|سرائیکی, ਸਰਾਇਕੀ, सराइकी|
|Native to||Pakistan, India, Afghanistan|
|Region||mainly South Punjab|
|Native speakers||17 million (2007)|
|Writing system||Persian alphabet, Laṇḍā scripts particularly Gurumukhi, Devanagari script, Langdi script|
|Regulated by||No official regulation|
Saraiki (Shahmukhi: سرائیکی, Sindhi: سرائيڪي, Gurmukhi: ਸਰਾਇਕੀ, Devanagari: सराइकी), also spelled Siraiki and Seraiki, is a southern dialect of Lahnda (Western Punjabi) Language of the Indo-Aryan (Indic) language family. It is spoken by 17 million people across the South Punjab, southern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, and border regions of North Sindh and Eastern Balochistan, with some 20,000 migrants and their descendants in India who migrated as a result of the partition of India, as well as overseas, especially in the Middle East. Saraiki is also spoken by some Hindus in Afghanistan, though the number there is unknown.
Language or dialect 
- For more information, see Punjabi dialects.
Since Sindhi, Punjabi, Urdu and Hindi are spoken in a region that has witnessed significant ethnic and identity conflict, all have been exposed to the dialect versus language question. Each of these languages possesses a central standard on which its literature is based, and from which there are multiple dialectal variations.
Recently Saraiki became standardized as a language of the Saraiki people, contrasting the view of being a dialect of Punjabi, However this standardization is controversial to date. The development of the standard written language began after the founding of Pakistan in 1947, driven by a regionalist political movement.:838 The national census of Pakistan has tabulated the prevalence of Saraiki speakers since 1981.:46.
On the other hand Saraiki is also considered as a dialect of Main stream Punjabi because Saraiki is Mutually intangible, Morphologically and Syntactically similar with Standard Punjabi and is in fact dialect of Punjabi agreed by majority of local linguists such as Dulai, K Narinder, Gill, Harjeet Singh Gill, A Henry. Gleason (Jr), Koul, N Omkar, Siya Madhu Bala, Afzal Ahmed Cheema, Aamir Malik, Amar Nath  as well as modern linguistics publications such as US National advisory Committee based The UCLA Language Materials Project (LMP) along with modern linguistics such as Cardona and Nataliia Ivanovna Tolstaia classifing Saraiki as a dialect of Punjabi.
In Sindh Province Pakistan it is considered as a dialect of Sindhi spoken in North ten districts of Province Sindh . There is also a debate about it being the initial form of Urdu language after first Muslim ruler arraived indo pak and made Multan the capital of Sindh that time.
The word "Sarāiki" originated from the word "Sauvira", a kingdom name of ancient India, also mentioned in the Sanskrit epic Mahabharata. By adding adjectival suffix "-ki" to the word "Sauvirā" it became "Sauvirāki". The consonant 'v' with its neighboring vowels was dropped for simplification and hence the name became "Sarāiki". Although George Abraham Grierson reported that "Sirāiki" (that was the spelling he used) is from a Sindhi word sirō, meaning 'of the north, northern', Christopher Shackle:388 asserts that this etymology is unverified. Another view is that Saraiki word originates from the word Sarai.
The standard Romanization of the Saraiki name (at least de facto) is "Saraiki". However, "Seraiki", and "Siraiki" have also been used in academia until recently. Name (in whichever of these spellings) was adopted in the 1960s by regional social and political leaders. An organization namely Saraiki Academy was founded in Multan on 6 April 1962, under the Presidentship of Mir Hassaan-ul-Haidri who was replaced by Makhdoom Sajjad Hussain Qureshi, which gave the name of universal application to the Saraiki. Presently, "Saraiki" is the spelling used in universities of Pakistan (the Islamia University of Bahawalpur, department of Saraiki established in 1989, Bahauddin Zakariya University, in Multan, department of Saraiki established in 2006, and Allama Iqbal Open University, in Islamabad, department of Pakistani languages established in 1998), and by the district governments of Bahawalpur and Multan, as well as by the federal institutions of the Government of Pakistan like Population Census Organization and Pakistan Broadcasting Corporation.
Two of the native scripts, Gurmukhi and Devanagari, use the 'a' spelling (or rather, its native equivalent), which indicates that the vowel of the first syllable is a short /a/. In the Gurmukhi and Devanagari spellings given above, this is manifested by the lack of any vowel diacritic. As is standard for native Indo-Aryan orthographies, the absence of any diacritic over a consonant indicates that a short /a/ is spoken after that consonant.
The name "Saraiki" (or variant spellings) was formally adopted in the 1960s by regional social and political leaders who undertook to promote Saraiki dialects of Punjabi.
Saraiki is member of the Indo-Aryan subdivision of the Indo-Iranian branch of the Indo-European language family. Standard Punjabi and Saraiki (South Punjabi) are mutually intelligible; they slightly differ in consonant inventory and in the structure of the verb. Saraiki is about 80% intelligible with Dogri.
In 1919, Grierson maintained that the dialects of what is now the southwest of Punjab Province in Pakistan constitute a dialect cluster, which he designated "Southern Lahnda" within a putative "Lahnda language". Subsequent Indo-Aryanist linguists have confirmed the reality of this dialect cluster, even while rejecting the name "Southern Lahnda" along with the entity "Lahnda" itself.:18-20 Grierson also maintained that "Lahnda" was his novel designation for various dialects up to then called "Western Punjabi", spoken north, west, and south of Lahore. The local dialect of Lahore is the Majhi dialect of Punjabi, which has long been the basis of standard literary Punjabi. However, outside of Indo-Aryanist circles, the concept of "Lahnda" is still found in compilations of the world's languages (e.g., Ethnologue).
The historical inventory of names for the dialects now called Saraiki is a confusion of overlapping or conflicting ethnic, local, and regional designations. "Hindki/Sarhadi", "Hindko" and "Panjistani" (pothwari-dhanni-mirpuri-pahari) – which means merely "of North" – refer to various Saraiki and even non-Saraiki dialects in Punjab Province and farther north within the country, due to the fact they were applied by arrivals from Afghanistan or Persia. One historical name for Saraiki, Jaṭki, means "of the Jaṭṭs", a northern South Asian ethnic group; but Jaṭṭs speak the Indo-Aryan dialect of whatever region they live in. Only a small minority of Saraiki speakers are Jaṭṭs, and not all Saraiki speaking Jaṭṭs necessarily speak the same dialect of Saraiki. However, these people usually call their traditions as well as language as Jataki. Conversely, several Saraiki dialects have multiple names corresponding to different locales or demographic groups. When consulting sources before 2000, it is important to know that Pakistani administrative boundaries have been altered frequently. Provinces in Pakistan are divided into districts, and sources on "Saraiki" often describe the territory of a dialect or dialect group according to the districts. Since the founding of Pakistan in 1947, several of these districts have been subdivided, some multiple times. Until 2001, the territorial structure of Pakistan included a layer of divisions between a province and it's districts. The name dialect name "Ḍerawali" is used to refer to the local dialects of both Dera Ghazi Khan and Dera Ismail Khan, but "Ḍerawali" in the former is the Multani dialect and "Ḍerawali" in the latter is the Thaḷi dialect.:Appendix I:220-245:239ff The critical point in categorizing Saraiki is that many dialects traditionally considered as Saraiki are also claimed by Punjabi scholars. For instance, Multani and Derawali are dialects of Saraiki but the regions where these dialects are spoken are part of Punjab as there is no Saraiki speaking independent province. In the National Census of Pakistan (1981), Saraiki, Pahari-Potohari or "Modern Panjistani" and Hindko (Before categorized as "Western Punjabi") got the status of separate languages.
Geographic distribution 
Saraiki is a dialect of great antiquity in Pakistan. It served as lingua franca among the people living in the Indus Valley for centuries. It also remained the dialect of commerce and trade until recent times. Today, Millions of people from North Sindh, South Punjab,South Khyber Pukhtunkhwa and Easteren Baluchistan province speak Saraiki dialect.
The first national census of Pakistan to gather data on the prevalence of Saraiki was the census of 1981. In that year, the percentage of respondents nationwide reporting Saraiki as their mother tongue was 9.83. In the census of 1998, it was 10.53 out of a national population of 132 million, for a figure of 13.9 million Saraiki speakers resident in Pakistan. Also according to the 1998 census, 12.8 million of those, or 92%, lived in the Province of Punjab. Following is the distribution of Saraiki in the four provinces of Pakistan:
|Multan||Dadu||Dera Ismail Khan||Jafarabad|
|Dera Ghazi Khan||Jacobabad||Bannu||Jhal Magsi|
|Lodhran||Naushahro Feroze||Musa Khel (as second language)|
In Punjab Saraiki Dialect region is categorized as the combination of four sub-regions:
- Roh: means mountains, referred to the Sulaiman Mountains in Dera Ghazi Khan and Rajanpur districts.
- Rohi: Cholistan Desert in Bahawalpur and Rahim yar khan districts
- Thal: Thal Desert in Layyah, and Muzaffargarh districts
- Daamaan: meaning the foothills, referred to the foothills of Sulaiman Mountains in Dera Ismail Khan and Dera Ghazi Khan. It may also referred to the plain areas around Multan and Lodhran.
In Sindh the native dialect of North ten districts is Saraiki. In Balochistan the native dialect of Daroug and Rakni, Barkhan, Sibi, Naseerabad, Jafferabad and Jhal magsi is Saraiki. In Khyber Pakhtunkha the native dialect in DI khan, Tank and Lakki Marwat is Saraiki.
According to the Indian census of 2001, Saraiki is spoken in urban areas throughout northwest and north central India by a total of about 70,000 people, mainly by the descendants of migrants from western Punjab after the partition of India in 1947. Some of these speakers are settled in Andhra Pradesh who went and settled there before the partition because of their pastoral and nomadic way of life, and these are Muslims. Out of these total speakers of the language, 56,096 persons report their dialect as Mūltānī and by 11,873 individuals report their dialect as Bahāwalpurī. One dialects of Saraiki that is spoken by Indian Saraikis is Derawali, spoken by Derawals in Derawal Nagar, Delhi who migrated to India during the partition. Other dialects spoken by Indian Saraikis include Jafri, Saraiki Hindki, Thali, and Jatki. Saraiki is spoken in Faridabad, Ballabhgarh, Palwal, Rewari, Sirsa, Fatehabad, Hisar, Bhiwani, Panipat districts of Haryana, some area of Delhi and Ganganagar district,Hanumangarh and Bikaner districts of Rajasthan. It is spoken at low scale in Utrakhand and U.P.
Romani and Saraiki share some words and similar grammatical systems. The cause of the Romani diaspora is unknown. However, the most probable conclusion is that the Romanies were part of the military in Northern India. When there were repeated raids by Mahmud of Ghazni and these soldiers were defeated, they were moved west with their families into the Byzantine Empire. This would have occurred between AD 1000 and 1030.
In Afghanistan, Kandhari, a dialect of Multani Saraiki is a mother tongue of the Hindki. Before the influx of Pathans into the region, the most common spoken dialect in Kandahar was Saraiki, namely the Kandhari or Jataki dialect.
Outside South Asia 
Saraiki is also spoken in Iran. Many Saraiki migrants are in Middle East, Europe and America with smaller communities in Australia, South East Asia and China and Cuba. Saraiki is also spoken in Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. In United Kingdom Saraiki is also spoken by Migrants. In Canada, China, South Africa and usa saraiki is also spoken.
Saraiki and Sindhi both have somewhat similar consonant inventories. This inventory includes phonemically distinctive implosive consonants, which makes Sindhi and Saraiki unusual among the Indo-European languages (and not just among the Indo-Aryan languages).
Saraiki has three short vowels, seven long vowels and six nasal vowels.
|Voiceless||p pʰ||t̪ t̪ʰ||t tʰ||t͡ʃ t͡ʃʰ||k kʰ||ʔ|
|Voiced||b bʱ||d̪ d̪ʱ||d dʱ||d͡ʒ d͡ʒʱ||ɡ ɡʱ|
|Nasals||m mʱ||n nʱ||ɳ||ɲ||ŋ|
Writing system 
There are three writing systems for Saraiki, though very few Saraiki speakers—even those literate in other languages — are able to read or write Saraiki in any writing system. The most common Saraiki writing system today is the Persian script, which has also been adapted for use on computers. Saraiki has a 42-letter alphabet including 37 of the Urdu alphabet and five letters unique to Saraiki. The Saraiki keyboard can also be used for other languages such as Standard dialect of Punjabi & Kashmiri. The Devanagari and Gurmukhi scripts, written from left to right, were used by Sikhs and Hindus. Though not used in present-day Pakistan, there are still emigrant speakers in India who know the Devanagari or Gurmukhi scripts for Saraiki. Traders or bookkeepers wrote in a script known as Langdi, although use of this script has been significantly reduced in recent times. Likewise, a script related to the Landa scripts family, known as Multani, was previously used to write Saraiki.Preliminary Proposal to Encode the Multani Script in ISO/IEC 10646 is submitted by Anshuman Pandey, on 26-04-2011. Saraiki Unicode has been approved in 2006. The transliteration from and to Persian and Devanagari scripts for Saraiki language can be made online.
In the process of creating a distinct Saraiki written standard, activists have paid attention to creating a standard script and orthographic norms. Orthographic and linguistic standardization of Saraiki seems more connected with the politics of identity. Although Saraiki shares four implosive sounds with Sindhi, care was taken so that the Saraiki script and the representation of these symbols should be different from that of Sindhi so that the Sindhis should not lay any claims over Saraiki literature as theirs. Here is an example of Saraiki poetry by Khwaja Ghulam Farid:
اپڑیں ملک کوں آپ وسا توں ۔ پٹ انگریزی تھانے
Saraiki in academia 
Department of Saraiki, Islamia University, Bahawalpur was established in 1989 and Department of Saraiki, Bahauddin Zakariya University, Multan was established in 2006. Saraiki is taught as subject in schools and colleges at higher secondary, intermediate and degree level. Allama Iqbal open university Islamabad, and Al-Khair university Bhimbir have their Pakistani Linguistics Departments. They are offering M.Phil. and Ph.D in Saraiki.
Arts and literature 
Khawaja Ghulam Farid (1845–1901), his famous collection is Deewan-e-Farid, Sultan Bahu and Sachal Sar Mast (1739–1829) are the most celebrated Sufi poets in Saraiki and their poems known as Kafi are still famous.
- The beloved's intense glances call for blood
- The dark hair wildly flows The Kohl of the eyes is fiercely black
- And slays the lovers with no excuse
- My appearance in ruins, I sit and wait
- While the beloved has settled in Malheer I feel the sting of the cruel dart
- My heart the, abode of pain and grief A life of tears, I have led Farid
- -one of Khwaja Ghulam Farid's poems (translated)
Shakir Shujabadi (Kalam-e-Shakir, Khuda Janey, Shakir Diyan Ghazlan, Peelay Patr, Munafqan Tu Khuda Bachaway, Shakir De Dohray are his famous books) is very well recognized modern poet.
Famous singers who performed in Saraiki include Attaullah Khan Essa Khailwi, Pathanay Khan, Abida Parveen, Ustad Muhammad Juman, Mansoor Malangi, Talib Hussain Dard, Kamal Mahsud, and The Sketches (band). Many modern Pakistan Singers like Hadiqa Kiyani and Ali Zafar have also sung Saraiki folk songs.
Saraiki media 
Television channels 
Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani on Monday said southern Punjab is rich in cultural heritage which needs to be promoted for next generations. In a message on the launch of Saraiki channel by Pakistan Television (PTV) in Multan, Prime Minister Gilani said the step would help promote the rich heritage of ‘Saraiki Belt’.
|TV Channel||Genre||Founded||Official Website|
|Waseb TV (وسیب)||Entertainment||http://www.waseb.tv/|
|Kook TV (کوک)|
|Rohi TV (روہی)||Entertainment||http://www.rohi.tv/|
|PTV MULTAN (پی ٹی وی ملتان)||Entertainment||http://ptv.com.pk/ (presents programmes in Saraiki)|
|PTV National (پی ٹی وی نیشنل)||Entertainment||http://ptv.com.pk/ (presents programmes in Saraiki along with other regional languages)|
These are not dedicated Saraiki channels but play most programmes in Saraiki.
|Radio Channel||Genre||Founded||Official Website|
|Radio Pakistan AM1035 Multan||Entertainment||http://www.radio.gov.pk/|
|Radio Pakistan AM1341 Bahawalpur||Entertainment||http://www.radio.gov.pk/|
|Radio Pakistan AM1400 Dera ismaeel khan||Entertainment||http://www.radio.gov.pk/|
|Jhok (جھوک)||Multan, Khanpur, Dera Ismail khan, Karachi|
|Al-Manzoor (المنظور)||Taunsa Sharif||http://almanzoor.blogspot.com/|
See also 
- Saraiki culture
- Sauvira Kingdom
- Bahawalpur (princely state)
- Indus Valley Civilization
- Derajat, comprising Dera Ghazi Khan and Dera Ismail Khan
- Sulaiman Mountains
- Christopher Shackle, Yuri Andreyevich Smirnov and George Abraham Grierson are Westerners who did research on Saraiki language.
- This article incorporates text from The cyclopædia of India and of Eastern and Southern Asia: commercial, industrial and scientific, products of the mineral, vegetable, and animal kingdoms, useful arts and manufactures, Volume 2, by Edward Balfour, a publication from 1885 now in the public domain in the United States.
- "Abstract of speakers’ strength of languages and mother tongues – 2001". Retrieved 8 April 2012.
- "Siraiki and Kandhari (Multani)". Afghan Hindu. Retrieved 2007-12-08.
- Nationalencyklopedin "Världens 100 största språk 2007" The World's 100 Largest Languages in 2007
- "Pakistan/India/Afghanistan: Multani language; extent to which it is used by Hindus in Afghanistan". Retrieved 8 April 2012. "Hindus have always lived in Afghanistan. That's one reason why they call themselves Kandharis and not Multanis and Seraikies. Some of the old temples in the area also point to this theory. The word Kandh in Seraiki means wall. Kandahar used to have many walls. The Hilmand river flowing in that area was labelled "Rud-e-hind-wa-sind" by Arabic manuscripts. Before the influx of Pashtoons the inhabitants of Kandahar spoke Seraiki. The Pashtoons labelled their language "Jataki". The language spoken by Afghan Hindus in Kandahar known as Kandhari is probably "Jataki"."
- Bailey, Rev. T. Grahame. 1904. Panjabi Grammar. Lahore: Punjab Government Press.
- Rahman, Tariq. 1997. Language and Ethnicity in Pakistan. Asian Survey, 1997 Sep., 37(9):833-839.
- Shackle, C. 1977. Saraiki: A Language Movement in Pakistan. Modern Asian Studies, 11(3):379-403.
- Javaid, Umbreen. 2004. Saraiki political movement: its impact in south Punjab. Journal of Research (Humanities), 40(2): 55–65. Lahore: Faculty of Arts and Humanities, University of the Punjab. (This PDF contains multiple articles from the same issue.)
- Dulai, Narinder K. 1989. A Pedagogical Grammar of Punjabi. Patiala: Indian Institute of Language Studies.
- Gill, Harjeet Singh Gill and Henry A. Gleason, Jr: A Reference Grammar of Punjabi: Patiala University Press
- Koul, Omkar N. and Madhu Bala :Punjabi Language and Linguistics: An Annotated Bibliography: New Delhi: Indian Institute of Language Studies
- Malik, Amar Nath, Afzal Ahmed Cheema : 1995 : The Phonology and Morphology of Panjabi: New Delhi: Munshiram Manoharlal Publishers
- Itagi, N. H. (1994). Spatial Aspects of Language. Central Institute of Indian Languages. p. 70. ISBN 81-7342-009-2.
- A.H. Dani, Sindhu-Sauvira: A glimpse into the early history of Sind In Hameeda Khusro (ed), Sind Through The Centuries (Karachi: Oxford University Press, 1981) pp. 35-42
- Department of Saraiki, IUB
- Department of Saraiki, BZU
- Department of Pakistani languages, AIOU
- District Government, Bahawalpur
- District Government, Multan
- Population by Mother Tongue, Website of the Population Census organization of Pakistan
- Saraiki News Bulletins, Website of Pakistan Broadcasting Corporation
- Masica, Colin. 1991. The Indo-Aryan languages. Cambridge University Press.
- Grierson, George A. 1919. Linguistic survey of India. vol. VIII, Part 1. Calcutta. Reprinted 1968 by Motilal Banarsidass, Delhi.
- Pakistan census 1998
- "Kahan se aa gai (کہاں سے کہاں آ گئے)". Retrieved 8 April 2012.
- "Colonies, posh and model in name only!". NCR Tribune. Retrieved 2007-12-16.
- "Seraiki". Ethnologue. Retrieved 2007-07-14. "Jafri, Siraiki Hindki, Thali, Jatki, Bahawalpuri (Bhawalpuri, Riasati, Reasati)."
- "Pakistan/India/Afghanistan: Multani language; extent to which it is used by Hindus in Afghanistan". Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada / UNHCR. Retrieved 28 July 2012. "Before the influx of Pashtoons the inhabitants of Kandahar spoke Seraiki. The Pashtoons labelled their language "Jataki". The language spoken by Afghan Hindus in Kandahar known as Kandhari is probably "Jataki"."
- "Multani poets relive memories of struggle". Indian Express. Retrieved 2007-12-08.
- Balfour, Edward. 1885. The cyclopædia of India and of Eastern and Southern Asia: commercial, industrial and scientific, products of the mineral, vegetable, and animal kingdoms, useful arts and manufactures. Volume 3; Entry on "Multani Writing". London: B. Quaritch. Pp. 1095. Google Books view
- Preliminary Proposal to Encode the Multani Script in ISO/IEC 10646
- Saraiki Online Transliteration
Further reading 
- Wagha, Ahsan (1990). The Saraiki Language: Its Growth and Development. Islamabad: Dderawar Publications.
- Saraiki dialect at Ethnologue (16th ed., 2009)
- Gardezi, Hassan N. (1996). Saraiki Language and its poetics: An Introduction. London: Sangat Publishers.
- Latif, Amna. Phonemic Inventory of Saraiki Language and Acoustic Analysis of Voiced Implosives (PDF). Center for Research in Urdu Language Processing, CRULP Annual Student Report, 2002-2003.
- Rahman, Tariq. 1999. Language, education, and culture. Islamabad : Sustainable Development Policy Institute ; Karachi : Oxford University Press.
- Rahman, Tariq. No date. People and Languages in the Pre-Islamic Indus Valley. Hosted by the Asian Studies Network Information Center, University of Texas.
- Saraiki Alphabet with Gurmukhi equivalents
|Saraiki dialect test of Wikipedia at Wikimedia Incubator|
- Asif, Saiqa Imtiaz. 2005. Saraiki Language and Ethnic Identity Journal of Research (Faculty of Languages and Islamic Studies), 7: 9-17. Multan (Pakistan): Bahauddin Zakariya University.
- HEC, Islamabad Pakistan.Letter No. 20-/R7D/09 -5243 Dated 20-01-2010.
- Shackle, C. 1976. The Saraiki language of central Pakistan: a reference grammar. London:School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS).
- DailySaraiki.com The Voice of Saraiki,Online Newspaper of Saraiki
- Download Saraiki font and keyboard layout for Windows