From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
|Urdu (''اردو '')|
|Spoken in:||Pakistan, India and 19 other countries|
|Total speakers:||104 Million|
|Official language of:||Pakistan, India|
|Regulated by:||''not regulated by a langauge academy|
Urdu is an Indo-European language which originated in the 13th century and is closely related to Hindi.
Urdu is the state language of Pakistan, spoken by 10 million Pakistanis as mother tongue. Worldwide, about 60 million mother tongue speakers exist. Including second language speakers, 104 million people speak Urdu. The language is spoken in these countries:
Grammatically, Urdu and Hindi are considered dialects of a single language which differ mainly in vocabulary where Urdu has borrowed from Persian and Arabic and Hindi has borrowed from Sanskrit. Simply put, Urdu is very similar to Hindi, moreso one fluent in Urdu could understand a movie in Hindi. The vocabulary is different in some respects, (similiar to how Americans say 'Soda' but other English-speakers say 'Pop'), but one can make oneself understood well enough to be understandable.
Urdu is written in a derivation of the Persian alphabet which is itself a derivation of the Arabic alphabet. It is read from right to left. Urdu is similar in appearance and letters to Arabic, Farsi, and Pashto. Urdu differs in appearance from Arabic in that it used the more complex and beautiful Nastaleeq script whereas Arabic tends to the more modern Naskh. Nastaleeq is notoriously difficult to typeset so Urdu newspapers are made from hand-written masters. Although the styles are different, people who can read Urdu can read Arabic, as Arabic only has a few less letters. It is similar to people who can read English can also read Spanish or French words, although the vocabularies aren't the same. There are efforts underway to develop decent Urdu support on computers. Hindi, although it has common words, is written in the Devanagari alphabet.
Urdu is a lingua franca among many people, but not everyone's first language. It is the state language of Pakistan and India, along with English. However, only 8% of Pakistanis speak Urdu as their primary language, but nearly everyone can understand spoken Urdu. As a result, Urdu is used as a more formal language, while people will use their primary language for speaking in a casual manner, such as Punjabi.
Transliterations of Urdu into English usually omit many subtle announciations which have no equivalent in English, such as a sharp exhale at the end of certain words. Some books try to remedy it by accenting vowels and the 'h' letters, but many people find it confusing.
Some scholarly Islamic works, like the writings of Syed Abul A'la Maududi were originally written in Urdu. Urdu is also well-known for its beautiful poetry.
Hello = Assalaamu alaikum (a common Muslim greeting)
Hello = Adaab (secular)
Good Bye = Khuda Haafiz (literally means God protect you)
yes = haan
no = nahi
please = Meherbani
thank you = shukriya
it is nice to meet you = Aap se mil kar khushi hui
How are you? = Aapka Kya hal hey?
Do you speak English? = Kya aap angrezi boltay heyn?
My name is ... = Mera nam ... hai.
Which way to Lahore = Lahore kiss taraf heyh