ||ʄ ڄ||ɠ ڳ|
|Fricative||f ف||s س||z ز||ʂ ش||x خ||ɣ غ||h ھ|
|Approximant||plain||ʋ و||l ل||j ي|
|Rhotic||plain||r ر||ɽ ڙ|
The retroflex consonants are apical postalveolar and do not involve curling back of the tip of the tongue, so they could be transcribed [t̠, t̠ʰ, d̠, d̠ʱ n̠ n̠ʱ ɾ̠ ɾ̠ʱ] in phonetic transcription. The affricates /tɕ, tɕʰ, dʑ, dʑʱ/ are laminal post-alveolars with a relatively short release. It is not clear if /ɲ/ is similar, or truly palatal. /ʋ/ is realized as labiovelar [w] or labiodental [ʋ] in free variation, but is not common, except before a stop.
The vowels are modal length /i e æ ɑ ɔ o u/ and short /ɪ ʊ ə/. Consonants following short vowels are lengthened: /pət̪o/ [pət̪ˑoː] 'leaf' vs. /pɑt̪o/ [pɑːt̪oː] 'worn'.
Sindhi nouns distinguish two genders (masculine and feminine), two numbers (singular and plural), and five cases (nominative, vocative, oblique, ablative, and locative). This is a similar paradigm to Punjabi. Almost all Sindhi noun stems end in a vowel, except for some recent loanwords. The declension of a noun in Sindhi is largely determined from its grammatical gender and the final vowel (or if there is no final vowel). Generally, -o stems are masculine and -a stems are feminine, but the other final vowels can belong to either gender.
The different paradigms are listed below with examples. The ablative and locative cases are used with only some lexemes in the singular number and hence not listed, but predictably take the suffixes -ā̃ / -aū̃ / -ū̃ (ABL) and -i (LOC).
|ڇوڪِرا / ڇوڪِرَ
chokirā / chokira
|ٻارو / ٻارَ
ɓāra / ɓāro
|راجا / راجائُون
rājā / rājāū̃
|سيٺِ / سيٺيُون
seṭhi / seṭhyū̃
A few nouns representing familial relations take irregular declensions with an extension in -r- in the plural. These are the masculine nouns ڀاءُ bhāu "brother", پِيءُ pīu "father", and the feminine nouns ڌِيءَ dhīa "daughter", نُونھَن nū̃hã "daughter-in-law", ڀيڻَ bheṇa "sister", ماءُ māu "mother", and جوءِ joi "wife".
|ڀائُرُ / ڀائُرَ
bhāuru / bhāura
|ڀائُرَ / ڀائُرو
bhāura / bhāuro
|ڀائُرَنِ / ڀائُنِ
bhāurani / bhāuni
|F||ڌِيءَ / ڌِيءُ
dhīa / dhīu
|ڌِيئَرُ / ڌِيئَرُون / ڌِيئُون
dhīaru / dhīarū̃ / dhīū̃
|ڌِيئَرُنِ / ڌِيئُنِ
dhīaruni / dhīuni
Like other Indo-Aryan languages, Sindhi has first and second-person personal pronouns as well as several types of third-person proximal and distal demonstratives. These decline in the nominative and oblique cases. The genitive is a special form for the first and second-person singular, but formed as usual with the oblique and case marker جو jo for the rest. The personal pronouns are listed below.
|NOM||مَان / آئُون
mā̃ / āū̃
The third-person pronouns are listed below. Besides the unmarked demonstratives, there are also "specific" and "present" demonstratives. In the nominative singular, the demonstratives are marked for gender. Some other pronouns which decline identically to ڪو ko "someone" are هَرڪو har-ko "everyone", سَڀڪو sabh-ko "all of them", جيڪو je-ko "whoever" (relative), and تيڪو te-ko "that one" (correlative).
Most nominal relations (e.g. the semantic role of a nominal as an argument to a verb) are indicated using postpositions, which follow a noun in the oblique case. The subject of the verb takes the bare oblique case, while the object may be in nominative case or in oblique case and followed by the accusative case marker کي khe.
The postpositions are divided into case markers, which directly follow the noun, and complex postpositions, which combine with a case marker (usually the genitive جو jo).
The case markers are listed below.: 399
The postpositions with the suffix -o decline in gender and number to agree with their governor, e.g. ڇوڪِرو جو پِيءُ chokiro j-o pīu "the boy's father" but ڇوڪِر جِي مَاءُ chokiro j-ī māu "the boy's mother".
to the boy
|of the boy|
|along with the boy|
|with the boy|
|in the boy|
|on the boy|
|near the boy|
the boy has...
|towards the boy|
|up to the boy|
|for the boy|
|like the boy|
There are several ablative case markers formed from the spatial postpositions and the ablative ending -ā̃. These indicate complex motion such as "from inside of".: 400
|from the boy|
|from inside the boy|
|from upon the boy|
|from the direction of the boy|
Finally, some case markers are found in medieval Sindhi literature and/or modern poetic Sindhi, and otherwise not used in standard speech.
|to/near the boy|
The complex postpositions are formed with a case marker, usually the genitive but sometimes the ablative. Many are listed below.: 405
|جي اَڳيَان||je aɠyā̃||"ahead of, before"; apudessive|
|جي اَندَرِ||je andari||"inside of"; inessive|
|جي بَدِرَان||je badirā̃||"instead of, in place of"|
|جي بَرَابَر||je barābar||"equal to"|
|جي ٻَاهَرَان||je ɓāharā̃||"outside of"|
|کَان ٻَاهَرِ||khā̃ ɓāhari|
|جي باري ۾||je bāre mẽ||"about, concerning"|
|جي چَوڌَارِي||je caudhārī||"around"|
|جي هيٺَان||je heṭhā̃||"below, under"|
|جي ڪَري||je kare||"for, on account of"|
|جي لَاءِ||je lāi||"for"|
|جي مَٿَان||je mathā̃||"above, on top of, upon"|
|کَان پَري||khā̃ pare||"far from"|
|جي پَارِ||je pāri||"across, on the other side of"|
|جي پَاسي||je pāse||"on the side of, near"|
|کَان پوءِ||khā̃ poi||"after"|
|جي پُٺيَان||je puṭhyā̃||"behind"|
|جي سَامهون||je sāmhõ||"in front of, facing"|
|کَان سِوَاءِ||khā̃ sivāi||"besides, apart from"|
|جي وَاسطي||je vāste||"for the sake of, on account of"|
|جي ويجهو||je vejho||"near"; adessive|
|جي وِچِ ۾||je vici mẽ||"between, among"|
|جي خَاطِرِ||je xātiri||"for the sake of"|
|جي خِلَافِ||je xilāfi||"against"|
|جي ذَرِيعي||je zarī'e||"via, through"; perlative|
According to historian Nabi Bux Baloch, most Sindhi vocabulary is from ancient Sanskrit. However, owing to the influence of the Persian language over the subcontinent, Sindhi has adapted many words from Persian and Arabic. It has also borrowed from English and Hindustani. Today, Sindhi in Pakistan is slightly influenced by Urdu, with more borrowed Perso-Arabic elements, while Sindhi in India is influenced by Hindi, with more borrowed tatsam Sanskrit elements.
Sindhis in Pakistan use a version of the Perso-Arabic script with new letters adapted to Sindhi phonology, while in India a greater variety of scripts are in use, including Devanagari, Khudabadi, Khojki, and Gurmukhi. Perso-Arabic for Sindhi was also made digitally accessible relatively earlier.
The earliest attested records in Sindhi are from the 15th century. Before the standardisation of Sindhi orthography, numerous forms of Devanagari and Laṇḍā scripts were used for trading. For literary and religious purposes, a Perso-Arabic script developed by Abul-Hasan as-Sindi and Gurmukhi (a subset of Laṇḍā) were used. Another two scripts, Khudabadi and Shikarpuri, were reforms of the Landa script. During British rule in the late 19th century, the Perso-Arabic script was decreed standard over Devanagari.
Laṇḍā-based scripts, such as Gurmukhi, Khojki, and the Khudabadi script were used historically to write Sindhi.
|ISO 15924||Sind (318), Khudawadi, Sindhi|
The Khudabadi alphabet was invented in 1550 CE, and was used alongside other scripts by the Hindu community until the colonial era, where the sole usage of the Arabic script for official purposes was legislated.
The script continued to be used on a smaller scale by the trader community until the Partition of India in 1947.
Khojki was employed primarily to record Muslim Shia Ismaili religious literature, as well as literature for a few secret Shia Muslim sects.
The Gurmukhi script was also used to write Sindhi, mainly in India by Hindus.
|ا ب ٻ ڀ پ ت ٿ ٽ ٺ ث ج ڄ جهہ ڃ چ ڇ ح خ د ڌ ڏ ڊ ڍ ذ ر ڙ ز س ش ص ض ط ظ ع غ ف ڦ ق ڪ ک گ ڳ گهہ ڱ ل م ن ڻ و ھ ء ي|
Extended Perso-Arabic script
During the British raj, a variant of the Persian alphabet was adopted for Sindhi in the 19th century. The script is used in Pakistan and India today. It has a total of 52 letters, augmenting the Persian with digraphs and eighteen new letters (ڄ ٺ ٽ ٿ ڀ ٻ ڙ ڍ ڊ ڏ ڌ ڇ ڃ ڦ ڻ ڱ ڳ ڪ) for sounds particular to Sindhi and other Indo-Aryan languages. Some letters that are distinguished in Arabic or Persian are homophones in Sindhi.
|ɟʱ||ʄ||ɟ||p||s||ʈʰ||ʈ||tʰ||t||bʱ||ɓ||b||ɑː ʔ ∅|
|k||q||pʰ||f||ɣ||ɑː oː eː ʔ ∅||z||t||z||s||ʂ||s||z|
|j iː||ʔ ∅||h||ʋ ʊ oː ɔː uː||ɳ||n||m||l||ŋ||ɡʱ||ɠ||ɡ||kʰ|
In India, the Devanagari script is also used to write Sindhi. A modern version was introduced by the government of India in 1948; however, it did not gain full acceptance, so both the Sindhi-Arabic and Devanagari scripts are used. In India, a person may write a Sindhi language paper for a Civil Services Examination in either script. Devanagari was seen as the most practical option for Sindhi language in India. Diacritical bars below the letter are used to mark implosive consonants, and dots called nukta are used to form other additional consonants.
See also: Romanisation of Sindhi
The Sindhi-Roman script or Roman-Sindhi script is the contemporary Sindhi script usually used by the Sindhis when texting messages on their mobile phones.
See also: 1972 Sindhi Language Bill
In 1972, an bill was passed by the provincial assembly of Sindh which saw Sindhi, given official status thus becoming the first provincial language in Pakistan to have its own official status.
By 2001, Abdul-Majid Bhurgri[failed verification] had coordinated with Microsoft to develop Unicode-based Software in the form of the Perso-Arabic Sindhi script which afterwards became the basis for the communicated use by Sindhi speakers around the world. In 2016, Google introduced the first automated translator for Sindhi language. later on in 2023 an offline support was introduced by Google translate. Which was followed by Microsoft Translator strengthening support in May of same year.
In June 2014, the Khudabadi script of the Sindhi language was added to Unicode, However as of now the script currently has no proper rendering support to view it in unsupported devices.
((cite web)): CS1 maint: url-status (link)
((cite web)): CS1 maint: url-status (link)
((cite web)): CS1 maint: url-status (link)
((cite web)): CS1 maint: url-status (link)
((cite web)): CS1 maint: url-status (link)
((cite web)): CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
The idea is to provide a software platform to the people of Sindh as well as Sindhi diasporas living across the globe to make use of computing for basic tasks such as editing, composition, formatting, and printing of documents in Sindhi by using GUISL. The implementation of the GUISL has been done in the Java technology to make the system platform independent.