From In Our Own Words

The language

Punjabi is a language that is derived from Sanskrit and spoken by people who originate from North India and certain parts of modern-day Pakistan. It is generally associated with people following Sikhism as a religion as many of them originate from that region but this is not exclusively the case. In many ways the language is similar to Hindi and Urdu.


These are the terms and phrases used in Punjabi to talk about struggle and distress.

Term/Phrase Meaning (in English) Part of the body affected (if applicable) Sound recording Example use in a sentence
Daradh Pain Anywhere Pain Recording Pain happens to me (Recording)
Dukh (masculine) Hurt Anywhere Hurt Recording I have been hurt (Recording)
Dukhi (feminine) Hurt Anywhere Hurt Recording Adjective: General experience of being hurt
Tucleef Suffering General Suffering Recording Suffering has come to me
Kismet Fate N/A Fate Recording This is fate (Recording)
Perishaan Worry N/A Worry Recording Worry has come to me (Recording)
Dimach Mind Psyche Mind Recording Gone mad - I or you (Recording)
Thuki Tired General Tiredness Recording I've become Tired (Recording)

We have a also have a testing page for additions to the page, where we ask the wider community for their input into what additional words and phrases might be included and what they might mean

The Body

Body Diagram

Number Meaning in English Meaning in Punjabi Recording
1 Head Example Example
2 Eyes Example Example
3 Nose Example Example
4 Mouth Example Example
5 Ear Example Example
6 Mind Example Example
7 Shoulder Example Example
8 Chest, heart Example Example
9 Stomach, gut Example Example
10 Arm Example Example
11 Hand Example Example
12 Thigh Example Example
13 Knee Example Example
14 Foot Example Example
15 Back Example Example

Links to Further Resources

Links to work (e.g. academic papers) and organisations that aim to improve the health and well-being of Punjabi-speaking people.

South Asian Health Foundation

Sikh Forgiveness: free resources on suicide prevention in Punjabi

Asra The Punjabi Alcohol Resource for Punjabi families who struggle with alcohol use

Campaigns and public health initiatives

  • Mithaas - A diabetes public health initiative aimed at the South Asian community

Community radio talks with UK Punjabi Speaking South Asians - A community project to raise awareness of psychological aspects of diabetes prevention and management amongst UK Punjabi South Asians


Indian Sub-Continent

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