Sindhi Language

Sindhi is the language of the Sindh region and is spoken by the Sindhi people world over.

In India, Sindhi was recognised in the Eighth schedule on 10th April 1967 of the Indian Constitution and is among 22 constitutionally recognized languages.



Sindhi's history dates back to the era of Mohenjo-daro, but unfortunately linguists have failed to unite on the opinion on origin of Sindhi langauge.

Scholars have different opinions. Some opinions are:

The Sindhi is a pure Sanskritical language, more free from foreign elements than any of the North Indian vernaculars

- Professor E. Trumpp

The oldest book written in Sind was in Prakrit. It dates back to three centuries B.C.

- Dr Suniti Kumar Chatterji

Politically, Mohammed Bin Quasim's conquest of Sindh in 711 AD started the influence of Arabic language on Sindhi.

Since then Sindh was rules by many empires, followed by British.

Britisher wanting to administer the country properly, had to understand the language of the land so they started standardizing the script, and promoting the language.

Sir Bartle Frere, Commissioner in Sind, 1851, issueed an order and made the study of Sindhi Language compulsory for the British officers.

    Capt. George Stack and Capt. Richard Burton differed in their opinion on what script to use for Sindhi. Capt. Stack argued in favor of a modified form of Devnagari script while Capt. Burton advised modified form of Perso-Arabic script.

    In 1853, East India Company decided to use Perso-Arabic on a trial basis and soon it became the official language of Sindh.

    In India, still Perso-Arabic and Devnagari both are recognized. Even UPSC accepts both the scripts for its examination.

Sindhi became the medium of instruction in Schools.

It was this time that many British scholars like Dr. Earnest Trumpp and Captain Stack and many more have started working on the Sindhi language and came up with many books, dictionaries and other literature in Sindhi.

Dr Earnest Trumpp published his books Shah-jo-Risalo ( compiled verses of Shah Abdul Latif Bhittai ) and Sindhi Grammar from Germany.



Four Category of words


Various scripts have been used in Sindh since the time of Mohenjo-daro. Prominent among them are:

Sindhi Names

(Reference : "Glimpses of Sindhi Language" By Dr Parso Jessaram Gidwani)

First Name

- Consist of two elements

First Name - First element

can be one of the following:

Type Example Details
Days and months of Hindu Sindhi Calender Mangaldas Mangal + Das ( Tuesday )
Nature Surajmal Suraj + mal ( Sun )
Stars Taromal Taro + mal
River Gangaram Ganga + Ram
Flowers, Trees, Vegetables, Fruit and Grain Basarmal Basar(onion) + Mal
  Bhugromal Bhugro ( Puffed Gram ) + Mal
Gems Motilal Moti + lal
Precious Metals Kundandas Kundan + Das
Epithets/Concepts Sundarmal Sundar + Mal
  Bhagchand Bhagu ( Fortune ) + Chand
Mythological names Shiv, Vishnu, Indra  

First Name - Second Element:

Male Second Element Meaning Example
mal from Malhu - Wrestler Motimal, Kimatmal
Ram Lord Rama Kimatram
Nand Sanskrit word meaning happiness Jethanand
Lal Red Jethalal
Female Second Element Meaning Example
Devi Goddess Hardevi
Bai Respect term Motibai
Kumari Princess Rajkumari

Sindhi Surnames

Sindhi surname is derived from place of origin, birth, occupation, caste, title among others

1) ANI ending surname:

Many Sindhis have their surnames ending with -ANI, for example Advani, Lalwani, Gidwani etc

Famous Sindhi scholar Professor Bherumal Advani even claimed that -ANI surname dates back to Rigveda, According to him, pronunciation of Sanskrit suffix ayan and ayani have changed to -ANI in Sindhi and its meaning is "a descendant of".

This means a surname "Advani" will mean descendants of Adumal.

Most of the -ANI surnames are made with adding -ANI to a personal name

Personal Name First Element of personal Name Surname
Gidumal Gidu Gidvani
Adumal Adu Advani
Raj Raj Rajani

In most of the cases, -ANI is added to grandfather's name or some prominent ancester's name.

For example, in Gidwani surname, the first name is taken from Dewan Gidumal who was the Prime Minister of Three rulers of Sindh.

2) Sindhi surnames based on Place Names

Sometimes a surname is based on the place name also, as in the following:

Town/Village in Sindh Sindhi Surname
Mirpur Mirpuri
Rohri Rohra
Shikarpur Shikarpuri
Aror/Alor Arora

3) Sindhi surnames based on professions:

Some surnames are even based on the profession:

Surname Profession
Soni Goldsmith
Javeri Jeweller

4) Surname based on caste:

Thakur, Bhatia, Khatri

5) Surname based on title:

Mukhi(head of the panchayat), Chodhary(head of a village)

6) Nukha (totems) as surname:

eg Ahuja, Chawla, Kukreja,

6) Surnames with -Ja suffix

-Ja a purely Sindhi suffix means belonging to or 'of'
eg Ahuja, Raheja, Makhija etc

It also means a descendant or offspring
eg Jasuja is offspring/descendant of Jasu

7) Surnames with pal suffix

eg rajpal, setpal, nagpal etc

pal means "protector"

"Glimpses of Sindhi Language" By Dr Parso Jessaram Gidwani
"History of Sindhi Literature" By Popati R. Hiranandani
"Sindhi Culture" By Dr U. T. Thakur


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