Lesson Topics

lesson 1
lesson 2
lesson 3
lesson 4
lesson 5
lesson 6
lesson 7
lesson 8
lesson 9
lesson 10
lesson 11
lesson 12
lesson 13
lesson 14
lesson 15
lesson 16
lesson 17
lesson 18
lesson 19
lesson 20
Lesson 1 
Introduction– unaspirated consonants – high tone

Dialogues in Gurmukhi with Transcription and Translation

Gurmukhi Transcription Translation
ਮੋਹਣ ਸਿੰਘ : ਸਤਿ ਸ੍ਰੀ ਅਕਾਲ। móṇ sĩ́g :sat sirī akāl. Mohan Singh : /sat sirī akāl./
ਸੋਹਣ ਸਿੰਘ :ਸਤਿ ਸ੍ਰੀ ਅਕਾਲ। sóṇ sĩ́g : sat sirī akāl. Sohan Singh :  /sat sirī akāl./
ਮੋਹਣ ਸਿੰਘ : ਕੀ ਹਾਲ ਏ? móṇ sĩ́g : kī hāl e? Mohan Singh : How are you ?
ਸੋਹਣ ਸਿੰਘ :ਅੱਛਾ, ਤੁਸੀਂ ਸੁਣਾਓ। sóṇ sĩ́g : aččhā, tusī̃ suṇāo. Sohan Singh : Fine. How about you ?
ਮੋਹਣ ਸਿੰਘ : ਮਿਹਰਬਾਨੀ। móṇ sĩ́g :mérbānī. Mohan Singh : Fine, thank you.


Dialogues in Gurmukhi with Transcription and Translation

Gurmukhi Transcription Translation
ਰਾਮ ਲਾਲ : ਨਮਸਤੇ। rām lāl : namaste Ram Lal : /namaste./
ਮੋਤੀ :ਨਮਸਤੇ। motī : namaste. Moti : /namaste./
ਰਾਮ ਲਾਲ : ਚਾਹ ਪੀਓਗੇ? rām lāl : čā́ pīoge? Ram Lal : Will you have some tea ?
ਮੋਤੀ : ਨਹੀਂ, ਕੋਈ ਤਕਲੀਫ ਨਾ ਕਰੋ। motī̃ : naī̃́, koī taklīf nā karo. Moti : No thanks. Don’t bother.
ਰਾਮ ਲਾਲ : ਨਹੀਂ, ਕੋਈ ਤਕਲੀਫ ਨਹੀਂ। rām lāl : naī̃́, koī taklīf naī́. Ram Lal : It’s no trouble.
ਮੋਤੀ : ਅੱਛਾ, ਮਿਹਰਬਾਨੀ। motī : aččhā , mérbānī. Moti :  O.K., thanks .


Dialogues in Gurmukhi with Transcription and Translation

Gurmukhi Transcription Translation
ਦੀਨ : ਸਲਾਮ। dīn : salām  . Din :  /salām./
ਬੇਗ : ਸਲਾਮ।
       ਆਓ, ਏਧਰ ਆਓ।
       ਕਿਵੇਂ ਆਏ?
beg : salām
       āo, édar āo .
       kiwẽ āe?
Beg  :  /salām./
           Come in.
          What brings you here?
ਦੀਨ : ਏਵੇਂ, ਮਿਲਣ ਵਾਸਤੇ। dīn : ewẽ, miln wāste . Din : Just to see you.
ਬੇਗ : ਚਾਹ ਪੀਓਗੇ? beg : čā́ pīoge? Beg : Have some tea?
ਦੀਨ : ਅੱਛਾ। dīn : aččhā. Din : All right.

1.4 /sat sirī akāl/ is the usual greeting between Sikhs. /namaste/ is usual greeting between Hindus. /salām/ is a usual and informal greeting between Muslims or Christians. If you are observant, you will soon learn which is appropriate under any set of circumstances. The remainder of each of the three opening dialogues above can be used with any of the three opening formulas. For example, you might start with /namaste/ and continue with /kī hāl e?/. After practicing the dialogues just as they are given try making these re-combinations.
1.5 Dialogue 1.1 is a typical brief interchange as two people meet. It can be used in almost any place or in almost any situation. 1.2 and 1.3 are typical greetings as one person comes to visit another in his home. 1.3 might be used even if the visitor comes for some serious business. Etiquette demands that the business should not be brought up until after some exchange of pleasantries. All of these, of course, are short. Frequently longer interchanges will be used.
1.6 Your instructor will demonstrate for you the gestures which commonly accompany these greetings. They are part of the total dialogue, and should be practiced alongwith the words.
The gestures in use in Punjab differ in many ways from those in use in America. It is very nearly as important to learn to use and understand the gestures as it is to learn the vocal language. Make a habit of watching your instructor as he speaks and imitate him.
1.7 If you do not hear or understand something, you may say  
tusī̃ kī kiā́? ਤੁਸੀਂ ਕੀ ਕਿਹਾ?
or for short, just :
kī kiā́?
ਕੀ ਕਿਹਾ?
or even:
ਕੀ? Top
In such a situation, all of these would mean something like ‘What did you say ?΄The longer form is, of course, more formal.

1.8 The Punjabi sound we transcribe as /t/ is quite different from the English ‘t’. This difference can be easily heard by comparing some Punjabi words with some roughly similar English words. Your instructor will pronounce the following Punjabi words for you. One member of the class should pronounce after each Punjabi word the English word in the pair. Listen carefully for the difference between Punjabi /t/ and English ‘t’. There will, of course, be differences in other parts of the words too, but in this lesson you concentrate on the correct pronunciation of /t/. Do the best you can with the other features by imitation, but do not worry about the detail just now.
Gurmukhi Transcription English Word
ਤਿਨ tin ‘tin’
ਤੋਲ tol ‘toll’
ਮੀਤ mīt ‘meat’
ਤਨ tan ‘ton’
ਨੀਤ nīt ‘neat’
ਸੀਤ sīt ‘seat’
The differences between /t/ and ‘t’ are mainly two :
English ‘t’ is formed by touching the tip of the tongue to the gums just above and behind the front teeth. Punjabi /t/ is formed by touching the tip of the tongue to the back of the teeth. Punjabi /t/ is said to be dental. In the dialogues and drills, be careful to make your tongue actually touch the teeth rather than the gums. At first it will take a little extra conscious effort to force the tongue farther forward. With practice, this will become easy and automatic.
In English ‘t’ the moment the tongue is pulled away from the gums, a little puff of breath is generally emitted. This occurs in words with initial ‘t’, but not in words with initial ‘st.’ This difference can be demonstrated by holding a narrow strip of paper in front of the lips. When a word like ‘till’ is said, the strip suddenly moves forward. When a word like ‘still’ is said, it does not. (It may take a little experimenting to get a strip of paper of just the right degree of flexibility to show the difference clearly.) The ‘t’ in ‘till’ is said to be aspirated. Punjabi /t/ is always unaspirated. It may be helpful to practice with a paper strip, and perhaps a mirror to watch it carefully.
1.9 Your instructor will pronounce the following words for you as a model. Imitate him in every detail, concentrating especially on /t/. Be sure to pronounce it dental and unaspirated.
Gurmukhi Transcription
ਤਿਨ tin
ਤੀਰ tīr
ਤੋਲ tol
ਤੋਪ top
ਤਾਰ tār
ਤਾਪ tāp
ਤੋਰ tor
ਤੀਹ tī́
ਤੂਰ tūr
ਮੋਤੀ motī
ਪੋਤਾ potā
ਜੀਤੀ jītī
ਰਾਤ rāt
ਬਾਤ bāt
ਜੋਤ jot
Meanings are not given for these words, as they are not to be learned now, They are given solely for pronunciation practice.
1.10 Punjabi ‘p’ and ‘k’ differ little from English ‘p’ and ‘k’ in the position of the tongue or lips. However, both are unaspirated, whereas English ‘p’ and ‘k’ are generally aspirated, except in ‘sp’ and ‘sk’. Try the paper-strip test on ‘pin’, ‘spin’, ‘kin’, and ‘skin’. The test shows the difference most clearly with ‘p’, because the explosion is near the paper. The difference is just as important with ‘k’ even if harder to see.
  Compare your instructor’s pronunciation of the following Punjabi words with that of one of the class member’s as he reads the paired English words.
Gurmukhi Transcription English Word
ਪਾਰ pār ‘par’
ਪੁਲ pul ‘pull’
ਪੇਲ pel ‘pail’
ਕਿਨ kin ‘kin’
ਕਿਸ kis ‘kiss’
ਕਿਲ kil ‘kill’
ਪਰ par ‘purr’
ਪਿਸ pīs ‘peace’
ਪੂਰ pūr ‘poor’
ਕਾਲ kāl ‘call’
ਕਾਰ kār ‘car’
ਕਾਮ kām ‘calm’

1.11 Practice the following words, imitating your instructor’s pronunciation. If you have difficulty with aspiration, it may be helpful to practice with a paper strip and a mirror.
Gurmukhi Transcription
ਪਾਰ pār
ਪੋਲ pol
ਪਾਲ pāl
ਕਲ੍ਹ kál
ਕਮ kam
ਕਤ kat
ਪੋਰ por
ਕਾਰ kār
ਕਾਪੀ kāpī
ਕਾਲੀ kālī
ਪਲ pal
ਚੂਪ čūp
ਪੇਕੇ peke
ਕੋਰੀ korī
ਕੋ ko
ਕੋਲੀ kolī
ਰੂਪ rūp
ਜਾਪ jāp
ਤੋਪ top
ਕੂਰ kūr
ਕੂਚ kūč
ਲੋਕ lok
ਆਪ āp
ਚੀਪ čīp
ਸਪ sap
ਆਕੀ ākī
ਤਾਕੀ tākī
ਕਾਕੀ kākī
ਨਾਪ nāp
ਸੀਪ sīp
ਤਾਕ tāk
ਸੇਕ sek
ਸਾਕ sāk

1.12 Some of the words in the dialogue have normal tone and some have high. Normal tone is not marked in the transcription. High tone is marked with an accent /΄/. A word bearing high tone has a higher pitch than the one with a normal tone. It will require a great deal of practice before you can hear and reproduce this difference accurately and easily. At this stage, the best thing to do is to practice the sentences of the dialogue as whole sentences, paying special attention to the “tone” of the sentence as a whole, and to its rhythm.
One word sentences (that is, words said by themselves) are not very usual, but the tone differences stand out clearly. The following pairs show the contrast between normal and high tone. Practice them, imitating your instructor.
Gurmukhi Transcription Translation Gurmukhi Transcription Translation
ਚਾ čā ‘enthusiasm’ ਚਾਹ čā́ ‘tea’
ਲਾ ‘attach’ ਲਾਹ lā́ ‘detach’
ਬਾਰ bār ‘farm’ ਬਾਹਰ bā́r ‘outside’
ਆਰ ār ‘needle’ ਆਹਰ ā́r ‘business’
ਮਾਲ māl ‘property’ ਮਾਹਲ mā́l ‘chain’
ਵਾਰ wār ‘turn’ ਵਾਹਰ wā́r ‘crowd’
ਕਾਲ kāl ‘draught’ ਕਾਹਲ kā́l ‘urgency’
ਪੀ ‘drink’ ਪੀਹ pī́ ‘grind’
ਲੋ lo ‘light’ ਲੋਹ ‘griddle’
ਮੋਰ mor ‘peacock’ ਮੋਹਰ mór ‘seal’
ਮੋਰੀ morī ‘hole’ ਮੋਹਰੀ mórī ‘leading’
ਕਾਰੀ kārī ‘useful’ ਕਾਹਰੀ kā́rī ‘single-fold’

Do not learn the meanings of these words at this time. The meanings are given just to show that a difference in tone, slight as it may seem to you at first, can change the meaning of a Punjabi word drastically. It is crucial that you learn to recognize and reproduce tones accurately, as otherwise you will not be understood, or, worse, you may be misunderstood.
1.13 A Punjabi sentence is said with an intonation, a pattern of pitch, prominence, and rhythm. This is an important feature of the spoken language. The intonation helps to mark off the flow of speech into portions such as sentences. Different intonations help to mark different types of sentences. In the dialogues, some of the sentences are clearly distinguished by having different intonations than others.
The most obvious intonational difference in these lessons is that between questions and answers. Often only intonation marks the difference.
Intonation and pitch interact in Punjabi in ways that are very difficult to describe. Fortunately, they can be learned even without a clear description. If you will practice the sentences of the dialogues carefully until you can say each with the proper pitch, prominence, and rhythm, you will soon learn to hear the intonation and tones of the sentences. If you cannot now hear a consistent difference between words marked /΄/ and words not so marked, do not worry about it. That will come in time.
1.14 Throughout all your work with Punjabi, consider your instructor’s pronunciation as the standard. Imitate him as accurately as you can. Do not be satisfied with your work until it sounds, both to you and to him, just like the pronunciation of a Punjabi.
The transcriptions are given primarily to point out to you certain significant features which you must learn to hear in your informant's speech. Use them only as guides in listening to him and in imitating. Do not base your pronunciation on the transcriptions.
1.15 Sentences are much more important units of speech than are words. Try to learn to pronounce whole sentences as single continuous flows of speech. Word divisions are shown in the transcriptions, but you may not hear them in speech. Do not pause where they are shown. If you do, your speech will sound halting or artificial.
Do not worry over the meanings of single words in the dialogue sentences. That also will come later. The translations given are intended to indicate the meanings of whole sentences. Very often the internal structure of the sentences is very different from that of any English sentence.
Under the head of "Pattern Practice" sentences will be given in sets that will permit you to see internal structure. You can determine for yourself what certain parts of these sentences mean by comparing the sentences in one set, and noting the places where their meanings differ. In some cases, sentences in the Pattern Practice will parallel and explain sentences in the dialogues. Before the course is finished, most of the sentences in the dialogues will have become clear to you.
When sentences in the Pattern Practices do parallel those in the dialogues; they permit you to vary the dialogues a little. For example, you might change dialogue 1.2 by saying /kāfī pīoge?/ instead of /čā́ pīoge?/. It is more usual to offer tea, but one might offer coffee. Or, you might say / čā́ lͻge ?/. It would be very strange to say /sabzī lͻge?/, but only because you would not ordinarily offer vegetables to a visitor until you had sat down to a meal.


Gurmukhi Transcription Translation
ਚਾਹ ਪੀਓਗੇ? čā́ pīoge? Will you drink some tea?
ਦੁੱਧ ਪੀਓਗੇ? dúd pīoge? Will you drink some milk?
ਸ਼ਰਬਤ ਪੀਓਗੇ? šarbat pīoge? Will you drink some fruit juice?
ਕਾਫੀ ਪੀਓਗੇ? kafī pīoge? Will you drink some coffee?

Gurmukhi Transcription Translation
ਚਾਹ ਲਓਗੇ? čā́ lͻge? Will you have some tea?
ਦੁੱਧ ਲਓਗੇ? dúd lͻge? Will you have some milk?
ਬਰਫੀ ਲਓਗੇ? barfī lͻge? Will you have some barfi?
ਸਬਜ਼ੀ ਲਓਗੇ? sabzī lͻge? Will you have some vegetables?

Gurmukhi Transcription Translation
ਏਹ ਕੀ ਏ? é kī e? What is this?
ਓਹ ਕੀ ਏ? ó kī e? What is that?

Gurmukhi Transcription Translation
ਏਹ ਚਾਹ ਏ। é čā́ e. This is tea.
ਏਹ ਦੁੱਧ ਏ। é dúd e. This is milk
ਏਹ ਸ਼ਰਬਤ ਏ। é šarbat e. This is fruit juice.
ਏਹ ਬਰਫੀ ਏ। é barfī e. This is /barfī/.

Gurmukhi Transcription Translation
ਓਹ ਚਾਹ ਏ। ó čā́ e. That is tea.
ਓਹ ਕਾਫੀ ਏ। ó kafī e. That is coffee.
ਓਹ ਸਬਜ਼ੀ ਏ। ó sabzī e. That is vegetable.
ਓਹ ਦੁੱਧ ਏ। ó dúd e. That is milk.


/barfī/ is a kind of pastry, generally served only on special occasions. Like many other Punjabi confections, there is no English equivalent, and therefore, no translation can be given. You will certainly get acquainted with it when you get to Punjab, and probably you will like it.
/šarbat/ is a general term for many kinds of fruit drinks. 'Fruit juice' is really not a very good translation, as /šarbat/ generally is prepared in a more elaborate way than is implied by 'fruit juice'. Perhaps it would be better to have left it untranslated as was done with /barfī/. But in any case, do not expect this or any other Panjabi word to have a simple uniform English translation. Very few will. Even /čā́/ does not mean exactly the same as English 'tea', as you will learn when you are served tea in Punjabi villages.
1.22 Pay close attention to the intonation of these pattern sentences. You should find that those in 1.18 are quite different from those in 1.16 and 1.17, even though they are all questions. Questions such as these in 1.16 and 1.17 have a characteristic intonation which marks them as questions. 1.18 do not.