One of the Indo-Aryan languages, Urdu is the sister language of Hindi. It is the official language of Pakistan and is widely spoken in India, as well as Bangladesh, Nepal, the Middle East, and other countries around the world where Pakistani communities have settled. Urdu, which combines Hindi with Persian and Arabic influences, originated in the Muslim invasions of India in the 11th and 12th centuries. It is written in a script based on Arabic, with added letters from Persian and some specific variants.
Urdu Fun Facts
The great Urdu poet Allama Iqbal (1877-1938) famously said, “Sabaat aik taghayyur ko hey zamaney mey” or “Only change is permanent.”
The closest linguistic relative of Urdu is Hindi. Spoken Urdu and Hindi are nearly identical in day-to-day communication. After learning Urdu, you’ll find it much easier to speak and understand Hindi but written Hindi will remain a mystery as it’s in a different script.
Urdu and the Livemocha Community
- Nearly 70% of Pakistanis on Livemocha are learning English. Arabic is the next most popular language to learn, followed shortly by French.
- The top 5 countries where people are learning Urdu on Livemocha are: the US, Pakistan, India, the UK, and Saudi Arabia
- 73% of Urdu speakers on Livemocha are from Pakistan, but there are also sizeable populations of Urdu speakers in India, the US, Saudi Arabia, the UK, and the UAE