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Urdu (/ˈʊərd/; Urdu: اُردُوUrdū; [ˈʊrd̪uː]), or more precisely Modern Standard Urdu, is a standardized register of the Hindustani language that is associated with the Muslim community of Pakistan and North India. It is the national language and lingua franca of Pakistan, and an official language of five Indian states and one of the 22 scheduled languages in the Constitution of India. Apart from specialized vocabulary, it is mutually intelligible with another register of Hindustani, Standard Hindi, which is associated with the Hindu community. Since the end of the Mughal period in the nineteenth century, varieties of Hindustani have been the lingua franca for much of South Asia. The two varieties of Hindustani are nearly identical in basic structure and grammar, and at a colloquial level also in vocabulary and phonology. If considered the same language, the population of Hindi-Urdu speakers is the fourth largest of the languages of the world, after Mandarin Chinese, English and Spanish.

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Urdu is written right-to left in an extension of the Persian alphabet, which is itself an extension of the Arabic alphabet. Urdu is associated with the Nastaʿlīq style of Persian calligraphy, whereas Arabic is generally written in the Naskh or Ruq'ah styles. Nasta’liq is notoriously difficult to typeset, so Urdu newspapers were hand-written by masters of calligraphy, known as katib or khush-navees, until the late 1980s. One handwritten Urdu newspaper, The Musalman, is still published daily in Chennai.

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The Hindi-Urdu controversy arose in 1867 when the British government prepared to accept the demand of the Hindu communities of the United Provinces (now Uttar Pradesh) and Bihar to change the Perso-Arabic script of the official language to Devanagari and adopt Hindi as the second official language on demand of Hindu activists. Muslim politician Sir Syed Ahmed Khan became the most vocal opponent of this change.

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  • Urdu is the national and one of the two official languages of Pakistan, the other being English, and is spoken and understood throughout the country, while the region-by-region languages (languages spoken throughout various regions) are the provincial languages. It is used in education, literature, office and court business.In the lower courts in Pakistan, despite the proceedings taking place in Urdu, the documents are in English whilst in the higher courts, ie the High Courts and the Supreme Court, both documents and proceedings are in English. It holds in itself a repository of the cultural and social heritage of the country.
Nuvola apps kedit.png Urdu Wikipedia
Favicon of Wikipedia Urdu Wikipedia
Type of site
Internet encyclopedia project
Available in Urdu
Headquarters Miami, Florida
Owner Wikimedia Foundation
Website ur.wikipedia.org
Commercial No
Registration Optional

Urdu Wikipedia (Urdu: اردو وکیپیڈیا or اردو ویکیپیڈیا), started in January 2004, is the Urdu language edition of Wikipedia, a free, open-content encyclopedia. As of October 2012, it had more than 19,000 articles.Urdu Wikipedia, Retrieved on October 15, 2012

Nuvola apps kedit.png Wikipedia in Pakistani Languages
كشميري (Kashmiri) • پښتو (Pashto) • فارسی (Persian) • پنجابی (Punjabi) • سنڌي (Sindhi) • اردو (Urdu)
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Scripts used in poetry

In Pakistan, Urdu poetry is written in the standard Nasta'liq calligraphy style of the Perso-Arabic script. However, in India, where Urdu poetry is very popular, the Perso-Arabic is often found transliterated into the Devanāgarī script, as an aid for those Hindī-speakers, who can comprehend Urdu, but cannot read the Perso-Arabic script. With the dawn of the internet and globalisation, this poetry is often found written in Roman Urdu today.


The following is a verse from an Urdu ghazal by Sher Khwaja Mir Dard:


دوستو دیکھا تماشا یہاں کا بس
تم رہو اب ہم تو اپنے گھر چلے

Roman Urdu:

dosto dekhā tamāśhā yaāN kā bas.
tum raho ab hum to apne ghar chale

English translation:

Friends, I've seen the spectacle of this place- enough!
You stay here; I'm heading home.
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