Punjabi – GurmukhiShahmukhi Machine Transliteration
   
   
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Punjabi is the mother tongue of more than 110 million people of Pakistan (66 million), India (44 million) and many millions in America, Canada and Europe. It has been written in two mutually incomprehensible scripts Shahmukhi and Gurmukhi for centuries. Punjabis from Pakistan are unable to comprehend Punjabi written in Gurmukhi and Punjabis from India are unable to comprehend Punjabi written in Shahmukhi. In contrast, they do not have any problem to understand the verbal expression of each other. Punjabi Machine Transliteration (PMT) system is an effort to bridge the written communication gap between the two scripts for the benefit of the millions of Punjabis around the globe.

Punjabi is the language of this vast area. The language has a rich literary past. The first known poet of Punjab (Baba Farid) was in 12th century but most of the luminaries are from past five hundred years. It is written in different scripts by different people and many varieties now stake claim of being an independent language, for example, Potohari, Pahari, Dogri, Hindko and Saraiki. The matter however remains undecided.

Literary History of Punjabi

Pakistani Punjab's population according to 1998 census was 73.62 million. Projected population for 2005 is 84.85 million. 68.7 percent of these lives in villages with agriculture being the dominant source of livelihood. Following are the numbers of speakers of different languages in Pakistani Punjab.

Major Languages of Pakistan
Language Percenage of Speakers Number of Speakers
Punjabi
44.15
66,225,000
Pashto
15.42
23,130,000
Sindhi
14.10
21,150,000
Siraiki
10.53
15,795,000
Urdu
7.57
11,355,000
Balauchi
3.57
5,355,000
Others
4.66
6,990,000
Source: Census 2001: Table 2.7. The population is assumed to be 150 million in 2003 as it was 132,352,000 in 1998 and the growth rate is 2.69 %.

Punjab Census Report 2001

 

 

 

 

Referenc

Malik, M G Abbas. 2006. Punjabi Machine Transliteration. in proceedings of the 21st International Conference on Computational Linguistics and 44th Annual Meeting of the ACL, July 17 - 21, 2008, Manchester, UK. pdf

Malik, M G Abbas. 2005. Towards a Unicode Compatible Punjabi Characterset. in proceedings of the 27th Internationalization and Unicode Conference, April, Berlin, Germany. pdf

Rahman, Tariq. 2004. Language Policy and Localization in Pakistan: Proposal for a Paradigmatic Shift. Crossing the Digital Divide, SCALLA Conference on Computational Linguistics.

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