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Urdū (اردو), historically spelled Ordu, is an Indo-Aryan language of the Indo-Iranian branch, belonging to Indo-European family of languages. It developed under Persian and Arabic, to some lesser degree also under Turkic influence in South Asia during the Delhi Sultanate and Mughal Empire (1200–1800 AD).

Template:Unicode refers to a standardised register of Hindustani[1] termed khaṛībolī, that emerged as a standard dialect.[2] The grammatical description in this article concerns this standard Template:Unicode. In general, the term "Template:Unicode" can encompass dialects of Hindustani other than the standardised versions.

Standard Template:Unicode has approximately the twentieth largest population of native speakers, among all languages. It is the national language of Pakistan as well as one of the 23 official languages of India.

Template:Unicode is often contrasted with Hindi, another standardised form of Hindustani. The main difference between the two is that Standard Template:Unicode is written in Nastaliq calligraphy style of the Perso-Arabic script and draws heavily on Persian and Arabic loanwords, while Standard Hindi is written in Devanāgarī and has inherited significant vocabulary from Sanskrit. Linguists therefore consider Template:Unicode and Hindi to be two standardized forms of the same language.[3]


Speakers and geographic distribution

The phrase Zaban-e Urdu-e Mualla written in Nasta'liq.

There are between 60 and 80 million native speakers of standard Template:Unicode (Khari Boli). Overall, besides the more than 160 million who speak Template:Unicode in Pakistan, there is a considerable Indian population who communicate in Template:Unicode every day. According to the SIL ethnologue (1999 data), Hindi/Urdu is the fifth most spoken language in the world. According to Comerie (1998 data), Hindi-Urdu is the second most spoken language in the world, with 330 million native speakers, after Mandarin and possibly English.

Because of Template:Unicode's similarity to Hindi, speakers of the two languages can usually understand one another, if both sides refrain from using specialized vocabulary. Indeed, linguists sometimes count them as being part of the same language diasystem. However, Template:Unicode and Hindi are socio-politically different, and people who self-describe as being speakers of Hindi would question their being counted as native speakers of Template:Unicode, and vice-versa.

In Pakistan, Template:Unicode is spoken and understood by a majority of urban dwellers in such cities as Karachi, Lahore, Rawalpindi/Islamabad, Abbottabad, Faisalabad, Hyderabad, Multan, Peshawar, Gujranwala, Sialkot, Sukkur and Sargodha. Template:Unicode is used as the official language in all provinces of Pakistan. It is also taught as a compulsory language up to high school in both the English and Template:Unicode medium school systems. This has produced millions of Template:Unicode speakers whose mother tongue is one of the regional languages of Pakistan such as Punjabi, Hindko, Sindhi, Pashto, Gujarati, Kashmiri, Balochi, Siraiki, and Brahui. Template:Unicode is the lingua franca of Pakistan and is absorbing many words from regional languages of Pakistan. The regional languages are also being influenced by Template:Unicode vocabulary. Most of the nearly five million Afghan refugees of different ethnic origins (such as Pakhtun, Tajik, Uzbek, Hazarvi, and Turkmen) who stayed in Pakistan for over twenty-five years have also become fluent in Template:Unicode.

In India, Template:Unicode is spoken in places where there are large Muslim majorities or cities which were bases for Muslim Empires in the past. These include parts of Uttar Pradesh (namely Lucknow), Delhi, Bhopal, Hyderabad, Bangalore, and Mysore. Some Indian schools teach Template:Unicode as a first language and have their own syllabus and exams. Indian madrasahs also teach Arabic as well as Template:Unicode. India has more than 2,900 daily Template:Unicode newspapers. Newspapers such as Daily Salar, Daily Pasban, Siasat Daily, Munsif Daily and Inqilab are published and distributed in Bangalore, Mysore, Hyderabad, and Mumbai.

Outside South Asia, it is spoken by large numbers of migrant South Asian workers in the major urban centers of the Persian Gulf countries and Saudi Arabia. Template:Unicode is also spoken by large numbers of immigrants and their children in the major urban centers of the United Kingdom, the United States, Canada, Norway and Australia.

Countries with large numbers of native Template:Unicode speakers:

Official status

Template:Unicode is the national language of Pakistan and is spoken and understood throughout the country. It shares official language status with English. It is used in education, literature, office and court business, media, and in religious institutions. It holds in itself a repository of the cultural, religious and social heritage of the country.[14] Although English is used in most elite circles, and Punjabi has a plurality of native speakers, Template:Unicode is the lingua franca and is expected to prevail. Urdū is also one of the officially recognized state languages in India[15] and has official language status in the Indian states of Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Jammu and Kashmir, and Uttar Pradesh, and the national capital, Delhi. While the government school system in most other states emphasizes Standard Hindi, at universities in cities such as Lucknow, Aligarh and Hyderabad, Template:Unicode is spoken, learned, and regarded as a language of prestige.

Classification and related languages

Template:Unicode is a member of the Indo-Aryan family of languages (i.e., those languages descending from Sanskrit), which is in turn a branch of the Indo-Iranian group (which comprises the Indo-Aryan and the Iranian branches), which itself is a member of the Indo-European linguistic family. If Hindi and Template:Unicode are considered to be the same language ([[Hindustani language|Hindustani (or Hindi-Template:Unicode]]), then Template:Unicode can be considered to be a part of a dialect continuum which extends across eastern Iran, Afghanistan and modern Pakistan[16]—right into north India. These idioms all have similar grammatical structures and share a large portion of their vocabulary. Punjabi, for instance, is very similar to Template:Unicode; Punjabi written in the Shahmukhi script can be understood by speakers of Template:Unicode with little difficulty, but spoken Punjabi has a very different phonology (pronunciation system) and can be harder to understand for Template:Unicode speakers.


Template:Unicode has four recognised dialects: Dakhini, Pinjari, Rekhta, and Modern Vernacular Template:Unicode (based on the Khariboli dialect of the Delhi region). Sociolinguists also consider Template:Unicode iself one of the four major variants of the Hindi-Template:Unicode dialect continuum.[17]

Modern Vernacular Template:Unicode is the form of the language that is least widespread and is spoken around Delhi, Lucknow, Karachi and Lahore, it becomes increasingly divergent from the original form of Template:Unicode as it loses some of the complicated Persian and Arabic vocabulary used in everyday terms.

Dakhini (also known as Dakani, Deccani, Desia, Mirgan) is spoken in Maharashtra state in India and around Hyderabad. It has fewer Persian and Arabic words than standard Template:Unicode.

In addition, Rekhta (or Rekhti), the language of Template:Unicode poetry, is sometimes counted as a separate dialect.


Main article: Hindi-Urdu grammar

Despite Template:Unicode and English both being Indo-European languages, Template:Unicode grammar can be very complex and is different in many ways from what English-speakers are used to. Most notably, Template:Unicode is a subject-object-verb language, meaning that verbs usually fall at the end of the sentence rather than before the object (as in English). Template:Unicode also shows mixed ergativity so that, in some cases, verbs agree with the object of a sentence rather than the subject. Unlike English, Template:Unicode has no definite article (the). The numeral ek might be used as the indefinite singular article (a/an) if this needs to be stressed.

Template:Unicode uses postpositions (so called because they are placed after nouns) where English uses prepositions. Other differences include gender, honorifics, interrogatives, use of cases, and different tenses. While being complicated, Template:Unicode grammar is fairly regular, with irregularities being relatively limited. Despite differences in vocabulary and writing, Template:Unicode grammar is nearly identical with that of Hindi. Template:Unicode also has a unique punctuation system. Periods are sometimes used to end a sentence, though the traditional "full stop" (a horizontal line "-") is more generally used. After a heading, a colon followed by a dash (-:) is used. Colons are used in almost the same way as in English. Semi-colons and ellipsis (...) are not generally used in Template:Unicode. However, we can see their use sometimes because Template:Unicode is still evolving and is influenced by English. Template:Unicode punctuation sometimes uses western conventions for commas, exclamation points, and question marks.


In Template:Unicode, as well as in Hindi, there are only two genders for nouns. All male human beings and male animals (as well as those animals and plants which are perceived as being "male") are masculine. All female human beings and female animals (as well as those animals and plants which are perceived as being "female") are feminine. Things, inanimate articles and abstract nouns are also either masculine or feminine according to convention, which must be memorised by non-Template:Unicode speakers if they wish to learn correct Template:Unicode. While this is similar to Hindi and most other Indo-European languages such as French, it is a very challenging learning requirement for speakers of languages which do not have such gender inflection. It is also a challenge for those who are used to only the English language, which although an Indo-European language, has eliminated almost all of its gender inflection.

The ending of a word, if a vowel, usually helps in this gender classification. If a word of Hindi origin ends in long ā, it is normally masculine. If a word ends in ī, i, or iyā, it is normally feminine. Similarly, Urdu tries to match the gender of words borrowed from Arabic, Persian, and other languages that have grammatical gender. The categorisation of Template:Unicode words directly borrowed from English is arbitrary, but may be influenced by how the words end phonologically in English. Adjectives ending in a long [ɑ:] must be inflected to agree with the gender of the noun.

Interrogative pronouns

Besides the standard interrogative pronouns "who" (کون kaun), "what" (کیا kyā), "why" (کیوں kyon), "when" (کب kab), "where" (کہاں kahān), "how" / "what kind of" (کیسا kaisā), "how many" (کِتنا kitnā), etc, the Template:Unicode word (کیا kyā) can be used as a generic interrogative often placed at the beginning of a sentence to turn a statement into a Yes/No question (compare French Est-ce que). This makes it clear that a question is being asked. Questions can also be formed simply by modifying intonation, exactly as some questions are in English.

Personal pronouns

Template:Unicode has pronouns in the first, second and third persons, all of which are undifferentiated for gender. Thus, unlike English, there is no difference between he and she. More strictly speaking, the third person of the pronoun is identical with the demonstrative pronoun ("this" / "that"). Gender distinction is, however, normally indicated in the conjugation of the verb. The pronouns have additional cases of accusative and genitive. There may also be multiple ways of inflecting the pronouns. Note that for the second person of the pronoun you, Template:Unicode has three levels of honorifics:

  • آپ āp/[ɑːp

]: Formal and respectable form for you. Used in all formal settings and speaking to persons who are senior in job or age. No difference between the singular and the plural; plural reference can, however, be indicated by the use of "you people" (آپ لوگ āp log)) or "you all" (آپ سب āp sab).

  • تُم tum/[tum

]: Informal form of you. Used in all informal settings and speaking to persons who are junior in job or age. No difference between the singular and the plural; plural reference can, however, be indicated by the use of "you people" (تُم لوگ tum log) or "you all" (تُم سب tum sab).

  • تُو tū/[tuː

]: Extremely informal form of you, as thou. Strictly singular, its plural form would be تُم tum. Inappropriate use of this form — i.e. other than in addressing children, very close friends, or in poetic language (either with God or with lovers) — risks being perceived as offensive in Pakistan or India.

Imperatives (requests and commands) correspond in form to the level of honorific being used, and the verb inflects to show the level of respect and politeness desired. Because imperatives can already include politeness, the word مہربانی "meharbānī", which can be translated as "please", is much less common than in spoken English; it is generally only used in writing or announcements.

Word order

The standard word order in Template:Unicode is, in general, Subject Object Verb, but where different emphasis or more complex structure is needed, this rule is very easily set aside (provided that the nouns/pronouns are always followed by their postpositions or case markers). More specifically, the standard order is 1. Subject 2. Adverbs (in their standard order) 3. Indirect object and any of its adjectives 4. Direct object and any of its adjectives 5. Negation term or interrogative, if any, and finally the 6. Verb and any auxiliary verbs. (Snell, p93) The standard order can be modified in various ways to impart emphasis on particular parts of the sentence. Negation is formed by adding the word نہیں nahīn, meaning "no", in the appropriate place in the sentence, or by utilizing نہ na or مت mut in some cases. Note that in Template:Unicode, the adjectives precede the nouns they qualify. The auxiliaries always follow the main verb. Also, Template:Unicode speakers or writers enjoy considerable freedom in placing words to achieve stylistic and other socio-psychological effects, though not as much freedom as in heavily inflected languages.

Tense and aspect of Template:Unicode verbs

Template:Unicode verbal structure is focused on aspect with distinctions based on tense usually shown through use of the verb to be (ہونا honā) as an auxiliary. There are three aspects: habitual (imperfect), progressive (also known as continuous) and perfective. Verbs in each aspect are marked for tense in almost all cases with the proper inflected form of honā. Template:Unicode has four simple tenses, present, past, future (presumptive), and subjunctive (referred to as a mood by many linguists). Verbs are conjugated not only to show the number and person (1st, 2nd, 3rd) of their subject, but also its gender. Additionally, Template:Unicode has imperative and conditional moods.


Template:Unicode is a weakly inflected language for case; the relationship of a noun in a sentence is usually shown by postpositions (i.e., prepositions that follow the noun). Template:Unicode has three cases for nouns. The Direct case is used for nouns not followed by any postpositions, typically for the subject case. The Oblique case is used for any nouns that is followed by a postposition. Adjectives modifying nouns in the oblique case will inflect that same way. Some nouns have a separate Vocative case. Template:Unicode has two numbers: singular and plural—but they may not be shown distinctly in all declinations.

Levels of formality in Urdū

The order of words in Template:Unicode is not as rigidly fixed as it is thought to be by traditional grammarians. Although usually (but not invariably) an Template:Unicode sentence begins with a subject and the ends with a verb. That is why Template:Unicode is often called as SOV language (e.g. Subject-Object-Verb language). However, Template:Unicode speakers or writers enjoy considerable freedom in placing words in an utterance to achieve stylistic effects, see Bhatia and Koul (2000, pp. 34-35).

Template:Unicode in its less formalised register has been referred to as a rekhta (ریختہ, [reːxt̪aː] ), meaning "rough mixture". The more formal register of Template:Unicode is sometimes referred to as zabān-e-Urdu-e-mo'alla (زبانِ اردوِ معلہ, [zəba:n e: ʊrd̪uː eː moəllaː] ), the "Language of Camp and Court".

The etymology of the word used in the Template:Unicode language for the most part decides how polite or refined your speech is. For example, Template:Unicode speakers would distinguish between پانی pānī and آب āb, both meaning "water" for example, or between آدمی ādmi and مرد mard, meaning "man". The former in each set is used colloquially and has older Hindustani origins, while the latter is used formally and poetically, being of Persian origin.

If a word is of Persian or Arabic origin, the level of speech is considered to be more formal and grand. Similarly, if Persian or Arabic grammar constructs, such as the izafat, are used in Template:Unicode, the level of speech is also considered more formal and grand. If a word is inherited from Sanskrit, the level of speech is considered more colloquial and personal.


Template:Unicode is supposed to be very subtle and a host of words are used to show respect and politeness. This emphasis on politeness, which is reflected in the vocabulary, is known as takalluf in Template:Unicode. These words are generally used when addressing elders, or people with whom one is not acquainted. For example, the English pronoun 'you' can be translated into three words in Template:Unicode the singular forms tu (informal, extremely intimate, or derogatory) and tum (informal and showing intimacy called "apna pun" in Template:Unicode) and the plural form āp (formal and respectful). Similarly, verbs, for example, "come," can be translated with degrees of formality in three ways:

  1. آ‏ئے āiye/[aːɪje]
or آ‏ئیں āen/[aːẽː] ( formal and respectful)
  1. آ‏و āo/[aːo] (informal and intimate with less degree)
  2. آ ā/[aː] (extremely informal, intimate and often derogatory).


Template:Unicode has a vocabulary rich in words with Indian and Middle Eastern origins. The borrowings are dominated by words from Persian and Arabic. There are also a small number of borrowings from Turkish, Portuguese, and more recently English. Many of the words of Arabic origin have different nuances of meaning and usage than they do in Arabic.

Writing system

Main article: Urdu alphabet

Template:Further Template:Further

The Template:Unicode Nasta’liq alphabet, with names in the Devanāgarī and Latin alphabets

Template:IPA notice

Nowadays, Template:Unicode is generally written right-to left in an extension of the Persian alphabet, which is itself an extension of the Arabic alphabet. Template:Unicode is associated with the Nasta’liq style of Arabic calligraphy, whereas Arabic is generally written in the modernized Naskh style. Nasta’liq is notoriously difficult to typeset, so Template:Unicode newspapers were hand-written by masters of calligraphy, known as katib or khush-navees, until the late 1980s.

Historically, Template:Unicode was also written in the Kaithi script. A highly-Persianized and technical form of Template:Unicode was the lingua franca of the law courts of the British administration in Bengal, Bihar, and the North-West Provinces & Oudh. Until the late 19th century, all proceedings and court transactions in this register of Template:Unicode was written officially in the Persian script. In 1880, Sir Ashley Eden, the Lieutenant-Governor of Bengal abolished the use of the Persian alphabet in the law courts of Bengal and Bihar and ordered the exclusive use of Kaithi, a popular script used for both Template:Unicode and Hindi[18] Kaithi's association with Template:Unicode and Hindi was ultimately eliminated by the political contest between these languages and their scripts, in which the Persian script was definitively linked to Template:Unicode.

More recently in India, Template:Unicode speakers have adopted Devanagari for publishing Urdu periodicals and have innovated new strategies to mark Template:Unicode in Devanagari as distinct from Hindi in Devanagari[19] The popular Template:Unicode monthly magazine, महकता आंचल (Mahakta Anchal), is published in Delhi in Devanagari in order to target the generation of Muslim boys and girls who do not know the Persian script. Such publishers have introduced new orthographic features into Devanagari for the purpose of representing Template:Unicode sounds. One example is the use of अ (Devanagari a) with vowel signs to mimic contexts of ع (‘ain). To Template:Unicode publishers, the use of Devanagari gives them a greater audience, but helps them to preserve the distinct identity of Template:Unicode when written in Devanagari.

The Daily Jang was the first Template:Unicode newspaper to be typeset digitally in Nasta’liq by computer. There are efforts underway to develop more sophisticated and user-friendly Template:Unicode support on computers and the Internet. Nowadays, nearly all Template:Unicode newspapers, magazines, journals, and periodicals are composed on computers via various Template:Unicode software programs. In India, ghazals are often found transliterated into Devanāgarī, as an aid for those Hindī-speakers, who can comprehend Urdū, but cannot read the Perso-Arabic script.

A list of the Template:Unicode alphabet and pronunciation is given below. Template:Unicode contains many historical spellings from Arabic and Persian, and therefore has many irregularities. The Arabic letters yaa and haa are split into two in Template:Unicode: one of the yaa variants is used at the ends of words for the sound [i], and one of the haa variants is used to indicate the aspirated consonants. The retroflex consonants needed to be added as well; this was accomplished by placing a superscript ط (to'e) above the corresponding dental consonants. Several letters which represent distinct consonants in Arabic are conflated in Persian, and this has carried over to Template:Unicode.

Letter Name of letter Pronunciation in the IPA
ا alif [ə, ɑ]
after a consonant; silent when initial. Close to an English long an as in Mask.
ب be [b]
English b.
پ pe [p]
English p.
ت te dental [t̪]
Close to French t as in trois.
ت retroflex [ʈ]
Close to English T.
ث se [s]
Close to English s
ج jīm [dʒ]
Same as English j
چ cīm/ce [tʃ]
Same as English ch, not like Scottish ch
ح Template:Unicode [h]
voicleless h, partially an Alveolar consonant
خ khe [x]
Slightly rolled version of Scottish "ch" as in loch
د dāl dental [d̪]
ڈ Template:Unicode retroflex [ɖ]
ذ zāl [z]
ر re dental [r]
ڑ Template:Unicode retroflex [ɽ]
ز ze [z]
ژ zhe [ʒ]
س sīn [s]
ش shīn [ʃ]
ص su'ād [s]
ض zu'ād [z]
ط to'e [t]
ظ zo'e [z]
ع ‘ain [ɑ]
after a consonant; otherwise [ʔ]

, [ə] , or silent.

غ ghain [ɣ]
voiced version of [x]
ف fe [f]
ق qāf [q]
ک kāf [k]
گ gāf [g]
ل lām [l]
م mīm [m]
ن nūn [n]
or a nasal vowel
و vā'o [v, u, ʊ, o, ow]
ہ, ﮩ, ﮨ Template:Unicode [ɑ]
at the end of a word, otherwise [h]
or silent
ھ do cashmī he indicates that the preceding consonant is aspirated (p, t, c, k) or murmured (b, d, j, g).
ی Template:Unicode [j, i, e, ɛ]
ے Template:Unicode [eː]
ء hamzah [ʔ]
or silent


Template:Unicode is occasionally also written in the Roman script. [[Roman Urdu|Roman Template:Unicode]] has been used since the days of the British Raj, partly as a result of the availability and low cost of Roman movable type for printing presses. The use of Roman Template:Unicode was common in contexts such as product labels. Today it is regaining popularity among users of text-messaging and Internet services and is developing its own style and conventions. Habib R. Sulemani says, "The younger generation of Template:Unicode-speaking people around the world are using Romanised Template:Unicode on the Internet and it has become essential for them, because they use the Internet and English is its language. A person from Islamabad chats with another in Delhi on the Internet only in Roman Template:Unicode. They both speak the same language but with different scripts. Moreover, the younger generation of those who are from the English medium schools or settled in the west, can speak Template:Unicode but can’t write it in the traditional Arabic script and thus Roman Template:Unicode is a blessing for such a population."[citation needed]

Roman Template:Unicode also holds significance among the Christians of North India. Template:Unicode was the dominant native language among Christians of Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, and Rajasthan in the early part of 1900s and is still used by some people in these Indian states. Indian Christians often used the Roman script for writing Template:Unicode. Thus Roman Template:Unicode was a common way of writing among Indian Christians in these states up to the 1960s. The Bible Society of India publishes Roman Template:Unicode Bibles which enjoyed sale late into the 1960s (though they are still published today). Church songbooks are also common in Roman Template:Unicode. However, the usage of Roman Template:Unicode is declining with the wider use of Hindi and English in these states. The major Hindi-Urdu South Asian film industries, Bollywood and Lollywood, are also noteworthy for their use of Roman Template:Unicode for their movie titles.

Usually, bare transliterations of Template:Unicode into Roman letters omit many phonemic elements that have no equivalent in English or other languages commonly written in the Latin alphabet. It should be noted that a comprehensive system has emerged with specific notations to signify non-English sounds, but it can only be properly read by someone already familiar with Template:Unicode, Persian, or Arabic for letters such as:ژ خ غ ط ص or ق and Hindi for letters such as ڑ. This script may be found on the Internet, and it allows people who understand the language but without knowledge of their written forms to communicate with each other.

Also see [[Roman Urdu|Roman Template:Unicode]].


English Urdu Transliteration Notes
Hello السلام علیکم assalāmu ‘alaikum lit. "Peace be upon you."
اداب [aˈdaːb]
would generally
be used to give respect
و علیکم السلام [ˈwaɭikum ˈaʔsaɭam]

is the correct response.

Hello آداب عرض ہے ādāb arz hai "Regards to you"
(lit Regards are expressed),
a very formal secular greeting.
Good Bye خدا حافظ khudā hāfiz Khuda is Persian for God,
and hāfiz is from Arabic hifz "protection".
So lit. "May God be your Guardian."
Standard and commonly used
by Muslims and non-Muslims OR al vida formally spoken all over
yes ہاں n casual
yes جی formal
yes جی ہاں jī hān confident formal
no نا casual
no نہیں، جی نہیں nahīn, jī nahīn formal;jī nahīn is considered more formal
please مہربانی meharbānī
thank you شکریہ shukrīā
Please come in تشریف لائیے tashrīf laīe lit. Bring your honour
Please have a seat تشریف رکھیئے tashrīf rakhīe lit. Place your honour
I am happy to meet you اپ سے مل کر خوشی ہوئی āp se mil kar khvushī (khushī) hūye lit. Meeting you has made me happy.
Do you speak English? کیا اپ انگریزی بولتے ہیں؟ kya āp angrezī bolte hain?
I do not speak Template:Unicode. میں اردو نہیں بولتا/بولتی main urdū nahīn boltā/boltī boltā is masculine, boltī is feminine
My name is ... میرا نام ۔۔۔ ہے merā nām .... hai
Which way to Lahore لاھور کس طرف ہے؟ lāhaur kis taraf hai?
Where is Lucknow? لکھنئو کہاں ہے؟ lakhnau kahān hai
Template:Unicode is a good language. اردو اچھی زبان ہے urdū acchī zabān hai

Sample text


The following is a sample text in zabān-e urdū-e muʻallā

(formal Urdū), of the Article 1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (by the United Nations):
Urdu Text:
دفعہ 1: تمام انسان آزاد اور حقوق و عزت کے اعتبار سے برابر پیدا ہوۓ ہیں۔ انہیں ضمیر اور عقل ودیعت ہوئی ہی۔ اسلۓ انہیں ایک دوسرے کے ساتھ بھائی چارے کا سلوک کرنا چاہیۓ۔
Transliteration (ALA-LC):
Dafʻah 1: Tamām insān āzād aur ḥuqūq o ʻizzat ke iʻtibār se barābar paidā hu’e heṇ. Unheṇ z̤amīr aur ʻaql wadīʻat hu’ī he. Isli’e unheṇ ek dūsre ke sāth bhā’ī chāre kā sulūk karnā chāhi’e


Gloss (word-to-word):
Article 1: All humans free[,] and rights and dignity *('s) consideration from equal born are. To them conscience and intellect endowed is. Therefore, they one another *('s) brotherhood *('s) treatment do must.
Translation (grammatical):
Article 1: All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience. Therefore, they should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.

Note: *('s) represents a possessive case which when written is preceded by the possessor and followed by the possessed, unlike the English 'of'.

Common difficulties faced in learning Template:Unicode

  • the phonetic mechanism of some sounds peculiar to Template:Unicode (eg. ṛ, dh etc) The distinction between aspirated and unaspirated consonants will be difficult for English speakers. In addition, the distinction between dental and alveolar (or retroflex) consonants will also pose problems. English speakers will find that they need to carefully distinguish between four different d-sounds and four different t-sounds.
  • pronunciation of vowels: In English, unstressed vowels tend to have a "schwa" quality. The pronunciation of such vowels in English is changed to an "uh" sound; this is called reducing a vowel sound. The second syllable of "unify" is pronounced /ə

/, not i . The same for the unstressed second syllable of "person" which is also pronounced /ə / rather than "oh." In Template:Unicode, English-speakers must constantly be careful not to reduce these vowels.

    • In this respect, probably the most important mistake would be for English speakers to reduce final "ah" sounds to "uh." This can be especially important because an English pronunciation will lead to misunderstandings about grammar and gender. In Template:Unicode, وہ بولتا ہے voh boltā hai is "he talks" whereas وہ بولتی ہے voh boltī hai is "she talks." A typical English pronunciation in the first sentence would be "voh boltuh hai," which will be understood as "she talks" by most Template:Unicode-native speakers.
  • The 'a' ending of many gender-masculine words of native origin, due to romanisation, is highly confused by non-native speakers, because the short 'a' is dropped in Template:Unicode (i.e. ہونا honā).
  • the Verbal concordance; Template:Unicode exhibits split ergativity; see Ergative-absolutive language for an example.
  • Relative-correlative constructions. In English interrogative and relative pronouns are the same word. In "Who are you?" the word "who" is an interrogative, or question, pronoun. In "My friend who lives in Sydney can speak Template:Unicode," the word "who" is not an interrogative, or question-pronoun. It is a relative, or linking-pronoun. In Template:Unicode, there are different words for each. The interrogative pronoun tends to start with the "k" sound:" kab = when?, kahān = where?, kitnā = how much? The relative pronouns are usually very similar but start with "j" sounds: jab = when, jahān = where, jitnā = how much.


Template:Unicode has only become a literary language in recent centuries, as Persian and Arabic were formerly the idioms of choice for "elevated" subjects. However, despite its late development, Template:Unicode literature boasts some world-recognised artists and a considerable corpus.



After Arabic and Persian, Template:Unicode holds the largest collection of work on Islamic literature and Sharia. These include translations and interpretation of Qur'an, commentary on Hadith, Fiqh, history, spirituality, Sufism and metaphysics. A great number of classical texts from Arabic and Persian, have also been translated into Template:Unicode. Relatively inexpensive publishing, combined with the use of Template:Unicode as a lingua franca among Muslims of South Asia, has meant that Islam-related works in Template:Unicode far outnumber such works in any other South Asian language. Two of the most popular Islamic books, originally written in Template:Unicode, are the Fazail-e-Amal and the Bahar-e-Shariat.


Secular prose includes all categories of widely known fiction and non-fiction work, separable into genres.

The dāstān, or tale, a traditional story which may have many characters and complex plotting. This has now fallen into disuse.

The afsāna, or short story, probably the best-known genre of Template:Unicode fiction. The best-known afsāna writers, or afsāna nigār, in Template:Unicode are Saadat Hasan Manto, Qurat-ul-Ain Haider, Munshi Premchand, Ismat Chughtai, Krishan Chander, Ghulam Abbas, Banu Qudsia and Ahmed Nadeem Qasmi. Munshi Premchand, became known as a pioneer in the afsāna, though some contend that his were not technically the first as Sir Ross Masood had already written many short stories in Template:Unicode.

Novels form a genre of their own, in the tradition of the English novel.

Other genres include saférnāma (i.e: Odyssey, lit: travel story), mazmoon (i.e: Essay), sarguzisht, inshaeya, murasela, and khud navvisht (i.e: Autobiography).


Main article: Urdu poetry
Mirza Ghalib (1796-1869), a respected poet of Template:Unicode.

Template:Unicode has been the premier language of poetry in South Asia for two centuries, and has developed a rich tradition in a variety of poetic genres. The 'Ghazal' in Template:Unicode represents the most popular form of subjective poetry, while the 'Nazm' exemplifies the objective kind, often reserved for narrative, descriptive, didactic or satirical purposes. Under the broad head of the Nazm we may also include the classical forms of poems known by specific names such as 'Masnavi' (a long narrative poem in rhyming couplets on any theme: romantic, religious, or didactic), 'Marsia' (an elegy traditionally meant to commemorate the martyrdom of Hazrat Imam Hussain, grandson of Prophet Muhammad, and his comrades of the Karbala fame), or 'Qasida' (a panegyric written in praise of a king or a nobleman), for all these poems have a single presiding subject, logically developed and concluded. However, these poetic species have an old world aura about their subject and style, and are different from the modern Nazm, supposed to have come into vogue in the later part of the nineteenth century.

Foreign forms such as the sonnet, azad nazm (a.k.a Free verse) and haiku have also been used by some modern Template:Unicode poets.

Probably the most widely recited, and memorised genre of contemporary Template:Unicode poetry is naat—panegyric poetry written in praise of the Prophet Muhammad. Nāt can be of any formal category, but is most commonly in the ghazal form. The language used in Template:Unicode nāt ranges from the intensely colloquial to a highly Persianised formal language. The great early twentieth century scholar Imam Ahmad Raza Khan, who wrote many of the most well known nāts in Template:Unicode, epitomised this range in a ghazal of nine stanzas (bayt) in which every stanza contains half a line each of Arabic, Persian, formal Template:Unicode, and colloquial Hindi. The same poet composed a salām—a poem of greeting to the Prophet Muhammad, derived from the unorthodox practice of qiyam, or standing, during the mawlid, or celebration of the birth of the Prophet—Mustafā Jān-e Rahmat, which, due to being recited on Fridays in some Template:Unicode speaking mosques throughout the world, is probably the more frequently recited Template:Unicode poems of the modern era.

Another important genre of Template:Unicode prose are the poems commemorating the martyrdom of imam Hussain and Battle of Karbala, called noha (نوحہ) and marsia. Anees and Dabeer are famous in this regard.

Template:Unicode poetry terminology

Ash'ār (اشعار) (Couplet). It consists of two lines, Misra (مصرعہ); first line is called Misra-e-oola (مصرع اولی) and the second is called 'Misra-e-sānī' (مصرعہ ثانی). Each verse embodies a single thought or subject (sing) She'r (شعر).


Main article: History of Urdu

Template:Unicode developed as local Indo-Aryan dialects came under the influence of the Muslim courts that ruled South Asia from the early thirteenth century. The official language of the Delhi Sultanate, the Mughal Empire, and their successor states, as well as the cultured language of poetry and literature, was Persian, while the language of religion was Arabic. Most of the Sultans and nobility in the Sultanate period were Persianised Turks from Central Asia who spoke Turkish as their mother tongue. The Mughals were also from Central Asia and spoke Turkish as their first language; however the Mughals later adopted Persian. Persian became the preferred language of the Muslim elite of north India before the Mughals entered the scene. Babur's mother tongue was Turkish and he wrote exclusively in Turkish. His son and successor Humayun also spoke and wrote in Turkish. Muzaffar Alam, a noted scholar of Mughal and Indo-Persian history, suggests that Persian became the lingua franca of the empire under Akbar for various political and social factors due to its non-sectarian and fluid nature.[20] The mingling of these languages led to a vernacular that is the ancestor of today's Urdū. Dialects of this vernacular are spoken today in cities and villages throughout Pakistan and northern India. Cities with a particularly strong tradition of Template:Unicode include Hyderabad, Karachi, Lucknow and Lahore.

The name Template:Unicode

The term Template:Unicode came into use when Shahjehan built the Red Fort in Delhi. The word Template:Unicode itself comes from the Turkish word ordu, "tent" or "army", from which we get the word "horde". Hence Template:Unicode is sometimes called "Lashkarī zabān" or the language of the army. Furthermore, armies of India often contained soldiers with various native tongues. Hence, Template:Unicode was the chosen language to address the soldiers as it abridged several languages.

Wherever Muslim soldiers and officials settled, they carried Template:Unicode with them. Template:Unicode enjoyed commanding status in the literary courts of late Muslim rulers and Nawabs, and flourished under their patronage, partially displacing Farsi as the language of elite in the then Indian society.

Template:Unicode continued as one of many languages in Northwest India. In 1947, Template:Unicode was established as the national language of the Islamic Republic of Pakistān in the hope that this move would unite and homogenise the various ethnic groups of the new nation. Template:Unicode suddenly went from a language of a minority to the language of the majority. Today, Template:Unicode is taught throughout Pakistāni schools and spoken in government positions, and it is also common in much of Northern India. Template:Unicode's sister language, Hindī, is the official language of India.

Urdū and Hindī

Because of their great similarities of grammar and core vocabularies, many linguists do not distinguish between Hindī and Template:Unicode as separate languages--at least not in reference to the informal spoken registers. For them, ordinary informal Template:Unicode and Hindī can be seen as variants of the same language (Hindustānī) with the difference being that Template:Unicode is supplemented with a Perso-Arabic vocabulary and Hindi a Sanskritic vocabulary. Additionally, there is the convention of Urdu being written in Perso-Arabic script, and Hindi in Devanagari. The standard, "proper" grammars of both languages are based on Khariboli grammar —the dialect of the Delhi region. So, with respect to grammar, the languages are mutually intelligible when spoken, and can be thought of as the same language.

Despite their similar grammars, however, Standard Template:Unicode and Standard Hindī are distinct languages in regards to their very different vocabularies, their writing systems, and their political and sociolinguistic connotations. Put simply, in the context of everyday casual speech, Hindi and Urdu can be considered dialects of the same language. In terms of their mutual intelligibility in their formal or "proper" registers, however, they are much less mutually intelligible and can be considered separate languages--they have basically the same grammar but very different vocabularies (as well as different writing systems and political-social connotations). There are two fundamental distinctions between them:

  • The source of vocabulary (borrowed from Persian or inherited from Sanskrit): In colloquial situations in much of the Indian subcontinent, where neither learned vocabulary nor writing is used, the distinction between the Template:Unicode and Hindī is very small.
  • The most important distinction at this level is in the script: if written in the Perso-Arabic script, the language is generally considered to be Template:Unicode, and if written in Devanagari it is generally considered to be Hindi. Since the Partition of India, the formal registers used in education and the media in India have become increasingly divergent from Template:Unicode in their vocabulary. Where there is no colloquial word for a concept, Standard Template:Unicode uses Perso-Arabic vocabulary, while Standard Hindī uses Sanskrit vocabulary. This results in the official languages being heavily Sanskritised or Persianised, and unintelligible to speakers educated in the other standard (as far as the formal vocabulary is concerned).

Note that for the purpose of linguistics, neither of above two arguments qualify for the purpose of considering Hindī and Template:Unicode to be separate languages. For example, English has about 80-90% of its technical and formal vocabulary coming from Latin (mostly through French). But this fact does not make English a Romance language (i.e., languages descending from Latin) —English is always considered to be a Germanic language, because its "common and everyday vocabulary" and grammar is based upon Old German. Script never causes distinction between languages, because linguistics deals with language as it is "spoken," regarding script as but choice construction.

Hindustani is the name often given to the language as it developed over hundreds of years throughout India (which formerly included what is now Pakistan). In the same way that the core vocabulary of English evolved from Old English (Anglo-Saxon) but includes a large number of words borrowed from French and other languages (whose pronunciations often changed naturally so as to become easier for speakers of English to pronounce), what may be called Hindustani can be said to have evolved from Sanskrit while borrowing many Persian and Arabic words over the years, and changing the pronunciations (and often even the meanings) of those words to make them easier for Hindustani speakers to pronounce. Therefore, Hindustani is the language as it evolved organically.

Linguistically speaking, Standard Hindī is a form of colloquial Hindustānī, with lesser use of Persian and Arabic loanwords, while inheriting its formal vocabulary from Sanskrit; Standard Template:Unicode is also a form of Hindustānī, de-Sanskritised, with its a significant part of formal vocabulary consisting of loanwords from Persian and Arabic. The difference, thus is in the vocabulary, and not the structure of the language.

The difference is also sociolinguistic: When people speak Hindustani (i.e., when they are speaking colloquially) speakers who are Muslims will usually say that they are speaking Urdu, and those who are Hindus will typically say that they are speaking Hindi, even though they are speaking essentially the same language.

The two standardised registers of Hindustānī — Hindi and Urdu — have become so entrenched as separate languages that often nationalists, both Muslim and Hindu, claim that Hindī and Template:Unicode have always been separate languages. However, there are unifying forces. For example, it is said that Indian Bollywood films are made in "Hindī", but the language used in most of them is almost the same as that of Urdū speakers. The dialogue is frequently developed in English and later translated to an intentionally neutral Hindustānī which can be easily understood by speakers of most North Indian languages, both in India and in Pakistan.

Also see Hindi.

Urdū and Bollywood

A typical Bollywood poster

The Indian film industry based in Mumbai is often called Bollywood. The language used in Bollywood films is often called Hindī, but most dialogues are actually written in Hindustānī -- they can be understood by Template:Unicode and Hindī speakers alike. The film industry wants to reach the largest possible audience, and it cannot do that if the dialogue of the film is too one-sidedly Hindī or Template:Unicode. This rule is broken only for song lyrics, which use elevated, poetic language. Often, this means using poetic Template:Unicode words, of Arabic and Persian origin. A few films, like Umrao Jaan, Pakeezah, and Mughal-e-azam, have used vocabulary that leans more towards Template:Unicode, as they depict places and times when Template:Unicode would have been used.[21]

From the 1950s through the 1970s, Bollywood films displayed the name of the film in Hindī, Template:Unicode, and Roman scripts. Most Bollywood films today present film titles in Roman, although some also include the Hindī and Urdū scripts.

Dakkhini Urdū

Dakkhini Urdū is a dialect of the Urdu language spoken in the Deccan region of southern India. It is distinct by its mixture of vocabulary from Marathi and Telugu, as well as some vocabulary from Arabic, Persian and Turkish that are not found in the standard dialect of Urdu. In terms of pronunciation, the easiest way to recognize a native speaker is their pronunciation of the letter "qāf" (ﻕ) as "kh" (ﺥ). The Dialect is very reflective of the relaxed attitude of the people which allows the coinage of words, much like ebonics. The majority of people who speak this language are from Bangalore, Hyderabad, Mysore and parts of Chennai.

Distinct words, very typical of Dakkhini dialect of Urdu:

Nakko (instead of Nahi in Traditional Urdū) =No

Hau (instead of Han in Traditional Urdū) =Yes

Kaiku (instead of Kyun in Traditional Urdū) =Why

Mereku (instead of Mujhe in Traditional Urdū) = For me

Tereku (instead of Tujhe in Traditional Urdū) =For you

Also see: Dakkhini

Urdu script

As in Ghalib's famous couplet where he compares himself to his great predecessor, the master poet Mir:[22]

ریختے کے تم ہی استاد نہیں ہو غالب

کہتے ہیں اگلے زمانے میں کوئی میر بھی تھا



Rekhta ke tumhin ustād nahīn ho Ghālib
Kahte hainn agle zamāne meinn ko'ī Mīr bhī thā


You, alone, are not the only expert of Rekhta, Ghalib
It is said that even once there existed someone named Mir



  • Ahmad, Rizwan. 2006. "Voices people write: Examining Urdu in Devanagari". http://www.ling.ohio-state.edu/NWAV/Abstracts/Papr172.pdf
  • Alam, Muzaffar. 1998. "The Pursuit of Persian: Language in Mughal Politics." In Modern Asian Studies, vol. 32, no. 2. (May, 1998), pp. 317-349.
  • Asher, R. E. (Ed.). 1994. The Encyclopedia of language and linguistics. Oxford: Pergamon Press. ISBN 0-08-035943-4.
  • Azad, Muhammad Husain. 2001 [1907]. Ab-e hayat (Lahore: Naval Kishor Gais Printing Works) 1907 [in Urdu]; (Delhi: Oxford University Press) 2001. [In English translation]
  • Azim, Anwar. 1975. Urdu a victim of cultural genocide. In Z. Imam (Ed.), Muslims in India (p. 259).
  • Bhatia, Tej K. 1996. Colloquial Hindi: The Complete Course for Beginners. London, UK & New York, NY: Routledge. ISBN 0-415-11087-4 (Book), 0415110882 (Cassettes), 0415110890 (Book & Cassette Course)
  • Bhatia, Tej K. and Koul Ashok. 2000. "Colloquial Urdu: The Complete Course for Beginners." London: Routledge. ISBN 0-415-13540-0 (Book); ISBN 0-415-13541-9 (cassette); ISBN 0-415-13542-7 (book and casseettes course)
  • Chatterji, Suniti K. 1960. Indo-Aryan and Hindi (rev. 2nd ed.). Calcutta: Firma K.L. Mukhopadhyay.
  • Dua, Hans R. 1992. "Hindi-Urdu as a pluricentric language". In M. G. Clyne (Ed.), Pluricentric languages: Differing norms in different nations. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter. ISBN 3-11-012855-1.
  • Dua, Hans R. 1994a. Hindustani. In Asher, 1994; pp. 1554.
  • Dua, Hans R. 1994b. Urdu. In Asher, 1994; pp. 4863-4864.
  • Kelkar, A. R. 1968. Studies in Hindi-Urdu: Introduction and word phonology. Poona: Deccan College.
  • Khan, M. H. 1969. Urdu. In T. A. Sebeok (Ed.), Current trends in linguistics (Vol. 5). The Hague: Mouton.
  • King, Christopher R. 1994. One Language, Two Scripts: The Hindi Movement in Nineteenth Century North India. Bombay: Oxford University Press.
  • Narang, G. C. and D. A. Becker. 1971. Aspiration and nasalization in the generative phonology of Hindi-Urdu. Language, 47, 646-767.
  • Ohala, M. 1972. Topics in Hindi-Urdu phonology. (PhD dissertation, University of California, Los Angeles).
  • "A Desertful of Roses", a site about Ghalib's Template:Unicode ghazals by Dr. Frances W. Pritchett, Professor of Modern Indic Languages at Columbia University, New York, NY, USA.
  • Phukan, S. 2000. The Rustic Beloved: Ecology of Hindi in a Persianate World, The Annual of Urdu Studies, vol 15, issue 5, pp. 1-30
  • Rahim, Rizwana. Urdu in India, 3-part review:
  • Rai, Amrit. 1984. A house divided: The origin and development of Hindi-Hindustani. Delhi: Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-561643-X.
  • Snell, Rupert Teach yourself Hindi: A complete guide for beginners. Lincolnwood, IL: NTC

See also

Template:Wikibookspar alphabetically arranged

External links


Research Centres

Professional Publications

Online Dictionaries

Online Urdu Script Instruction

  • About Urdu: Urdu Through Hindi: Nastaliq With the Help of Devanagari
  • Urdu Alphabet with Devanagari equivalents
  • Urdu Extension Urdu Extension parses the Urdu text in real time and replaces with a matched ligature

News and Current Affairs

Urdu Forums and Blogs

Other Sites About Urdū

Online Use of Template:Unicode

Urdū Cyber Libraries

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