Monday, 3 March 2014

'ਅਸੀਂ' ਬਨਾਮ 'ਆਪਾਂ' 'اسیں' بنام 'آپاں' Two forms of We

Very interesting! Unlike English, Punjabi has two variants for the first person plural pronouns i.e. We, our, ours, us etc. depending on whether the listener is included in this "we/us" or not. It's quite unique to Punjabi. Here's a brief illustration using hypothetical scenarios:

ਅਸੀਂ/ਸਾਡਾ/ਸਾਨੂੰ اسیں/ساڈا/سانوں

You and your sister are informing your parents that you two siblings are going to school (ਸਕੂਲ ਜਾਣਾ/سکول جانا). Since the listener i.e. the parents are not included in this group (the one going to school), we will use ਅਸੀਂ/اسیں. So these siblings would say:

Speaker: you or your sister;
Listener: your parents

ਅਸੀਂ ਸਕੂਲ ਜਾ ਰਹੇ ਹਾਂ
اسیں سکول جا رہے ہاں۔
We are going to school.

ਸਾਡੇ ਝੋਲ਼ੇ ਕਿੱਥੇ ਹਨ?
ساڈے جھولے کتھے ہن؟
Where are our bags?

ਸਾਨੂੰ ਕੌਣ ਛੱਡ ਕੇ ਆਵੇਗਾ: ਮੰਮੀ ਕਿ ਪਾਪਾ?
سانوں کون چھڈّ کے آویگا: ممی کہ پاپا؟
Who will go drop us off: Mom or Dad?

ਆਪਾਂ/ਆਪਣਾ/ਆਪਾਂ ਨੂੰ آپاں/اپنا/آپاں نوں

You and your family are going for a picnic and you all are talking among yourselves, making plans and all. Since the listeners i.e. your family is also included in this "we" (the group which is going for the picnic), ਆਪਾਂ/آپاں root is used. So you'd say:

Speaker: any family member;
Listener: the whole family

ਆਪਾਂ ਪਿਕਨਿਕ 'ਤੇ ਜਾ ਰਹੇ ਹਾਂ
آپاں پکنک 'تے جا رہے ہاں۔
We (all) are going for a picnic.

ਆਪਣੀ ਰੋਟੀ ਕਿੱਥੇ ਹੈ?
اپنی روٹی کتھے ہے؟
Where is our food?

ਆਪਾਂ ਨੂੰ ਗੱਡੀ ਕੌਣ ਦੇਵੇਗਾ?
آپاں نوں گڈی کون دیویگا؟
Who will provide us with a car?

If one of your family member is not going to the picnic and someone who's going to is talking to that person, he'd again use the first case i.e. ਅਸੀਂ/اسیں because the listener is not included in the 'we'.

Another scenario:

  • A politician, while addressing a crowd on behalf of his party, about the work he and his party members have done in the past years, would use "ਅਸੀਂ/اسیں" since the work has been carried out by him and the other members and not the audience. 
Our party did this and that.  (The party doesn't include the audience)
ਸਾਡੀ ਪਾਰਟੀ ਨੇ ਇਹ ਕੀਤਾ, ਉਹ ਕੀਤਾ
ساڈی پارٹی نے ایہہ کیتا، اوہ کیتا۔
  • The same politician while urging the audience with statements like "Let's work together for a better future" or "We all need to work towards this common goal" would use "ਆਪਾਂ/آپاں" since he's including the audience too in this usage of 'we'.
Our constituency experienced the most development. (The constituency includes the audience)
ਆਪਣੇ ਹਲਕੇ ਵਿਚ ਸਭ ਤੋਂ ਵੱਧ ਤਰੱਕੀ ਹੋਈ
اپنے ہلکے وچ سبھ توں ودھ ترقی ہوئی۔

The conjugations with ਆਪਾਂ/آپاں follow the same pattern as those with ਅਸੀਂ/اسیں. So no worries there!

ਆਪਾਂ ਖਾਂਦੇ ਹਾਂ
آپاں کھاندے ہاں۔
We (all) eat.

ਆਪਣਾ ਦੇਸ਼ ਮਹਾਨ ਹੈ
اپنا دیش مہان ہے۔
Our nation is great. (spoken to speaker's fellow countrymen)

ਸਾਡਾ ਦੇਸ਼ ਮਹਾਨ ਹੈ
ساڈا دیش مہان ہے۔
Our nation is great. (spoken to an outsider i.e. to someone not from the same nation)

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