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Re: Sangam: Gurmukhi to Shahmukhi(Urdu) transliteration software
Posted by Manjit_Ss Send Email to Author on Tuesday, 6/27/2006 1:16 PM MDT


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I would guess that, now the Sikh living in Pakistan may be the only ones who study Punjabi in Shahmukhi. However, quite a few living in India learn Shahmukhi to read the works of Pakistan Punjabi writers. At the M.A level studies in Punjabi students are often encouraged to learn Shahmukhi script (it is not compulsory, though)
Punjabi is also spoken in Pakistan Punjab. Though, writing Punjabi literature has been in decline in Pakistan. Most of the writers from Pakistan Punjab write Urdu literature, but recently there has been sort of revival of Punjabi literature in Pakistan (As was the case in the past there are very very good writers of Punjabi). But all of them write in Shahmukhi script (the same script as used for Urdu). Only a few, if at all there are any, can read or write Gurmukhi script.

On the other hand, in Indian Punjab almost all writers of Punjabi literature write in Gurmukhi script and are published in that script. There are some older writers who finished their schooling before the Partition, making hand written manuscripts in Shahmukhi, which are then transcribed in Gurmukhi script. However they all can read Gurmukhi script.

Problem has been that Punjabis in Pakistan cannot read the works published in Indian Punjab. They come to know of only that which is read to them. Same is true for Punjabis on Indian side who want to read the works of Pakistan Punjab.

To overcome this barrier, a few years ago the writers from both sides sponsored the project of developing a software that would transliterate from Gurmukhi to Shahmukhi script. The Punjabi University, Patiala took the leading role in developing that software. The folks at the Punjabi University should be commended for that.


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