Urdu: shiin qaaf (se) durust honaa

Discussion in 'Indo-Iranian Languages' started by Qureshpor, Dec 14, 2012.

  1. Qureshpor Senior Member

    Punjabi, Urdu پنجابی، اردو
    Urdu has an idiom "shiin qaaf (se) durust honaa", implying someone's language bearing all the hallmarks of correct pronunciation. I would suggest that perhaps "qaaf" is mispronounced more often than "shiin". As a matter of interest, in what areas or communities in the Subcontinent would we find "shiin" pronounced as "siin"? Depending on the answers, is there no "shiin" sound in the indigenous language/s of the "siin" sound speakers?
  2. lcfatima Senior Member

    In a teapot
    English USA
    I would think the idiom was more in reference to speakers who pronounce siin as shiin, since that seems to be a more widespread switch than shiin to siin.
  3. lcfatima Senior Member

    In a teapot
    English USA
    As for speakers whom I have observed regularly articulating /sh/ as /s/, I know I have heard Nepalese do that in Hindi, although I can't say for certain that they all spoke the same Nepali language.
  4. UrduMedium Senior Member

    United States
    Urdu (Karachi)
    I have only heard shiin qaaf durust honaa, without se in between.

    I have noticed one Oriya speaker (the only one I know) have a hard time with shiin.
  5. tonyspeed Senior Member

    JA- English & Creole
    I have heard a Gujarati speaker pronounce all his sh's as s's.

    The phenomenon is also encountered from time-to-time on Hindi TV. Actress Nehha Mehta playing Anjali Mehta on the show "Taarak Mehta Ka Oolta Chashma" always uses 's' instead of "sh". For an example see "Taarak Mehta Ka Oolta Chasma 23rd May 2011 part 2" 7:17.

    By the way: The show is set in Gujarat.
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2012
  6. Qureshpor Senior Member

    Punjabi, Urdu پنجابی، اردو
    Believe it or not, janaab-i-Sarwar Alam Raz SaaHib has come to my assistance in matters concerning Urdu usage once again!:)


    " baazaar ke sabzee-farrosh kuNjRe se Lucknow aur Dillee kee shustah-o-shaa,istah, sheen-qaaf se durust zabaan kehalwaanaa aisaa hee maZ^Hakah-Khez samajh`taa
    hooN jaise afsaaneh ke kisee kirdaar ke :dil-badal: (Heart Transplant) operation ke
    nateejeh meN yeh taSawwur qaar,ieen ke saamne pesh karnaa keh is a’mal ke
    nateejeh meN us kirdaar kaa Zehn-o-dimaaGh, aKhlaaq-o-kirdaar badal kar us
    shaKhs ke ho jaaYeN jis kaa dil us ke seene meN lagayaa gayaa hai.”

    In fact the actual idiom is "shiin qaaf durust nah honaa", based on which one gets variations on the theme.

    Thank you for the Oriya speaker's example.
  7. UrduMedium Senior Member

    United States
    Urdu (Karachi)
    Also just happened to talk to a Nepalese speaker who was consistently saying shiin for siin.
  8. marrish

    marrish Senior Member

    اُردو Urdu
    Since the target language is defined as Urdu, let me make this disclaimer that I'd like to take the liberty like others before me have done, to mentionI had the pleasure to talk to some Hindi speakers who used to have when I'd have expected [sh] but unfortunately (for this thread's purposes) I wasn't inquisive after their geographical whereabouts.
  9. tonyspeed Senior Member

    JA- English & Creole
  10. tonyspeed Senior Member

    JA- English & Creole
  11. panjabigator

    panjabigator Senior Member

    غریب الوطن
    Am. English
    I take it we are not limiting ourselves just to Urdu, no? I've heard "sh" become "s" in by some Punjabi speakers before. As far as I know, you cannot find the "sh" phoneme in the Guru Granth Sahib.
  12. Qureshpor Senior Member

    Punjabi, Urdu پنجابی، اردو
    Interesting. I always took it to mean that speech in which "shiin" is pronounced as "siin" and I did n't know that "siin" to "shiin" switch was more widespread.
  13. Qureshpor Senior Member

    Punjabi, Urdu پنجابی، اردو
    Interestingly, the trigger for this thread was the speech of an Indian TV reporter whom I heard pronounce Shastri as Shastri as well as Sastri, in the same report. For a moment I thought the ph/f phenomenon was repeating itself. I don't know the ethnicity of the reporter. It was in a Youtube video concerning the theory that Lal Bahadur Shastri, the second Indian Prime Minister was poisoned in Tashkent and did not die of a heart attack.
  14. Faylasoof Senior Member

    Plato's Republic
    English (UK) & Urdu (Luckhnow), Hindi
    I too have heard many Nepalese speakers, quite a few Hindiphones use 'siin' instead of 'shiin'. Most of my Gujarati friends also do the same, including those who are from Karachi where Urduphones are numerous.
  15. Faylasoof Senior Member

    Plato's Republic
    English (UK) & Urdu (Luckhnow), Hindi
    QP SaaHib, with all regards and respects to janaab-i-Sarwar Alam Raz SaaHib, "sheen-qaaf se durust honaa" sounds odd if not Ghair durust urduu to my ears!

    shiin-qaaf kaa durust honaa would make every sense. However, shiin-qaaf durust honaa is the way we say it, and as for
    shiin-qaaf durust nah honaa, this too is correct - the two being opposites - but mostly used less than the former at least when we speak. Unless of course we wish to emphasize the lack of correctness by putting in the nah.
    Last edited: Dec 15, 2012
  16. Qureshpor Senior Member

    Punjabi, Urdu پنجابی، اردو
    Without digressing too much...I don't believe "shiin-qaaf se durust" is "Ghair-durust", at least from a grammatical perspective.

    1) Urdu zabaan bolte vaqt "shiin-qaaf durust honaa" laazimii hai.

    2) duusre log maaneN yaa nah maaneN, agar Faylasoof SaaHib kii zabaan "shiin qaaf se durust" nahiiN to samajh liijiye kih kisii kii bhii durust nahiiN!!

    The first sentence can be rephrased with a "kaa" as you have suggested.

    Urdu ke talaffuz meN "shiin-qaaf kaa durust honaa" laazimii hai.

    Similarly "se" can be added where it implies "ke liHaaz se", "kii nisbat se".

    agar us QP kaa talaffuz "shiin-qaaf se durust" hai to ham ise apnii anjuman meN jagah de sakte haiN. varnah jaa'e Kala Shah Kaku meN!

    Last edited: Dec 16, 2012
  17. marrish

    marrish Senior Member

    اُردو Urdu
    I agree with the preceding, but still, what I've heard is the variant without se. I notice that you have put se in brackets, considering it optional from the very beginning, so I don't think we have an issue here. In the contemporary environment this idiom is no longer valid any more, in my opinion, as Urdu speakers don't have any difficulties with /[sh] in general. I believe this saying used to be of application regarding the speech of Urdu speakers as a second language, who would normally have difficulty with those sounds because of their linguistic background, like some Hindi or Gujarati speakers, as mentioned in this thread. Of course the qaaf negligence is rampant. I can't recall any other pronunciation stumbling block so that it might replace 'shiin' in this expression.
  18. fdb Senior Member

    Cambridge, UK
    French (France)
    Broadly speaking, I think that modern Indo-Aryan languages have either /s/ or /ʃ/, but not both, with /s/ mainly in the West and /ʃ/ mainly in the East (Bengali). But this is true only of “inherited” words. Loanwords from Sanskrit, Persian, Arabic, English have both /s/ and /ʃ/ and they are distinguished or not depending on the register. Would you say that this is correct?
  19. Qureshpor Senior Member

    Punjabi, Urdu پنجابی، اردو
    I tried to think of any Punjabi words containing the "shiin" sound but not being of Persian or Arabic origins. And I could n't! I am currently looking through some Classical Punjabi literature but so far have come across one solitary word!! And that is "shiiN" (lion). I will also be the first to admit that I have never head this word used in speech, sher is the everyday word. I shall get back if I find another shiin word!:)

    Edit: Just thought of one! In my childhood we had a "shriiN" tree in our garden. I don't know what it would be in English.
    Last edited: Dec 16, 2012
  20. Wolverine9 Senior Member

    American English
    I think shiiN is just a pronunciation variant of siNh/siiNh
  21. Qureshpor Senior Member

    Punjabi, Urdu پنجابی، اردو
    Yes, I had the same inclination. Nevertheless, we have a "sh" word in Punjabi which is not Persian or Arabic. Are you aware of the other word I have mentioned, "shriiN" (the tone is on the second half of the word). By the way, I should have spelt the word as "shiiNh".
  22. Wolverine9 Senior Member

    American English
    No, I haven't heard of shriiN. There are other words, such as shakti, but they could be direct borrowings from Sanskrit rather than inherited.
  23. Qureshpor Senior Member

    Punjabi, Urdu پنجابی، اردو
    We seem to be going away from the original title of the thread although one could say that presence or absence of a "sh" (and a qaaf) sound could affect the way a particular community pronounces its "shiins" (and qaafs).

    Here is another.."shuhdaa/shohdaa" (helpless = be-chaarah). I don't know of its etymology.
  24. Faylasoof Senior Member

    Plato's Republic
    English (UK) & Urdu (Luckhnow), Hindi
    All said and done, there is a difference between:

    kisii chiiz kaa kisii chiiz se durust honaa

    … and

    kisii chiiz kaa kisii chiiz ke leHaaZ se durust honaa

    us kaa talaffuz shiin-qaaf ke leHaaZ se durust hai --- this is how we say it.
  25. Qureshpor Senior Member

    Punjabi, Urdu پنجابی، اردو
    Faylasoof SaaHib, let us agree to disagree on our stand points. For me "shiin qaaf se durust" is correct and it means "shiin qaaf ke liHaaz se durust".

    As a matter of interest, I contacted janaab-i-Sarwar SaaHib. This is what he had to say about the matter. I am only posting the relevant bits and the message is addressed to me.

    میں ایک معمولی آدمی ہوں اور ادب و شعر میں کسی چیز میں بھی سند نہیں ہوں۔ جو کہتا یا لکھتا ہوں وہ اپنے محدود علم و مطالعہ کی بنا پر لکھتا ہوں اور غلط بھی ہو سکتا ہوں بلکہ ہوتا بھی ہوں۔

    اگر گستاخی نہ سمجھی جائے تو عرض کروں کہ آپ نے جس مسئلہ کا ذکر کیا ہے وہ کچھ ایسا پیچیدہ نہیں ہے۔ مذکورہ گفتگو میں کلیدی فقرہ :شین قاف: ہے۔ رہ گیا :سے، کا: وغیرہ کا اس کے ساتھ استعمال تو وہ عبارت یا بات کے سیاق وسباق کے لحاظ سے ہوگا ۔ مثال کے طورپر درج ذیل سب صورتیں صحیح ہیں:۔

    سرور کا شین قاف درست ہے
    سرور کی تحریر شین قاف سے درست ہے
    سرور کی تحریر کی شین قاف درست ہے*

    سرور کی تحریر شین قاف کے لحاظ سے درست ہے

    کہہ تو سکتے ہیں لیکن میں نے یہ بنت کبھی نہیں دیکھی۔:کے لحاظ: اس میں زائد الفاظ ہیں کیونکہ :شین قاف سے: کہنے سے مطلب پورا ادا ہو جاتا ہے۔ یوں کوئی کہنا چاہے تو ہرج بھی نہیں ہے۔ :سے: کا مطلب ہی :لحاظ سے: ہے۔ اس معمولی سی بات کی تشریح یا سند میری دانست میں غیر ضروری ہے۔ محاورہ اور روزمرہ میں الفاظ اور ان کی نشست میں ترمیم و تنسیخ کی گنجائش کم ہوتی ہے۔ مثلا :شین اور قاف درست ہے: کہیں تو غلط ہوگا کیونکہ :اور: یہاں محاورہ کا حصہ نہیں ہے بالکل ایسے ہی جیسے :نو دو گیارہ ہونا: تو صحیح ہے لیکن :نو دو گیارہ دو تیرہ ہونا : یا :دس دو بارہ: ہونا غلط ہے۔

    * I think in the third sentence the second "kii" is a typo and ought to be "kaa".

Share This Page