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The Potwari,Mirpuri or Southern Pahari-Potwari Language (also known as Pothohari or Pothwari)Potwari is an Indo-European language spoken in the Potwar district around Rawalpindimarker, Pakistan to the Cease-fire Line (LoC) of Indian administered Kashmirmarker de-facto bordermarker in Pakistan administered Kashmirmarker and also by some Sikhs from Potwar. It is closely related to Punjabi and is considered to be a transitional dialect between Lahnda and Pahari. Dialects include Dhundi-Kairali, Chibhali, Mirpuri, Jhelumi, Pindiwali and Punchhi (Poonchi).

Written Potwari

In modern times Potwari is not officially written and there is no single standardised orthography. Speakers literate in Urdu often write solely in Urdu and do not regard Potwari as a literary language. When in rare cases Potwari is written the Urdu orthography is utilised or it is written in Roman Potwari which is used for the writing of Urdu in Roman script. This is largely the case in the UK where a large percentage of Potwari speakers reside.

It is not the case the Potwari has never been written, during the Buddhist reign Potwari was written using the Laṇḍā script which evolved from the Sharada script. Sharada was invented in the Buddhist university of the same name located in the Neelam Valley in modern day Azad Kashmirmarker. Shaivite pandits from Jammu Kashmirmarker still use the Landa script to write in the Hindu form of Pahari.

With the Muslim invasion of Northern India, written Potwari suffered a decline in usage as it was replaced by Persian and in modern times it was further replaced by Urdu. The form of Pahari spoken in Himachal Pradeshmarker is now written in the Gurmukhi script, which itself is a modern version of the Landa script.

Potwari Arts

Potwari has a rich tradition of poetry recital accompanied by Sitar, Tabla, Harmonium and Dholak, these poems are called Sher and are often highly lyrical and somewhat humorous and secular in nature, although there are plenty of religious sher.

In October 2009 the first album containing Potwari popular songs was released, the title of the album was "Khushian," and featured Potwari songs by Saira Habib.

Potwari Film

Notable Potwari films produced by "Pahariwood" based in Azad Kashmirmarker are:

  • Miki Kharo England
  • Main Julian England
  • Nahla pa Dahla
  • Paira Chaska Walayat Naa
  • Sayr Upar Sawa Sayr
  • Mister Saadah
  • Khushian
  • Chabarey
  • Khaie Aaye O
  • Nikka Raja
  • Chan Mhara Charya
  • Chan Pardeshi
  • Uchay Shamlay
  • Maye Ni Maye

All these films are part of the Potwari TV series Miki Kharo (make me).


Comparison with Punjabi

Potwari Punjabi Meaning
tusaana tvādā Your (formal)
kai What
mikee de mènnu de Give me
chaaikin dholia tola nu chākka de Pick up the drum
taaraa naa kai? terā nā kī he? What is your name?
alaa changā OK
Allaafiz tātā Goodbye
usne naa 'X' ai Odā nā 'X' he His name is 'X'
twaaraa haandaan na aal theek ai? tvādā parivāra theeka hegā he kī? Is your family OK?
shukar tannavād Thank you
trai tinna Three
zaar hazār Thousand
me tukee pyaar karnaa mènnu tere nāla prem he I love you
taaraa maavaa kudar ai? terā māmmā kiөe hegā he? Where is your uncle?


a - IPA ə
ã - IPA ɐ̃ (nasal vowel)
aa - IPA ɑ
ai - IPA æ
e - IPA ɛ
i - IPA ɪ
ee - IPA i
o - IPa ɔ
oh - IPA ɵ
u - IPA ʊ
oo - IPA u
Aspirated consonants:

All consonants followed by a 'h' are aspirated, that is a puff of air follows the sound of the consonant, not aspirating the consonant alters the meaning of the word. E.g. 'tu' and 'thu' have different meanings (you and from respectively)

Roman Potwari Perso-Arabic English Translation
salaam سلام hello
allaafiz اللہ فظ Good Bye
aahã اہاں yes (casual)
jee جی yes (formal)
naa نا no
tusaana nã kai? تساںہ ناں کے what is your name? (formal)
maaraa nã مارا ناں...اے my name is...
tusankee milkee boo hushee oy تساںکی ملکی بو خشی اوی very nice to meet you!
shukar شکر thank you
tusaana aal kai aal e? تساںہ ال کاے ال ے how are you? (formal)
pothwaaree bolne oh? پوٹواری بولنے او do you speak Potwari?
tusã kudaro aayo? تساں کدرو ائیو where are you from (formal)
me valayat thoo aa مے ولاىت تهوآ I'm a foreigner
mehrbaanee karee taa مهربانى كرى تا please
tusaana grã na nã kai? تسانہ گراں نہ ناں کے what is your village's name?
kashmeer vich tashreef laaikinoo كشمىر وچ تشرىف لا ئیكنو welcome to Kashmir
pothwaaree changee zabaan ai پوٹھواری چنگى زبان اے potwari is a nice language


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