Pakistan (national and official)
India (official as per the 8th Schedule of the Constitution and
in the following states/union territories)
Jammu and Kashmir
National Capital Territory of Delhi
United Arab Emirates Guyana
(as Guyanese Hindustani)
Suriname (as Sarnami Hindoestani)
Trinidad and Tobago
(as Trinidadian Hindustani)
Urdu is either official or co-official
Urdu is neither official nor co-official
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This article contains
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may see unjoined letters running left to right or other symbols
Urdu (/ˈʊərduː/; Urdu: اُردُو ALA-LC: Urdū
[ˈʊrd̪uː] ( listen), or Modern Standard Urdu) is a
Persianised and standardised register of the Hindustani
language. It is the official national language and lingua
franca of Pakistan. In India, it is one of the 22 official languages
recognized in the Constitution of India, having official status in the
five states of Jammu and Kashmir, Telangana, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, and
Jharkhand, as well as the national capital territory of Delhi.
Apart from specialized vocabulary,
Urdu is mutually intelligible with
Standard Hindi, another recognized register of Hindustani. The Urdu
variant of Hindustani received recognition and patronage under British
rule when the British replaced the local official languages with
English and Hindustani written in Nastaʿlīq script, as the official
language in North and Northwestern India. Religious,
social, and political factors pushed for a distinction between Urdu
Hindi in India, leading to the Hindi–
2 Speakers and geographic distribution
3 Cultural identity and Islam
3.1 Colonial India
4 Official status
5.1 Code switching
6 Comparison with Modern Standard Hindi
8.1 Levels of formality
9 Writing system
Urdu poetry example
11 Sample text
11.2 Transliteration (ALA-LC)
11.3 IPA transcription
11.4 Gloss (word-for-word)
11.5 Translation (grammatical)
12 See also
15 Further reading
16 External links
History of Hindustani
Urdu, like Hindi, is a form of Hindustani. It evolved from the
medieval (6th to 13th century)
Apabhraṃśa register of the preceding
Shauraseni language, a Middle Indo-Aryan language that is also the
ancestor of other modern Indo-Aryan languages, including the Punjabi
dialects. Around 75% of
Urdu words have their etymological roots in
Sanskrit and Prakrit, and approximately 99% of
have their roots in
Sanskrit and Prakrit. Because Persian-speaking
sultans ruled the Indian subcontinent for a number of years, Urdu
was influenced by Persian and to a lesser extent, Arabic, which have
contributed to about 25% of Urdu's formal
Although the word
Urdu is derived from the Turkic word ordu (army) or
orda, from which English horde is also derived, Turkic borrowings
Urdu are minimal and
Urdu is also not genetically related to
the Turkic languages.
Urdu words originating from Chagatai and Arabic
were borrowed through Persian and hence are Persianized versions of
the original words. For instance, the
Arabic ta' marbuta
( ة ) changes to he ( ه ) or te
( ت ). [note 1] Nevertheless, contrary to popular
Urdu did not borrow from the Turkish language, but from
Turkic language from Central Asia.
Urdu and Turkish
Arabic and Persian, hence the similarity in
pronunciation of many
Urdu and Turkish words.
Arabic influence in the region began with the late first-millennium
Muslim conquests of the Indian subcontinent. The
Persian language was
introduced into the subcontinent a few centuries later by various
Persianized Central Asian Turkic and Afghan dynasties including that
of Mahmud of Ghazni. The Turko-Afghan
established Persian as its official language, a policy continued by
the Mughal Empire, which extended over most of northern South Asia
from the 16th to 18th centuries and cemented Persian influence on the
developing Hindustani.
With the advent of the British Raj, Persian was no longer the language
of administration but Hindustani, still written in the Persian script,
continued to be used by both
Hindus and Muslims. The
Urdu was first used by the poet Ghulam Hamadani Mushafi around
1780.(p18) From the 13th century until the end of the 18th
Urdu was commonly known as Hindi.(p1) The language was
also known by various other names such as Hindavi and
Dehlavi.(pp21–22) The communal nature of the language lasted
until it replaced Persian as the official language in 1837 and was
made co-official, along with English. Hindustani was promoted in
India by British policies to counter the previous emphasis on
Persian. This triggered a Brahman backlash in northwestern India,
which argued that the language should be written in the native
Devanagari script. Thus a new literary register, called "Hindi",
replaced traditional Hindustani as the official language of
1881, establishing a sectarian divide of "Urdu" for
"Hindi" for Hindus, a divide that was formalized with the division of
Pakistan after independence (though there are Hindu poets
who continue to write in
Urdu to this day, with post-independence
Gopi Chand Narang
Gopi Chand Narang and Gulzar).
There have been attempts to "purify"
Urdu and Hindi, by purging Urdu
Sanskrit words, and
Hindi of Persian loanwords, and new vocabulary
draws primarily from Persian and
Urdu and from
Hindi. English has exerted a heavy influence on both as a co-official
Speakers and geographic distribution
See also: Languages of
Pakistan and Languages of India
The phrase Zabān-i Urdū-yi Muʿallā ("The language of the exalted
camp") written in Nastaʿlīq script.
There are over 100 million native speakers of
India (more than
80% of it) and
Pakistan together: there were 52 million and 80.5
Urdu speakers in
India some 5% and 6.5% of the total
India as per the 2001 and 2011 censuses
respectively; approximately 10 million in
Pakistan or 7.57% as per
the 1998 census and 16 million in 2006 estimates; and several
hundred thousand in the United Kingdom, Saudi Arabia, United States,
Bangladesh (where it is called "Bihari"). However, a knowledge
Urdu allows one to speak with far more people than that, because
Hindustani, of which
Urdu is one variety, is the third most commonly
spoken language in the world, after Mandarin and English . Because
of the difficulty in distinguishing between
Hindi speakers in
India and Pakistan, as well as estimating the number of people for
Urdu is a second language, the estimated number of speakers is
uncertain and controversial.
Owing to interaction with other languages,
Urdu has become localized
wherever it is spoken, including in Pakistan.
undergone changes and has incorporated and borrowed many words from
regional languages, thus allowing speakers of the language in Pakistan
to distinguish themselves more easily and giving the language a
decidedly Pakistani flavour. Similarly, the
Urdu spoken in
also be distinguished into many dialects like
Dakhni (Deccan) of South
Khariboli of the Punjab region. Because of Urdu's
similarity to Hindi, speakers of the two languages can easily
understand one another if both sides refrain from using specialized
vocabulary. The syntax (grammar), morphology, and the core vocabulary
are essentially identical. Thus linguists usually count them as one
single language and contend that they are considered as two different
languages for socio-political reasons.
Urdu is mostly learned as a second or a third language as
nearly 93% of Pakistan's population has a native language other than
Urdu. Despite this,
Urdu was chosen as a token of unity and as a
lingua franca so as not to give any native Pakistani language
preference over the other.
Urdu is therefore spoken and understood by
the vast majority in some form or another, including a majority of
urban dwellers in such cities as Karachi, Lahore, Okara District,
Sialkot, Rawalpindi, Islamabad, Multan, Faisalabad, Hyderabad,
Peshawar, Quetta, Jhang,
Sargodha and Skardu. It is written, spoken
and used in all provinces/territories of
Pakistan although the people
from differing provinces may have different indigenous languages, as
from the fact that it is the "base language" of the country. For this
reason, it is also taught as a compulsory subject up to higher
secondary school in both English and
Urdu medium school systems. This
has produced millions of
Urdu speakers from people whose native
language is one of the other languages of Pakistan, who can read and
write only Urdu. It is absorbing many words from the regional
languages of Pakistan. This variation of
Urdu is sometimes referred to
as Pakistani Urdu.
Although most of the population is conversant in Urdu, it is the first
language of only an estimated 7% of the population who are mainly
Muslim immigrants (known as Muhajir in Pakistan) from different parts
of South Asia. The regional languages are also being influenced by
Urdu vocabulary. There are millions of Pakistanis whose native
language is not Urdu, but because they have studied in
schools, they can read and write
Urdu along with their native
language. Most of the nearly five million
Afghan refugees of different
ethnic origins (such as Pashtun, Tajik, Uzbek, Hazarvi, and Turkmen)
who stayed in
Pakistan for over twenty-five years have also become
fluent in Urdu. With such a large number of people(s) speaking Urdu,
the language has acquired a peculiar Pakistani flavour further
distinguishing it from the
Urdu spoken by native speakers and
diversifying the language even further.
Many newspapers are published in
Urdu in Pakistan, including the Daily
Jang, Nawa-i-Waqt, Millat, among many others (see List of newspapers
Urdu language Newspapers).
Urdu is spoken in places where there are large Muslim
minorities or cities that were bases for Muslim Empires in the past.
These include parts of Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Bihar,
Telangana, Andhra Pradesh,
cities such as Lucknow, Delhi, Bareilly, Meerut, Saharanpur,
Muzaffarnagar, Roorkee, Deoband, Moradabad, Azamgarh, Bijnor,
Najibabad, Rampur, Aligarh, Allahabad, Gorakhpur, Agra, Kanpur,
Badaun, Bhopal, Hyderabad, Aurangabad, Bangalore, Kolkata, Mysore,
Patna, Gulbarga, Parbhani, Nanded, Malegaon, Bidar, Ajmer, and
Ahmedabad. Some Indian schools teach
Urdu as a first language and
have their own syllabi and exams. Indian madrasahs also teach Arabic
as well as Urdu.
India has more than 3,000
including 405 daily
Urdu newspapers. Newspapers such as Neshat News
Urdu, Sahara Urdu, Daily Salar, Hindustan Express, Daily Pasban,
The Munsif Daily
The Munsif Daily and Inqilab are published and
distributed in Bangalore, Malegaon, Mysore, Hyderabad, and
List of newspapers in India).
Outside South Asia, it is spoken by large numbers of migrant South
Asian workers in the major urban centres of the Persian Gulf
Urdu is also spoken by large numbers of immigrants and
their children in the major urban centres of the United Kingdom, the
United States, Canada, Germany, Norway, and Australia. Along with
Urdu is among the immigrant languages with the most speakers
Cultural identity and Islam
Religious and social atmospheres in early nineteenth century India
played significant roles in the development of the
Urdu register. In
addition to Islam,
India was characterized by a number of tribal
religions which each represented different spiritual outlooks and
maintained different languages. These tribal religions were later
categorized by British colonialists as Hinduism. Under British rule,
the dispersed tribes associated with Hinduism pushed for unification
by means of a common language.
Hindi became the distinct register
spoken by those who sought to construct a Hindu identity in the face
of colonial rule. As
Hindi separated from Hindustani to create a
distinct spiritual identity, Urdu, which was originally spoken by both
Hindu and Muslim elites, was employed to create a definitive Islamic
identity for the Muslim population in India.
Hindi became means of religious and social construction
Hindus respectively, each register developed its own
script. According to Islamic tradition, Arabic, the language spoken by
Muhammad and uttered in creation of the Qur'an, holds
spiritual significance and power. Because
Urdu was intentioned as
means of unification for
Muslims in Northern
India and later Pakistan,
it adopted an
Urdu continued its role in developing a Muslim identity as the Islamic
Pakistan was established with the intent to construct a
homeland for Islamic believers. Several languages and dialects spoken
throughout the regions of
Pakistan produced an imminent need for a
uniting language. Because
Urdu was the symbol of Islamic identity in
Northern India, it was selected as the national language for Pakistan.
Urdu and Islam together played important roles in developing the
national identity of Pakistan, disputes in the 1950s (particularly
those in East Pakistan), challenged the necessity for
Urdu as a
national symbol and its practicality as the lingua franca. The
Urdu as a national symbol was downplayed by these
disputes when English and Bengali were also accepted as official
languages in East
Pakistan (now Bangladesh).
A trilingual signboard in Arabic, English and
Urdu in the UAE
A multilingual New
Delhi railway station board
Urdu is the national and one of the two official languages of
Pakistan, along with English, and is spoken and understood throughout
the country, whereas the state-by-state languages (languages spoken
throughout various regions) are the provincial languages. Only 7.57%
of Pakistanis have
Urdu as their first language, but
mostly understood and spoken all over
Pakistan as a second or third
language. It is used in education, literature, office and court
business. It holds in itself a repository of the cultural and
social heritage of the country. Although English is used in most
elite circles, and Punjabi has a plurality of native speakers,
the lingua franca and national language of Pakistan. In practice
English is used instead of
Urdu in the higher echelons of
Urdu is also one of the officially recognized languages in
the official language of Jammu and Kashmir, one of the two official
Telangana and also has the status of "additional official
language" in the Indian states of Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand,
West Bengal and the national capital, New Delhi.
In Jammu and Kashmir, section 145 of the Kashmir Constitution
provides: "The official language of the State shall be
Urdu but the
English language shall unless the Legislature by law otherwise
provides, continue to be used for all the official purposes of the
State for which it was being used immediately before the commencement
of the Constitution."
Urdu has a few recognised dialects, including Dakhni, Rekhta, and
Urdu (based on the
Khariboli dialect of the Delhi
Dakhni (also known as Dakani, Deccani, Desia, Mirgan) is
spoken in Deccan region of southern India. It is distinct by its
mixture of vocabulary from Marathi and Konkani, as well as some
vocabulary from Arabic, Persian and Chagatai that are not found in the
standard dialect of Urdu.
Dakhini is widely spoken in all parts of
Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka.
Urdu is read and
written as in other parts of India. A number of daily newspapers and
several monthly magazines in
Urdu are published in these states. In
terms of pronunciation, the easiest way to recognize native speakers
is by their pronunciation of the letter "qāf" (ق) as "k̲h̲e"
Many bilingual or multi-lingual
Urdu speakers, being familiar with
Urdu and English, display code-switching (referred to as
"Urdish") in certain localities and between certain social groups.
On 14 August 2015, the Government of
Pakistan launched the Ilm
Pakistan movement, with a uniform curriculum in Urdish. Ahsan Iqbal,
Federal Minister of Pakistan, said, "Now the government is working on
a new curriculum to provide a new medium to the students which will be
the combination of both
Urdu and English and will name it
Comparison with Modern Standard Hindi
Hindi on a road sign in India
Further information: Hindi–
Urdu controversy, Hindustani phonology,
and Hindustani grammar
Standard Urdu is often contrasted with Standard Hindi. Apart from
religious associations, the differences are largely restricted to the
Standard Urdu is conventionally written in the
Nastaliq style of the
Persian alphabet and relies heavily on Persian
Arabic as a source for technical and literary vocabulary,
Standard Hindi is conventionally written in Devanāgarī and
draws on Sanskrit. However, both have large numbers of Arabic,
Sanskrit words, and most linguists consider them to be two
standardised forms of the same language, and consider the
differences to be sociolinguistic, though a few classify them
Urdu dictionaries also contain most of the
Sanskrit words now present in Hindi. Mutual intelligibility
decreases in literary and specialized contexts that rely on educated
vocabulary. Further, it is quite easy in a longer conversation to
distinguish differences in vocabulary and pronunciation of some Urdu
phonemes. As a result of religious nationalism since the partition of
India and continued communal tensions, native speakers of both
Urdu frequently assert them to be distinct languages,
despite the numerous similarities between the two in a colloquial
The barrier created between
Urdu is eroding:
are comfortable with using Persian-
Arabic borrowed words and Urdu
speakers are also comfortable with using
Main article: Hindustani phonology
Urdu consonant phonemes
Marginal and non-universal phonemes are in parentheses.
/ɣ/ is post-velar.
The oral vowel phonemes of
Urdu according to Ohala (1999:102)
Marginal and non-universal vowels are in parentheses.
Main article: Hindi-
Further information: Hindustani etymology
The author of Farhang-i-Aasifiya, considered to be the most reliable
Urdu dictionary, stated that
Urdu vocabulary has a
75% core of
Prakrit and Sanskrit-derived words, with
approximately 25% of its vocabulary being Persian and Arabic
loanwords. However, a paper published in the Journal of
Pakistan Vision places
Urdu vocabularly as being composed of 29.9% of
Arabic loanwords and 21.7% Persian loanwords. Many of the
Arabic origin have been adopted through Persian, and have
different pronunciations and nuances of meaning and usage than they do
in Arabic. There are also a smaller number of borrowings from
Chagatai, and Portuguese.
Levels of formality
Urdu in its less formalised register has been referred to as a
rek̤h̤tah (ریختہ, [reːxt̪aː]), meaning "rough mixture".
The more formal register of
Urdu is sometimes referred to as zabān-i
Urdū-yi muʿallá (زبانِ اُردُوئے معلّٰى
[zəbaːn eː ʊrd̪u eː moəllaː]), the "Language of the Exalted
Camp", referring to the Imperial army.
The etymology of the word used in the
Urdu language for the most part
decides how polite or refined one's speech is. For example, Urdu
speakers would distinguish between پانی pānī and آب āb,
both meaning "water"; the former is used colloquially and has older
Indic origins, whereas the latter is used formally and poetically,
being of Persian origin.
If a word is of Persian or
Arabic origin, the level of speech is
considered to be more formal and grand. Similarly, if Persian or
Arabic grammar constructs, such as the izafat, are used in Urdu, the
level of speech is also considered more formal and grand. If a word is
inherited from Sanskrit, the level of speech is considered more
colloquial and personal. This distinction is similar to the
division in English between words of Latin, French and Old English
Writing system 
Urdu alphabet and
Further information: Hindustani orthography
Nastaʿliq alphabet, with names in the Devanāgarī and Latin
Urdu is written right-to left in an extension of the Persian alphabet,
which is itself an extension of the
associated with the Nastaʿlīq style of Persian calligraphy, whereas
Arabic is generally written in the Naskh or Ruq'ah styles. Nasta’liq
is notoriously difficult to typeset, so
Urdu newspapers were
hand-written by masters of calligraphy, known as kātib or
khush-nawīs, until the late 1980s. One handwritten
Urdu newspaper, The Musalman, is still published daily in Chennai.
Urdu has also historically been written in the
Kaithi script. A highly
Persianized and technical form of
Urdu was the lingua franca of the
law courts of the British administration in Bengal, Bihar, and the
North-West Provinces & Oudh. Until the late 19th century, all
proceedings and court transactions in this register of
written officially in the Persian script. In 1880, Sir Ashley Eden,
the Lieutenant-Governor of
Bengal abolished the use of the Persian
alphabet in the law courts of
Bihar and ordered the
exclusive use of Kaithi, a popular script used for both
Hindi. Kaithi's association with
Hindi was ultimately
eliminated by the political contest between these languages and their
scripts, in which the
Persian script was definitively linked to Urdu.
More recently in India,
Urdu speakers have adopted
Urdu periodicals and have innovated new strategies to mark
Devanagari as distinct from
Hindi in Devanagari. Such
publishers have introduced new orthographic features into Devanagari
for the purpose of representing the Perso-
Arabic etymology of Urdu
words. One example is the use of अ (
Devanagari a) with vowel signs
to mimic contexts of ع (‘ain), in violation of Hindi
orthographic rules. For
Urdu publishers, the use of
them a greater audience, whereas the orthographic changes help them
preserve a distinct identity of Urdu.
Urdu has become a literary language only in recent centuries, as
Persian was formerly the idiom of choice for the Muslim courts of
North India. However, despite its relatively late development, Urdu
literature boasts of some world-recognised artists and a considerable
Urdu afsana is a kind of
Urdu prose in which many experiments have
been done by short story writers from Munshi Prem Chand to Naeem Baig.
Urdu holds the largest collection of works on
Islamic literature and
Sharia. These include translations and interpretation
Qur'an as well as commentary on Hadith, Fiqh, history, and
Sufism. A great number of classical texts from
Arabic and Persian have
also been translated into Urdu. Relatively inexpensive publishing,
combined with the use of
Urdu as a lingua franca among
South Asia, has meant that Islam-related works in
Urdu far outnumber
such works in any other South Asian language. Popular Islamic books
are also written in Urdu.
It is interesting to note that a treatise on Astrology was penned in
Pandit Roop Chand Joshi in the eighteenth century. The book,
known as Lal Kitab, is widely popular in North
Secular prose includes all categories of widely known fiction and
non-fiction work, separable into genres. The dāstān, or tale, a
traditional story that may have many characters and complex plotting.
This has now fallen into disuse.
The afsāna or short story is probably the best-known genre of Urdu
fiction. The best-known afsāna writers, or afsāna nigār, in Urdu
are Munshi Premchand, Saadat Hasan Manto, Rajinder Singh Bedi, Krishan
Qurratulain Hyder (Qurat-ul-Ain Haider), Ismat Chughtai,
Rashid ul Khairi and Ahmad Nadeem Qasimi. Towards the
end of last century Paigham Afaqui's novel Makaan appeared with a
reviving force for
Urdu novel resulting into writing of novels getting
a boost in
Urdu literature and a number of writers like Ghazanfer,
Abdus Samad, Sarwat Khan and Musharraf Alam Zauqi have taken the move
forward. Munshi Premchand, became known as a pioneer in the afsāna,
though some contend that his were not technically the first as Sir
Ross Masood had already written many short stories in Urdu. Novels
form a genre of their own, in the tradition of the English novel.
Other genres include saférnāma (travel story), mazmoon (essay),
sarguzisht (account/narrative), inshaeya (satirical essay), murasela
(editorial), and khud navvisht (autobiography).
Mir Taqi Mir
Mir Taqi Mir (1723–1810) (Urdu: میر تقی میر) was the
Urdu poet of the 18th century in the courts of Mughal Empire
and Nawabs of Awadh
An illustrated manuscript of one of Amir Khusrau's (1253–1325 CE)
Muhammad Iqbal, the national poet of Pakistan
Urdu has been one of the premier languages of poetry in
South Asia for
two centuries, and has developed a rich tradition in a variety of
poetic genres. The
Urdu represents the most popular form of
subjective music and poetry, whereas the
Nazm exemplifies the
objective kind, often reserved for narrative, descriptive, didactic or
satirical purposes. Under the broad head of the
Nazm we may also
include the classical forms of poems known by specific names such as
Masnavi (a long narrative poem in rhyming couplets on any theme:
romantic, religious, or didactic),
Marsia (an elegy traditionally
meant to commemorate the martyrdom of Husayn ibn Ali, grandson of
Muhammad, and his comrades of the
Karbala fame), or
panegyric written in praise of a king or a nobleman), for all these
poems have a single presiding subject, logically developed and
concluded. However, these poetic species have an old world aura about
their subject and style, and are different from the modern Nazm,
supposed to have come into vogue in the later part of the nineteenth
century. Probably the most widely recited, and memorised genre of
Urdu poetry is nāt—panegyric poetry written in praise
of Muhammad. Nāt can be of any formal category, but is most commonly
in the ghazal form. The language used in
Urdu nāt ranges from the
intensely colloquial to a highly persified formal language. The great
early 20th century scholar Ala Hazrat, Ahmed Raza Khan Barelvi, who
wrote many of the most well known nāts in
Urdu (the collection of his
poetic work is Hadaiq-e-Baqhshish), epitomised this range in a ghazal
of nine stanzas (bayt) in which every stanza contains half a line each
of Arabic, Persian, formal Urdu, and colloquial Hindi.
Another important genre of
Urdu prose are the poems commemorating the
Husayn ibn Ali
Husayn ibn Ali at the Battle of Karbala, called noha
(نوحہ) and marsia. Anees and Dabeer are famous in this regard.
As̱ẖʿār (اشعار, verse, couplets): It consists of two
hemistiches (lines) called Miṣraʿ (مصرع); first hemistich
(line) is called مصرعِ اولٰی (Miṣraʿ-i ūlá) and the
second is called (مصرعِ ثانی) (Miṣraʿ-i s̱ānī). Each
verse embodies a single thought or subject (singular) شِعر
Urdu poetic tradition, most poets use a pen name called the
takhalluṣ. This can be either a part of a poet's given name or
something else adopted as an identity. The traditional convention in
Urdu poets is to mention the takhalluṣ at the end of the
name. Thus Ghalib, whose official name and title was Mirza Asadullah
Beg Khan, is referred to formally as Mirza Asadullah Khan Ghalib, or
in common parlance as just Mirza Ghalib. Because the takhalluṣ can
be a part of their actual name, some poets end up having that part of
their name repeated, such as Faiz Ahmad Faiz.
The word takhalluṣ is derived from Arabic, meaning "ending". This is
because in the ghazal form, the poet would usually incorporate his or
her pen name into the final couplet (maqt̤aʿ) of each poem as a type
Urdu poetry example
This is Ghalib's famous couplet in which he compares himself to his
great predecessor, the master poet Mir:
ریختے کے تمہیں استاد نہیں ہو غالبؔ
کہتے ہیں اگلے زمانے میں کوئی میرؔ بھی
Reḵẖtah ke tumhī ustād nahīṉ ho G̱ẖālib
Kahte haiṉ Agle zamāne meṉ ko'ī Mīr bhī thā
You are not the only master of Rekhta,[note 2] Ghalib
(They) say that in the past there also was someone (named) Mir.
Hindi § Sample text
The following is a sample text in Urdu, of the Article 1 of the
Universal Declaration of Human Rights
Universal Declaration of Human Rights (by the United Nations):
دفعہ ۱: تمام انسان آزاد اور حقوق و عزت
کے اعتبار سے برابر پیدا ہوئے ہیں۔
انہیں ضمیر اور عقل ودیعت ہوئی ہے۔ اس
لئے انہیں ایک دوسرے کے ساتھ بھائی چارے
کا سلوک کرنا چاہئے۔
Dafʿah 1: Tamām insān āzād aur ḥuqūq o ʿizzat ke iʿtibār se
barābar paidā hūʾe haiṉ. Unheṉ ẓamīr aur ʿaql wadīʿat
hūʾī hai. Is liʾe unheṉ ek dūsre ke sāth bhāʾī chāre kā
sulūk karnā cāhiʾe.
d̪əfɑː eːk: t̪əmɑːm ɪnsɑːn ɑːzɑːd̪ ɔːr hʊquːq oː
ɪzzət̪ keː et̪ɪbɑːr seː bərɑːbər pɛːd̪ɑː ɦuːeː
ɦɛ̃ː. ʊnɦẽː zəmiːr ɔːr əql ʋəd̪iːət̪ huːiː
hɛː. ɪs lieː ʊnɦẽː eːk d̪uːsreː keː sɑːt̪ʰ bʱaːiː
t͡ʃɑːreː kɑː sʊluːk kərnɑː t͡ʃɑːɦieː.
Article 1: All humans free[,] and rights and dignity *('s)
consideration from equal born are. Them to conscience and intellect
endowed is. This for, they one another *('s) with brotherhood *('s)
treatment do should.
Article 1: All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and
rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience. Therefore, they
should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.
Note: *('s) represents a possessive case that, when written, is
preceded by the possessor and followed by the possessed, unlike the
List of Urdu-language poets
List of Urdu-language writers
National Translation Mission
National Translation Mission (NTM)
Persian and Urdu
Urdu in the United Kingdom
Uddin and Begum Hindustani Romanisation
Urdu in Aurangabad
Glossary of the British Raj
^ An example can be seen in the word "need" in Urdu.
Urdu uses the
Persian version ضرورت rather than the original
See: John T. Platts "A dictionary of Urdu, classical Hindi, and
English" (1884) Page 749.
Urdu also use Persian pronunciation – for
instance rather than pronouncing ض as "ḍ" an emphatic consonant,
the original sound in Arabic,
Urdu uses the Persian pronunciation "z".
See: John T. Platts "A dictionary of Urdu, classical Hindi, and
English" (1884) Page 748
Rekhta was the name for the
Urdu language in Ghalib's days.
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statistics than those on population. Farhang-e-Asafiya is is by
general agreement the most reliable
Urdu dictionary. It twas compiled
in the late nineteenth century by an Indian scholar little exposed to
British or Orientalist scholarship. The lexicographer in question,
Syed Ahmed Dehlavi, had no desire to sunder Urdu's relationship with
Farsi, as is evident even from the title of his dictionary. He
estimates that roughly 75 per cent of the total stock of 55,000 Urdu
words that he compiled in his dictionary are derived from
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without exception, are derived from these sources. What distinguishes
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almost a quarter of its vocabulary from language communities to the
west of India, such as Farsi, Turkish, and Tajik. Most of the little
it takes from
Arabic has not come directly but through Farsi.
access-date= requires url= (help)
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set about to compile the Farhang-e-Asafiya, an
Urdu dictionary, in the
late nineteenth century. Syed Ahmad 'had no desire to sunder Urdu's
relationship with Farsi, as is evident from the title of his
dictionary. He estimates that roughly 75 per cent of the total stock
Urdu words that he compiled in his dictionary are derived
Sanskrit and Prakrit, and that the entire stock of the of the
language, without exception, are from these sources' (2000: 112-13).
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considered more conservative than not. The actual proportion of
Prakitic words in everyday language would clearly be much
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Urdu edition of, the free encyclopedia
Wikibooks has more on the topic of: Urdu
Wikivoyage has a phrasebook for Urdu.
Wikimedia Commons has media related to Urdu.
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