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Urdu in Nastaʿlīq script
|Native to||India and Pakistan|
|Ethnicity||Urdu-speaking people (Muslims of the Urdu Belt, the Deccani people and the Muhajir people)|
|68.62 million (2021)|
Total: 230 million (2021)
Official language in
|Regulated by||National Language Promotion Department (Pakistan)|
National Council for Promotion of Urdu Language (India)
Areas in India and Pakistan where Urdu is either official or co-official
Areas where Urdu is neither official nor co-official
|Urdu edition of Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia|
Urdu , also known as Lashkari or the Lashkari language (لشکری زبان) is a mixture of several languages having it's origin in Turkish, Persian and Arabic languages, hence it is also termed as a Lashkari Zaban. It is the national language of Pakistan. It is spoken as a lingua franca by the majority of people in Pakistan And it is also Spoken in some Parts of India like the states of Delhi, Bihar and Uttar Pradesh. With Exceptions of numerous Vocabulary Words, Phrases or Tone of Speaking some words are similar to spoken Hindi. When Written, it is Written Completely Different from Hindi. That is Why, Speakers of Hindi and Urdu can have a Conversation with One Another, but they Cannot Read or Write Urdu or Hindi Letters to one another.
History[change | change source]
Urdu was believed to have developed in 11th century in the Mughal Sultanate, Urdu is evolved from Turkish and Persian. The origin of the name Urdu is the Turkish language's word for a crowd or lashkar, Ordu. Urdu uses the Persia-Arabic alphabet and relies heavily on Persian vocabulary with influences from Turkish and Arabic as well. The poet Ghulam Hamadani Mushafi coined the term Urdu for this language in 1780. In India Hindus used to speak and write Hindi, whereas Muslims would begin to speak and write Urdu. in 1882 Arya Samaj argued that, Urdu should be written in the Devanagari/Sanskrit script, which started the controversy named, Hindi-Urdu controversy, and makes a divide of Urdu language, Urdu for Muslims, and Hindi for Hindus.
Relations to Persian[change | change source]
Differences[change | change source]
The letters in Urdu are derived from the Persian/Farsi alphabet, which is derived from the Arabic alphabet. The additional letters that are found in Urdu include ٹ ,ڈ ,ڑ (ṫ, ḋ, ṙ). To make the alphabet more enriched two letters were created for sounds ه (h) and ی (y). By adding these letters to the existing Persian letters the Urdu alphabet became more suitable for the people of Pakistan and North India.
Similarities[change | change source]
Urdu is written right to left like Farsi (Persian) script. Urdu is also written in the Nasta’ liq style of Persian Calligraphy. Nastaliq style is a cursive script invented by Mīr ʿAlī of Tabrīz, a very famous calligrapher during the Timurid period (1402–1502).
Levels of formality[change | change source]
Informal[change | change source]
Urdu in its less formalized register has been called a rekhta (ریختہ, ), meaning "rough mixture". The more formal register of Urdu is sometimes called zabān-e-Urdu-e-mo'alla (زبان اردو معلہ [zəbaːn eː ʊrd̪uː eː moəllaː]), the "Language of Camp and Court."
In local translation, it is called Lashkari Zabān (لشکری زبان [lʌʃkɜ:i: zɑ:bɑ:n]) meaning "a language of crowds" or "language made up of many languages" or "military language". This can be shortened to Lashkari.
The etymology of the word used in the Urdu language for the most part decides how nice or well done your speech is. For example, Urdu speakers would distinguish between پانی pānī and آب āb, both meaning "water" for example, or between آدمی ādmi and مرد mard, meaning "man." The first word is ad derivative from Adam (آدم) Arabic mean from Adam and it can be used for both man and woman in place of human being. Second word مرد mard refers to a gender or can be used for manly hood as well.
If a word is of Persian or Arabic origin, the level of speech is thought to be more formal. If Persian or Arabic grammar constructs, such as the izafat, are used in Urdu, the level of speech is also thought more formal and correct. If a word is inherited from Turkish, the level of speech is thought more colloquial and personal. The reason perhaps is the Turks influence over India deeming Sanskrit to be a lesser language than Persian or Urdu itself. For the longest time Persian was also official language of Mughul ruled territories.
Formal[change | change source]
Urdu is supposed to be a well formed language; many of words are used in it to show respect and politeness. This emphasis on politeness, which comes from the vocabulary, is known as Aadab ( Courteous ) and to sometimes as takalluf (Formal) in Urdu. These words are mostly used when addressing elders, or people with whom one is not met yet. Just like French Vous and Tu. Upon studying French and other forms of Language similar formal language construct are present. The whole grammatical layout appears to be almost identical to French language structure. The rules to form sentences and structuring them are identical
Poetics[change | change source]
Two very respected poets who are not only celebrated in the South Asian subcontinent but are famous in many other communities worldwide are Mirza Ghalib and Sir Dr Muhammed Iqbal.
Mirza Ghalib[change | change source]
Ghalib (1797-1869) is famous for his classic satire and sarcasm as seen in the following verse;
Umer bhar hum yun hee ghalati kartey rahen Ghalib
Dhool ch-herey pei thee aur hum aaina saaf karte rahe
O Ghalib (himself) all my life I kept making the same mistakes over and over,
I was busy cleaning the mirror while the dirt was on my face.
Sir Dr Muhammed Iqbal[change | change source]
Iqbal (1877-1938) was a poet, and an active politician. He focused his poetry on bringing out the plight of the suffering Muslim community of India. In his poetry he very boldly highlighted the missing virtues and values in the morally corrupt Indian society. Despite much opposition in the beginning, he ended up leaving a huge impact. He is also called the “Poet of the East” and the “Poet of Islam”. His work is displayed in the following verse;
Aapne bhe khafa mujh sei beganey bhe na khush
Mein zeher -e-halahal ku kabhi keh na saka qand
I could not keep happy either my loved ones nor the strangers,
as I could never call a piece of poison a piece of candy.
Iqbal is considered by many an inspirational poet. He played a large role in the Pakistan Movement, with many claiming that he was the one to imagine and initiate it.
Common Words/Phrases in Urdu[change | change source]
Aap tashreef rakhein = Please have a seat
Main mu'azzarat chahta/chahti hun = Please excuse me/I apologize
Informal Urdu: Aap bethein (You sit) or Tum betho (Sit, more informal)
Main maafi chahta/chahti hun= I ask for forgiveness
Aap kaisay hein? = How are you?
Main theek hun = I am fine
Assalam O Alaikum = Peace be upon you (It basically means hello, and it is a common greeting used in Islamic countries or among Muslims in general)
Urdu vs Hindi--What's the difference?[change | change source]
Urdu is a language spoken primarily in Pakistan. Its grammar and sentence structures are similar to Turkish, Persian, Arabic. Hindi is a language spoken primarily in India which is basically an easier version of Sanskrit language, for years the common Indian person found it extremely difficult to speak pure Sanskrit and make others understand it internationally, so they borrowed the Urdu language with a dash of Sanskrit in it calling it Hindi language. Reason why Hindi and Urdu speakers are able to have a somewhat easy conversation with each other.
Urdu has a majority of its vocabulary words and phrases borrowed from Persian, Turkish and Arabic, languages spoken in Turkey, Iran, Saudi Arabia, many countries of the Middle East and in Afghanistan etc. Urdu's written script is also in the exact alphabets and scripts of Persian-Arabic and Turkish. That is why, they are able to read and write easily in Arabic and Persian. Urdu is the Persianized form of Turkish and Arabic.
Name of colors, objects, feelings, animals and more are all different in Urdu and Hindi. However as the common Indian person find speaking Urdu more easier and more widely understood in the world instead of their native language Sanskrit, the Indians like to prefer using Urdu as the language spoken commonly or in their movies, tv shows etc but by calling it as Hindi language.
References[change | change source]
- Carl Skutsch (7 November 2013). Encyclopedia of the World's Minorities. Taylor & Francis. pp. 2234–. ISBN 978-1-135-19395-9.
- "What are the top 200 most spoken languages?". Ethnologue. Retrieved 2021-02-26.
- Hindustani (2005). Keith Brown (ed.). Encyclopedia of Language and Linguistics (2 ed.). Elsevier. ISBN 0-08-044299-4.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)
- Gaurav Takkar. "Short Term Programmes". punarbhava.in. Archived from the original on 15 November 2016. Retrieved 29 March 2015.
- "Indo-Pakistani Sign Language", Encyclopedia of Language and Linguistics
- "Urdu is Telangana's second official language". The Indian Express. 16 November 2017. Retrieved 27 February 2018.
- "Urdu is second official language in Telangana as state passes Bill". The News Minute. 17 November 2017. Retrieved 27 February 2018.
- "Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, 1996 - Chapter 1: Founding Provisions". www.gov.za. Retrieved 6 December 2014.
- Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2017). "Urdu". Glottolog 3.0. Jena, Germany: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History. Cite uses deprecated parameter
- Aijazuddin Ahmad (2009). Geography of the South Asian Subcontinent: A Critical Approach. Concept Publishing Company. pp. 120–. ISBN 978-81-8069-568-1.
- Khalid, Kanwal. "LAHORE DURING THE GHANAVID PERIOD."
- "About Urdu". Afroz Taj (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Retrieved 2008-02-26. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
Other sources[change | change source]
- Encyclopædia Britannica Nastaʿlīq script