"Panjabi is the language of the native people of Panjab, a land of five (panj) rivers in north-western India. The script was improved and popularised by the Sikh Gurus. It was adopted by them to write Gurbani hymns, hence it became known as Gurmukhi. As the Gurmukhi script is used to write Panjabi only, the word Panjabi has also come to mean Gurmukhi. When we actually speak of learning Gurmukhi, more often we say Panjabi. Thus, Gurmukhi and Panjabi became synonymous."
This summer I was introduced to a new scientifically-designed method of learning Panjabi for fast learners whose primary language is English. "It is based on the conversion method of learning Panjani. According to this method, one learns to convert the Panjabi alphabet and vowels into corresponding English forms, the use of which the student already knows. It therefore enables a person to read Panjabi in about two weeks time. Learning by this technique becomes interesting because one starts reading and writing words the very first day. This is another reason that the trainees can learn reading Panjabi very quickly by this method."
"To make the learning interesting and easy for the youth, only four to six consonants and one set of vowels are introduced at a time. Further, short words with just two letters were chosen for a quick and better understanding of consonant and vowel sounds. The repetition of the same letter in multiple combinations is planned to help the student to correlate the shape and sound of the letters with ease."
I remember when I went to Panjabi school and still learning the beginning lines of the alphabet after so many months. Children easily get demotivated and disheartened as they don't see themselves progressing, which then leads to boredom. This summer when offered with the opportunity to teach young adults Gurmukhi using this method, it was an eye opener. Firstly, all the people attending the class enjoyed it and secondly, they could all learn to make words and read a sentence in Gurmukhi in the first lesson. This encouraged those learning to want to learn more and progress.
If you wish to learn Gurmukhi to help you read Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji and have access to reading the wealth of Sikhi knowledge that is written in Punjabi, or you wish to help your children or someone else to learn Gurmukhi, then please follow the the directions and easy to follow lesson plans of the 'Scientifically-Designed Panjabi Primer' by Dr. Gurbakhsh Singh.
PDF copy of 'Scientifically-Designed Panjabi Primer' manual booklet:
Video lessons using this teaching method aired on Sangat Television: