Urdu language

Urdu (اردو) is the Indo-Aryan language spoken by about 104 million people including those who use it as the second language. It is the official language of Pakistan which is closely related to and mutually understandable by speakers of Hindi despite of the fact that a large number of words in Urdu language was borrowed from the Persian and Arabic languages while Hindi, generally consists of lexicon of Sanskrit. Linguists consider standard versions of Urdu and Hindi as the different functional styles which appeared on the basis of the Khariboli dialect known also under the name of “Hindustani”. In colloquial language some considerable differences between Urdu and Hindi are observed, but they can be considered as a kind of one language.

Urdu is used also in Afghanistan, Nepal, Bahrain, Botswana, Fiji, Germany, Guyana, Thailand, India, Malawi, Mauritius, Norway, Oman, Bangladesh, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, the United Arab Emirates, Great Britain and Zambia.

Starting from the XIIth century the Urdu language has been written with a version of the Persian-Arab font. The word “Urdu” is translated from Turkish as ‘foreign’ or ‘horde’.

Urdu writing

Urdu alphabet, with names in the Devanagari and Latin alphabets


Urdu alphabet

Letter nūn-e ğunnah is used only at the end of words and nasalizes the preceding vowel.

Urdu numerals

числительные урду