Urdu – The Origin and Historical past of the Language

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The time period ‘Urdu’ and its origin

The time period Urdu derives from a Turkish phrase ordu which means camp or military. The Urdu language developed between the Muslim troopers of the Mughals armies who belonged to numerous ethnicities like Turks, Arabs, Persians, Pathans, Balochis, Rajputs, Jats and Afghans. These troopers lived in shut contact with one another and communicated in several dialects, which slowly and regularly developed into current day Urdu. It is because of this that Urdu can also be known as Lashkari Zaban or language of the military.

Throughout its growth Urdu language additionally assumed numerous names just like the time period Urdu-e-Maullah which means the exalted military which was given by Emperor Shah Jahan and the time period Rekhta which means scattered (with Persian phrases) which was coined by the students for Urdu poetry.

history and Evolution of Urdu language

Evolution and growth of any language depends on the evolution and growth of a society the place that language is spoken. Varied invasions and conquests on a spot have an effect on the event of its language. Urdu isn’t any exception because it additionally underwent numerous levels of growth.

Urdu belongs to the Indo-Aryan household of languages. Urdu by origin is taken into account to be a descendent of Saur Senic Prakrit. The time period Prakrriti means root or foundation. It’s a later model of Sanskrit. As Prakrit language started to develop, it was influenced by Western Hindi dialects of Khari Boli, Brij Bhasa and Haryanvi.

With the approaching of Insha’s Darya-e-Latafat*, a necessity was felt to distinguish Urdu with different languages particularly Hindi. It turned a Hindi-Urdu controversy and in consequence Khari Boli and Devanagari turned the identification of Indians whereas Urdu and Persian of Muslims. On this context, Persian and Arabic phrases changed with Sanskrit served the aim of differentiating Hindi from Urdu.

Urdu emerged as a definite language after 1193 AD – the time of the Muslims conquest. When the Muslims conquered this a part of the continent, they made Persian the official and cultural language of India. Because of the amalgamation of native dialects and the language of the invaders – which was both Persian, Arabic and Turkish, a brand new language developed which later turned Urdu. Throughout the Mughals reign, Urdu was spoken in palaces and court docket and until the tip of the Mughal rule; Urdu was the official language of most of Mughal states. This was the time when Urdu had turn into Persianized and enriched with Persian phrases, phrases and even script and grammar. With the approaching of the British, new English phrases additionally turned a part of the Urdu language. Many English phrases had been accepted of their actual type whereas others had been accepted after some modifications.

At the moment, Urdu vocabulary comprises roughly 70% of Persian phrases and the remaining are a combination of Arabic and Turkish phrases. Nonetheless, there are additionally traces of the French, Portuguese and Dutch language in Urdu. However these influences are little.

Urdu was taken to different components of the nation by troopers, saints and sufis and by the widespread individuals. Because of the political, social and cultural contacts amongst the individuals of various speech and dialects, a combined type of language shaped referred to as ‘Rekhta’ (Urdu and Persian in combined type). Quickly individuals began to make use of the brand new language of their speech and in literature which resulted within the enrichment of Urdu language and literature.

Urdu literature

The origin of Urdu literature dates again to the thirteenth century in India through the Mughal rule. One of the crucial eminent earliest poets who made utilization of Urdu in his poetry is Amir Khusro who could be referred to as the daddy of Urdu language. In literature, Urdu was normally used alongside aspect Persian. Mughal kings had been the nice patrons of artwork and literature and it was beneath their rule that Urdu language reached its zenith. There was a convention of ‘Sheri Mehfils’ (poetic gatherings) within the kings’ courts. Abul Fazal Faizi and Abdul Rahim Khankhana had been the well-known Urdu poets of Mughal court docket. Likewise, Mirza Ghalib, Allama Iqbal, Hakim Momin, Ibrahim Zauq, Mir Taqi Mir, Sauda, Ibn-e-Insha and Faiz Ahmed Faiz have contributed to the evolution of Urdu language by way of their literary works.

It’s certainly true that Hindi and Urdu are descendents of the identical language i.e. Prakrit, however the place the Hindi took affect from Sanskrit and adopted Devanagri script of writing, Urdu absorbed phrases from Persian, Turkish and Arabic languages and adopted Persian-Arabic script and Nastaliq calligraphic model of writing and emerged as a separate language. However beside widespread ancestry, the 2 languages are as totally different as could be. There are marked grammatical, phonological and lexical variations in each languages.

Urdu was additionally used as a software by the Muslims for freedom wrestle and for creating consciousness amongst Muslim communities in South Asia to unite beneath the banner of Independence from British Raj. For this, companies of Maulana Hali, Sir Syed Ahmed Khan and Allama Iqbal are notable, who by way of their poetry and prose provoked the mandatory spark within the lives of the Muslims. Urdu was chosen to turn into the nationwide language of Pakistan on the time of Independence from British. Urdu is now the nationwide language of Pakistan, spoken and understood totally by majority of the inhabitants.


* A book by Ibn-e-Insha, coping with phonetic and linguistic traits of Urdu and a wide range of work formations and rhetorical expressions.


1. George Cardona & Dhanesh Jain (eds). The Indo Aryan languages. Routledge Publishers. London. 2003.

2. Ram Babu Saksena. A history of Urdu literature. Sind Sagar Academy. Lahore. 1975.

3. Dr. Tariq Rehman. Peoples and Languages in Pre-Islamic Indus Valley. [Online] [Cited 2009 April 4]. Out there from:

4. Mirza Khalil Ahmad Beg. Urdu Grammer: history and Construction. Bahri Publications. New Delhi. 1988.

5. Zoya Zaidi. Urdu: The language and Poetry. [Online] 2006 [Cited 2009 April 4]. Out there from:

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