Word of the Day – Wednesday, October 17th



Word of the Day


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URDU (OR-doo)

The national language of Pakistan
Common clues:
Language of Islamabad; Pakistani language; Language that gave us “khaki”; Indic language; Lahore language; Akbar Allahabadi wrote poetry in it
Crossword puzzle frequency: 3 times a year
Frequency in English language: 37402 / 86800
Urdu Language - basic information and most common phrases

Urdu is an Indo-European language of the Indo-Aryan family which developed under Persian, Turkish, and Arabic influence in the South Asia during the time of the Delhi Sultanate and Mughal Empire (1200-1800).

A line from the Urdu language version of Wikipedia

Taken by itself, Urdu is approximately the twentieth most populous natively spoken language in the world, and is the national language of Pakistan as well as one of the 24 national languages of India. However, Urdu is often considered to be a Muslim dialect of wider Hindi language, in which case it is the fourth most populous language in the world.

Urdu developed as Hindi came under the influence of the Muslim courts that ruled the South Asia from the early thirteenth century on. The official language of the Delhi Sultanate, the Mughal Empire, and their successor states, as well as the cultured language of poetry and literature, was Persian, while the language of religion was Arabic. The mingling of these languages with Hindi led to a vernacular that is the ancestor of today's Urdu. Dialects of this vernacular are spoken today in cities and villages throughout Pakistan and northern India. Cities with a particularly strong tradition of Urdu include Hyderabad, Islamabad, Karachi, Lahore, and Lucknow.

The birthplace of the Urdu language is not known with certainty. Urdu literature has been found from the Delhi Sultanate. One hypothesis proposes that Urdu originated in Delhi around mid 19th century, and that initially it was used and adopted by Muslims. The word urdu itself comes from the Turkish word ordu, "tent" or "army", from which we get the word "horde". Hence Urdu is sometimes called "Lashkari zaban" or the language of the Army.

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Urdu language".