CIT offers Punjabi interpreters and translators with legal, medical and specialty experience, including criminal and civil matters, employee meetings, engineering, patent cases, labor disputes, immigration and more.

Although based in Los Angeles, CIT offers comprehensive Punjabi language services including interpretation, translation and transcription, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, worldwide. Our interpreters and translators are native speakers who have been screened, certified, have provided credentials, field tested, and kept up to date with developments in both English and the Punjabi language through means such as lectures, conferences, and travel. CIT’s Punjabi language interpreters and translators possess in depth knowledge of the Punjabi language, as well as of the culture and history of the Punjabi people, allowing them to provide informed and complete interpretation and translation.

The Punjabi Language

Punjabi, also known as Panjabi, is one of the oldest Indo-Aryan languages. Punjabi, as spelled the British way, is more popular than the academic spelling of Panjabi. It is the official language of the Indian state of Punjab, with approximately 30 million speakers. It is also recognized by the Indian constitution. It is spoken by about 70 million people in Pakistan. Additionally, there are large communities of Punjab speaking people in the UK, US and Canada.

The Indian Punjabi language is written in the Gurmukhi script. It is mainly associated with the Sikhs and is a member of the Indic writing family. It is written from left to right, but is quite different from Devanagari, which is used to write the Hindi language. Urdu script, which is written from right to left, is used to write Punjabi in Pakistan and is known as Shahmukhi. Because of this difference between Indian and Pakistan Punjabi, it is one of the very few languages in the world that is written in two different scripts.

Even with such a large amount of people who speak Punjabi along with its ancient traditions and poetry, it had not be standardized and was not officially recognized by officials along with religious communities such as Muslims, Hindus and Sikhs. Instead, other languages were better informed such as Persian under the Mughal Empire followed by Urdu under the British.

When the subcontinent divided in 1947 in India, there had been a lot of violence and ethnic cleansing, which expelled most Muslims who spoke Punjab from India along with the Sikhs and Hindus from Pakistan. The Muslims had identified with Urdu while the Hindus identified with Hindi. Meanwhile, it was the Sikhs that identified most with Punjabi. The Gurmukhi script was initially used in order to record Sikh religious text known as the Adi Granth, published in the early 17th century. It was the Sikhs that were left with the task of further developing the Punjabi language and in 1966, it became an official language of the Punjabi state under Sikh leadership.

It is safe to say there are a lot of similarities between Punjabi, Hindi and Urdu. Even with this, there are many differences in their scripts. One of the main differentiations is that Punjabi, as a Middle Indo-Aryna, will have double consonants following a short vowel. Historically speaking, there is a preference for the Urdu language in Pakistan.