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Urdu is an Indo-Aryan language of the Indo-Iranian branch, belonging to the Indo-European family of languages. It developed under Persian and to a lesser degree Arabic and Turkic influence on apabhramshas during the Delhi Sultanate and Mughal Empire (1526–1858 AD) in South Asia.[1]

Urdu is a standardised register of the standard dialect Khari boli. The grammatical description in this article concerns this standard Urdū. In general, the term "Urdū" can encompass dialects of Hindustani other than the standardised versions.

Standard Urdu 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.

Urdu is often contrasted with Hindi, another standardised form of Hindustani. The main differences between the two are that Standard Urdu is conventionally written in Nastaliq calligraphy style of the Perso-Arabic script and draws vocabulary more heavily from Persian and Arabic than Hindi, while Standard Hindi is conventionally written in Devanāgarī and draws vocabulary from Sanskrit comparatively more heavily. Linguists nonetheless consider Urdu and Hindi to be two standardized forms of the same language.[2]

Part of this article consists of modified text from Wikipedia, and the article is therefore licensed under GFDL.


  1. A Historical Perspective of Urdu. National Council for Promotion of Urdu language. Retrieved on 2007-06-15.
  2. UC Davis University of California: Hindi-Urdu Program, Middle East & South Asia Studies, UC Davis
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