What’s the Difference Between Hindi And Urdu That You Should Know
Both Hindi and Urdu are Indo-Aryan languages that emerged from Sanskrit in Northern India some 2700 years ago.
While there are several varieties of both Hindi and Urdu, there was no differentiation between them until the 19th century. They were previously known as “Hindustani,” a language developed from Sanskrit with Arabic, Persian, and, to a lesser extent, Turkic influences and loan words.
Urdu and Hindi are nearly identical languages. The fundamental distinction is that Urdu is written in the Arabic script, whereas Hindi and Urdu is written in Devanagari, the Sanskrit alphabet. Thus, although Urdu includes many more Persian and Arabic loan words than Hindi, they are almost solely utilized informal discourse, and the two languages are perfectly interchangeable.
Urdu is now the official language of Pakistan and is regarded as a Muslim language, whereas Hindi is most prevalent in India and is spoken by Hindus and non-Muslims.
A Quick Overview Of Hindi and Urdu Languages
The majority of the grammar and vocabulary of present Hindustani languages comes from Hindi and Urdu, or Shauraseni Prakit, the language used in Northern India around 2700 years ago.
It was a commonplace language as well as a literary and poetic language. While the language grew and altered over time while creating significant volumes of academic material, the most essential alterations came in the 13th century with the establishment of the Islamic Empires.
While Turkic warriors had been raiding and ravaging North India since the 9th century, it wasn’t until the early 13th century that the first Islamic Sultanate was established in Hindi and Urdu. This occurred when a succession of Islamic rulers known as the “Delhi Sultanate” arose. During this time, many sultans alternated as rulers of Delhi and other regions of India.
Most rulers didn’t stay long, and a Sultan’s reign was frequently marked by murder. As a result, most of these short-lived regimes were weak, and progress and development were restricted. Despite this, Hindustani came to be utilized as a Lingua-Franca by both the governing elite and the general populace to communicate.
Hindustani was based on Sanskrit, Hindi and Urdu native language, but with a lot of terminologies borrowed from Persian, the official language of the Islamic government (despite their Turkic origins). As a result, many Arabic words found their way into Hindustani, both indirectly through Persian and through the Islamic faith, which used Arabic as its liturgical language.
The Delhi Sultanate was superseded by the Mughal Empire in the 16th century, during which Hindustani flourished and grew more influenced by Persian and Arabic. During the Mughal era, Hindustani became known as Hindi and Urdu, derived from the Turkic word for “army.”
This might reference the Mughal Empire’s capital city’s military encampments outside the city walls. The Turkic term for “army” has also given the English language the word “horde.”
Hindustani was primarily written in the Persian-Arabic script (called “Nasta’liq”) until the second half of the 19th century, when the British colony, or Raj, began, but the colonial forces’ presence sparked a debate over whether Urdu or the slightly less Islamic-influenced Hindi variant of Hindustani should be the colony’s official Hindi and Urdu language.
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Hindus and Muslims grew increasingly aware of their separate identities during this time, and Hindus began to distance themselves from many of the Islamic effects on their language. For example, many Arabic and Persian loanwords were replaced with words derived from Sanskrit when they adopted the Devanagari script, an Indian alphabet used to write Sanskrit, instead of the Nasta’liq script.
The Difference Between the Devanagari Hindi and Urdu Writing Systems
The way the two Hindustani variations are written is a significant distinction between Urdu and Hindi. Devanagari is a Sanskrit writing system used in Hindi and Urdu. Urdu is written in Nata’liq, a modified variant of the Arabic script. The Hindi script is written left to right, whereas the Urdu script is written request to left.
In general, I believe the Devanagari script is better suited to the writing of Hindustani languages. The fact that Hindustani is a descendent of Sanskrit, the original wording for which Devanagari was created, emphasizes this argument even more.
Each sound in Hindi is represented by a letter in the Devanagari system (and for most sounds in Hindi and Urdu). However, there are exceptions, and the Devanagari script has evolved to include additional characters such as ” (z), which is merely a “(j) with a dot beneath. When a foreign loanword employs the Arabic letter “(z), which did not exist in the Devanagari script at the time, this character is utilized.
In contrast, Nasta’liq is not the best choice for writing a language like Hindustani. The vowels are one of the main reasons. While Arabic has three vowels (short and long), Hindustani has thirteen. To make matters worse Hindi and Urdu, vowels are generally deleted in Urdu writing. This implies you’ll need to know how to pronounce a word when you read it because you won’t be able to figure it out by merely writing it.
On the other hand, Devanagari is a phonetic script, which means that everything is spoken precisely as it appears on the page. You’ll need to learn the writing system and the pronunciation, but once you’ve got that down, you’ll be able to speak almost anything.
The Pronunciation Differences Between Hindi And Urdu
Hindi and Urdu are pronounced similarly in most cases, particularly when vocabulary terms are shared between the two languages. When transcribing loan words from Arabic or Persian, Urdu does, nevertheless, prefer to sound a few characters as they would in Arabic. Apart from these changes in loanwords, the pronunciation of Hindi and Urdu is highly similar.
In ordinary conversation, you’re unlikely to detect much of a difference between the two languages’ lexicon. Urdu and Hindi are nearly identical in most ordinary daily discussions Hindi and Urdu.
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Turkic influences and loan words: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_English_words_of_Turkic_origin
Northern India: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/North_India
Islamic government: https://www.files.ethz.ch/isn/125389/8006_islamic-government.pdf
Hindus and Muslims: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hindu%E2%80%93Islamic_relations
Devanagari script: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Devanagari
Arabic or Persian: https://autolingual.com/arabic-vs-persian/#:~:text=Persian%2C%20also%20known%20as%20Farsi,the%20Afro%2DAsiatic%20language%20family.&text=While%20different%20dialects%20of%20Persian,are%20not%20all%20mutually%20intelligible.