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(o͞or`do͞o), language belonging to the Indic group of the Indo-IranianIndo-Iranian,
subfamily of the Indo-European family of languages, spoken by more than a billion people, chiefly in Afghanistan, Bangladesh, India, Iran, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka (see The Indo-European Family of Languages, table).
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 subfamily of the Indo-European family of languages. The official tongue of Pakistan, Urdu is also one of the 15 languages recognized in the 1950 Indian constitution. Urdu has been described as the written or literary variant of HindustaniHindustani
, subdivision of the Indic group of the Indo-Iranian languages, which themselves form a subfamily of the Indo-European family of languages. Some authorities define Hindustani as the spoken form of Hindi and Urdu.
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 that is used by Muslims. It is written in a modified form of the Arabic alphabet, and its basically Indic vocabulary has been enriched by borrowings from Arabic and Persian. Grammatically and phonetically, however, Urdu is an Indic language. About 100 million persons in Pakistan and India understand Urdu.


See M. C. Saihgal, Hindustani Grammar (Urdu edition, 1945); E. Bender, Urdu Grammar and Reader (1967); F. Southworth, Student's Hindi-Urdu Reference Manual (1971); W. Bright and S. A. Kahn, The Urdu Writing System (1976).

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



the official language of Pakistan; one of the modern literary languages of India. It is one of the two literary forms of Hindustani, a lingua franca with more than 150 million speakers (1971, estimate). Urdu is spoken chiefly among the urban population, principally by Muslims in Karachi and Lahore in Pakistan, and in Delhi, Lucknow, Bombay, and Hyderabad in India. It is an Indo-Aryan dialect belonging to the Indo-European language family.

Urdu became a literary language in the late 17th century owing to the poetic achievements of Vali, whose works were written in Dakhini (Hindustani). Urdu is based on northern Hindustani and on its foundation, the Khari boli dialect. The classical period of the development of Urdu is represented by the works of the Muslim poets of North India in the 18th century and the first half of the 19th century. The sound features are typical of modern Indo-Aryan languages: short and long vowels, nasal vowels, diphthongs, aspirated (voiced and voiceless) consonants, and retroflex consonants. Specific phonetic features include the uvu-lars q, gh, and kh, the frontals sh and z, and the labial f in the literary pronunciation of loan words.

The grammatical structure of Urdu is analytic. The high style uses the Persian ezafeh suffix -e, the Arabic definite article al-, and Persian and Arabic plural forms. Up to 80 percent of the vocabulary consists of bookish Persian and Arabic loan words. The term “Urdu,” which is often used to refer to the colloquial form of Hindustani, came into use in the early 19th century; the former name was Rekhta. The writing system is based on the Arabic alphabet.


Barannikov, A. P. Khindustani (khindi i urdu). Moscow, 1934.
Zograf, G. A. Khindustani na rubezhe 18–19 vv. Moscow, 1961.
Urdu-russkii slovar’. Moscow, 1964.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


an official language of Pakistan, also spoken in India. The script derives primarily from Persia. It belongs to the Indic branch of the Indo-European family of languages, being closely related to Hindi but containing many Arabic and Persian loan words
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
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In other words, 'nazm' or poem is a term used in Urdu quite extensively and it includes genres some of which may be written in different forms.
Understandably, users of Urdu script lament its decline - especially given that post-1947, the Persio-Arabic script has been targeted as a symbol of "Muslimness" in north India.
Abdul Aziz Sehr, chairman Department of the Urdu, the course-contents of the proposed programs have already been developed.
Other shayers who will be enthralling the audience are Waseem Barelvi, known for his exemplary work on Urdu poetry; Lata Haya, Urdu poetess, television actress and social activist who is very popular among the masses; Manzar Bhopali, an eminent Urdu poet, plunged into the presentation of poetry at the age of 17; Manish Shula, who is known to be a sensitive poet using Hindi and Awadhi words in the couplets; Nadeem Farrukh, an admired versifier and one of the best nazims of contemporary times who will be taking care of the proceedings of the mushaira; Mehshar Afridi, who is in the emerging league of big names in Urdu poetry and Chandni Pandey, who is a younger generation poetess and is very popular amongst the masses.
Even though students do study Urdu until Intermediate level education, they break their connection with Urdu once they enter the university.
The event was organised by the UAE-based non-profit organisation Bazm-e-Urdu that is registered under the Community Development Authority (CDA) and strives towards promoting Urdu language globally.
The next section of the evening will confer two awards on two Urdu luminaries.
The 1973 Constitution recognises Urdu as Pakistan's only national language.
Mirza Asadullah Baig Khan Ghalib is considered, in South Asia, to be one of the most popular and influential poets of Urdu language.
Addressing at the launch of web edition of Urdu language dictionary here at the Aiwan-e-Sadr, the President said the step was a way forward in promotion of Urdu and had made the language make its presence in the international comity with sheer finesse and sophistication.
Nations are identified on the basis of their language, history, cultural heritage and way of living, however, language tops the list and I pray that completion of Urdu Bagh Complex may provide the needed impetus for the Urdu Movement in all parts of the country," he said.He appreciated Anjuman-e-Tarraqi-e-Urdu for keeping different textbooks, pertaining to medicine, science, technology and literature that are translated in Urdu.
Muscat: Literati and Urdu lovers in Muscat have paid rich tributes to eminent Urdu literary figure Malikzada Manzoor Ahmad, who passed away in Lucknow in India on April 22.