SOAS University of London

South Asia Department

Punjabi Language 1

Module Code:
Unit value:
Taught in:
Full Year
The course will offer a thorough grounding in the Punjabi language, and will include: reading and writing of the Gurmukhi script; phonology; basic grammar and vocabulary; all main tenses and grammatical construction. Instruction in the language will also be a vehicle for introducing further aspects of Punjabi culture. The knowledge acquired will enable students to encounter this culture at first hand, and to form well-grounded perceptions about an important region of South Asian. At the end of the course students should be able to communicate with some accuracy through the spoken and written language. They will also find their analytical skills sharpened through the analysis of language and linguistic structure.


Not open to students with a prior knowledge of spoken or written Punjabi.

This course is only available to final-year undergraduate students with the permission of the Associate Dean for Learning and Teaching.

Objectives and learning outcomes of the module

At the end of the course, a student should be able to demonstrate…

  1. knowledge and understanding of basic Punjabi grammar
  2. knowledge and understanding of essential Punjabi vocabulary
  3. knowledge and understanding of the appropriateness of basic Punjabi structures and expressions in a given context
  4. the ability to understand short passages in written Punjabi on everyday topics
  5. the ability to produce short passages in written Punjabi on everyday topics
  6. the ability to understand spoken Punjabi and to engage in short spoken discourse on everyday topics


Total of 22 weeks teaching with 4 hours classroom contact per week (normally scheduled in the evenings).

Method of assessment

One three-hour written exam (60%) and one oral exam (20%) taken in May/June. Two one-hour written tests in week 2 of Term 2 and the week after Reading Week in Term 2, counting for 10% each. These tests will be on vocabulary acquisition, comprehension or specific language structures and will be agreed in class beforehand. 20% of total mark (10% each).

Suggested reading

  • Surjit Singh Kalra, Navtej Kaur Purewal and Sue Tyson-Ward, Teaching Yourself Panjabi (London: Hodder and Stoughton, 1999).
  • Mangat Rai Bhardwaj, Colloquial Panjabi: a complete language course (London: Routledge, 1995).
  • SS Joshi and MS Gill, eds., Panjabi-English dictionary (Patiala: Punjabi University, 1994).
  • Gurcharan Singh, Saran Singh and Ravinder Kaur, eds., Punjabi-English dictionary (Amritsar: Singh Brothers, 1992).
  • Gurcharan Singh and Narinder Singh Kapur, eds., English-Punjabi dictionary (Patiala: Punjabi University, 1986).


Important notice regarding changes to programmes and modules