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URDU (/ˈʊərduː/ ; Urdu : اُردُو‎ ALA-LC : _Urdū_ (_ listen ), or MODERN STANDARD URDU) is a persianized and standardised register of the Hindustani language
Hindustani language
. It is the national language and lingua franca _ of Pakistan
, and an official language of five states of India
. It is also one of the 22 official languages recognized in the Constitution of India
. Hyderabad , Rampur , Bhopal and Lucknow are noted Urdu-speaking cities of India.

Apart from specialized vocabulary , Urdu is mutually intelligible with Standard Hindi , another recognized register of Hindustani. The Urdu variant of Hindustani received recognition and patronage under British rule when the British replaced the local official languages with English and Hindustani written in nastaliq script, as the official language in north and northwestern India. Religious, social, and political factors pushed for a distinction between Urdu and Hindi in India, leading to the Hindi–Urdu controversy .


* 1 Origin * 2 Speakers and geographic distribution * 3 Official status

* 4 Dialects

* 4.1 Code switching

* 5 Comparison with Modern Standard Hindi

* 6 Phonology

* 6.1 Consonants * 6.2 Vowels

* 7 Vocabulary

* 7.1 Levels of formality

* 8 Writing system
Writing system

* 9 Literature

* 9.1 Prose

* 9.1.1 Religious * 9.1.2 Literary

* 9.2 Poetry

* 9.2.1 Terminology

* 9.2.2 Urdu poetry example

* Transliteration * Translation

* 10 Sample text

* 10.1 Urdu text * 10.2 Transliteration (ALA-LC) * 10.3 IPA transcription * 10.4 Gloss (word-for-word) * 10.5 Translation (grammatical)

* 11 See also * 12 Notes * 13 References * 14 Further reading * 15 External links


Main article: History of Hindustani

Urdu, like Hindi, is a form of Hindustani . It evolved from the medieval (6th to 13th century) Apabhraṃśa register of the preceding Shauraseni language , a Middle Indo-Aryan language that is also the ancestor of other modern Indo-Aryan languages, including the Punjabi dialects . Urdu developed under the influence of the Persian and Arabic languages, both of which have contributed a significant amount of vocabulary to formal speech. Around 99% of Urdu verbs have their roots in Sanskrit and Prakrit .

Although the word _Urdu_ itself is derived from the Turkic word _ordu_ (army) or orda , from which English _horde_ is also derived, Turkic borrowings in Urdu are minimal and Urdu is not genetically related to the Turkic languages . Urdu words originating from Chagatai and Arabic were borrowed through Persian and hence are Persianized versions of the original words. For instance, the Arabic _ta\' marbuta _ ( ة ) changes to _he _ ( ه ) or _te _ ( ت ). Nevertheless, contrary to popular belief, Urdu did not borrow from the Turkish language , but from Chagatai . Urdu and Turkish borrowed from Arabic and Persian, hence the similarity in pronunciation of many Urdu and Turkish words.

Arabic influence in the region began with the late first-millennium Muslim conquests of the Indian subcontinent . The Persian language was introduced into the subcontinent a few centuries later by various Persianized Central Asian Turkic and Afghan dynasties including that of Mahmud of Ghazni . The Turko-Afghan Delhi Sultanate established Persian as its official language, a policy continued by the Mughal Empire , which extended over most of northern South Asia from the 16th to 18th centuries and cemented Persian influence on the developing Hindustani.

With the advent of the British Raj , Persian was no longer the language of administration but Hindustani , still written in the Persian script , continued to be used by both Hindus and Muslims. The name _Urdu_ was first used by the poet Ghulam Hamadani Mushafi around 1780. (p18) From the 13th century until the end of the 18th century Urdu was commonly known as Hindi. (p1) The language was also known by various other names such as _Hindavi_ and _Dehlavi_. (pp21–22) The communal nature of the language lasted until it replaced Persian as the official language in 1837 and was made co-official, along with English. Urdu was promoted in British India
by British policies to counter the previous emphasis on Persian. This triggered a Brahman backlash in northwestern India, which argued that the language should be written in the native Devanagari script. Thus a new literary register, called "Hindi", replaced traditional Hindustani as the official language of Bihar in 1881, establishing a sectarian divide of "Urdu" for Muslims and "Hindi" for Hindus, a divide that was formalized with the division of India
and Pakistan
after independence (though there are Hindu poets who continue to write in Urdu to this day, with post-independence examples including Gopi Chand Narang and Gulzar ). At independence, Pakistan
established a highly Persianized literary form of Urdu as its national language.

There have been attempts to "purify" Urdu and Hindi, by purging Urdu of Sanskrit loanwords, and Hindi of Persian loan words, and new vocabulary draws primarily from Persian and Arabic for Urdu and from Sanskrit for Hindi. English has exerted a heavy influence on both as a co-official language.


See also: Languages of Pakistan
and Languages of India
_ The phrase Zabān-i Urdū-yi Muʿallā_ ("The language of the exalted camp") written in Nastaʿlīq script
Nastaʿlīq script

There are over 100 million native speakers of Urdu in India
(more than 80% of it) and Pakistan
together: there were 52 million and 80.5 million Urdu speakers in India
some 5% and 6.5% of the total population of India
as per the 2001 and 2011 censuses respectively; approximately 10 million in Pakistan
or 7.57% as per the 1998 census and 16 million in 2006 estimates; and several hundred thousand in the United Kingdom , Saudi Arabia , United States , and Bangladesh (where it is called "Bihari"). However, a knowledge of Urdu allows one to speak with far more people than that, because Hindustani , of which Urdu is one variety, is the third most commonly spoken language in the world, after Mandarin , English, and Spanish . Because of the difficulty in distinguishing between Urdu and Hindi speakers in India and Pakistan, as well as estimating the number of people for whom Urdu is a second language, the estimated number of speakers is uncertain and controversial.

Owing to interaction with other languages, Urdu has become localized wherever it is spoken, including in Pakistan
itself. Urdu in Pakistan has undergone changes and has lately incorporated and borrowed many words from regional languages like Pashto , Punjabi , Sindhi and Balti , thus allowing speakers of the language in Pakistan
to distinguish themselves more easily and giving the language a decidedly Pakistani flavour. Similarly, the Urdu spoken in India
can also be distinguished into many dialects like Dakhni ( Deccan ) of South India, and Khariboli of the Punjab region since recent times. Because of Urdu's similarity to Hindi , speakers of the two languages can easily understand one another if both sides refrain from using specialized vocabulary. The syntax (grammar), morphology , and the core vocabulary are essentially identical. Thus linguists usually count them as one single language and contend that they are considered as two different languages for socio-political reasons.

In Pakistan, Urdu is mostly learned as a second or a third language as nearly 93% of Pakistan's population has a native language other than Urdu. Despite this, Urdu was chosen as a token of unity and as a lingua franca so as not to give any native Pakistani language preference over the other. Urdu is therefore spoken and understood by the vast majority in some form or another, including a majority of urban dwellers in such cities as Karachi , Lahore , Sialkot , Rawalpindi , Islamabad , Multan , Faisalabad , Hyderabad , Peshawar , Quetta , Jhang , Sargodha and Skardu . It is written, spoken and used in all provinces/territories of Pakistan
despite the fact that the people from differing provinces may have different indigenous languages, as from the fact that it is the "base language" of the country. For this reason, it is also taught as a compulsory subject up to higher secondary school in both English and Urdu medium school systems. This has produced millions of Urdu speakers from people whose native language is one of the State languages of Pakistan
such as Standard Punjabi , Pashto , Sindhi , Balochi , Potwari , Hindko , Pahari , Saraiki , Balti , and Brahui who can read and write only Urdu. It is absorbing many words from the regional languages of Pakistan. This variation of Urdu is sometimes referred to as Pakistani Urdu.

Although most of the population is conversant in Urdu, it is the first language of only an estimated 7% of the population who are mainly Muslim immigrants (known as Muhajir in Pakistan) from different parts of South Asia . The regional languages are also being influenced by Urdu vocabulary. There are millions of Pakistanis whose native language is not Urdu, but because they have studied in Urdu medium schools, they can read and write Urdu along with their native language. Most of the nearly five million Afghan refugees of different ethnic origins (such as Pashtun , Tajik , Uzbek , Hazarvi , and Turkmen ) who stayed in Pakistan
for over twenty-five years have also become fluent in Urdu. With such a large number of people(s) speaking Urdu, the language has in recent years acquired a peculiar Pakistani flavour further distinguishing it from the Urdu spoken by native speakers and diversifying the language even further.

A great number of newspapers are published in Urdu in Pakistan, including the _ Daily Jang _, _ Nawa-i-Waqt _, _ Millat _, among many others (see List of newspapers in Pakistan# Urdu language Newspapers ).

In India, Urdu is spoken in places where there are large Muslim minorities or cities that were bases for Muslim Empires in the past. These include parts of Uttar Pradesh , Madhya Pradesh , Bihar , Telangana , Andhra Pradesh , Maharashtra ( Marathwada ), Karnataka and cities such as Lucknow , Delhi , Bareilly , Meerut , Saharanpur , Muzaffarnagar , Roorkee , Deoband , Moradabad , Azamgarh , Bijnor , Najibabad , Rampur , Aligarh , Allahabad , Gorakhpur , Agra , Kanpur , Badaun , Bhopal , Hyderabad , Aurangabad , Bengaluru , Kolkata , Mysore , Patna , Gulbarga , Parbhani , Nanded , Malegaon , Bidar , Ajmer , and Ahmedabad . Some Indian schools teach Urdu as a first language and have their own syllabi and exams. Indian madrasahs also teach Arabic as well as Urdu. India
has more than 3,000 Urdu publications, including 405 daily Urdu newspapers. Newspapers such as _Neshat News Urdu_, _Sahara Urdu_, _Daily Salar_, _Hindustan Express_, _Daily Pasban_, _Siasat Daily_, _ The Munsif Daily _ and _Inqilab_ are published and distributed in Bengaluru , Malegaon , Mysore , Hyderabad , and Mumbai (see List of newspapers in India

Outside South Asia , it is spoken by large numbers of migrant South Asian workers in the major urban centres of the Persian Gulf countries. Urdu is also spoken by large numbers of immigrants and their children in the major urban centres of the United Kingdom , the United States , Canada , Germany , Norway , and Australia . Along with Arabic , Urdu is among the immigrant languages with the most speakers in Catalonia , leading to fears of linguistic ghettos.


A trilingual signboard in Gulf Arabic , English and Urdu in the UAE A multilingual New Delhi railway station board

Urdu is the national and one of the two official languages of Pakistan, along with English, and is spoken and understood throughout the country, whereas the state-by-state languages (languages spoken throughout various regions) are the provincial languages . Only 7.57% of Pakistanis have Urdu as their first language, but Urdu is mostly understood and spoken all over Pakistan
as a second or third language. It is used in education , literature , office and court business. It holds in itself a repository of the cultural and social heritage of the country. Although English is used in most elite circles, and Punjabi has a plurality of native speakers, Urdu is the lingua franca and national language of Pakistan. In practice English is used instead of Urdu in the higher echelons of government.

Urdu is also one of the officially recognized languages in India
and the official language of Jammu and Kashmir , one of the two official languages of Telangana and also has the status of _"additional official language"_ in the Indian states of Uttar Pradesh , Bihar , Jharkhand , West Bengal and the national capital, New Delhi .

In Jammu and Kashmir , section 145 of the Kashmir Constitution provides: "The official language of the State shall be Urdu but the English language shall unless the Legislature by law otherwise provides, continue to be used for all the official purposes of the State for which it was being used immediately before the commencement of the Constitution." Overall, today Urdu is the mother tongue of over 100 million people in India
and Pakistan, 80.5 million and 16 million respectively. A couple of millions of Pakistanis and Indians also speak and use it as their second and third language.Plus thousands of Urdu speakers are found in the Gulf countries, the UK and the US that make this language one of the major literary and cultural force or entity in the 21st century. The famous film industry of India, Bollywood, based in Bombay or Mumbai owes much to it and still commands respect in terms of its predominant usage in dialogues and songs wrongly called or propagated as Hindi. Bollywood movies like Awara(1952) and Mughal-e-Azam (1960) to Dil Chahta Hai (2001) are some prominent examples to showcase its prowess and appeal among the people of India
and Pakistan
and their diaspora around the world.


Urdu has a few recognised dialects, including Dakhni , Rekhta , and Modern Vernacular Urdu (based on the Khariboli dialect
Khariboli dialect
of the Delhi region). Dakhni (also known as Dakani, Deccani, Desia, Mirgan) is spoken in Deccan region of southern India. It is distinct by its mixture of vocabulary from Marathi and Konkani , as well as some vocabulary from Arabic , Persian and Chagatai that are not found in the standard dialect of Urdu. Dakhini is widely spoken in all parts of Maharashtra , Telangana , Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka . Urdu is read and written as in other parts of India. A number of daily newspapers and several monthly magazines in Urdu are published in these states. In terms of pronunciation, the easiest way to recognize native speakers is by their pronunciation of the letter "qāf" (ق) as "k̲h̲e" (خ).


Many bilingual or multi-lingual Urdu speakers, being familiar with both Urdu and English, display code-switching (referred to as "Urdish") in certain localities and between certain social groups.

On 14 August 2015, the Government of Pakistan
launched the _Ilm_ Pakistan
movement, with a uniform curriculum in Urdish. Ahsan Iqbal , Federal Minister of Pakistan, said, "Now the government is working on a new curriculum to provide a new medium to the students which will be the combination of both Urdu and English and will name it Urdish."


Urdu and Hindi on a road sign in India
Further information: Hindi–Urdu controversy , Hindustani phonology , and Hindustani grammar

Standard Urdu is often contrasted with Standard Hindi . Apart from religious associations, the differences are largely restricted to the standard forms : Standard Urdu is conventionally written in the Nastaliq style of the Persian alphabet and relies heavily on Persian and Arabic as a source for technical and literary vocabulary, whereas Standard Hindi is conventionally written in Devanāgarī and draws on Sanskrit . However, both have large numbers of Arabic, Persian and Sanskrit words, and most linguists consider them to be two standardised forms of the same language, and consider the differences to be sociolinguistic , though a few classify them separately. Old Urdu dictionaries also contain most of the Sanskrit words now present in Hindi. Mutual intelligibility decreases in literary and specialized contexts that rely on educated vocabulary. Further, it is quite easy in a longer conversation to distinguish differences in vocabulary and pronunciation of some Urdu phonemes . As a result of religious nationalism since the partition of British India and continued communal tensions, native speakers of both Hindi and Urdu frequently assert them to be distinct languages, despite the numerous similarities between the two in a colloquial setting.

The barrier created between Hindi and Urdu is eroding: Hindi speakers are comfortable with using Persian- Arabic borrowed words and Urdu speakers are also comfortable with using Sanskrit terminology.


Main article: Hindustani phonology


Urdu consonant phonemes





Plosive / Affricate VOICELESS p t̪ ʈ tʃ k q (ʔ)

VOICELESS ASPIRATED pʰ t̪ʰ ʈʰ tʃʰ kʰ

VOICED b d̪ ɖ dʒ ɡ ɢ

VOICED ASPIRATED bʱ d̪ʱ ɖʱ dʒʱ ɡʱ


ʃ x



ʒ ɣ



ɾ ɽ


(ɾʱ) ɽʱ






* Marginal and non-universal phonemes are in parentheses. * /ɣ/ is post-velar .


The oral vowel phonemes of Urdu according to Ohala (1999 :102)

Urdu vowels




ʊ uː

NASAL ɪ̃ ĩː

ʊ̃ ũː


(o) oː


ẽː ə̃



(ɔ) ɔː









DIPHTHONGS ORAL ɪeː ɪɑː iːoː iːɑː ʊiː ʊeː ʊoː ʊɑː eːoː əiː əuː əeː oiː oeː oːɪ oːiː oːeː oːɑː ɑːɪ ɑːiː ɑːʊ ɑːuː ɑːeː ɑːoː

NASAL ɪũː iːũː ɪːɑ̃ː ʊĩː ʊõː ʊɑ̃ː əĩː oːĩː oːũː oːẽː ɑːĩː ɑːũː ɑːẽː ɑːõː

TRIPHTHONGS ORAL oəiː oəuː oːiːeː ɑːiːeː

NASAL ʊɑːẽː ʊɑːõ


* Marginal and non-universal vowels are in parentheses.


See also: Hindustani etymology

Etymological origin of basic Urdu words Arabic 29.9%

Sanskrit 25.2%

Persian 21.7%

English 7.8%

Prakrit 6.1%

Urdu's vocabulary has borrowings from various languages. A corpus-based quantitative survey of the etymological origins of basic Urdu vocabulary is shown in the adjacent table. Many of the words of Arabic origin have been adopted through Persian and have different pronunciations and nuances of meaning and usage than they do in Arabic. There are also a smaller number of borrowings from Chagatai , and Portuguese .


Urdu in its less formalised register has been referred to as a _rek̤h̤tah _ (ریختہ, ), meaning "rough mixture". The more formal register of Urdu is sometimes referred to as _zabān-i Urdū-yi muʿallá_ (زبانِ اُردُوئے معلّٰى ), the "Language of the Exalted Camp", referring to the Imperial army.

The etymology of the word used in the Urdu language for the most part decides how polite or refined one's speech is. For example, Urdu speakers would distinguish between پانی _pānī_ and آب _āb_, both meaning "water"; the former is used colloquially and has older Indic origins, whereas 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 Urdu, 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. This distinction is similar to the division in English between words of Latin , French and Old English origins.


Main articles: Urdu alphabet
Urdu alphabet
and Urdu braille Further information: Hindustani orthography The Urdu Nastaʿliq alphabet, with names in the Devanāgarī and Latin alphabets

Urdu is written right-to left in an extension of the Persian alphabet , which is itself an extension of the Arabic alphabet . Urdu is associated with the Nastaʿlīq style of Persian calligraphy , whereas Arabic is generally written in the _Naskh _ or _Ruq\'ah _ styles. _Nasta’liq_ is notoriously difficult to typeset, so Urdu newspapers were hand-written by masters of calligraphy, known as _kātib_ or _khush-nawīs_, until the late 1980s. One handwritten Urdu newspaper, The Musalman , is still published daily in Chennai .

Urdu has also historically been written in the Kaithi script. A highly Persianized and technical form of Urdu was the _lingua franca_ of the law courts of the British administration in Bengal , Bihar , and the North-West Provinces font-family: 'Jameel Noori Nastaleeq', ' Urdu Typesetting', 'Noto Nastaliq Urdu', 'Noto Nastaliq Urdu Draft', 'Hussaini Nastaleeq', 'AlQalam Taj Nastaleeq', IranNastaliq, 'Awami Nastaliq', 'Awami Nastaliq Beta4', 'Awami Nastaliq Beta3', 'Awami Nastaliq Beta2', 'Awami Nastaliq Beta1', 'Nafees Nastaleeq', 'Nafees Nastaleeq v1.01', 'Pak Nastaleeq', 'PDMS_Jauhar', 'Alvi Lahori Nastaleeq';">ع (_‘ain _), in violation of Hindi orthographic rules. For Urdu publishers, the use of Devanagari gives them a greater audience, whereas the orthographic changes help them preserve a distinct identity of Urdu.


Main article: Urdu literature

Urdu has become a literary language only in recent centuries, as Persian was formerly the idiom of choice for the Muslim courts of North India. However, despite its relatively late development, Urdu literature boasts of some world-recognised artists and a considerable corpus.


Urdu afsana is a kind of Urdu prose in which much experiments have been done by the short story writers from Munshi Prem Chand to Naeem Baig .


Urdu holds the largest collection of works on Islamic literature and Sharia . These include translations and interpretation of the Qur\'an as well as commentary on _ Hadith _, _ Fiqh _, history , and Sufism . A great number of classical texts from Arabic and Persian have also been translated into Urdu. Relatively inexpensive publishing, combined with the use of Urdu as a lingua franca among Muslims of South Asia , has meant that Islam-related works in Urdu far outnumber such works in any other South Asian language. Popular Islamic books are also written in Urdu.

It is interesting to note that a treatise on Astrology was penned in Urdu by Pandit Roop Chand Joshi in the eighteenth century. The book, known as Lal Kitab , is widely popular in North India
among astrologers.


Secular prose includes all categories of widely known fiction and non-fiction work, separable into genres. The _dāstān_, or tale, a traditional story that may have many characters and complex plotting. This has now fallen into disuse.

The _afsāna_ or short story is probably the best-known genre of Urdu fiction. The best-known _afsāna_ writers, or _afsāna nigār_, in Urdu are Munshi Premchand , Saadat Hasan Manto , Rajinder Singh Bedi , Krishan Chander , Qurratulain Hyder (Qurat-ul-Ain Haider), Ismat Chughtai , Ghulam Abbas , and Ahmad Nadeem Qasimi . Towards the end of last century Paigham Afaqui's novel Makaan appeared with a reviving force for Urdu novel resulting into writing of novels getting a boost in Urdu literature and a number of writers like Ghazanfer, Abdus Samad, Sarwat Khan and Musharraf Alam Zauqi have taken the move forward. 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 Urdu. Novels form a genre of their own, in the tradition of the English novel . Other genres include _saférnāma_ (travel story), _mazmoon_ (essay), _sarguzisht_ (account/narrative), _inshaeya_ (satirical essay), _murasela_ (editorial), and _khud navvisht_ (autobiography).


Main article: Urdu poetry Further information: Urdu poets Mir Taqi Mir (1723–1810) ( Urdu : میر تقی میر‎) was the leading Urdu poet of the 18th century in the courts of Mughal Empire and Nawabs of Awadh An illustrated manuscript of one of Amir Khusrau 's (1253–1325 CE) Persian poems Allama Muhammad Iqbal , the national poet of Pakistan

Urdu has been one of the premier languages of poetry in South Asia for two centuries, and has developed a rich tradition in a variety of poetic genres. The Ghazal in Urdu represents the most popular form of subjective music and poetry, whereas 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 Husayn ibn Ali , grandson of 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. Probably the most widely recited, and memorised genre of contemporary Urdu poetry is nāt —panegyric poetry written in praise of Muhammad . _Nāt_ can be of any formal category, but is most commonly in the _ghazal_ form. The language used in Urdu _nāt_ ranges from the intensely colloquial to a highly persified formal language. The great early 20th century scholar Ala Hazrat , Ahmed Raza Khan Barelvi , who wrote many of the most well known _nāt_s in Urdu (the collection of his poetic work is Hadaiq-e-Baqhshish), epitomised this range in a _ghazal_ of nine stanzas (_bayt_) in which every stanza contains half a line each of Arabic, Persian, formal Urdu, and colloquial Hindi.

Another important genre of Urdu prose are the poems commemorating the martyrdom of Husayn ibn Ali at the Battle of Karbala , called noha (نوحہ) and marsia . Anees and Dabeer are famous in this regard.


_AS̱ẖʿāR_ (اشعار, verse, couplets): It consists of two hemistiches (lines) called _Miṣraʿ_ (مصرع); first hemistich (line) is called مصرعِ اولٰى (_Miṣraʿ-i ūlá_) and the second is called (مصرعِ ثانی) (_Miṣraʿ-i s̱ānī_). Each verse embodies a single thought or subject (singular) شِعر _shiʿr _.

In the Urdu poetic tradition, most poets use a pen name called the _takhalluṣ_. This can be either a part of a poet's given name or something else adopted as an identity. The traditional convention in identifying Urdu poets is to mention the _takhalluṣ_ at the end of the name. Thus Ghalib, whose official name and title was Mirza Asadullah Beg Khan, is referred to formally as Mirza Asadullah Khan Ghalib, or in common parlance as just Mirza Ghalib. Because the _takhalluṣ_ can be a part of their actual name, some poets end up having that part of their name repeated, such as Faiz Ahmad Faiz.

The word _takhalluṣ_ is derived from Arabic, meaning "ending". This is because in the ghazal form, the poet would usually incorporate his or her pen name into the final couplet (_maqt̤aʿ_) of each poem as a type of "signature".

Urdu Poetry Example

This is Ghalib 's famous couplet in which he compares himself to his great predecessor, the master poet Mir :

ریختہ کے تمہی استاد نہیں ہو غاؔلب


کہتے ہیں اگلے زمانہ میں کوئی مؔیر بھی تھا


_Reḵẖtah ke tumhī ustād nahīṉ ho G̱ẖālib_ _Kahte haiṉ agle zamānih meṉ ko'ī Mīr bhī thā_


You are not the only master of _ Rekhta _, Ghalib (They) say that in the past there also was someone (named) Mir.


See also: Hindi § Sample text

The following is a sample text in Urdu, of the Article 1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (by the United Nations ):


دفعہ ۱: تمام انسان آزاد اور حقوق و عزت کے اعتبار سے برابر پیدا ہوئے ہیں۔ انہیں ضمیر اور عقل ودیعت ہوئی ہے۔ اس لئے انہیں ایک دوسرے کے ساتھ بھائی چارے کا سلوک کرنا چاہئے۔


_DAFʿAH 1: Tamām insān āzād aur ḥuqūq o ʿizzat ke iʿtibār se barābar paidā hūʾe haiṉ. Unheṉ ẓamīr aur ʿaql wadīʿat hūʾī hai. Is liʾe unheṉ ek dūsre ke sāth bhāʾī cāre kā sulūk karnā cāhiʾe_.


D̪əFɑː EːK: t̪əmɑːm ɪnsɑːn ɑːzɑːd̪ ɔːr hʊquːq oː ɪzzət̪ keː et̪ɪbɑːr seː bərɑːbər pɛːd̪ɑː ɦuːeː ɦɛ̃ː. ʊnɦẽː zəmiːr ɔːr əql ʋəd̪iːət̪ huːiː hɛː. ɪs lieː ʊnɦẽː eːk d̪uːsreː keː sɑːt̪ʰ bʱaːiː t͡ʃɑːreː kɑː sʊluːk kərnɑː t͡ʃɑːɦieː.


ARTICLE 1: All humans free and rights and dignity *('s) consideration from equal born are. Them to conscience and intellect endowed is. This for, they one another *('s) with brotherhood *('s) treatment do should.


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 that, when written, is preceded by the possessor and followed by the possessed, unlike the English "of"._


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* ^ An example can be seen in the word "need" in Urdu. Urdu uses the Persian version ضرورت rather than the original Arabic ضرورة. See: John T. Platts "A dictionary of Urdu, classical Hindi, and English" (1884) Page 749. Urdu also use Persian pronunciation – for instance rather than pronouncing ض as "ḍ" an _emphatic consonant_, the original sound in _ Arabic _, Urdu uses the Persian pronunciation "z". See: John T. Platts "A dictionary of Urdu, classical Hindi, and English" (1884) Page 748 * ^ Rekhta was the name for the Urdu language in Ghalib's days.


* ^ "Ethnologue: Languages of the World, Seventeenth edition, Urdu". Ethnologue. Retrieved 5 March 2013. * ^ Mikael Parkvall, "Världens 100 största språk 2007" (The World's 100 Largest Languages in 2007), in _ Nationalencyklopedin _ * ^ Urdu at _ Ethnologue _ (18th ed., 2015) * ^ _A_ _B_ Hindustani (2005). Keith Brown , ed. _Encyclopedia of Language and Linguistics _ (2 ed.). Elsevier. ISBN 0-08-044299-4 . * ^ Gaurav Takkar. "Short Term Programmes". _punarbhava.in_. Retrieved 29 March 2015. * ^ "Indo-Pakistani Sign Language", _Encyclopedia of Language and Linguistics_ * ^ _A_ _B_ _C_ "Lewis, M. Paul (ed.), 2009. Ethnologue: Languages of the World, Sixteenth edition. Dallas, Tex.: SIL International. Online version". Ethnologue.org. Retrieved 31 January 2012. * ^ "National Council for Promotion of Urdu Language". Urducouncil.nic.in. Retrieved 18 December 2011. * ^ Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin; Bank, Sebastian, eds. (2016). "Urdu". _ Glottolog 2.7 _. Jena: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History. * ^ "Urdu". _Random House Webster\'s Unabridged Dictionary _. * ^ "NIST 2007 Language Recognition Evaluation" (PDF). _Alvin F. Martin, Audrey N. Le_. Speech Group, Information Access Division, Information Technology Laboratory National Institute of Standards and Technology, USA. * ^ Rao, Chaitra, et al. "Orthographic characteristics speed Hindi word naming but slow Urdu naming: evidence from Hindi/Urdu biliterates." Reading and Writing 24.6 (2011): 679–695. * ^ Brass, Paul R. (2005). _Language, religion and politics in North India_. Lincoln, NE: IUniverse. ISBN 978-0-595-34394-2 . * ^ http://www.global.ucsb.edu/punjab/14.1_Rahman.pdf * ^ Mohanty, Panchanan. "British language policy in 19th century India
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Vision_Italic text_. Volume 15.1. Access-date 20 March 2016_ * ^ Sigfried J. de Laet. _ History of Humanity: From the seventh to the sixteenth century_ UNESCO, 1994. ISBN 9231028138 p 734 * ^ "South Asian Sufis: Devotion, Deviation, and Destiny". Retrieved 2 January 2015. * ^ Faruqi, Shamsur Rahman (2003), Sheldon Pollock, ed., _A Long History of Urdu Literary Culture Part 1_, Literary Cultures in History: Reconstructions From South Asia, University of California Press, p. 806, ISBN 0-520-22821-9 * ^ _A_ _B_ _C_ Rahman, Tariq (2001). _From Hindi to Urdu: A Social and Political History_ (PDF). Oxford University Press. pp. 1–22. ISBN 978-0-19-906313-0 . * ^ Rahman, Tariq (2000). "The Teaching of Urdu in British India" (PDF). _The Annual of Urdu Studies_. 15: 55. * ^ Rahman, Tariq (2014), _Pakistani English_ (PDF), Quaid-i-Azam University=Islamabad, p. 9 * ^ "Statement – 1: Abstract of speakers’ strength of languages and mother tongues – 2001". Government of India
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Travelite. Retrieved 31 January 2012. * ^ "Árabe y urdu aparecen entre las lenguas habituales de Catalunya, creando peligro de guetos". Europapress.es. 29 June 2009. Retrieved 18 December 2011. * ^ Government of Pakistan: Population by Mother Tongue Pakistan Bureau of Statistics * ^ In the lower courts in Pakistan, despite the proceedings taking place in Urdu, the documents are in English, whereas in the higher courts, i.e. the High Courts and the Supreme Court , both documents and proceedings are in English. * ^ Zia, Khaver (1999), "A Survey of Standardisation in Urdu". 4th Symposium on Multilingual Information Processing, (MLIT-4), Yangon , Myanmar . CICC, Japan * ^ Rahman, Tariq (2010). _Language Policy, Identity and Religion_ (PDF). Islamabad: Quaid-i-Azam University. p. 59. * ^ Wasey, Akhtarul (16 July 2014). "50th Report of the Commissioner for Linguistic Minorities in India
(July 2012 to June 2013)" (PDF). Retrieved 20 October 2016. * ^ The Constitution of Jammu and Kashmir * ^ "Learning In ‘Urdish’". Retrieved 10 October 2015. * ^ Yousafzai, Fawad. "Govt to launch ‘Ilm Pakistan’ on August 14: Ahsan". Retrieved 10 October 2015. * ^ Mustafa, Zubeida. "Over to ‘Urdish’". Retrieved 10 October 2015. * ^ " Hindi and Urdu are classified as literary registers of the same language". * ^ "Bringing Order to Linguistic Diversity: Language Planning in the British Raj". Language in India. Retrieved 20 May 2008. * ^ "A Brief Hindi Urdu FAQ". sikmirza. Archived from the original on 2 December 2007. Retrieved 20 May 2008. * ^ "Hindi/ Urdu Language Instruction". University of California, Davis. Retrieved 3 Jan 2015. * ^ " Ethnologue Report for Hindi". Ethnologue. Retrieved 26 February 2008. * ^ " Urdu and its Contribution to Secular Values". South Asian Voice. Retrieved 26 February 2008. * ^ The Annual of Urdu studies, number 11, 1996, "Some notes on Hindi and Urdu", pp. 203–208. * ^ Shakespear, John (1834), _A dictionary, Hindustani and English_ (PDF), Black, Kingsbury, Parbury and Allen * ^ Fallon, S. W. (1879), _A new Hindustani-English dictionary, with illustrations from Hindustani literature and folk-lore_, Banāras: Printed at the Medical Hall Press * ^ "Urdu: Language of the Aam Aadmi". _The Times of India_. Retrieved 29 March 2015. * ^ "‘Vishvas’: A word that threatens Pakistan". _The Express Tribune_. 18 September 2012. Retrieved 29 March 2015. * ^ "Kids have it right: boundaries of Urdu and Hindi are blurred". _Firstpost_. Retrieved 29 March 2015. * ^ _A_ _B_ " Urdu Phonetic Inventory" (PDF). _Center for Language Engineering_. Retrieved 10 October 2015. * ^ _A_ _B_ Naim, C.M. (1999). _Introductory Urdu (Volume One)_. Chicago: South Asia Language & Area Center, University of Chicago. Retrieved 11 October 2015. * ^ Kachru (2006 :20) * ^ _A_ _B_ Maldonado Garcia, Maria Isabel (2015). "A Corpus Based Quantitative Survey of the Persian and Arabic Elements in the Basic Vocabulary of Urdu Language" (PDF). _Journal of Pakistan
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* Henry Blochmann (1877). _English and Urdu dictionary, romanized_ (8 ed.). CALCUTTA: Printed at the Baptist mission press for the Calcutta school-book society. p. 215. Retrieved 6 July 2011. the University of Michigan * John Dowson (1908). _A grammar of the Urdū or Hindūstānī language_ (3 ed.). LONDON: K. Paul, Trench, Trübner & Co., ltd. p. 264. Retrieved 6 July 2011. the University of Michigan * John Dowson (1872). _A grammar of the Urdū or Hindūstānī language_. LONDON: Trübner & Co. p. 264. Retrieved 6 July 2011. Oxford University * John Thompson Platts (1874). _A grammar of the Hindūstānī or Urdū language_. Volume 6423 of Harvard College Library preservation microfilm program. LONDON: W.H. Allen. p. 399. Retrieved 6 July 2011. Oxford University * John Thompson Platts (1892). _A grammar of the Hindūstānī or Urdū language_. LONDON: W.H. Allen. p. 399. Retrieved 6 July 2011. the New York Public Library * John Thompson Platts (1884). _A dictionary of Urdū, classical Hindī, and English_ (reprint ed.). LONDON: H. Milford. p. 1259. Retrieved 6 July 2011. Oxford University * Ahmad, Rizwan. 2006. "Voices people write: Examining Urdu in Devanagari" * 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 . _Aab-e hayat_ (Lahore: Naval Kishor Gais Printing Works) 1907 ; (Delhi: Oxford University Press) 2001. * 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 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. * Durrani, Attash, Dr. 2008. _Pakistani Urdu_.Islamabad: National Language Authority, Pakistan. * Gumperz, J.J. (1982). "Discourse Strategies". Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. * Hassan, Nazir and Omkar N. Koul 1980. _ Urdu Phonetic Reader_. Mysore: Central Institute of Indian Languages. * Syed Maqsud Jamil (16 June 2006). "The Literary Heritage of Urdu". Daily Star. * 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. * Koul, Ashok K. 2008. _ Urdu Script and Vocabulary_. Delhi: Indian Institute of Language Studies. * Koul, Omkar N. 1994. _ Hindi Phonetic Reader_. Delhi: Indian Institute of Language Studies. * Koul, Omkar N. 2008. _Modern Hindi Grammar_. Springfield: Dunwoody 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 Urdu 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 * The Comparative study of Urdu and Khowar. Badshah Munir Bukhari National Language Authority Pakistan
2003. * 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 * Pimsleur, Dr. Paul, "Free Urdu Audio Lesson" * The poisonous potency of script: Hindi and Urdu, _ROBERT D. KING_


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