Difference Between Urdu and Hindi

Posted on 30. Apr, 2013 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.

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