What is definition of education in Urdu

What you should know about the Urdu language

India gained independence in 1947. After that, however, it took almost three years until the newly elected constituent assembly edited and passed a constitution that satisfied the representatives of all Indian regions.

At the January 26, 1950 became the constitution of India (Bhāratīya Saṃvidhāna)ratified. It was written in English and Hindi and each member of the constituent assembly had to sign both versions. In the constitution, however, were still 21 other languages ​​indicated as potential official languages, from which (and of course from Hindi and English) the individual states and union territories could choose those that best suited the needs of the population in their area (one or more languages). The part of the constitution in which the language question is regulated is called The Eighth Schedule to the Constitution of India (roughly translated as "the eighth program for the constitution of India"; similar to the additional articles, amendments in the US Constitution).

By the way: the national government conducts its business in Hindi and English.

22 languages ​​(+ English) may sound like a lot, but a referendum in 2011 found that there are whole 122 languages and dialects that have at least a number of speakers 10.000 People have and still have 30 other idiomsthat of at least 1 million People are spoken to!

And no wonder, because India is not only a huge country (almost as big as the entire EU), but also looks at one long and rich history back. And as always, the various cultural influences have also left their mark on the languages ​​and dialects of India.

The most important factors were three empires, under whose rule India stood for a long time: the Hindu Maratha empire, the Muslim Mughal empire and British India, the British colonial era in India.

When it comes to which languages ​​have influenced the Indian languages ​​the most from the outside, certainly are Persian and English to be mentioned, whereby Arabic - especially during the Muslim rule - played a role.

“Many people in the West are amazed at India's linguistic diversity. There are almost 30 different languages ​​there, each with at least 1 million native speakers. There are more native Tamil speakers in the world than there are native Italian speakers. Likewise, more people speak Punjabi than German, more Marathi than French, and more Bengali than Russian. The number of Telugu speakers is higher than that of Czech, Dutch, Danish, Finnish, Greek, Slovak and Swedish speakers combined! " –  Bob Harris

Did you know that English and Hindi belong to the official languages ​​of the Indian government? Find out what role English plays in India here!

The origins and history of Urdu

First of all: The origins of Hindi and Urdu are the same.

Numerous indigenous languages ​​were spoken on the Indian subcontinent during the Middle Ages. Most of them belonged to the Prakrit language family (This is the part of the Indo-Aryan languages ​​that followed ancient Indian in the development of linguistic history). More than 12 of these languages ​​were used in everyday life by the Indian population (depending on the region and religion). These languages existed parallel to the most important literary language from the Indo-Aryan language group: Sanskrit.

All of these languages ​​and dialects gradually mixed with Persianwhen it found its way to the Indian subcontinent. This was during the time of the Muslim Chagatai Khanate (13th-16th centuries). The empire became Founded in 1526 by Babur. In order to usurp power, the Mughals first had to conquer (or subdue) the many princely states that made up India into the 16th century.

At the court of the Mughal Empire was one Indo-Persian culture lived. The ruling family brought many cultural and linguistic aspects with them from Persia, but also incorporated local Indian traditions and customs into their lives. The Hindustani language (Forerunners of, among others, Hindi and Urdu) germinated at this time.

Persian slowly mingled with several dialects of Śaurasenī spoken in central India, especially Braj Bhasha, Awadhi and the Dialect of Delhi.

Its use at court and the various waves of immigration from the west meant that more and more Persian and Arabic words input found in the local Khari Boli (which means "existing language").

Another The influencing factor was the Muslim army of the Mughal Empirethat stayed around major cities including Delhi. Most of the soldiers were there at the time Red Fort housed, in the vicinity of which the Urdu Bazaar developed. "Urdu" means something like "army" or "camp". This is where the German word "Horde" comes from. The Persian-speaking soldiers and local business owners and residents came into contact - as did their languages.

Although Persian was the official language at court and within the socio-cultural institutions of the time, it was Arabic continues to be the official language of Islam on the Indian subcontinent. Due to the influence of local languages ​​and dialects on the Persian lingua franca (through traders, soldiers, preachers and local courts) an early form of Hindustani developed by the 17th century.

The emergence of a common language

Hindustani became the universal language of the Hindu and Muslim communities (even if it was not the official language) and shows how much the two civilizations have influenced each other in their more than 300 years of coexistence. When Hindustani was "Persianized" in the 18th century and "Sanskritized" around 1800, it continued to develop in two languages: Urdu and Hindi.

But until 1837 the language remained the common vernacular language. Replaced this year Hindustani in the Persian script (i.e. Urdu) Persian as the official language. This decision was made by the British rulers at the time. This change resulted in one Divide between Hindus and Muslims, especially in northern India, where the Hindu majority would have preferred the government and official bodies to die Language in the Devanagari alphabet use (i.e. Hindi).

After years of lobbying and political power games sat in 1949 Hindi (i.e. the Devanagari script) finally as the official language of the Indian nation - so only after the British colonial rule in India.

Did you know that Telugu is one of the 23 official languages ​​of India that are recorded as such in the Indian Constitution.

Urdu vs. Hindi

The difference between Urdu and Hindi (apart from the different writing systems already mentioned) is predominantly socio-political. Hindi is now traditionally the language of the Hindu religious community, while Urdu is used by the Muslim population (of course there are always exceptions and not all people in India are religious, but that is the main rough breakdown). Urdu is not only used in the states in which it is officially recognized, but also by Muslim communities who live peacefully with Hindus in predominantly Hindu states.

Today, while language tensions remain in some areas of India, Hindi speakers generally have no problem with Persian or Arabic loanwords, just as Urdu speakers use Sanskrit words. Even if there are even greater differences in technical language and literature, the spoken forms of Hindi and Urdu are converging more and more.

You have Would you like to learn Hindi? Good idea, because once you have successfully taken Hindi lessons, you will automatically be able to speak Urdu as well - at least as far as oral is concerned!

The Urdu varieties in India

There are more than 50 million native Urdu speakers in India. This puts it in 6th place in the most widely spoken Indian languages ​​(excluding English) (after Hindi, Bengali, Marathi, Telugu and the Tamil language).

In the course of the language selection of the various states (see above), Urdu was recognized by the following states as the official language in their territory: Jammu and Kashmir, Telangana, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand and West Bengal. Jammu and Kashmir (where, unfortunately, there is currently heavy unrest again) is the only state that Urdu as the only official language has chosen. By the way: In some regions where Urdu is spoken, Bengali also plays an important role.

There are three main dialectal forms of Urduwho enjoy official status:

  • Dakhni: a language that emerged in the 14th century during the rule of the Deccan Sultanate. It evolved a little away from the original Urdu, being heavily influenced by the other Indian languages ​​Marathi, Telugu and Kannada. Because of this colorful mix, it is often seen as a familiar form of Hindi-Urdu and is also spoken as the "language of the street" in many major Indian cities (e.g. Hyderabad and Bangalore).
  • Rekhta: an early form of Hindi and Urdu (Hindustani); Nowadays it is mainly used in Urdu poetry.
  • Modern Vernacular Urdu: the informal, spoken form of Urdu, mastered by all native Urdu speakers and understood by most Hindi speakers. Not to be confused with the official written language Modern Standard Urdu (which is e.g. also the national language of Pakistan)

Urdu outside India

We have just hinted at it: Urdu is also the national language of Pakistan. It became the official language there when the country gained independence from British India in 1947. Only 8% of Pakistanis speak Urdu as their mother tongue, but an overwhelming majority of the population speak it as a second language (and it serves as the lingua franca).

Urdu is also spoken in some parts of Nepal and is also understood in Bangladesh and parts of the Middle East.

It is estimated that there is more than 700 million Hindustani speakers worldwide there (i.e. speakers of Hindi and Urdu added together). So it is on 3rd place of the most spoken languages ​​in the world (in English and Mandarin).

The Urdu alphabet

As mentioned earlier, Urdu and Hindi belong to the same parent language: Hindustani. Orally speaking, Urdu and Hindi speakers can easily converse with each other, but when they have to write a letter or email instead, it becomes more difficult.

As a reminder: Hindi uses the Devanagari alphabet (which comes from the Brahmi scriptures), while Urdu a persianized system used, the - surprise - goes back to the Persian alphabet (brought into the country from the west by the Mughal rulers).

The Urdu alphabet is usually written in the calligraphic script Nastaʿlīq from right to left (like Arabic) and comprises 58 letters. There is no distinction between lowercase and uppercase letters.

The Urdu alphabet is one Consonant writing, has only consonants and long vowels (the reader has to add the latter himself - also as in Arabic). Of the 58 characters, 38 are basic characters and the rest are Digraphs showing an aspiration of the consonant represent.

The Urdu script has no vowels (at least not explicitly), but the spoken Urdu of course has vowel sounds. For native German speakers (or other speakers of Germanic or Romance languages) it may seem strange at first, but In Urdu script, vowels can only be represented implicitly using consonants.

In terms of pronunciation, there is in Urdu ten nasal vowels (similar to French -in, -en, -on, -an, but even more!) that Written in four different ways depending on the position can be (i.e. single, at the beginning, in the middle or at the end).

By the way: until the end of the 1980s Urdu newspapers worked with professional calligraphersto then reproduce handwritten Urdu as daily newspapers.


“According to linguists, the Hindustani language is divided into two: Hindi and Urdu. But some feel that for political and cultural - not linguistic - reasons, they should be viewed as two different languages. Aside from minor grammatical discrepancies, it is the vocabulary and writing system that make the biggest difference between the two. The most formal version of Hindi, sometimes called "High Hindi", uses a vocabulary full of Sanskrit words, while the corresponding version of Urdu, "High Urdu", uses many Iranian [Persian] and Arabic borrowings. At this level, the languages ​​are hardly understandable among each other. Less formal varieties of Hindi and Urdu, on the other hand, are almost entirely mutually understandable. " - Christopher King, excerpt from "One Language, Two Scripts”, Published in 1994.


Are you curious? Then plunge into the adventure of India now and sit down with the topic Learn Hindi and Urdu apart! You will learn a lot and you will have a 2-for-1 package! :)

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