Punjabi is an Indo-Aryan language spoken by inhabitants of the historical Punjab region both in Pakistan and India as well as in their Diasporas. Punjabi is spoken by approximately 88 million native speakers, making it the 11th most widely spoken language in the world. Punjabi is a significant language for the Sikhs and Punjabi speaking population is one of the greatest of the Indian subcontinent and, indeed, the world. The majority of Punjabi speakers live in Pakistan, but the language has gained no official status in Pakistan at all. In comparison to Urdu, it is not much used as a written language. Punjabi is the official language of the Indian state of Punjab and the shared state capital Chandigarh. It is one of the official languages of Delhi and the second language of Haryana. Punjabi is the provincial language of Punjab (Pakistan), the largest province of Pakistan.
A successor of Sauraseni Prakrit, the chief language of medieval northern India, Punjabi emerged as an independent language in the 11th century from the Sauraseni Apabhramsa. Many ancient Sufi mystics and later Guru Nanak Dev ji, the first Guru of the Sikhism started the literary tradition in Punjabi. The early Punjabi literature has had a very rich oral tradition and was principally spiritual in nature. Muslim Sufi, Sikh and Hindu writers composed many works in Punjabi between 1600 and 1850. Baba Bulleh Shah was the most famous Punjabi Sufi poet who put Saraiki language Culture into the Punjabi Language
Major Punjabi dialects
It spans the Lahore, Sheikhupura, Kasur, Gujranwala, Sialkot, Narowal, Gujrat and some parts of Jhelum in Pakistani Punjab and Amritsar District and Gurdaspur District of the Indian State of Punjab.
Jhangochi or Rachnavi
It is the oldest dialect of the Punjabi which is spoken throughout the area, starting from Khanewal and Jhang at both ends of Ravi and Chenab to Gujranwala district. It then goes down to Bahawalnagar and Chishtian araes, on the banks of river Sutlej.
This dialect is spoken in Pakistani Punjab. This language has been spoken by the people of District Sargodha including Dera Chanpeer Shah, Khushab, Jhang, Mianwali, Attock, parts of Faisalabad (formerly Lyallpur), parts of Dera Ismail Khan, Dera Ghazi Khan, Bahawalnagar, Chakwal, Mianwali, Sargodha, Khushab and Mandi Bahauddin districts.
This dialect is spoken in north Pakistani Punjab. The area extends in the north from Muzaffarabad to as far south as Jhelum, Gujar Khan, Chakwal and Rawalpindi.
This dialect is spoken in north-west Pakistani Punjab and NWFP. This dialect is mainly spoken in districts of Peshawar, Attock, Nowshehra, Mansehra, Balakot, Abbotabad and Murree and the lower half of Neelum District and Muzafarabad.
This is spoken in the eastern part of Indian Punjab. Main areas are Ludhiana, Ambala, Bathinda, Ganganagar, Malerkotla, Fazilka, Ferozepur. It also includes the Punjabi speaking northern areas of Haryana like Ambala, Hissar, Sirsa, Kurukshetra etc.
Doabi spoken in Indian Punjab between the rivers of Beas and Sutlej. It includes Jalandhar and Hoshiarpur districts.
Kharar, Kurali, Ropar, Nurpurbedi, Morinda, Pail, Rajpura and Samrala are the areas where the Pwadhi language is spoken.