Discrepancy: So What Is It?

Posted on May 1, 2008
Filed Under >Pervaiz Munir Alvi, Culture & Heritage, Society, Urdu
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Pervaiz Munir Alvi

Previously at ATP we have talked about ‘Redundancy’ and about ‘Naming Names’ in Pakistan. At those posts lively comments by many of our readers made the original post even more interesting. Once again we are hopeful that our loyal readers will come forward and add to this post with their own interesting questions.

So question is: what is it?

Is it Shala-mar as written in most Mughal historical manuscripts or is it ‘Shali-mar’ as written on the boxes of expensive French perfume named after the famous gardens in Lahore and in Kashmir? What is it?

Is it Mumtaz Mahal as the queen of Emperor Shahjahan for whom he built that magnificent mausoleum in Agra at the banks of river Yamuna, or is it the gaudy and tasteless casino Taj Mahal built by developer Donald Trump at the shores of Atlantic Ocean in the US of A. Which one is it?

Is it Badeshahi Qala or simply Shai Qila as pronounced by Lahorites?

Is it Poto-har, Pot-war, or Poth-war Plateau (all at once in the same government of Pakistan official publication)?

Again is it Ka-ra-chi or Ka-ran-chi as my great-aunt used to say? Which one is it?

Is it University of the Punjab as printed on the left side of my diploma or is it Punjab University as printed on the right side of the same document. What is it?

Is it Syed as in Tahira Syed the famous singer-daughter of the famous singer-mother, or is it Syeda as in Syeda Abida Hussain the famous politician-daughter of famous politician-father Syed Maratab Ali Shah.

Is it Mohammad Nawaz s/o Mohammad Sharif as stated on his original birth certificate or is it Mian Mohammad Nawaz Sharif Sahab as printed on his election campaign posters? Which one is it?

Is it Jillani as ‘Shaikh Abdul Qadar Jillani of Bagdad or is it Gillani as Pir-Syed Yousaf Raza Gillani of Multan.

And then, is it Enlightened Moderation or Moderate Enlightenment.
Which one is it?

The above are some of the questions in my mind and in the minds of other readers of ATP which need a resolution.

16 responses to “Discrepancy: So What Is It?”

  1. Watan Aziz says:

    But Punjabi is best when spoken in Urdu accent!

    It is both stiff and raw all at the same time. And the strain that gets created, searching for words and emphasis all at the same time (generally in wrong places). With arms flying and body moving in disconnected directions, it is a sight to behold. (I am roasting my best friend and doubling over with fond memories of our youth).

    If you have not seen it, you have not been in Lahore long enough!

    My favorites are:

    Nav’aid or Naveed (Punjabi version / Urdu version)
    Wasim or Waseem (2nd spelling seems right to me)
    ekbal or Akbaal (pronuciation)
    Lahore or la-oar (pronuciation)
    Rawalpindi or Pindi
    Duska or Deskay (pronuciation)
    Leiah or Leyyah or leyeaa (pronuciation)
    Rickshaw or rakshaw
    government or gorment (this is all time classic in my books for poor transliteration)
    dahi or daeee (yougart, Urdu / Punjabi? not sure)
    Said or Syed or Sayid
    Cigarette or sirget
    Fanta or funta
    Birthday or birday (this tops the list)
    Biscuit or beskut

    Then there are a whole bunch of Arbic words that have gone south:
    Hadees or Hadith
    Usman or Othman
    Ramzan or Ramadan

    However, given a chance to Urdu media, the transliteration will put you over the top:
    Jersey became jercey (and I have seen it spelled right back in English as New Jercey; go figure)
    Connecticut is kun-kati-kat

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