40 Facts About Urdu language


In India, Urdu is an Eighth Schedule language whose status and cultural heritage is recognized by the Constitution of India; it has an official status in several Indian states.

FactSnippet No. 521,412

Urdu language has been described as a Persianised register of the Hindustani language; Urdu and Hindi share a common Sanskrit- and Prakrit-derived vocabulary base, phonology, syntax, and grammar, making them mutually intelligible during colloquial communication.

FactSnippet No. 521,413

Name Urdu was first used by the poet Ghulam Hamadani Mushafi around 1780 for Hindustani language.

FactSnippet No. 521,414

Some linguists have suggested that the earliest forms of Urdu evolved from the medieval Apabhramsa register of the preceding Shauraseni language, a Middle Indo-Aryan language that is the ancestor of other modern Indo-Aryan languages.

FactSnippet No. 521,415

Name Urdu language was first introduced by the poet Ghulam Hamadani Mushafi around 1780.

FactSnippet No. 521,416

Urdu language was then promoted in colonial India by British policies to counter the previous emphasis on Persian.

FactSnippet No. 521,417

In colonial Indian Islamic schools, Muslims were taught Persian and Arabic as the languages of Indo-Islamic civilisation; the British, in order to promote literacy among Indian Muslims and attract them to attend government schools, started to teach Urdu written in the Perso-Arabic script in these governmental educational institutions and after this time, Urdu began to be seen by Indian Muslims as a symbol of their religious identity.

FactSnippet No. 521,418

Hindus in northwestern India, under the Arya Samaj agitated against the sole use of the Perso-Arabic script and argued that the Urdu language should be written in the native Devanagari script, which triggered a backlash against the use of Hindi written in Devanagari by the Anjuman-e-Islamia of Lahore.

FactSnippet No. 521,419

Hindi in the Devanagari script and Urdu language written in the Perso-Arabic script established a sectarian divide of "Urdu language" for Muslims and "Hindi" for Hindus, a divide that was formalised with the partition of colonial India into the Dominion of India and the Dominion of Pakistan after independence.

FactSnippet No. 521,420

Urdu was chosen as an official language of Pakistan in 1947 as it was already the lingua franca for Muslims in north and northwest British India, although Urdu had been used as a literary medium for colonial Indian writers from the Bombay Presidency, Bengal, Orissa Province, and Tamil Nadu as well.

FactSnippet No. 521,421

In 1973, Urdu was recognised as the sole national language of Pakistan – although English and regional languages were granted official recognition.

FactSnippet No. 521,422

However, the style of Urdu language spoken on a day-to-day basis in Pakistan is akin to neutral Hindustani that serves as the lingua franca of the northern Indian subcontinent.

FactSnippet No. 521,423

In India, although Urdu is not and never was used exclusively by Muslims, the ongoing Hindi–Urdu controversy and modern cultural association of each language with the two religions has led to fewer Hindus using Urdu.

FactSnippet No. 521,424

However, Hindustani, of which Urdu is one variety, is spoken much more widely, forming the third most commonly spoken language in the world, after Mandarin and English.

FactSnippet No. 521,425

Similarly, the Urdu language spoken in India can be distinguished into many dialects such as the Standard Urdu language of Lucknow and Delhi, as well as the Dakhni of South India.

FactSnippet No. 521,426

Urdu language was chosen as a symbol of unity for the new state of Pakistan in 1947, because it had already served as a lingua franca among Muslims in north and northwest British India.

FactSnippet No. 521,427

In India, Urdu language is spoken in places where there are large Muslim minorities or cities that were bases for Muslim empires in the past.

FactSnippet No. 521,428

Urdu language is spoken by large numbers of immigrants and their children in the major urban centres of the United Kingdom, the United States, Canada, Germany, New Zealand, Norway, and Australia.

FactSnippet No. 521,429

Urdu language's use was not confined only to northern India – it had been used as a literary medium for Indian writers from the Bombay Presidency, Bengal, Orissa Province, and Tamil Nadu as well.

FactSnippet No. 521,430

Urdu language continued its role in developing a Muslim identity as the Islamic Republic of Pakistan was established with the intent to construct a homeland for Muslims of South Asia.

FactSnippet No. 521,431

Urdu language was chosen as a symbol of unity for the new state of Pakistan in 1947, because it had already served as a lingua franca among Muslims in north and northwest British India.

FactSnippet No. 521,432

Urdu language is seen as a repertory for the cultural and social heritage of Pakistan.

FactSnippet No. 521,433

Article 25 of the Pakistani Constitution mandates that Urdu be implemented as the sole language of government, though English continues to be the most widely used language at the higher echelons of Pakistani government.

FactSnippet No. 521,434

Urdu language has a few recognised dialects, including Dakhni, Dhakaiya, Rekhta, and Modern Vernacular Urdu language.

FactSnippet No. 521,435

Dhakaiya Urdu language is a dialect native to the city of Old Dhaka in Bangladesh, dating back to the Mughal era.

FactSnippet No. 521,436

The Urdu language spoken by Stranded Pakistanis in Bangladesh is different from this dialect.

FactSnippet No. 521,437

Many bilingual or multi-lingual Urdu language speakers, being familiar with both Urdu language and English, display code-switching in certain localities and between certain social groups.

FactSnippet No. 521,438

Apart from religious associations, the differences are largely restricted to the standard forms: Standard Urdu language is conventionally written in the Nastaliq style of the Persian alphabet and relies heavily on Persian and Arabic as a source for technical and literary vocabulary, whereas Standard Hindi is conventionally written in Devanagari and draws on Sanskrit.

FactSnippet No. 521,439

However, both share a core vocabulary of native Sanskrit and Prakrit derived words and a significant amount of Arabic and Persian loanwords, with a consensus of linguists considering them to be two standardised forms of the same Urdu language and consider the differences to be sociolinguistic; a few classify them separately.

FactSnippet No. 521,440

Old Urdu language dictionaries contain most of the Sanskrit words now present in Hindi.

FactSnippet No. 521,441

Some Pakistani Urdu language speakers have incorporated Hindi vocabulary into their speech as a result of exposure to Indian entertainment.

FactSnippet No. 521,442

In India, Urdu language has not diverged from Hindi as much as it has in Pakistan.

FactSnippet No. 521,443

Some examples for Portuguese words borrowed into Urdu language are chabi, girja ("igreja": church), kamra ("camara": room), qamiz ("camisa": shirt).

FactSnippet No. 521,444

Urdu language words originating from Chagatai and Arabic were borrowed through Persian and hence are Persianised versions of the original words.

FactSnippet No. 521,445

Nevertheless, contrary to popular belief, Urdu did not borrow from the Turkish language, but from Chagatai, a Turkic language from Central Asia.

FactSnippet No. 521,446

The more formal register of Urdu is sometimes referred to as, the "Language of the Exalted Camp", referring to the Imperial army or in approximate local translation Lashkari Zaban ( []) or simply just Lashkari.

FactSnippet No. 521,447

Urdu language is written right-to left in an extension of the Persian alphabet, which is itself an extension of the Arabic alphabet.

FactSnippet No. 521,448

Urdu language is associated with the Nasta?liq style of Persian calligraphy, whereas Arabic is generally written in the Naskh or Ruq'ah styles.

FactSnippet No. 521,449

Nasta'liq is notoriously difficult to typeset, so Urdu language newspapers were hand-written by masters of calligraphy, known as katib or khush-nawis, until the late 1980s.

FactSnippet No. 521,450

Dhakaiya Urdu language is a colloquial non-standard dialect of Urdu language which was typically not written.

FactSnippet No. 521,451