The Urdu language is from the family of Indo-Aryan languages. The importance of the Urdu language can well be established by the fact that it is native to 100 million people. It is spoken in the sub-continent, the United Kingdom, United Arab Emirates, and the United States.
Urdu as a Language
The Urdu language evolved from Apabhramsa which originated from the Shauraseni language in the 6th century till the 13th century. The Shauraseni is a middle Indo-Aryan language and the Punjabi dialect also originated from it.
The Urdu word came from the ordu and orda. It is a Turkic word that means the army and in English, it means horde. Urdu has no direct relation with Turkic languages. Words of Arabic that are included in Urdu are taken from the Persian language instead of the Turkic language. Thus, Turkish and Urdu are taken from Persian and Arabic so many words in Urdu sound like Turkish.
History of Urdu
Ghulam Hamadani Mushafi is the man who used the word Urdu for the first time in 1780. Initially, it was called Hindi from the 13th till the 18th century. Urdu has also been called Hindavi and Dehlavi.
Hindus and Muslims used Persian script to write Urdu. They kept on using it until 1837 when the Hindustani language replaced the Persian language as an official language.
Urdu and Hindi Language
The literary sects of the Indian community in North-western India protested against the Persian script and wanted Urdu to be written using the Devanagari script. The sub-continent is divided because of language.
Muslims used Urdu whereas Hindu used Hindi. This division kept on going until the Hindus and Muslims were separated by independent states, India and Pakistan
Hindi and Urdu are mutually intelligible languages. They share similar phonology and grammar but the semantics used in both languages are borrowed from different sources. Hindi has taken loanwords from Sanskrit whereas Urdu has borrowed words from Arabic and Persian.
You can also identify the difference between both languages from their written scripts. Hindi is written in Devanagari script whereas Urdu is written in Perso-Arabic script. In the pronunciation of Hindi and Urdu, little difference is observed in their vowel phonemes. Urdu contains retroflex stops. These stops denote the characteristics of the Indo-Aryan language.
Urdu is the official language of Pakistan and it is also considered official in some states of India. It has a rich heritage of prose and poetry that was written in the 17th and 19th centuries. Urdu is considered an important language of communication in India and Pakistan.
Learning the Urdu Language
Urdu is the most important language of South Asia. South Asia’s markets are growing rapidly and it is providing relevant content on the internet, making it a lucrative consumer market.
Urdu grammar is as easy as English grammar. It consists of all the grammatical rules of English so people find it easy to learn Urdu. Learning Urdu depends upon the learner’s capability. You can get a grip on the Urdu language which is writing, speaking, and reading in six months.
Urdu is widely spoken in Pakistan and in many parts of India, Nepal, Bangladesh, the Middle East, and many other parts of the world. If you look at India, Urdu is spoken by large Muslim communities and in the cities like Delhi, Bhopal, Uttar Pradesh, and Hyderabad which are also known as the power hub of India.
If you learn Urdu, then you can easily learn other languages spoken in the sub-continent especially Hindi. In writing, Urdu uses Nastaliq script which is the modified form of Persian and Arabic script. This script is also used to write Punjabi, Persian, Pashto, and Kashmiri. The Urdu language has only 35 scripts, thus you don’t have to worry about learning too many characters.
Use of Urdu Outside South-Asia
British people have a weak point in that they don’t learn more languages. Having an economic concern in the global business landscape they need to learn other languages besides English.
Brexit is also forcing Britishers to learn more European languages. Britain plays a great role in the economy of the sub-continent that is making its grounds in international business. Many companies from developed countries are trying to open their offshore business in the sub-continent.
If you are from the Western world and want to open your subsidiary in India or Pakistan then you should think of learning French or German. The graph of the people that are learning German and French is gradually going down and now a new group of language learners has appeared on the horizon that are interested in learning Urdu, Portuguese, Chinese, and Russian.
The UK is pursuing such global business projects in which these languages are required to cater to target markets. The other south-Asian languages that are gaining global interest are Bengali, Gujrati, and Punjabi.
If you learn Urdu, it will help you to learn other South Asian languages that will reap many economic advantages. You can pursue your career in South Asia if you opt to learn Urdu. In your business, if you require translation of documents to and from Urdu, then CCJK is here for you. CCJK has a team of native translators who are also subject matter experts and provide impeccable translations into 230 languages. Get in touch to know more!