Urdu and the Muslim World

Posted on 28. Feb, 2015 by in Uncategorized

Urdu is a language that is spoken by Muslims in South East Asia and is a language that came into existence because Mughal rulers and officials needed a language to communicate with subjects and local inhabitants of central India. The language that Mughals spoke was a Turkish language containing Arabic and Persian words. The language that so developed had a base of Indo Aryan languages (Sanskrit in particular) but retained Arabic and Persian words for literary and technical uses. Soon, the language became a court language of the Mughal Sultanate (empire) and a language that even inhabitants gladly accepted as another language. Urdu is today a fully developed language with a script of its own that is a derivative of Persian alphabet that in itself is a derivative of the Arabic language. Urdu is written from right to left. Urdu is a language that contains a base of Hindi and Sanskrit words though superimposing Arabic and Persian words with a splash of Turkish and even English words.

Arabic is the sacred language of all Muslims around the world and it is the script that has been used in the holy Quran as well. Arabic includes both the ancient script as well as the modern standard form of the language as it is spoken in the Arab World. In entire Middle East and North of Africa, Arabic is the lingua franca. Urdu is another language spoken by Muslims, mostly from South East Asia. There are some similarities in the spoken version of the language though there are glaring differences in their written versions reflecting their different origins and influences.

When we talk of Arabic, we have to remember that being an ancient language, there are many versions of spoken language and these versions are different from the written script of Arabic language. Written version is more conservative and reserved for official functions while spoken version is liberal and has assimilated influences of languages of different areas where Arabic is spoken. These differences, on a continuum, make for two very different languages on two extremes but for political reasons, these differences are set aside and the languages are grouped together as Arabic.


Origin of Urdu and Hindi in India

Posted on 26. Feb, 2015 by in Uncategorized

Urdu and Hindi are two variants of the same language. Although they are relatively the same language, they have two distinct writing systems. Both Urdu and Hindi have the same language origins. They came from the Indo-European and Indo-Aryan language families. Both languages are derived from Sanskrit. Because of this they have the same Indic base and have similar phonology and grammar. They also share the same region (South Asia) where they are predominately spoken. The main difference between the two languages is their association. Hindi is a language used and spoken by Hindi people, the native and leading population of India. On the other hand, Urdu is associated with Pakistan and Muslims.

Hindi is mostly spoken in India and serves as its national language. The same goes for Urdu in Pakistan where it is a national language. In addition, Urdu is also spoken in India as a state official language. Both languages are spoken by its population in countries outside of India and Pakistan.

Both Hindi and Urdu contain influences of Persian, Arabic, and Turkic. However, the percentage differs in each language. Urdu has a lot of foreign influences and loanwords while Hindi has a lower application of the same foreign vocabularies. The two languages share many common words and lexicons from native, Arabic, Persian, and the English language.

In Hindi and Urdu, there are only two forms for gender (male and female). In terms of grammar, the verbs fall after the subject. Also, verbs agree with objects not the subjects. At the colloquial level, speakers of both Urdu and Hindi can understand each other. However, the political vocabulary and highbrow level of both languages are completely different.

The Urdu writing system is called Nastaliq. It involves some Persian and Arabic script. Nastaliq is written from right to left. On the other hand, Hindi uses the Devanagari script. Its written form is the opposite of Nastaliq, from left to right.

The British occupation aggravated the rift between Hindi and Urdu and in extension the Hindi and Muslims. This led to the division of India and the creation of Pakistan in 1947. Attempts were made to reconcile both the languages and countries but failed. The combination of both Urdu and Hindi led to the creation of Hindustani– a Sanskrit-based language with 30-40 per cent Persian and Arabic influences.

Hindi and Urdu are considered to be the national language of their respective countries, but it is often not the native language of its people. Both Hindi and Urdu are taught in school due to their status as official languages. In India, both Hindi and Urdu have an agency that regulates the language; meanwhile, Urdu is the only language being regulated in Pakistan.


Versions of Urdu Language

Posted on 24. Feb, 2015 by in Uncategorized

Urdu language being one of the vastest languages of the world enjoys four basic versions or dialects. These include Dakhni, Rekhta, Modern Vernacular and Khariboli. Khariboli being the dialect of Delhi region is far different from the Dakhni dialect, which is spoken in the southern region of India. Dakhni is popularly known as Dakani, Deccani, Desia or Mirgan.

Dakhini is popularly spoken in many parts of India including Maharashtra, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu. Overall Urdu is being read, written and spoken in all parts of India and Pakistan. Most of the states in India even publish daily newspapers and other magazines in Urdu.

Dakhni dialect is known for its mixture with Marathi and Telugu Language in India. The base of Urdu lies in Arabic, Persian and Turkish. The native speakers of Urdu can easily be recognized from their accents, they enjoy a beautiful accent while their identity is the pronunciation of “kaf” and “Kh” sounds.

Urdu language deviation spoken in the territory of Pakistan: it becomes gradually more divergent from the Indian dialects and structure of Urdu, since it has engrossed many words, proverbs and phonetics from the regional languages like Pashto, Punjabi, Sindhi and Balochi. The pronunciation pattern of Urdu language also differs in Pakistan and the cadence and lilt are informal compared with corresponding Indian dialects.

Furthermore, Rekhta, the poetic version of Urdu, is mostly classified as a separate dialect. This dialect was famously used by several British Indian poets of high acclamation, in the immensity of their work. These included the great Mirza Ghalib, the enormous Mir Taqi Mir and mammoth Muhammad Iqbal, who is the national poet and philosopher of Pakistan.