Talk:Hindi–Urdu controversy

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Urdu is an Indo-Aryan language. I'm changing the article --Maurice45 (talk) 19:14, 31 January 2009 (UTC)

The true origins of Hindi and Urdu[edit]

To further distance Muslims from their Persian language and therefore Islamic roots, the British popularized Urdu language as a mass language for Muslims. The reason was that Urdu while sharing the script of Persian happened to be littered with native Indian words, making it more localized in its nature; and inheriting all the class bias of Indian language as well.
Then the British created Hindi language out of thin air as a national language for Hindus. Hindi was spoken like Urdu but had the script of Sanskrit, a Hindu script which had gone extinct centuries ago. Hindi would give Hindus identity making them antagonist to Muslimsand Muslims would be encouraged to abandon Urdu for Hindi, breaking complete contact with Islamic script. A certain John Gilchrist of Fort William College, Calcutta, directed these language politics. Mr. Gilchrist can be aptly called the father of Hindi language. (

If this bears any semblance of truth it is highly interesting and relevant to this article. __meco (talk) 19:58, 9 April 2010 (UTC)

The website you linked to a fringe conspiracy theory website and not at all trustworthy. The wikipedia article is much better as it stands, and contains more balanced information, including on the role the British rule played in cleaving Hindi and Urdu. Abecedare (talk) 20:23, 9 April 2010 (UTC)
Actually it's a repost which originally occurred on the website of Henry Makow. I wasn't suggesting adding anything to Wikipedia unless this information can be corroborated with reliable sources. __meco (talk) 20:46, 9 April 2010 (UTC)
Urdu is not a Persian Language littered with Indian vocabulary. It is an Indian language written in perso-arabic script. The Brits didn't do anything to the language. Neither Hindi nor Urdu nor Hindi-Urdu are invented artificial languages, they are natural languages. Hindi-Urdu where there BEFORE the Brits ever set foot on south asia. Chartinael (talk) 20:54, 4 May 2010 (UTC)
Well, that's interesting certainly. Could anyone volunteer a possible explanation why somebody had got it all so completely wrong? __meco (talk) 07:58, 5 May 2010 (UTC)
Who knows what motivates wing nuts?
"had the script of Sanskrit". Since Sanskrit was not a written language, which script would that be? — kwami (talk) 11:52, 3 August 2010 (UTC)

recent changes[edit]

  1. I dont see redundancy in Gandhi's proposal. pls explain
  2. Pls also explain how Urdu and Hindustani are the same languages. --CarTick 11:29, 3 August 2010 (UTC)
Gandi's proposal was stated twice, nearly verbatim, once in the intro and again in the text. (He also didn't come up with the name 'Hindustani'. That's an old Moghul name for Urdu.)
Colloquial (Delhi) Hindi and Urdu speakers can't tell the difference between their languages when speaking to each other. When Urdu is written in Nagari, it needs special orthographic conventions to prevent it being Hindi. Hindi was invented ca. 1900 by writing Urdu in Nagari and replacing the more academic vocab with Sanskrit. That's hardly a separate language in the abstand sense.
(Oh, and reading the previous discussion, no, I don't think the Brits invented Hindi. They were happy with Urdu, which in any case they called "Hindustani": to them it was an Indian language, not a Muslim language. Hindi (or most varieties of Hindi) was written in the Urdu script at the time. But there was a nationalist Hindu movement that was unhappy with the Moghul history of India, and wanted to Hinduize it, so they changed the script just as a similar movement would later rename Bombay "Mumbai". Standard Hindi and Urdu are different languages about as much as Mumbai and Bombay are different cities. Urdu is one of many Hindi languages. Standard Hindi is Urdu with replaced academic vocab.)
BTW, it's a very interesting article. Just a few of the incidental assumptions are inaccurate. — kwami (talk) 11:38, 3 August 2010 (UTC)
Thanks. I am not an expert on languages. I was drawn to this article while working on Anti-Hindi agitations of Tamil Nadu. It was in a very bad shape. I was more interested in the conflict aspect of it, how people by nature like to amplify their differences.
anyway, the intro can be reworded, i dont recommend removing Gandhi's role in the main body. I dont remember now, but whatever book i read at that time to write this article claimed Gandhi proposed the merger of Hindhi and Urdu to form Hindustani. I am not sure if Abstand is a widely accepted criteria. This, i believe, is subject to debate. Introducing Urdu and Hindustani to be same languages can lead to confusion. why would Gandhi propose Hindustani as a compromise between Hindi and Urdu? You are making a lot of interesting points and I am not in a position to approve or disprove them and if you choose to include any of these in the article, pls make sure u have powerfully reliable references. Since, I am not an expert on this issue, I am going to defer this. --CarTick 12:16, 3 August 2010 (UTC)
The word "language" can be quite ambiguous. Hindi and Urdu are different languages is the sense that they're different standardizations of Hindustani/Khariboli/Urdu/whatever, much the way that Received Pronunciation and General American are different standards of English (though also different dialects, which Standard Hindi and Urdu are not). The difference is that speakers conceive of Hindi and Urdu as being different languages. In that sense, they're a lot like Serbian and Croatian. The essential difference in both cases is the religion and identity of the speaker, not the language itself. So, from an English point of view, colloquial Hindi and Urdu are the same language. I mean, you wouldn't claim to be bilingual if you speak both Hindi and Urdu, any more than if you know both American and British spelling, or both Protestant and Catholic jargon. If you speak both languages, and are still monolingual, are they really different languages? Again, a matter of opinion rather than fact.
Gandhi proposed merging the standards. Rather than thinking of Hindus and Muslims as speaking different languages, he wanted to recognize that they are all but indistinguishable, at least colloquially. He wanted to call the language Hindustani, which just means "of India" (rather than Urdu, which means the same thing but recalls the Mughal era), and to stop trying to create artificial differences by purging Persian vocab (by Hindus) or consciously adding Arabic vocab (by Muslims). The colloquial language, BTW, has huge amounts of Persian in it, even when spoken by Hindus. It's only the academic vocab that people have succeeded in purging. — kwami (talk) 13:59, 3 August 2010 (UTC)

I'd say you'd be called more than a bilingual, because the confusion aspect makes learning the two languages much harder. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:24, 25 July 2013 (UTC)

Word origins[edit]

@Asjadbutt: The statement that many words are "mistakenly thought to be derived from Turkish, but are really derived from Arabic and Persian" is rather vague. Firstly, who holds this mistaken belief? And secondly, I could not find this directly in the source. I have modified the statement to directly reflect the source. Feel free to discuss etc. Kingsindian   14:07, 21 May 2016 (UTC)

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