Sindhi ( ; Sindhi: , ) is an Indo-Aryan language
of the historical Sindh
region in the western part of the Indian subcontinent
, spoken by the Sindhi people
. It is the official language of the Pakistan
i province of Sindh
, Sindhi is one of the scheduled languages
officially recognized by the central government, though Sindhi is not an official language of any of the states in India. According to the preliminary results of Pakistan's 2017 census, Sindhi is the first language of 30.26 million people, or 14.57% of the country's population. In India, it was the first language of 1.68 million as of the 2011 census.
Status and use
The Indian Government has legislated Sindhi as a language of option and a medium of study in India, so that students can choose to learn Sindhi. Sindhi is an optional third language in the Indian states of Rajasthan
and Madhya Pradesh
Prior to the inception of Pakistan, Sindhi was the national language of Sindh.
Pakistan Sindh Assemble has ordered compulsory teaching of Sindhi language in all private schools of Sindh. According to the Sindh Private Educational Institutions Form B (Regulations and Control) 2005 Rules, "All educational institutions are required to teach children the Sindhi language. Sindh Education and Literacy Minister, Syed Sardar Ali Shah
and Secretary School Education, Qazi Shahid Pervaiz has ordered to employ Sindhi teachers in all private schools in Sindh, so that this language can be easily and widely taught. Sindhi is taught in all province private schools that follow the Matric system and not the ones that follow the Cambridge system.
There are many Sindhi language television channels broadcasting in Pakistan such as Time News, KTN, Sindh TV
, Awaz Television Network
, Mehran TV and Dharti TV
. Besides this, the Indian television network Doordarshan
has been asked by the Indian High Court
to start a news channel for Sindhi speakers in India.
The name "Sindhi" is derived from ''Sindhu'', the original name of the Indus River
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. 20th century Western scholars such as George Grierson
believed that Sindhi descended specifically from the Vrācaḍa dialect of Apabhramsha (described by Markandeya
as being spoken in ''Sindhu-deśa'') but later work has shown this to be unlikely. It entered the New Indo-Aryan stage around the 10th century CE.
According to 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) and first published in Gujarat
in 1870. The first to appear in print was by Muhammad Siddiq (Lahore 1867).
When Sindh was occupied by British army
and was annexed with Bombay
, governor of the province Sir George Clerk ordered to make Sindhi the official language in the province in 1848. Sir Bartle Frere, the then commissioner of Sindh, issued orders on August 29, 1857 advising civil servants in Sindh to qualify examination in Sindhi. He also ordered Sindhi to be used in all official communication. Seven-grade education system commonly known as Sindhi-Final was introduced in Sindh. Sindhi Final was made a prerequisite for employment in revenue, police and education departments.
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 Law
s were imposed by the British authorities.
Sindhi has a relatively large inventory of both consonants and vowels compared to other languages. Sindhi has 46 consonant phoneme
s and 16 vowel
s. The consonant to vowel ratio is around average for world's languages at 2.8. All plosive
, the retroflex flap
and the lateral approximant
/l/ have aspirated
or breathy voice
d counterparts. The language also features four implosive
The retroflex consonants are apical postalveolar
and do not involve curling back of the tip of the tongue, so they could be transcribed in phonetic transcription. The affricates are laminal post-alveolars with a relatively short release. It is not clear if is similar, or truly palatal. is realized as labiovelar or labiodental in free variation, but is not common, except before a stop.
The vowels are modal length and short . (Note are imprecisely transcribed as in the chart.) Consonants following short vowels are lengthened: 'leaf' vs. 'worn'.
Sindhi has borrowed from English and Hindustani
. Today, Sindhi in Pakistan is slightly influenced by Urdu
, with more borrowed Perso-Arabic elements, while Sindhi in India is influenced by Hindi, with more borrowed tatsam
The dialects of Sindhi include Siroli, Vicholi, Lari, Lasi, Kathiawari Kachhi, Thari or Thareli, Macharia, Dukslinu and Muslim Sindhi. The "Siroli or Siraiki" dialect in northern Sindh is distinct from the Saraiki language
of South Punjab and has variously been treated either as a dialect of it, or as a dialect of Sindhi. The Sindhi dialects previously known as "Siraiki" are nowadays more commonly referred to as "Siroli".
Written Sindhi is mentioned in the 8th century, when references to a Sindhi version of the Mahabharata
appear. However, the earliest attested records in Sindhi are from the 15th century.
Before the standardisation of Sindhi orthography, numerous forms of Devanagari
and Lunda (Laṇḍā)
scripts were used for trading. For literary and religious purposes, a Perso-Arabic script
developed by Abul-Hasan as-Sindi
(a subset of Laṇḍā) were used. Another two scripts, ''Khudabadi
'' and ''Shikarpuri'', were reforms of the Landa script. During British rule in the late 19th century, the Perso-Arabic script was decreed standard over Devanagari.
Medieval Sindhi devotional literature (1500–1843) comprises Sufi poetry and Advaita Vedanta poetry. Sindhi literature 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 Urdu, while those from the latter were highly influenced by Hindi.
-based scripts, such as Gurmukhi
and the Khudabadi script
were used historically to write Sindhi.
The Khudabadi alphabet
was invented in 1550 CE, and was used alongside other scripts by the Hindu community until the colonial era, where the sole usage of the Arabic script for official purposes was legislated.
The script continued to be used in a smaller scale by the trader community until the Partition of India
was employed primarily to record Muslim Shia Ismaili religious literature, as well as literature for a few secret Shia Muslim sects.
script was also used to write Sindhi, mainly in the North of Sindh, and also by Hindu women.
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 (
) for sounds particular to Sindhi and other Indo-Aryan languages. Some letters that are distinguished in Arabic or Persian are homophones in Sindhi.
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 scrip Diacritic
al bars below the letter are used to mark implosive consonants, and dots
'' are used to form other additional consonants.
The Gujarati script
is used to write the Kutchi Language
The Sindhi-Roman script or Roman-Sindhi script is the contemporary Sindhi script usually used by the Sindhis during texting messages on their mobile phones.
Sindhi language software such as Sindhi language keyboards have been developed for the Windows OS
, Android smartphones
. Various other online websites provide Sindhi keyboard such as (Keymanweb.org), M.B Sindhi keyboard by Abdul Razaque
& Abdul-Majid Bhurgri
. Software has also been developed for the transliteration between the main writing systems. transliteration website
also exists on the internet that can transliterate between different scripts of Sindhi language (including the newly proposed Latin Script
) and thwebsite's source code
is openly available on GitHub for anyone to view and use anywhere.
* 1972 Sindhi Language Bill
* Institute of Sindhology
* Languages of India
* Languages of Pakistan
* Languages with official status in India
* List of Sindhi-language films
* Provincial languages of Pakistan
* Sindhi literature
* Sindhi poetry
Sindhi Language AuthoritySindhi Dictionary
Wals.infoSindhi computing resources at world's first Sindhi website by Majid Bhurgri (Arabic script)Sindhi computing resources at TDIL (Arabic script)Sindhi computing resources at TDIL (Devanagari script)Mewaram's 1910 Sindhi-English dictionary
Category:Northwestern Indo-Aryan languages
Category:Languages of Sindh
Category:Official languages of India
Category:Languages of Gujarat
Category:Languages of Rajasthan
Category:Languages of Maharashtra