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Dogri Language Amazing Facts That You Didn’t Know

Dogri is the language of the Dogras, living mainly in the Jammu region of Jammu and Kashmir. The parts of India and Pakistan touch the boundary with the Jammu region shares this language. In India, some parts of Himachal Pradesh like Kangra, Chamba, Kullu, Mandi, Suket, people speak it. Also, there are some portions of Punjab having Dogri language, like Gurdaspur, Pathankot, Nurpur, Hoshiarpur. In Pakistan, People know it as Pahari Language, and people of Shakargarh tehsil of Sialkot also speak it. 2.6 million people speak Dogri in India, and the number of speakers combined in India and Pakistan is approximately 5 million people.

Origin of Dogri Language :

Dogri language is a member of the Indo-Aryan group within the Indo-European languages of India. The official script of the language during the reign of Ranbir Singh (1857–85 CE) is ‘Dogra Akkhar’ or ‘Akkhar.’ However, Devanagari replaced Akkhar during the 20th century. The word “Dogra” represents people who speak Dogri, which is mostly from the Jammu region of Jammu and Kashmir state (now UT of India). Therefore, people from the Jammu region are known as Dogras. Now, the word ‘Akkhar’ denotes Alphabets of any Language.

The Language descended from Classical Sanskrit. For Example, Putra from Sanskrit becomes putter, and Yogi becomes Jogi. The derivation of Vocabulary is primarily from Sanskrit. It absorbs a large number of Arabic, Persian, Pasto, Punjabi, and English words. For Example, the word “yes” of English, “ho” in Pashto, “aho” in Punjabi, becomes “aaho.” But most of the words are a dialect of the Sanskrit Language.

Origin of Name:

The word ‘Dogri‘ originated from the word ‘Duggar.’ The term ‘Duggar’ itself originated from the term ‘Dwigart,’ which means “two troughs,” as described in the court of Maharaja Ranbir Singh s/o Gulab Singh. These two troughs are ‘Mansar Lake‘ and ‘Sruinsar Lake.’ So, there is a fascinating connection between the Dogri Language and Lake of Mansar and Sruinsar.

This means the origin of the Language may be from the areas around these lakes. Which is a correct theory because of the natural form of the Language is still present in these areas. The most natural way of speaking the Language is in the Udhampur district, nearer to these lakes. It is also spoken in purer forms in Reasi and Kathua districts. The Vaishno Devi Temple, Katra, is also in Reasi District. The people of these places protected their culture and sill wear Dogri Cultural Dresses.

Dogri Bridal
Bridal in cultural Dogri Dress.

Dialects of Dogri Language:

Grierson (administrator and linguist in British India) describes the language as a dialect of Punjabi. However, the veteran linguist Dr. Siddheshwar Verma has pointed out that it is structurally an independent language and not a dialect of any other language. Furthermore, Shivnath mentions seventeen dialects spoken in the area of Duggar (includes Jammu province and some parts of Himachal Pradesh and Punjab).

Like Sanskrit, the mother of all languages in India. Dogri is also the mother of 17 languages spoken in the Duggar Region. These 17 languages are; Kandyali, Kangri, Bhatiali, Sirmauri, Baghati, Kiunthali, Kului, Gujari, Rambani, Pongli, Hoshiarpur, Pahadi, Lahnda, Bhadrawahi, Rambani. Dogri Language is the standard language among all these 17 dialect languages. Some Languages like Kangri, Hoshiarpur Pahadi, and Lahnda have standard features with Dogri and Punjabi. Some words of Bhadrawahi, Rambani, and Pongli also have standard features with Dogri and Kashmiri.

Dogri Script:

People also speak Dogri in mountainous and sub-mountainous regions of the adjoining plains of northwest India. It is lying between the Pirpanjal and Dhauladhar ranges in North and the plains of Punjab in the South, to the river Tawi in the West. The script [AKKHAR] initially used to write the Dogri language can be seen written on the walls of temples in Jammu. However, it is recurrently written in the Devanagari script in India, and in Pakistan and Pakistani-administered Kashmir, it is written in the Nastaʿliq form of Perso-Arabic.

dogri language words
dogri language words

A rare photo of Dogri Language Script. Some words are visual looks like Hindi and some like Punjabi. This script is forgotten from years, hope one day it will revive again and furnish like its past. Also, now the Government is giving some of its efforts to restore it.

Grammar, Phonology, and Vocabulary :

On analyzing the grammar, phonology, and vocabulary, one can observe that the language has a solid Sanskrit base, likewise many other Indian languages. Sanskrit words used in it either in pure form or with some phonetic changes. In classical Sanskrit, some Vedic words are not preserved but preserved in Dogri with a slightly changed form.

Relation with Sanskrit:

Sanskrit term ‘Sosa’ used for ‘the summer season’ kept in Dogri and called ‘Soha.’ Similarly, the Vedic word ‘Bdhna’ is preserved in it and known as ‘Bunna.’ Sanskrit words are mostly used in conversations, at the time of religious and social functions, having a touch of religion.

While worshipping girls in Devi Pujana, the term ‘kanjaka’ is used, which derived from the Sanskrit word ‘kanyaka,’ but the pure form ‘Kanya’ used in the marriage ceremony. Many pure Sanskrit words like agnihotra, kusa, Jala, diksa, kalaga, puspa, asana, daksind, Kunda, tapa samadhi, vidya, Brahma, jiva, Atma, used in the religious and philosophical talk.

There are many more words which are originated from Sanskrit are described in the following list:

Sanskrit Dogri
Yasa  Jasa
Vela  Beta
Yatra  Jatra
Patra Pattar
Hasa Asa
Bhara Para

Linguistic Characteristics Of Dogri Language:

On observing some phonological features and morphological characteristics, we can certainly understand aspects of Dogri and its relation with Sanskrit.

Phonological features are-

  1. Initial V changes to B. (Example: vistara becomes bastara).
  2. Similarly, initial Y changes to J. (Example: Yogi becomes Jogi).
  3. Voiced aspirates of Hindi-GH, JH, DH, BH, changed to unvoiced and voiced mutes with tones.
  4. S, however, turns into KH. (Example: Varsa becomes barakha ).
  5. It tends to drop the initial vowel of Sanskrit. (Example: Ananda becomes Nanda ).
  6. Y & in the middle of a word is changed to I & U. Hence, Nayana becomes nain, and Bhavana becomes Bhauna.
  7. Vowel length and consonant length are phonemic.

Some morphological characteristics are.

  1. Preference for passive voice constructions. Example: mere sa nei Janoda (I can not go).
  2. The use of ha, tha, a, hi, he, thi, the, etc. for the expressions was/were.
  3. The conjugation of the auxiliary verb by the gender of the subject, unlike Punjabi, where it remains unchanged.
    Punjabi: Raja ge da si. (The king had gone)
    Dogri: Raja ge da ha.
    Punjabi: Rani gei di si. (The queen had gone)
    Dogri: Rani gei di hi.
  4. The use of an additional vowel in the past verbal forms seems, in the same vein, Turi gea, sunilea. (Had gone, had heard).
  5. The particular pronominal forms like tugi (to you), migi (to me). Now, these forms furthermore changed. Tugi becomes Tuki, and Migi becomes Miki.
  6. Post positions like Kanne (with) Kasa (from).
  7. Special liking for forms ending with (U). Therefore, word cacu used for (father), kurtu (shirt), manu (human being).
  8. ER probably made Verb stems, e.g., khaderana (to make a stand), baderana (to give bath).

Some words of Dogri Language:

Dogri in Devanagari English meaning
दोआना Watermallon
नुक्कां Slippers
Dogri language words

Official Status:

On 22 December 2003, Dogri got its official recognization. When included in the 8th Schedule of the Indian Constitution. It becomes the national language of India. After that, it is being taught in Schools and Colleges. It was a significant push by the Indian Government to the language. That was an excellent day for Dogra’s and Sahitya Academy of India to recognize it as an Independent Language.

On 2 September 2020, Dogri Language becomes the Official Language of Jammu and Kashmir State. Now, onwards official work of the J&K state will be done in this Language along with Urdu, English, and Kashmiri. This step of the Indian Government will help the Language to revive again.

On the other hand, In Pakistan, it is still not an official Language. Therefore, the condition of the Language called Pahari Language is in vain. Which is not suitable for the progress of the language. It is still waiting for its glorious days.

Future Of Dogri Language:

Future of Dogri Looks not so great because we already forget its original Script Akkhar, and we know all languages without their original script are not sustainable in the long term.

Also, the local government is not taking any steps to make it popular and sustainable. Without the push of government, no language can Flourish. The youth of Jammu is also not showing its interest in their mother tongue.

Nowadays, youth feel shy to speak their mother tongue, they even don’t speak it with their parents and friends. Parents also talk in Hindi or English with their children, which makes the situation worse.

As a result of the new generation even doesn’t know how to speak Dogri, and if they learn some words from their colleagues, due to the tonal nature of the language, they can’t speak those words with the original tone.

As a result, the number of speakers is reducing day by day. Hence makes it an endangered language, soon it will be extinct if we don’t do anything.

Dogri language is spoken in which state?

It is primarily spoken in the Jammu province of Jammu and Kashmir union territory of India.

How many people speak Dogri Language?

5 million people worldwide, from which 2.6 million are in India.

The script of Dogri Language?

‘Akkhar’ script, but now it is written in Devnagri Script.

Dogri language language family?

Indo-Aryan group within the Indo-European languages of India


  1. Appreciate your efforts 🙏

    तुसें दा मता मता तन्नवाद


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