Urdu

Urdu (/ˈʊərd/;[11] Urdu: اُردُو, ALA-LC: Urdū) is an Indo-Aryan language spoken chiefly in South Asia.[12][13] It is the national language and lingua franca of Pakistan, where it is also an official language alongside English.[14] In India, Urdu is an Eighth Schedule language whose status and cultural heritage is recognized by the Constitution of India;[15][16] it also has an official status in several Indian states.[note 1][14] In Nepal, Urdu is a registered regional dialect.[17]

Urdu
Standard Urdu
اُردُو
"Urdu" written in the Nastaliq calligraphic hand
Pronunciation[ˈʊrduː] (listen)
Native toPakistan and India
RegionHindi Belt and Deccan (India); Sindh (Pakistan)
EthnicityUrdu-speaking people[1]
Native speakers
51 million (India; 2011 census)
15 million (Pakistan; 2017 census)
3 million (international)
Secondary speakers:
149 million (Pakistan, 2018)
12 million (India, 2011)
Early forms
Dialects
Indo-Pakistani Sign Language
Official status
Official language in
 Pakistan
(national)

 India
(state-additional official)[5]

Recognised minority
language in
 South Africa (protected language)[10]
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
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

The Urdu language has been described as a Persianized register of the Hindustani language;[18][19] Urdu and Hindi share a common Sanskrit- and Prakrit-derived vocabulary base, phonology, syntax, and grammar, making them mutually intelligible during colloquial communication.[20][21] While formal Urdu draws literary, political, and technical vocabulary from Persian,[22] formal Hindi draws these aspects from Sanskrit; consequently, the two languages' mutual intelligibility effectively decreases as the factor of formality increases.

In 1837, the British East India Company chose Urdu as the language to replace Persian across northern India during Company rule; Persian had until this point served as the court language of various Indo-Islamic empires.[23] Religious, social, and political factors arose during the European colonial period that advocated a distinction between Urdu and Hindi, leading to the Hindi–Urdu controversy.[24]

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.[25][26] Deccani, an older form used in southern India, became a court language of the Deccan sultanates by the 16th century.[27][26]

As of 2021, Urdu ranks 21st worldwide as a first language, with approximately 61.9 million native speakers.[28] According to 2018 estimates by Ethnologue, Urdu is the 10th-most widely spoken language in the world,[29] with 230 million total speakers, including those who speak it as a second language.[30][non-primary source needed] If spoken colloquial contexts are broadly taken into account, the Hindustani language is the 3rd-most spoken language in the world.[30][non-primary source needed]


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