- 1 What writing system(s) does this language use?
- 2 How many people speak this language?
- 3 Where is this language spoken?
- 4 What is the history of this language?
- 5 Who are some famous authors or poets in this language?
- 6 What are some basic words in this language that I can learn?
- 7 What is a simple song/poem/story that I can learn in this language?
What writing system(s) does this language use?
Urdu is written in the Perso-Arabic Script, and has many letters common with Arabic and Persian. It is written from right to left. However, Urdu is often written in the Latin alphabet in text messaging and e-mails.
How many people speak this language?
There are estimated to be about 60 million native speakers of Urdu and an additional 40 million people who can speak it as a secondary language. It is also closely related to the language Hindi, and speakers of the everyday forms of the languages can usually understand each other.
secondary language — any language that a person learns to speak after the first language that they learned at home.
Where is this language spoken?
Urdu is widely spoken in Pakistan and India, though it also has large number of speakers in the Middle East, United Kingdom, and North America.
What is the history of this language?
Urdu is believed to have evolved from contact between the local Indo-Aryan (prakrith, a localized form of Sanskrit) speaking population and the people of the Persian/Arabic speaking nations who invaded and ruled the Indian sub-continent for almost 1000 years since the attacks of Ghaznavi in early 10th Century. Urdu evolved in the Indian sub-continent from various local dialects such as Prakrit and Brij Bhasha with outside influences from the Arabic, Persian, and Turkish languages.
Urdu is rich in both prose and poetry. Some famous poets who wrote in Urdu are Allama Muhammad Iqbal, Mirza Ghalib, Mir Taqi Mir, and Faiz Ahmed Faiz. Allama Muhammad Iqbal is recognized as the national poet of Pakistan.
What are some basic words in this language that I can learn?
|Urdu word or phrase||Latin version||English translation|
|برائے مہربانی||baraey meherbani||Please|
|معاف کیجئے||maaf keejiye||Sorry|
|شب بخیر||shab Bakhair||Good Night|
|آپ کیسے ہیں؟||aap kaise hain?||How are you?|
|میں بخیر ہوں||main bakhair hoon||I am fine.|
|آپ کا نام کیا ہے؟||aapka naam kyaa hai?||What is your name?|
|میرا نام صائمہ ہے||meraa naam Saima hai||My name is Saima.|
|وقت کیا ہوا ہے؟||Waqt kya hua hai?||What time is it?|
What is a simple song/poem/story that I can learn in this language?
میں اکیلا ہی چلا تھا جانب منزل مگر .
لوگ ساتھ آتے گئے اور کارواں بنتا گیا
Urdu Version (English Text)
main akela hi chala tha jaanib-e-manzil magar
log saath aate gaye aur kaaravaan bantaa gayaa
I had started all alone towards the destination but
People kept joining and it became a caravan.
(According to the Indian Urdu newspaper Pindar,
the couplet is by Majruh Sultan Puri.)
Introduction • Glossary • Authors and Contributing • Print Version