hI, I'm a bit confused about hini and urdu.I understand there written differently but if I learned hindi could I speak to urdu speakers? which one is more useful and which one is more difficult? thanks.
Oh yeah, i forgot to ask, could they both be learned at the same time?
Answer: Hindi and Urdu are two registers of the same language "Hindustani". Hindustani is derived from the "Khari Boli" dialect spoken around Delhi and Western Uttar Pradesh part of India.
What happened was that during the Mughal rule, Farsi (Persian) was the court language and used in the govt. And people who worked in the govt had a large percentage of Muslims who had to learn Farsi. So their vocabulary choice while speaking Hindustani also comprised of some Farsi words. And they started using the Farsi script to write Hindustani instead of Devanagri (or its earlier variants).
Now when Pakistan became independent, because of Urdu's association with Muslims, it became their official language while it had nothing to with the region in present Pakistan (Punjab, Sindh, Balochistan, Frontier Province and also East Bengal at that time).
The current situation is that normally speaking, vocabulary choice in Northern India and Pakistan is about 90% similar. Out of the remaining 10%, people of both sides understand the 9% of words and 1% may be difficult for some. Therefore we an easily understand each other's films and television.
But when it comes to literature or formal writing, Pakistanis tend to choose more of Persian (also some Arabic and Turkish) words, while using the same base language, and write it in Persian script and call it Urdu. While Indians tend to choose more of Sanskrit or Sanskrit derived words, write it in Devanagri script and call it Hindi.
If you only learn Hindi, any word which you encounter in Urdu which you won't understand would be a Persian/Arabic/Turkish word. There is no such thing as an "Urdu word". So to understand literature, you'd have to learn two scripts and a lot of Persian vocabulary (more that half of which you'll learn while leaning HIndi and Hindi also uses lots of Persian words).
But to converse on a normal level, either would do.
An example which should make it absolutely clear to you:
A British would say : "I like corriander".
An American would say : "I like cilantro".
Here "I like" or the base is common, but the American chose a Spanish word for corriander. That's what an Urdu speaker would do. They'd choose a Persian (or Arabic/Turkish) word in some instances.
British: This dish contains aubergine. (Here the Britisher chose a French word)
American: This dish contains eggplant.
In case of American and British English, accents are different but script is same. In the case of Hindi-Urdu, accents are same but scripts are different.
If you need any further clarification, just ask.
Yes, you can learn "both" at the same time. It depends on what you want to accompalish. If you want to be able to read both languages and their literature, you'd have to learn two scripts. If you want to learn for general conversations, watching films/television and casual writing, you can learn Hindi and then whenever you encounter some unknown word while listening/reading Urdu, you can lookup its meaning. But if you want to go into proper literature, then you'd have to learn them properly. By properly I mean the vocabulary which would be a lot different. And another peculiar thing is that Urdu literature by Indian writers would be distinguishable with Urdu literature by Pakistani writers because of their word choices. So all in all, it is a game of word choices. If you learn both, your base, grammar etc would be the same. And then you'd have to cope with two sets of words for many things.
An example, "Kitab" is Arabic for book and "Pustak" is Sanskrit for book. Normally, both Hindi and Urdu speakers would use "Kitab" as it's easier to say, but in literature or formal writing, Hindi writers would use "Pustak". So even though an Urdu speaker can say that "Kitab" is an "urdu" word, it's actually an Arabic word.
So learning the formal versions of both together depends on you'r learning capability. You can do it. But most native speakers would learn one while at home, school etc and pick up the additional vocab with time. It is just like being an American, you would learn American English but with time you'd encounter more British books, television, films, people etc and would also learn the additional vocabulary.
Well, I would like to learn Urdu... And it has been enough to drive me mad!. I cannot find web pages where I could read about its grammar (adjectives, genders, declensions if it has, grammatical structures...) and/or where I could understand the transliteration to Latin alphabet, then I could leastwise understand how to pronounce or how the words sound. In my country (Chile) I cannot find books of Urdu, or just one dictionary English-Urdu...
Please, could you guys give me some web pages in English to learn more about Urdu? If there is someone who helps me, I'll give him/her 5 stars and 10 points. If there is someone who wants to learn Spanish or German, I could be a very good teacher :) (my mother language is Spanish and I've been learning German since 3 years).
Thanks! ... :-)
Well "Bob b", how can I pronounce Hindi? I've spoken with people who say the transliteration of Urdu is pronounced like English... But, English is one of the most hard-to-pronounce languages of the world... The english words are not "literally" pronounced, because it has a lot of words from German, French and Latin.
Tamām insān āzād ôr ḥuqūq-o ʿizzat ke ėʿtibār se barābar peidā hū'e heiṅ. Inheṅ żamīr ôr ʿaql vadīʿat hū'ī he. Isli'e inheṅ ek dūsre ke sāth bhā'ī čāre kā sulūk karnā čāhi'e.
This letters are very different. English has no this kind of letters. How can I pronounce ū, ā, č? :/ That's hard to understand, moreover, I speak a language whose speakers do not like learning Urdu.
Answer: Hello, Urdu is pronounced the same way as Hindi but can be written differently, so learning Urdu will help you learn Hindi at the same time!
Here is a site on Urdu script:
Here is the site for Hindi (if you are interested to learn it later):http://www.omniglot.com/writing/hindi.htm
Urdu is an Indo-Aryan language with about 104 million speakers, including those who speak it as a second language. It is the national language of Pakistan and is closely related to Hindi, though a lot of Urdu vocabulary comes from Persian and Arabic, which is not the case for Hindi.
Urdu is also spoken in Afghanistan, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Botswana, Fiji, Germany, Guyana, India, Malawi, Mauritius, Nepal, Norway, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Thailand, the UAE, the UK and Zambia.
Urdu has been written with a version of the Perso-Arabic script since the 12th century and is normally written in Nastaliq style. The word Urdu is Turkish for 'foreign' or 'horde'.
Edit: You will find more information on learning Hindi than information on Urdu. Hindi is the 2nd most spoken language (by native speakers) in the world. I know the Hindi alphabet not the Urdu one but they are pronounced the same. Urdu is only spoken a lot by the muslims in Pakistan, Hindi is spoken by everyone else in India.
Brb with some pronouciation resources.
Here is a site that if you click the link the soung will come out on windows media player (but it is hindi you can try to match it with its urdu counterpart)
Here is a site that gives written example for Urdu
A great site where you can talk to native speakers through an Instant Message on the site is
The have free interactive classes from beginner to expert (Hindi not Urdu though).
Here is another site for listen/learn and history of Urdu.
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