Urdu is a word from the Turkish language which means "Army". Urdu came into being when Nader Shah invaded India. The people from India (speaking Hindi), from Turkey (speaking Persian) and from Iran (speaking Parsi) were all mingled together. When many things are combined, a single thing is formed, here the end result was an Indo-Iranian language which we call "Urdu"
Geographic distribution of it's speakers:
There are between 60 and 70 million speakers of Urdu: there were 52 million in India per the 2001 census, some 6% of the population;There are between 60 and 70 million speakers of Urdu: there were 52 million in India per the 2001 census, some 6% of the population;and several hundred thousand apiece in the United Kingdom, Saudi Arabia, United States, and Bangladesh, where it is called "Bihari"However, a knowledge of Urdu allows one to speak with far more people than that, as Hindi-Urdu is the fourth most commonly spoken language in the world, after Mandarin, English, and Spanish.
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 state-by-state languages (languages spoken throughout various regions) are the provincial languages. It is used in education, literature, office and court business.
Although English is used in most elite circles, and Punjabi has a plurality of native speakers, Urdu is the lingua franca and national language in Pakistan.
The importance of Urdu in the Muslim world is visible in the Holy cities of Mecca and Medina in Saudi Arabia, where most informational signage is written in Arabic, English and Urdu, and sometimes in other languages.
Pakistani variant of the language spoken in Pakistan; it becomes increasingly divergent from the Indian dialects and forms of Urdu as it has absorbed many loan words, proverbs and phonetics from Pakistan's indigenous languages such as Pashto, Panjabi and Sindhi. Furthermore, due to the region's history, the Urdu dialect of Pakistan draws heavily from the Persian and Arabic languages, and the intonation and pronunciation are more formal compared with corresponding Indian dialects.
Urdu has a vocabulary rich in words with and Middle Eastern origins. The language's Indic base has been enriched by borrowing from Persian and Arabic. There are also a smaller number of borrowings from Chagatai, Portuguese, and more recently English. Many of the words of Arabic origin have been adopted through Persian and have different pronunciations and nuances of meaning and usage than they do in Arabic.
Levels of formality?Politeness:
Urdu syntax and vocabulary reflect a three tiered system of politeness called ādāb. Due to its emphasis on politeness and propriety, Urdu has always been considered an elevated, somewhat aristocratic, language in South Asia. It continues to conjure a subtle, polished affect in South Asian linguistic and literary sensibilities and thus continues to be preferred for song-writing and poetry, even by non-native speakers.
Any verb can be conjugated as per three or four different tiers of politeness. For example, the verb to speak in Urdu is bolnā (بولنا) and the verb to sit is baiţhnā (بیٹھنا). The imperatives "speak!" and "sit!" can thus be conjugated five different ways, each marking subtle variation in politeness and propriety. These permutations exclude a host of auxiliary verbs and expressions which can be added to these verbs to add even greater degree of subtle variation. For extremely polite or formal situations, nearly all commonly used verbs have equivalent formal synonyms (Row 5 below). The phrase category '[āp] bolo', mentioned in Row 3 below, is associated with the Punjabi usage 'tusi bolo' and is rarely used in written Urdu. It is considered grammatically incorrect, particularly in the Gangetic Plain, where the influence of Punjabi on Urdu is minimal.
Literary* [tu] bol! تو بول [tu] baiţh! تو بیٹھ
Casual and intimate [tum] bolo. تم بولو [tum] baiţho تم بیٹھو
Polite and intimate [āp] bolo آپ بولو [āp] baiţho. آپ بیٹھو
Formal yet intimate [āp] bolen آپ بولیں [āp] baiţhen. آپ بیٹھیں
Polite and formal [āp] bolīye آپ بولیئے [āp] baiţhīye. آپ بیٹھیئے
Ceremonial / Extremely formal [āp] farmaīye آپ فرمایئے [āp] tašrīf-rakhīye. آپ تشریف رکھیئے
Similarly, nouns are also marked for politeness and formality. For example, uskī vālida, "his mother" is a politer way of say uskī ammī. Uskī vālida-mohtarmā is an even more polite reference, while saying uskī mān would be construed as derogatory. None of these forms are slang or shortenings, and all are encountered in writing.
Expressions are also marked for politeness. For example, the expression "No!" could be nā, nahīn or jī-nahīn in order of politeness. Similarly, "Yes!" can be hān-jī, hān, jī or jī-hān in order of politeness.
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.
*I didn't completely write it on my own, some are extracts from articles.
And to finish it off, here's Urdu alphabets:
My intention of creating the thread:
I'm not that much of a good Urdu speaker. Also, one of my past Urdu exams lit into me something that 'hey it's my national language and I don't give a damn about it,-what kind of a person am I?'. So, I decided to make this thread, I know that there aren't many Urdu speakers on the site, but, I know that there *are* some, so those people can come here, and discuss about it here.
Also, considering the fact that I suck big-time at Urdu, I want to step up a notch at it.
So, Urdu speakers, don't be shy and come here, be proud of your mother tongue, and help me out with it too! XD