Pakistani Punjabi: salwaar kamiiz, shalwaar qamiis, shalwaar qamiiz

mundiya

Senior Member
Hindi, English, Punjabi
Which of the above pronunciations is used in Pakistani Punjabi, or is another pronunciation used instead?

Thanks
 
  • marrish

    Senior Member
    اُردو Urdu
    I never heard salwaar in the Western Punjabi; shalwaar kamiis or qamiis is what is being heard. (I'm not a native Punjabi-speaker).
     

    Alfaaz

    Senior Member
    English
    It always seems to be shalwaar.

    As for the tunic, kamiiz seems to be (in general) the common pronunciation in Punjabi. qamiiz and qamiis can be heard sometimes.

    Others' experiences might be different!

    • It would be nice to hear from native Pakistani Punjabi speakers, but there haven't been any actively participating members in the forum for quite some time now.
     

    Sheikh_14

    Senior Member
    English- United Kingdom, Urdu, Punjabi
    As per common speech in Punjab it is shalwaar kameez. Barely anyone in Pakistan would say Salwaar instead of Shalwaar. Similarly, I have never heard anyone properly pronounce qamiis. I would be interested in who continues to use the correct pronunciation of qamiis as Alfaaz saaHiib has highlighted, is it a very small minority of ahl r zabaan folk? Personally, I differentiate between qamiis vs kameez as a pardesi vs desi distinction. In other words I would suggest since barely anyone would understand the use of qamiis in terms of a desi kamiiz, why not just use qamiis as an alternative to the generic term shirt. Us ne qamiis pehnii we hai (he is wearing a shirt) vs kameez (desi tunic top)
     

    marrish

    Senior Member
    اُردو Urdu
    qaaf is pronounced by some in the Punjab. The vast majority though doesn't pronounce it and takes to kaaf.

    I've heard kamiis; althought it is known that qamiis and not qamiiz are correct standard Urdu words, I asked two persons and they were not aware of the Urdu qamiis, they thought it to be qamiiz, but insisted on Punjabi kamiis. Perhaps it has something to do with either this pronunciation being continued from the original qamiis or the last consonant being devoiced.

    I received also many confirmations from the people I asked that kamiiz is most common and I heard too that it might be the "z" first having had popped up in Punjabi which affects Urdu speakers who use qamiiz/kamiiz in their speech.
     

    Sheikh_14

    Senior Member
    English- United Kingdom, Urdu, Punjabi
    Desi, qamiis derives from the Italian Camicia and thus in reality it is a generic term for a shirt. However, in a manner remniscent of jaib and Jeb one word can be morphed into two. A very select few pronounce qamiis properly which lends it with an exotic taste. Therefore, this is merely a suggestion that kameez is now the verbally accepted form of a desi tunic top. Therefore, rather than opting for shirt you can switch the pardesi shirt be it a polo or otherwise with qamiis rather than having to say firangii qamiis. Qamiis alone would suffice and polo qamiis would be the alternative to a polo-shirt. Qamiis alone would suggest a "shirt", since we don't ever call a kameez (tunic top) a shirt, we could most certainly call a shirt a qamiis. I hope I got my point through to you.
     

    desi4life

    Senior Member
    English
    Qamiis alone would suggest a "shirt", since we don't ever call a kameez (tunic top) a shirt, we could most certainly call a shirt a qamiis. I hope I got my point through to you.

    I got your point, but my understanding was that whether the word is pronounced qamiis or kamiiz, it can refer generically to a shirt, be it a desi tunic top or a pardesi/western shirt. This is the first I'm hearing that kamiiz can only be a tunic top.

    How do others here use the word qamiis/qamiiz/kamiiz/kamiis? Generically for a shirt or only for a tunic top?
     
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    Sheikh_14

    Senior Member
    English- United Kingdom, Urdu, Punjabi
    Kamiiz can be used for both, but shirt is not. I have never heard anyone call their kameez a shirt. I have on the other hand heard people call their shirt a kameez. Therefore, in appreciation of a desi/pardesi divide you could make the distinction between the two. In fact it would be apt since that would give qamiis greater prupose and a new lease of life. In fact even English makes a distinction between shirt and kameez since individuals from the sub-continent distinguish between the two. Similarly jeb and jaib started off as the same word but ended up with two different denotations merely due to pronunciation differences. Here we have not only a difference in pronunciation but an actual difference in spelling. The two words can be treated as distinct since most wouldn't otherwise even recognise qamiis.

    Therefore etymologically speaking using qamiis for a foreign import and kameez as a local variant does make sense.
     
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