25 Interesting Facts About Urdu Language

Do you think you know everything there is to know about Urdu Language? Think again! Check out these 25 interesting facts about Urdu Language you may have never heard.

FACT#1. Urdu is the official national language of Pakistan.
FACT#2. Urdu is also commonly spoken across South Asia, especially in parts of India like Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Delhi, Bihar, Hyderabad, and Uttar Pradesh.
FACT#3. It is estimated that Urdu is spoken by 100 million people worldwide!
FACT#4. That makes Urdu the 11th most commonly spoken language in the world!
FACT#5. In the U.K., it is estimated that 400,000 people speak Urdu
FACT#6. In the USA, it is estimated 300,000 people speak Urdu
FACT#7. The most similar language to Urdu is Hindi – you may have noticed this if you’ve ever watched a Bollywood movie! Spoken Urdu and Hindi are almost identical, aside from a few words, phrases, and tone of speaking. If you know Hindi, it’ll make Urdu extremely easy to learn, and vice versa.
FACT#8. Spoken Hindi and Urdu may be similar, but their scripts are entirely different!
FACT#9. Urdu is over 90% similar to Persian and Arabic in terms of script. If you have ever learned how to read the Quran as a child, learning to read Urdu will not be a considerable feat. I’ve written about this here.
FACT#10. Urdu vocabulary also borrows about 40% from Arabic and Persian. So again, if you know Arabic or Persian already, learning Urdu won’t be a huge challenge – and vice versa!
FACT#11. Urdu is written from left to right, and The Urdu language has 36 letters
FACT#12. Traditional Urdu is written in a font called Nastaliq, which is also used for Persian
FACT#13. It’s believed that Urdu developed around the 12th century in Delhi
FACT#14. Until the end of the 18th century, Urdu was not known as Urdu! Other names for Urdu used before the 18th century included: Hindvi, Dehlvi, Lahori, Lashkari, and Hindustani.
FACT#15. Urdu became a unifying symbol for Muslims during the 19th-century tensions and the colonization by the British Empire
FACT#16. Urdu comes from the Turkish word ‘Urdo,’ meaning army
FACT#17. Some common words used in English that originate from Urdu: khaki, pyjama, cummerband
FACT#18. Urdu is known to be a poetic language. There is a vast body of poetry and literature written in Urdu
FACT#19. Urdu is spoken a lot across the Middle East due to the number of Pakistanis who live there
FACT#20. Over 5 million Afghanistanis almost speak Urdu – this may be due to the number of Afghanistanis who sought refuge in Pakistan
FACT#21. Amir Khusrau (1253–1325 AD) is considered to be the first Urdu writer – he was a Persian poet, musician, and scholar associated with the rulers of the Delhi Sultanate
FACT#22. Urdu is on the list of significant languages compiled by the U.S. State Department.
FACT#23. Research suggests 720 hours of serious study is required to reach basic proficiency in Urdu (6 hours a day for four months). Furthermore, to achieve complete mastery of Urdu, it would take a study time of 1100 hours (approximately 6 hours a day for six months)
FACT#24. India has more than 2900 daily Urdu newspapers, and Two of the most famous, influential poets of Urdu literature are Mirza Ghalib and Allama Iqbal
FACT#25. The words of the Pakistani national anthem are all words that are Urdu and Persian except the word ‘ka’ (of).

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Hitesh Singh Kardam

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