T Nation

Learning Punjabi


I have been entertaining the idea of learning Punjabi through audio CDs and was wondering, in the far off chance, if anyone had done this and had any success.

I would also like input from anyone who has tried to learn a language this way and if so what course/company you went with (whatever language you were trying), there seems to be so much offered that its hard to make a decision and i'm sure that some are much better than others.

I spend so much time driving that I figure I might as well do something productive with my time.


I have not learned another language in this manner but I have to ask why Punjabi? Hindi is a lot more widely spoken, and a lot of people who speak Punjabi also speak Hindi.


if ur living in B.C, you may as well just take punjabi classes, I think they offer them at local community colleges. I have a friend who lives there, who says theres more indians there than any other place in canada


You're going to get out of it what you put into it.
Someone else's experience is irrelevant.
As far as language learning, I would suggest that you find out the 200 most commonly used words and sear them into your brain.
Then find some other students to practice with.
If that is not possible, find an online community.
Practice listening as much as you can.


I am fairly fluent in Mandarin Chinese and have never been to China or Taiwan. I can offer somewhat relevant advice.

  1. Rosetta Stone will not get you to your goal.
  2. Pimsleur is a little better, but the Mandarin course(I dunno about the others), after about lesson 12 or so, quickly deteriorates into how to pick up women and take them to your hotel room. So if that's what you're after, go with it.
  3. I would suggest spending your money on a tutor instead. You should be able to find a foreign student who would be happy to make some easy money on the side, AND can teach you current, practical skills in their mother tongue.

This is what my wife and I did and although it took about 3-4 years before we were comfortable striking up a conversation with a random Chinese person, we made a lifelong friend in the process and have a solid foundation on which to build on our own.

Hope that helps.


Oops... I thought this was a thread about punani.

My bad.


You could date a brown chick, get her to teach you while you do the CD/Book learning.... at least that's what I'm doing.

Or you could look around for some classes available.

Why you wanna learn anyways? You live in Surrey?


I don't live in Surrey, I live in Langley. I do spend a lot of time though in Surrey/Van/Richmond with school and work.

To those suggesting classes - I realize that CDs can only get me so far but the whole point of this was to do something productive WHILE DRIVING. I definitely don't have time to take classes as I already am taking 5 classes along with working 24 hrs week.... I could though easily practice at school(Surrey) as about 70% of my class is brown...

Why Punjabi ? Well, I'm a business student and I have always thought that it would be cool to learn another language that would actually be useful. I learnt French as a child but I've come to the realization that it's practically useless: everyone who speaks french speaks English, there is way more people speaking Punjabi in B.C than French, I don't really like french culture, it seems less applicable from a "business perspective" etc. Here in Vancouver it's not uncommon to see job postings that advertise that Punjabi is required. Punjabi is the forth most widely spoken language in Canada ( English, French, Mandarin).

Why not Mandarin? I wont lie, I thought about it for a while... but... I don't find Asian girls really that attractive, one the other hand, brown girls... F$ck me. That was the deal breaker for me. I have also heard that Mandarin is very difficult to learn.

Any more advice? The thought of trying to learn a tonal language seems VERY daunting....

How hard is it?



I would love to date a brown girl. How hard are you finding it to learn ?


Learning a tonal language is very hard if you don't have someone teaching you.
You might end up mastering your own mistakes in pronunciation.
Definitely find someone to help you lay the foundation in the beginning as far as pronunciation is concerned.


Smart man.

I'm from Abbotsford and worked contracting for a few years before going back to school. Many of the customers I dealt with spoke punjabi and the language barrier was often an issue. I wish I had even a modicum of knowledge of the language because my job would have been so much easier. Making connections within the community was great because it led to alot of business further down the road. Btw, are you going to SFU?

Oh and French was and is useless in BC. Unfortunately, my highschool did't offer Punjabi classes until AFTER I graduated.


It's not too difficult to learn the spoken portion of it. You just need to practice as much as possible. If you were able to learn French, you should do fine. I haven't bothered with the written portion yet. I just want to know how to hold a basic convo.

I'd recommend learning the basics (sentence structure, conjugations, etc.) from CD/Book and put it to use speaking to friends who speak it. Speaking it is the quickest way to learn it.

A plus side is that the ladies tend to melt like butter when they see you putting effort into learning the language.