Punjabi Language Classes

Learn Punjabi!

A special feature of UBC’s Punjabi Studies program is its extensive offerings in Punjabi language and literature. In addition to offering three years of Punjabi language instruction, the program now features a new extensive fourth-year program, where students can explore aspects of Punjabi literary production.

Find out here more about our full range of Punjabi classes and here.

Advanced Punjabi program at the 400-level:

PUNJ 401 (3) Devotional Literature in Punjabi 

The class introduces students to devotional literature in Punjabi, drawing primarily but not exclusively on readings from the Adi Granth or Guru Granth Sahib. The work of the Sikh Gurus and the Bhagats (primarily Sheikh Farid and Kabir) will both be examined, and the history of the text explored. We also examine Sufi literature in Punjabi, through the example of the works of Bulleh Shah.

PUNJ 402 (3) Early modern Punjabi Literature 

In this class we read Waris Shah’s mid-eighteenth century poem “Heer” in both Gurmukhi (the script utilized for Punjabi in India) and Shahmukhi (the Perso-Arabic script used for Urdu and Persian, which is utilized to write Punjabi in Pakistan). (Students must know one of these scripts to take the course, and will receive instruction in the script not known.) We will contextualize our reading of Heer by exploring secondary literature on Sufi (Islamic mystical) narrative traditions in Hindavi (an early modern language related to Punjabi) and Punjabi in the early modern period.

PUNJ 403 (3) Modern Punjabi Literature 

This class explores popular and literary works in modern Punjabi, with a focus on short stories and poetry. Emphasis on reading, writing, and vocabulary development.

PUNJ 404 (3) The Punjabi Novel (Advanced Punjabi)

This class explores the modern Punjabi novel to deepen understanding and use of Punjabi, and strengthen analysis in English and Punjabi.

PUNJ 457 (3) Punjabi Theatre

This class allows students to read and understand texts from Punjabi-language theatre. When this class was last offered, in W2016, we explored modern theatrical texts related to the qissā Puran Bhagat, primarily Lūnā by Shiv Kumar Batalvi.  We also completed a few secondary readings in English related to the story of Pūran Bhagat, and about modern Indian and intercultural theatre.

PUNJ 475 (3) Oral Histories in Punjabi

Develops students’ oral expression and listening comprehension in Punjabi through Community Based Learning. Students engage in oral history collection in the Punjabi-speaking community and develop short video or sound projects. Analytical reading and writing required.