The Sindhi language is spoken by over 53 million people inside Pakistan alone. Originally derived from Sanskrit, it is the official language of the province of Sindh in Pakistan.
History and influences
The province of Sindh saw many invaders and merchants come and go which diversified the already rich and poetic language. Sindhi is said to have an ancient Sanskrit base, but has also absorbed some Arabic and Persian as well as Brahui from the province of Balochistan to the west of Sindh.
Sindhi is an old tongue. Arab travelers remarked that the Sindhi language was very prevalent in the Indus Valley region even before Islam had come to ancient India. Sindhi is also a literary language. During old times Sindhi was written in 3 separate and elaborate sets of alphabets.
The closest resemblance to true Sindhi can be found to be spoken by the people of Interior Sindh. Currently, the most common way of writing Sindhi is a derivation of Persian script (which, in turn, was derived from Arabic script).
There is a varying degree of differences in dialects across the province of Sindh. Areas of Sindh absorbed accents and pronunciation as well as whole words from other languages which are spoken in the surrounding provinces of Pakistan, which resulted in different dialects being created. For example, Sindhi Seriaki is largely influenced by the Seraiki speaking areas of Punjab which is to the north of Sindh.
There are a number of different scripts that Sindhi can be written in. The most common is the Sindhi-Arabic script, which will be covered here.
The 52 letters of the Sindhi alphabet are below. Note, these do not include all the writing characters; such as hamza.