Punjabi: ਨਿਬਣਾ / نبھنڑا

MonsieurGonzalito

Senior Member
Castellano de Argentina
Friends,

Please, what is the exact meaning of ਨਿਬਣਾ / بندیاں / nibhNRaa in the sentence below? (Surrounding verses and translation given for context).
It is from the song "Aalif Allah Chambe di Booti (Jugni Ji)". The singer is talking with an imaginary, spiritual interlocutor about being less mundane.

ਛੱਡ ਦੁਨੀਆ ਦੇ ਜੰਜਾਲ
چھڈ دنیا دے جنجال​
chaDD duniiaa de jaNjaalleave the world's troubles!
ਕੁਝ ਨੀ ਨਿਬਣਾ ਬੰਦਿਆ ਨਾਲ
کجھ نیں نبھنڑا بندیاں نال​
kujh nii nibNRaa baNdiaa naalit is not possible to keep faith with humans
ਰੱਖੀ ਸਾਬਕ ਸਿੱਧਕ ਅਮਾਲ
رکھیں ثابت صدق اعمال​
rakhkhii saabak sidhdhak amaalmaintain actions (of) proven truth

"it is not possible to keep faith with humans" sounds like too free a translation.
ਨਿਬਣਾ is "to be finished". Would it be "achieve nothing with people"?

Please help.
 
  • marrish

    Senior Member
    اُردو Urdu
    Let's establish first which word the question actually is concerned with, before trying to ascertain its exact meaning in this verse.
    Please, what is the exact meaning of ਨਿਬਣਾ / بندیاں / nibhNRaa in the sentence below? (Surrounding verses and translation given for context).
    ਨਿਬਣਾ ≠ بندیاں ≠ nibhNRaa
    ਕੁਝ ਨੀ ਨਿਬਣਾ ਬੰਦਿਆ ਨਾਲ
    کجھ نیں نبھنڑا بندیاں نال
    kujh nii nibNRaa baNdiaa naal
    The Gurmukhi text is gibberish... and the Roman transliteration is following it faithfully (and this is not limited to this particular verse). To the contrary, the Shahmukhi version is right. Is it because the song is particular to West Punjab or to your mastery of Shahmukhi?

    'Bhai Maya Singh' has a mistake in spelling which causes confusion, because these are two different verbs. Consider the following definitions ('Patiala Dictionary'):

    ਨਿੱਬਣਾ نِبّنا verb, intransitive – to strain excretary (sic) muscles (as during stools or child birth); to feel pain, writhe and wriggle with pain

    ਨਿਭਣਾ نِبھنا verb, intransitive – to be constant, faithful (in one's undertaking) to the end; to last, endure; to pull on (with)

    More elaborate meanings are to be found looking at the transitive counterpart:

    ਨਿਭਾਉਣਾ نِبھاؤنا verb, transitive – to fulfil (promise, obligation, duty, engagement, relationship or partnership), be true, constant and faithful (as in love), stand by (friends or one's word)

    Hopefully it's become somewhat clearer, hasn't it?
     
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    MonsieurGonzalito

    Senior Member
    Castellano de Argentina
    Thanks, @marrish, it is much clearer now!

    Is it because the song is particular to West Punjab or to your mastery of Shahmukhi
    Both, lol. :D
    Actually, this is a song by Arif Lohar, who is Pakistani.
    And the Shamukhi version is more accurate because it is copied verbatim from the captions at Coke Studio. For Gurmukhi, I relied on an old transcription made by someone who is unfamiliar with western folk songs.



    (For what it's worth, below goes a more careful attempt, having reverse-looked all Shahmukhi words one by one).

    ਛੱਡ ਦੁਨੀਆ ਦੇ ਜੰਜਾਲ਼chaDD duniiaa de jaNjaal
    ਕੁਝ ਨਈਂ ਨਿਭਣਾ ਬੰਦਿਆਂ ਨਾਲ kujh naiiN nibhNRaa baNdiaaN naal
    ਰੱਖੀਂ ਸਾਬਾਤ ਸਿਦਕ ਆਮਾਲrakhkhiiN saabaat sidaq aamaal
     

    marrish

    Senior Member
    اُردو Urdu
    I'm really happy I could be of help and thanks for explaining the reasons of the disparities.

    Don't hesitate to add your take on the sense this verse when the time is ripe.

    In this way the transliteration is more faithful to the original, which is always a plus, but when one doesn't know which to choose from if one happens to read all included scripts, or, even worse, but very predictably, when one cannot choose which text to follow due to one's unfamiliarity with any of the versions' script, the advantage of following the original song, text and script proves to be even greater.

    (This particular verse in transliteration above is written correctly, almost perfectly now. It is pronounced naaL instead of naal in the song, the capital L standing for Retroflex lateral approximant - Wikipedia. Some mistakes or inaccuracies are still there in the preceding and following line, but we'd better leave them for another opportunity.)

    For the record, I think this particular verse can be shown with IPA symbols like this:

    کجھ نھیں نبھݨا بندیاں نالؕ
    kʊ́d͡ʒ nĩ́ː nɪ́bᵇɳɑː bə̃dɪɑ̃ː nɑːɭ
    ਕੁਝ ਨ੍ਹੀੰ ਨਿਭਣਾ ਬੰਦਿਆਂ ਨਾਲ਼
     

    MonsieurGonzalito

    Senior Member
    Castellano de Argentina
    Excellent, thanks, @marrish!

    In all fairness, the Patiala dictionary does indicate the L retroflex and the subjoined h, much more often than Bhai Maya Singh at least. And when they have a discrepancy, I have always gone with the simpler spelling (which I should not do anymore).
    I also need to find a practical way of writing لؕ too, but that's another subject.

    نھیں seems to be yet another of the seemingly endless spellings of "not", someday I will know them all ... Anyway, off-topic too

    As for the translation, then I would say:

    Don't commit to any person!
     

    marrish

    Senior Member
    اُردو Urdu
    Excellent, thanks, @marrish!

    In all fairness, the Patiala dictionary does indicate the L retroflex and the subjoined h, much more often than Bhai Maya Singh at least. And when they have a discrepancy, I have always gone with the simpler spelling (which I should not do anymore).
    I also need to find a practical way of writing لؕ too, but that's another subject.

    نھیں seems to be yet another of the seemingly endless spellings of "not", someday I will know them all ... Anyway, off-topic too

    As for the translation, then I would say:

    Don't commit to any person!
    I'm personally not very satisfied with this translation - but it might be considered a good interpretation. To begin with, I don't perceive any word semantically standing for the imperative mood.

    Don't worry about these spellings, I just tried to write down the words as uttered by Arif Lohar. It's not the question of memorising different alternative spellings, instead, just the general but careful understanding of the functions the grapheme <h> has in Punjabi plus faithfulness to the original is the key, I think. I'm not sure of my Gurmukhi notation, your <نڑ> is a valid representation of NR and لؕ is made-up for the purpose of this thread.
     

    MonsieurGonzalito

    Senior Member
    Castellano de Argentina
    what form is actually bə̃dɪɑ̃ː

    It is an oblique plural of ਬੰਦਾ / بندہ . It would make a very odd subject indeed.

    The only remaining possible subject is "kʊ́d͡ʒ nĩ́ː", nothing
    But that doesn't make sense with the infinitive-imperative "nɪ́bᵇɳɑː"!
     

    marrish

    Senior Member
    اُردو Urdu
    It is an oblique plural of ਬੰਦਾ / بندہ . It would make a very odd subject indeed.
    :tick:
    The only remaining possible subject is "kʊ́d͡ʒ nĩ́ː", nothing
    :tick:
    But that doesn't make sense with the infinitive-imperative "nɪ́bᵇɳɑː"!
    I've already given a hint that it doesn't have imperative function at all, so you could scrap this option. Have a closer look at this verb in the dictionary definitions above, paying attention to its grammar properties and sense as opposed to another, related verb which I quoted.
     

    MonsieurGonzalito

    Senior Member
    Castellano de Argentina
    OK, then, "kʊ́d͡ʒ nĩ́ː" and "nɪ́bᵇɳɑː" can switch and be predicative and subject, respectively.
    An infinitive can be subject.
    "To be" can be implicit.

    Therefore:

    "Being faithful is nothing, with people" (i.e., it means nothing to them)
     

    marrish

    Senior Member
    اُردو Urdu
    It's a little similar to the form 'nominandus' as in "censeo... linguam propriam nominandam esse" (appreciating your interest in Punjabi and Urdu, it is as far as I reach out towards your own linguistic sphere.

    So it's not subject.

    There are other meanings too. The verb is intransitive, to begin with.
     
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    MonsieurGonzalito

    Senior Member
    Castellano de Argentina
    My grammar book lists such a construction with infinitive + conjugated honaa, which gives the sense that something "is to be done".

    maiN akhbaara paRhnaa haaN = I "am to read" the newspaper

    So I could say:
    "Nothing is to be trusted, with people" ?
     
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