Pahari Languages

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Pahari Languages

Postby Meera » 2014-04-22, 17:52

Hey everyone! So today I was reading about the Pahari languages in my Hindi reader. It got me interested in them a little but and I was surprised to learn that Nepali is considered a Pahari language (according to this article anyway). Pahari comes from the Hindi/Urdu Pahar, which means mountain, the Pahari languages refer to the languages that are spoken in the low ranges of the Himalayas, so basically it goes through Nepal, Uttarkhand, Himachal Pradesh and Kashmir. These languages are categorized by Eastern, Central and Western. Nepali falls in the eastern category and Himchali (Dogri-Kangri) falls in the Western Category. The article I read says that it is disputed if Himachali is considered a Hindi/Urdu dialect or not. Another interesting fact is that life Punjabi, some Western Pahari languages are even tonal!

Anyway I thought it was interesting and wanted to share these here. I'm not sure how accurate any of this is because I'm not sure how dated the article is, but still I thought it was interesting and wanted to share. I was debating if I should put them in the SA language section or the Hindi/Urdu one, I guess since it's disputed I will put it here in the South Asian languages sections.
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Re: Pahari Languages

Postby Meera » 2014-04-22, 17:55

I wanted to hear what they sounded like so I looked for some songs. For some reason they remind me of Pashto songs.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3KL1b3WaQSA

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W0rK3NGRMf8
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Re: Pahari Languages

Postby TeneReef » 2014-04-22, 18:32

Pahari is Kangna's native language. :mrgreen:
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Re: Pahari Languages

Postby mōdgethanc » 2014-04-22, 18:58

Meera wrote:Hey everyone! So today I was reading about the Pahari languages in my Hindi reader. It got me interested in them a little but and I was surprised to learn that Nepali is considered a Pahari language (according to this article anyway). Pahari comes from the Hindi/Urdu Pahar, which means mountain, the Pahari languages refer to the languages that are spoken in the low ranges of the Himalayas, so basically it goes through Nepal, Uttarkhand, Himachal Pradesh and Kashmir. These languages are categorized by Eastern, Central and Western. Nepali falls in the eastern category and Himchali (Dogri-Kangri) falls in the Western Category. The article I read says that it is disputed if Himachali is considered a Hindi/Urdu dialect or not. Another interesting fact is that life Punjabi, some Western Pahari languages are even tonal!

Anyway I thought it was interesting and wanted to share these here. I'm not sure how accurate any of this is because I'm not sure how dated the article is, but still I thought it was interesting and wanted to share. I was debating if I should put them in the SA language section or the Hindi/Urdu one, I guess since it's disputed I will put it here in the South Asian languages sections.
Dogri is an official language of India and it is tonal, so I don't think it would be considered a dialect of Hindi. If anything it would be a dialect of Panjabi, but it's not really that close to either as far as I can tell. Cool language.

I've also heard some eastern Indic languages (same family as Bengali) are tonal due to influence from the Sino-Tibetan family.

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Re: Pahari Languages

Postby Meera » 2014-04-22, 22:59

Yeah I am not saying it's a dialect, the article said it was disputed but I would definitely consider it a different language. I think Rajasthani is an official language of India too and maybe Bihari, but some Hindi speakers still argue if it's Hindi or not :P
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Re: Pahari Languages

Postby Meera » 2014-04-22, 23:04

TeneReef wrote:Pahari is Kangna's native language. :mrgreen:


Yes I know :mrgreen: She's the only Himachali actress I can think of. Preity Zinta was born in Shimla but I think she is Punjabi. :P
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Re: Pahari Languages

Postby vijayjohn » 2014-05-24, 4:42

If you don't mind me commenting here, I'm at least vaguely familiar with these languages because I've worked on Romani before and these languages are relevant for the history of Romani.

Meera wrote:Another interesting fact is that life Punjabi, some Western Pahari languages are even tonal!

Yeah, my understanding is that at least some of the Western Pahari languages are in close contact with Punjabi, so that probably has something to do with it. In fact, it's not entirely clear where exactly the boundary between the Western Pahari languages and Punjabi lies, so whether a particular language is a "Western Pahari language" or a "dialect of Punjabi" or whatever is a matter of debate.

I was debating if I should put them in the SA language section or the Hindi/Urdu one, I guess since it's disputed I will put it here in the South Asian languages sections.

Good thinking. I definitely agree with putting it here. I doubt any of the Pahari languages really are similar enough to Hindi/Urdu to warrant it being put in that forum, TBH.

I think Rajasthani is an official language of India too and maybe Bihari, but some Hindi speakers still argue if it's Hindi or not :P

Neither of them is; in fact, Bihari is a group of languages (including Bhojpuri), not just one, and Rajasthani arguably is, too. The only officially recognized languages in either Rajasthan or Bihar are Hindi and Urdu, and the census figures for "Hindi" seem to include speakers of all Rajasthani varieties as well as Bhojpuri and a number of other varieties that happen to be spoken in the Hindi belt.

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Re: Pahari Languages

Postby Meera » 2014-05-24, 22:00

vijayjohn wrote:
I think Rajasthani is an official language of India too and maybe Bihari, but some Hindi speakers still argue if it's Hindi or not :P

Neither of them is; in fact, Bihari is a group of languages (including Bhojpuri), not just one, and Rajasthani arguably is, too. The only officially recognized languages in either Rajasthan or Bihar are Hindi and Urdu, and the census figures for "Hindi" seem to include speakers of all Rajasthani varieties as well as Bhojpuri and a number of other varieties that happen to be spoken in the Hindi belt.


Yeah I know they aren't Hindi. But you'd be surprised, I have gotten in heated arguments with Hindi speakers claiming they are Hindi! I'm actually surprised at how controversial it is.
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Re: Pahari Languages

Postby vijayjohn » 2014-05-25, 0:26

Meera wrote:Yeah I know they aren't Hindi. But you'd be surprised, I have gotten in heated arguments with Hindi speakers claiming they are Hindi! I'm actually surprised at how controversial it is.

Oh, sorry, I phrased that pretty poorly. I meant to say they're not official. But yeah, I've seen North Indians assume that all Indians spoke Hindi, too. And there's the whole prestige thing, you know, Hindi being more prestigious than anything else that's spoken in the Hindi belt. You probably know what I'm talking about. :lol:

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Re: Pahari Languages

Postby Meera » 2014-05-28, 17:11

vijayjohn wrote:
Meera wrote:Yeah I know they aren't Hindi. But you'd be surprised, I have gotten in heated arguments with Hindi speakers claiming they are Hindi! I'm actually surprised at how controversial it is.

Oh, sorry, I phrased that pretty poorly. I meant to say they're not official. But yeah, I've seen North Indians assume that all Indians spoke Hindi, too. And there's the whole prestige thing, you know, Hindi being more prestigious than anything else that's spoken in the Hindi belt. You probably know what I'm talking about. :lol:


Yeah exactly. I don't think the problem is just in India either. I have a Pakistani friend who's family speaks Punjabi every time I was with her, she'd speak to her family on the phone in Punjabi but she always claims it's Urdu and would constantly lecture me on how Urdu and Punjabi were the same language. But on the other hand one of my Tamil Indian friends told me Nepali, Bengali and Gujarati were all DIALECTS of Hindi :shock:
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Re: Pahari Languages

Postby Meera » 2014-06-11, 18:02

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Re: Pahari Languages

Postby Meera » 2014-06-11, 18:14

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Re: Pahari Languages

Postby vijayjohn » 2014-07-27, 2:54

There are a couple of songs in one or two Pahari languages that I posted on the songs thread sometime last year. See the first two posts here. :)

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Re: Pahari Languages

Postby Meera » 2014-07-27, 17:00

Awesome Vijay! Thanks.
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Re: Pahari Languages

Postby vijayjohn » 2014-07-28, 23:44

No problem! :)

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Re: Pahari Languages

Postby Saim » 2015-01-02, 9:37

Vijay, is Potohari seen as a "Western Pahari" language? It's quite similar to Punjabi and some sources group it with Hindko and Seraiki, but its speakers in Pakistani-administered Kashmir call it "Pahari".

Meera wrote:
I have a Pakistani friend who's family speaks Punjabi every time I was with her, she'd speak to her family on the phone in Punjabi but she always claims it's Urdu and would constantly lecture me on how Urdu and Punjabi were the same language.


Normally they just abandon the language and don't bother with the farce. :lol:

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Re: Pahari Languages

Postby Meera » 2015-01-05, 1:24

Saim wrote:
Meera wrote:
I have a Pakistani friend who's family speaks Punjabi every time I was with her, she'd speak to her family on the phone in Punjabi but she always claims it's Urdu and would constantly lecture me on how Urdu and Punjabi were the same language.


Normally they just abandon the language and don't bother with the farce. :lol:


I know it's so sad how Punjabi is declining in Pakistan. I guess it is in India too but it seems much more dire in Pakistan.
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Re: Pahari Languages

Postby vijayjohn » 2015-01-23, 23:35

Saim wrote:Vijay, is Potohari seen as a "Western Pahari" language?

No, everything i can find on it so far seems to suggest/say it's a variety of Western Punjabi.

These are two songs in what I'm pretty sure are Pahari languages; as usual, though, I don't know which exact languages they're in (maybe they're both in Garhwali). One is dedicated to the Tons River valley and is called ओ गजू भेड़ाड लो:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jqyA9167mIY

The other is from the same general region, it seems (Jaunsar-Bawar) and is called गोरु ऐ तोपे धारा लाया बाखिरे:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6gV6DCtOyu8

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Re: Pahari Languages

Postby Meera » 2015-02-05, 4:51

It sounds so cool. I love the music from this region.
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Re: Pahari Languages

Postby allenshrestha » 2015-10-02, 10:18

Nepali language and Indian states of Himachal and Uttarakhand are same but little bit of different. If you compare the western Nepal speaking with India's Pahari language it is similar. However, if you move towards east of Nepal it is more standardized and different.
So it goes like this, in a way it is all Pahari language (in Nepal we call it Khas language) spoken in Himachal, Uttarakhand, Nepal and Sikkim. But it changes gradually from west (Himachal) to east (Sikkim).


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