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Sindhi

Sindhi- is the language of the Sindh region of South Asia, which is now a province of Pakistan. It is an Indo-Aryan language spoken by approximately 35 million people in Pakistan, and 8 million in India; it is the third most spoken language of Pakistan, a recognized official language in Pakistan and also an official language in India. Govt. of Pakistan issues National Identity Cards to its citizens only in two languages, i.e. Sindhi and Urdu. Although the language is predominantly Indo-Aryan, it also shows signs of Dravidian influence. Most Sindhi speakers in Pakistan are concentrated in the Sindh province. The remaining speakers are found in India and amongst the Sindhi diaspora community which are scattered throughout the world. The Sindhi language has spread as the Hindu Sindhis left Sindh during the partition of British India in 1947. The language was once written in Devanagari; however, with the mediation of the British East India Company, a modified Arabic script was produced. After the partition, the Government of India introduced Devanagari, alongside the modified Arabic, for writing Sindhi.

Sindhi is taught as a first language in the schools of south-east Pakistan. In India, especially in the State of Maharashtra, many educational institutions managed by Sindhi community and in the schools of such society Sindhi is taught either as the medium of instruction or as a subject . Sindhi has a vast vocabulary; this has made it a favourite of many writers and consequently much literature and poetry have been written in Sindhi. Dialects of Sindhi are spoken in southern Punjab, Balochistan, Northwest province of Pakistan (NWFP), and also Gujarat as well as Rajasthan in India.

Arab and Persian travellers, specifically Abu-Rayhan Biruni in his book 'Mal al-Hind', had declared that even before the advent of Islam in Sindh (711 A.D.), the language was prevalent in the region. It was not only widely spoken but written in different scripts. Biruni has described many Sindhi words leading to the conclusion that the Sindhi language was widely spoken and rich in vocabulary in his time.

The Qur'an was first translated into Sindhi in rhymatic format. This was the first ever translation of Qur'an in the 12th century or earlier.

Sindhi was a very popular literary language between the 14th and 18th centuries. This is when sufis such as Shah Abdul Latif (as well as numerous others) narrated their theosophical poetry depicting the relationship between humans and God.

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