Spoken in

  • Indo-European languages Indo-Iranian languages Indo-Aryan languages Urdu




Urdu ( Perso - Arabic: اردو Urdu, Devanagari: Urdu उर्दू; short for زبان اردو معلہ Zaban -e Urdu -e mo'alla " language of the court formed ") is an Indo-Aryan language and belongs to the Indo-Iranian branch of the Indo-European language family.

Urdu is the national language and official language in Pakistan and some Indian states with a high Muslim population. While there speak in Pakistan only ten million people as a native language, but in addition serves Urdu increasingly as a lingua franca between the different regional languages. In India it is one of the 22 officially recognized national language and is spoken mainly in the regions of Andhra Pradesh, Delhi, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand. Worldwide there are about 58 million native speakers Urdu - speakers with second language learning, the number increased to 150-200 million.


Urdu emerged as the language of education at the time of the Delhi Sultanate and the Mughal Empire in the South Asian subcontinent (Pakistan, India) as perso - Arabic script style of the default language of the Hindi -Urdu dialect continuum. Focus of development was the reign of Akbar (1556-1605), in whose vast hiking courtyards and field store (up to 70 km in circumference ) is a multi-ethnic mixture of Persian ( Farsi, in the Mughal period 300 years official language in northern India ), North Indians ( Punjabi, Hindi ), Mongols ( Mongolian), Turks ( Turkish) etc. moving.

Political consequences of the introduction as an official language in Pakistan

The decision of the Pakistani government to utilize Urdu as the sole official language, led to resistance in the former " East Pakistan " (now Bangladesh), where Bengali is spoken almost exclusively. On February 21, 1952 anti -Urdu demonstrations in Dhaka in several deaths, because the police fired into the crowd.

Relationship between Urdu and Hindi

  • Areas where Urdu is the official language (or one of several )
  • Departments in which only Hindi official language

Urdu and Hindi are sociolects or Situolekte one and the same language, Hindustani, which has been in North India since the 13th century is a century- developed continuous complex process of elements local Prakritsprachen and a Persian, partly Arab and tschagataisch -Turkish superstrate. Since the 19th century began a secondary differentiation process during which situational back attacked the social elites in Sanskrit and Persian vocabulary. As a result of the state partition of British India into India and Pakistan, this differentiation continued in an enhanced form, so that Urdu and Hindi are considered from ethno- political point of view as an independent development languages. Nevertheless, these differences cause today conversations of everyday life no significant communication problems, not least because even Hindi speakers in everyday use often words Persian or Arabic origin prefer the adopted from the Sanskrit neologisms. Traditionally considered as the Urdu, upscale 'of the two languages ​​and is also referred to as the "language of poetry ". ( For the differences between Hindi and Urdu see Hindustani. )

Language example

Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Article 1:


Urdu contains a large proportion of loan words from Persian, Arabic and Portuguese. Over time, Urdu has still taken loanwords from Turkish and English.


Urdu uses a variant of the Persian alphabet, which in turn is a variant of the Arabic alphabet.