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Urdu 101 Posted by on Aug 19, 2013 in Uncategorized

Urdu (اردو) the national language of Pakistan (پاکستان), was created around the 1600’s in Central Asia.  The word ‘Urdu’ comes from the Turkish word ‘ordu’ meaning ‘camp’ or ‘army’.  It was used as a unifying communication tool between the Muslim soldiers during their conquest of Ancient India (including countries east until Myanmar) and Eastern Persia.  These soldiers were of Persian, Arab, or Turkish descent.  The majority of the soldiers, however, were of Persian origin.  This directly affected the language to be used between them.  The language of the government and that which dominated earlier on was Farsi (فارسی), but eventually changed to Urdu to accommodate the other races.  Despite the fact, Urdu vocabulary contains approximately 70% Farsi and the rest being a mix of Arabic and Turkish.  The grammar takes some elements from Farsi and Arabic but also has elements that are unique and different from all three of its mother tongues.  In current times, however, many Urdu speakers have adopted many English and Hindi terms following the effects of globalization.

Upon the conquest of the lands past the Indus, the Muslim armies gathered and prepared for their battles.  The strength of the communication between them could be the determinant of their fate.  Thus was laid the foundations of the Urdu language.  It began with Muhammad bin Qasim (محمد بن قاسم), the Arab who entered what is now Pakistan proclaiming the message of the One God and his final messenger in the 700’s.  For the next thousand years many Arab, Persian, and Turkish armies conquered the region; some for worldly gains and others who sought benefit in the life to come.  A language that constituted all languages that came into power came to be known as ‘Urdu’, meaning camp (کیمپ), referring to history of the language how it came to existence through the army camps of Persian, Arab and Turkish forces.

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About the Author:Nauman

I was born and raised in Pakistan and moved to the United States in 2004. I love writing about the Urdu language highlighting the peculiarities about the cultural, traditions, social events, places and personalities in Pakistan.