Urdu

Urdu (/ˈʊərd/;[12] Urdu: اُردُو, ALA-LC: Urdū) is an Indo-Aryan language spoken chiefly in South Asia.[13][14] It is the national language and lingua franca of Pakistan.[15] In India, Urdu is an Eighth Schedule language whose status, function, and cultural heritage is recognized by the Constitution of India;[16][17] it also has an official status in several Indian states.[note 1][15] In Nepal, Urdu is a registered regional dialect.[18]

Urdu
Standard Urdu
اُردُو
The word "Urdu" in Nastaliq script
Pronunciation[ˈʊrduː] (listen)
Native toIndia and Pakistan
RegionIndia:
Hindi Belt, Deccan
Pakistan:
Sindh (Karachi, Hyderabad, Sukkur and Mirpur Khas)
EthnicityUrdu-speaking people (Muslims of the Hindi-Urdu belt, the Deccani people and the Muhajir people)[1]
Native speakers
51 million India (2011 census), 15 million Pakistan (2018 census), 3 million other countries[2][non-primary source needed][2]
L2 users: 149 million Pakistan (2018), 12 million India (2011 census)[2][non-primary source needed]
Early forms
Dialects
Official status
Official language in
 Pakistan
(national)

 India
(state-additional official)[6]

Recognised minority
language in
 South Africa (protected language)[11]
Regulated byNational Language Promotion Department (Pakistan)
National Council for Promotion of Urdu Language (India)
Language codes
ISO 639-1ur
ISO 639-2urd
ISO 639-3urd
Glottologurdu1245
Linguasphere59-AAF-q
  Areas in India and Pakistan where Urdu is either official or co-official
  Areas where Urdu is neither official nor co-official
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Part of a series on
Constitutionally recognised languages of India
Category
Scheduled Languages

A
Assamese
B
Bengali
Bodo
D
Dogri
G
Gujarati
H
Hindi
K
Kannada
Kashmiri
Konkani
M
Maithili
Malayalam
Marathi
Meitei (Manipuri)
N
Nepali
O
Odia (Oriya)
P
Punjabi
S
Sanskrit
Santali
Sindhi
T
Tamil
Telugu
U
Urdu

Related

Eighth Schedule to the Constitution of India
Official Languages Commission
List of languages by number of native speakers in India

 Asia portal

 India portal
 Language portal
 Politics portal

Urdu has been described as a Persianised register of the Hindustani language.[19][20] Urdu and Hindi share a common Sanskrit- and Prakrit-derived vocabulary base, phonology, syntax, and grammar, making them mutually intelligible during colloquial communication.[21][22] While formal Urdu draws literary, political, and technical vocabulary from Persian,[23] formal Hindi draws these aspects from Sanskrit; consequently, the two languages' mutual intelligibility effectively decreases as the factor of formality increases.

In 1837, Urdu was chosen by the British East India Company as the language to replace Persian across northern India during Company rule; Persian had until this point served as the court language of the Indo-Islamic empires.[24] Religious, social, and political factors arose during the European colonial period that advocated for a distinction between Urdu and Hindi, leading to the Hindi–Urdu controversy.[25]

Urdu became a literary language in the 18th century and two similar standard forms came into existence in Delhi and Lucknow; since the partition of India in 1947, a third standard has arisen in the Pakistani city of Karachi.[26][27] Deccani, an older form used in southern India, became a court language of the Deccan sultanates in the 16th century.[28][27]

As of 2021, Urdu is the 21st-largest first language spoken in the world, with approximately 61.9 million native speakers.[29] According to 2018 estimates by Ethnologue, Urdu is the 10th-most widely spoken language in the world,[30] with 230 million total speakers, including those who speak it as a second language.[31] If spoken colloquial contexts are broadly taken into account, the Hindustani language (Hindi–Urdu) is the 3rd-most spoken language in the world.[31]


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