Where is Urdu commonly spoken
The spread of the Urdu
Urdu is spoken by 60 to 80 million people as their mother tongue, depending on estimates. Most of the native speakers of Urdu do not live in Pakistan, which is the official language alongside English, but in India. It is spoken by around 50 million people there. In Pakistan, on the other hand, less than ten percent of the population speak it as their first language, although the vast majority of Pakistanis also understand Urdu, as it functions as the lingua franca between the many different-lingual parts of the population. After all, more than 50 different languages are spoken there, of which Punjabi is the most widely spoken: Almost half of the Pakistani population speak this as their mother tongue.
Larger population groups who speak Urdu as their mother tongue can also be found in the countries on the Persian Gulf (e.g. Oman, Saudi Arabia or Qatar), in Bangladesh, South Africa, Canada, the USA and Western Europe. Around 400,000 people in Great Britain and around 30,000 in the Federal Republic of Germany speak Urdu as their mother tongue.
The two twin languages Hindi and Urdu
The "twin language" of Urdu is Hindi. When a Hindi and Urdu speaker talk to each other in everyday life, they can usually understand each other without any major problems.
The main difference between the two languages lies in the borrowings they have taken from other languages: many of the words in Hindi come from Sanskrit. Urdu, on the other hand, uses a variety of words of Persian, Arabic and Turkish origin. And so the two languages work with completely different writing systems: While Hindi is written with the Devanagari syllabary, Urdu uses the Arabic-Persian script.
Hindi is the Hindu variant of the language, while Urdu is spoken in the Indian regions with a high Muslim population.
Urdu is written using the Persian alphabet, which is a variant of the Arabic script.
Learning this script is initially the greatest challenge for most learners, as it uses completely different letters than the German alphabet, for example. In addition, the letters change their shape depending on where they are in a word, whether at the beginning, in the middle or at the end. However, with practice and patience, you will soon be able to use the scriptures.
It is also important to know that Urdu is written and read from right to left.
In order to slowly introduce you to the writing and pronunciation, you can always read a phonetic transcription with Latin letters in addition to the Persian-Arabic script in the Urdu course from Sprachenlernen24. You can also listen to all of the sentences and vocabulary in the lessons to help you get used to the pronunciation. These were of course spoken by real native speakers, so you always hear the authentically spoken language.
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