Punjabi is among the top 10 of the world’s most spoken languages and is the native language for areas of India and Pakistan currently. However, it is also spoken in many parts of the world where the Indian or Pakistani presence is represented, such as in the United States, Australia, United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, England, Canada, and even Wales. It is one of India’s 22 official languages, ranked at number 11 for most-spoken, with 100 million local speakers and 130 million worldwide according to Wikipedia.
This language is growing in popularity due to the influence of Bollywood on many nations, exposing them to the Indian culture in many different ways. This includes popular movies, books, and even educational input in some countries, such as world history and theater classes in the United States. Since Bollywood movies alone account for several top-grossing movies, the average young person or teenager speaks Punjabi words or phrases without even realizing it.
There are several major dialects of Punjabi:
- Majhi, also called Standard Punjabi since it is the most common form of the language spoken
- Powadhi, along with Majhi, one of the influencing dialects in the standard Punjabi dictionary