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Dialects of Sindhi
|Native to||Pakistan. Also immigrant communities in India, Hong Kong, Oman, Philippines, Indonesia, Singapore, UAE, UK, USA, Afghanistan, Sri Lanka|
|Native speakers||26 million (2007)|
|Writing system||Arabic, Khudabadi alphabet, Laṇḍā scripts.|
|Official language in|| Pakistan (Sindh)
|Regulated by||Sindhi Language Authority (Pakistan),
Indian Institute of Sindhology (India)
snd – Sindhi
lss – Lasi
sbn – Sindhi Bhil
Sindhi /ˈsɪndi/ (Sindhi: سنڌي) is the language of the historical Sindh region, spoken by the Sindhi people. It is spoken by 53,410,910 people in Pakistan and some 5,820,485 people in India. It is the official language of the province of Sindh. In India, Sindhi is one of the scheduled languages officially recognized by the federal government. Abroad there are some 2.6 million Sindhis.
Sindhi is an Indo-Aryan language of the Indo-Iranian branch of the Indo-European language family. It has influences from a local version of spoken form of Sanskrit and from Balochi spoken in the adjacent province of Balochistan.
Most Sindhi speakers are concentrated in the Sindh province and in Kutch, Gujarat, India where Sindhi is a local language. The remaining speakers in India are composed of the Hindu Sindhis who migrated from Sindh and settled in India after partition and the Sindhi diaspora worldwide.
Geographical distribution 
Sindhi is spoken in Sindh and Balochistan in Pakistan. Sindhi is taught as a first language in the government of Sindh including some in Karachi It is also taught as a second languag in many government schools of Karachi and Balochistan in Pakistan. It is also spoken by Sindhi tribes living in Kutch.Karachi is the Largest Sindhi Speaking city, with 3-4 million Sindhis,out of 18 towns of Karachi, 5 are Sindhi Majority. Hyderabad ranks 2nd with 1 million Sindhi speakers and larkana ranks 3rd with almost a half a million Sindhis.
Sindhi has a vast vocabulary and a very old literary tradition. This trend has made it a favourite of many writers and consequently a vast volume of literature and poetry have been written in Sindhi.(See main articles Sindhi literature and Sindhi poetry).
The origin of the Sindhi language can be traced to an Old Indo-Aryan dialect, or primary Prakrit, that was spoken in the region of Sindh at the time of compilation of the Vedas (1500–1200 bce) or perhaps some centuries before that. Glimpses of that dialect can be seen to some extent in the literary language of the hymns of the Rigveda.
Like other languages of this family, Sindhi has passed through Old Indo-Aryan (Sanskrit) and Middle Indo-Aryan (Pali, secondary Prakrits, and Apabhramsha) stages of growth, and it entered the New Indo-Aryan stage around the 10th century ce.
The immediate predecessor of Sindhi was an Apabhramsha Prakrit named Vrachada. Arab and Persian travellers, specifically Abu-Rayhan Biruni in his book 'Tahqiq ma lil-Hind', had declared that even before the advent of Islam in Sindh (711 A.D.), the language was prevalent in the region. It was not only widely spoken but written in three different scripts – Ardhanagari, Saindhu and Malwari. Biruni has described many Sindhi words leading to the conclusion that the Sindhi language was widely spoken and rich in vocabulary in his time. Over the course of centuries, Sindhi culture absorbed Arabic and Persian words which further enriched its heritage.
Sindhi became a popular literary language between the 14th and 18th centuries. This is when mystics or Sufis such as Shah Abdul Latif, Sachal Sarmast, Lal Shahbaz Qalandar (as well as numerous others) narrated their theosophical poetry depicting the relationship between humans and Allah.
In the year 1868, the Bombay Presidency assigned Narayan Jagannath Vaidya to replace the Abjad used in Sindhi, with the Khudabadi script. The script was decreed a standard script by the Bombay Presidency thus inciting anarchy in the Muslim majority region. A powerful unrest followed, after which Twelve Martial Laws were imposed by the British authorities.
According to Islamic Sindhi tradition, the first translation of the Quran into Sindhi was completed in the year 883 CE / 270 AH in Mansura, Sindh. The first extensive Sindhi translation was done by Akhund Azaz Allah Muttalawi (1747–1824 CE / 1160–1240 AH).
Sindhi has a relatively large inventory of both consonants and vowels compared to other languages. Sindhi has 46 consonant phonemes and 16 vowels. The consonant to vowel ratio is around average for world's languages at 2.8. All plosives, affricates, nasals, the retroflex flap and the lateral approximant /l/ have aspirated or breathy voiced counterparts. The language also features four implosives.
|Implosive||ɓ||ɗ||ʄ ~ jˀ||ɠ|
The retroflex consonants are apical postalveolar, as they are throughout northern India, and so could be transcribed /t̠, t̠ʰ, d̠, d̠ʱ n̠ n̠ʱ s̠ ɾ̠ ɾ̠ʱ/. The dental implosive is sometimes realized as retroflex [ɗ̠]~[ᶑ] The affricates /t̠ɕ, t̠ɕʰ, d̠ʑ, d̠ʑʱ/ are laminal post-alveolars with a relatively short release. It is not clear if /ɲ/ is similar, or truly palatal. /ʋ/ is realized as labiovelar [w] or labiodental [ʋ] in free variation occurs, but is not common, except before a stop.
The vowels are modal length /i e æ ɑ ɔ o u/ and short /ɪ̆ ʊ̆ ɐ̆/. (Note /æ ɑ ɐ̆/ are imprecisely transcribed as /ɛ a ə/ in the chart.) Consonants following short vowels are lengthened: [pɐ̆tˑo] 'leaf' vs. [pɑto] 'worn'.
i. Sindhi Saraiki, a form of Saraiki language regarded as a dialect of Sindhi; spoken mainly in Upper Sindh. Shown in orange.
ii. Vicholi, in Vicholo, Central Sindh. Shown in yellow. Vicholi is the basis for standardised Sindhi.
iii. Lari, in Laru (Lower Sindh). Shown in grey.
Writing System 
The folk literature of Sindhi is as old as the language itself. It has been collected and compiled from oral tradition and published in more than 40 volumes by the Sindhi Adabi Board, a government institution that was established in 1955 for the promotion of the language. Written Sindhi literature is first attested in the 8th century ce, when references to an independent, Sindhi version of the Mahabharata appear. However, the earliest well-attested written records in Sindhi belong to the 15th century ce.
Before the standardisation of Sindhi orthography, numerous forms of the Devanagari and Lunda (Laṇḍā) scripts were used for trading, universally by all Sindhis. For literary and religious purposes, a modified form of Persian alphabet known as Ab-ul-Hassan Sindhi and Gurmukhi (a subset of Laṇḍā) were used. Another two scripts, the Khudabadi alphabet and Shikarpuri were attempts to reform the Landa script. During British rule in the late 19th century, an Arabic-based orthography was decreed standard, after much controversy, as the Devanagari script had also been considered. However, this script has since become accepted.
Medieval Sindhi devotional literature (1500–1843) comprises Sufi poetry and Advaita Vedanta poetry. Sindhi literature has flourished during the modern period (since 1843), although the language and literary style of contemporary Sindhi writings in Pakistan and India were noticeably diverging by the late 20th century; authors from the former country were borrowing extensively from Persian and Arabic vocabulary, while those from the latter were highly influenced by Hindi.
Arabic script 
During British rule in India, a variant of the Persian alphabet was adopted for Sindhi in the 19th century. The script is used in Pakistan today. It has a total of 52 letters, augmenting the Persian with digraphs and eighteen new letters (ڄ ٺ ٽ ٿ ڀ ٻ ڙ ڍ ڊ ڏ ڌ ڇ ڃ ڦ ڻ ڱ ڳ ڪ) for sounds particular to Sindhi and other Indo-Aryan languages. Some letters that are distinguished in Arabic or Persian are homophones in Sindhi.
Devanagari script 
In India, the Devanagari script is also used to write Sindhi. A modern version was introduced by the government of India in 1948; however, it did not gain full acceptance, so both the Sindhi-Arabic and Devanagari scripts are used. In India a person may write a Sindhi language paper for a Civil Services Examination in either script . Diacritical bars below the letter are used to mark implosive consonants, and dots called nukta are used to form other additional consonants.
Historically, the Sindh region suffered frequent invasions. It was conquered by the forces of Islam in 712 ce and remained under Muslim rule until the British conquest in 1843. Hence, the Sindhi language borrowed many Arabic and Persian words. In spite of this, the basic vocabulary and grammatical structure of Sindhi has remained mostly unchanged.
In addition, Sindhi has borrowed from English and Hindustani. Today, Sindhi in Pakistan is heavily influenced by Urdu, with more borrowed Perso-Arabic elements, while Sindhi in India is influenced by Hindi, with more borrowed tatsam Sanskrit elements.
Example extract 
The following extract is from the Sindhi Wikipedia about the Sindhi language and is written in the 52-letter Sindhi-Arabic script, Devanagari and transliterated to Latin.
Sindhi-Arabic script: سنڌي ٻولي انڊو يورپي خاندان سان تعلق رکندڙ آريائي ٻولي آھي، جنھن تي ڪجھه دراوڙي اھڃاڻ پڻ موجود آهن. هن وقت سنڌي ٻولي سنڌ جي مک ٻولي ۽ دفتري زبان آھي.
Devanagari script: सिन्धी ॿोली इण्डो यूरपी ख़ान्दान सां ताल्लुक़ु रखन्दड़ आर्याई ॿोली आहे, जिंहन ते कुझ द्राविड़ी उहुञाण पण मौजूद आहिनि. हिन वक़्तु सिन्धी ॿोली सिन्ध जी मुख बोली ऐं दफ़्तरी ज़बान आहे.
Transliteration (IAST): sindhī b̤olī iṇḍo yūrapī ḵẖāndāna sā̃ taʿlluqu rakhandaṛ āryāī b̤olī āhe, jinhã te kujha drāviṛī uhuñāṇa paṇa maujūda āhini. hina vaqtu sindhī b̤olī sindha jī mukha b̤olī ãĩ daftarī zabānā āhe.
See also 
- Institute of Sindhology
- List of Sindhi-language films
- Languages of Pakistan
- Provincial languages of Pakistan
- Languages of India
- Languages with official status in India
- Nationalencyklopedin "Världens 100 största språk 2007" The World's 100 Largest Languages in 2007
- "Script". Sindhilanguage.com.
- Laurie Bauer, 2007, The Linguistics Student’s Handbook, Edinburgh
- The Sindhu World
- "Understanding the Quran".
- "Encyclopædia Britannica". Retrieved May 11, 2013.
- "Sindhi alphabets, pronunciation and language". Omniglot.com.
- Nihalani, Paroo. (1999). Handbook of the International Phonetic Association (Sindhi). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
- The IPA Handbook uses the symbols c, cʰ, ɟ, ɟʱ, but makes it clear this is simply tradition and that these are neither palatal nor stops, but "laminal post-alveolars with a relatively short release". Ladefoged & Maddieson (1996:83) confirm a transcription of [t̠ɕ, t̠ɕʰ, d̠ʑ, d̠ʑʱ] and further remarks that "/ʄ/ is often a slightly creaky voiced palatal approximant" (caption of table 3.19).
- "Encyclopædia Britannica". Retrieved May 11, 2013.
- Khubchandani (2003:633)
- Cole (2001:648)
- "Encyclopædia Britannica". Retrieved May 11, 2013.
- "Encyclopædia Britannica". Retrieved May 11, 2013.
- Cole (2001:652–653)
- Khubchandani (2003:624–625)
- Addleton and Brown (2010). Sindhi: An Introductory Course for English Speakers. South Hadley: Doorlight Publications.
- Bughio, M. Qasim (January–June 2006). "The Diachronic Sociolinguistic Situation in Sindh". In Maniscalco, Fabio Maniscalco. Web Journal on Cultural Patrimony 1.
- Cole, Jennifer S (2001). "Sindhi". In Garry, Jane; Rubino, Carl. Facts About the World's Languages. H W Wilson. pp. 647–653. ISBN 0-8242-0970-2.
- International Phonetic Association. 1999. ISBN 0-521-63751-1.
- Khubchandani, Lachman M (2003). "Sindhi". In Cardona, George; Jain, Dhanesh. The Indo-Aryan Languages. Routledge. pp. 622–658. ISBN 978-0-415-77294-5.
- Ladefoged, Peter; Maddieson, Ian (1996). The Sounds of the World's Languages. Oxford: Blackwell. ISBN 0-631-19814-8.
- Trumpp, P (1872). Grammar of the Sindhi Language. London: Trübner and Co. ISBN 81-206-0100-9.
FOR FURTHER READING:
- Chopra, R. M., The Rise, Growth And Decline of Indo-Persian Literature, 2012, Iran Culture House, New Delhi, Chapter on"Persian in Sindh".
|Sindhi language edition of Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia|
|Wikivoyage has travel information related to: Sindhi_phrasebook|
- Sindhi Dictionary
- Type in Sindhi online
- Information and pronunciation of Sindhi alphabet (recordings)
- All about Sindhi language and culture
- Sindhi computing resources at TDIL (Arabic script)
- Sindhi computing resources at TDIL (Devanagari script)
- First and only 24 hour international Sindhi radio station online
- Sindhi newspapers gasping for breath in India