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Friday27 May 2022

Urdu - The Origin And History Of The Language

The term Urdu derives from a Turkish word ordu which means camp or army. The Urdu language developed between the Muslim soldiers of the Mughals armies who belonged to various ethnicities like Turks, Arabs, Persians, Pathans, Balochis, Rajputs, Jats and Afghans. These soldiers lived in shut contact with one another and communicated in several dialects, which slowly and gradually developed into present day Urdu. It's for this reason that Urdu is also referred to as Lashkari Zaban or language of the army.

Throughout its development Urdu language additionally assumed various names like the time period Urdu-e-Maullah which means the exalted military which was given by Emperor Shah Jahan and the term Rekhta which means scattered (with Persian words) which was coined by the scholars for Urdu poetry.

History and Evolution of Urdu Language

Evolution and development of any language relies on the evolution and development of a society the place that language is spoken. Various invasions and conquests on a spot affect the development of its language. Urdu isn't any exception as it also underwent various stages of development.

Urdu belongs to the Indo-Aryan family of languages. Urdu by origin is considered to be a descendent of Saur Senic Prakrit. The term Prakrriti means root or basis. It is a later version of Sanskrit. As Prakrit language began to develop, it was influenced by Western Hindi dialects of Khari Boli, Brij Bhasa and Haryanvi.

With the coming of Insha's Darya-e-Latafat*, a necessity was felt to differentiate Urdu with other languages particularly Hindi. It grew to become a Hindi-Urdu controversy and in consequence Khari Boli and Devanagari turned the identity of Indians while Urdu and Persian of Muslims. In this context, Persian and Arabic words replaced 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 part of the continent, they made Persian the official and cultural language of India. On account of the amalgamation of native dialects and the language of the invaders - which was either Persian, Arabic and Turkish, a new language advanced which later turned Urdu. Through the Mughals reign, Urdu was spoken in palaces and court and till the tip of the Mughal rule; Urdu was the official language of most of Mughal states. This was the time when Urdu had become Persianized and enriched with Persian words, phrases and even script and grammar. With the coming of the British, new English words additionally grew to become part of the Urdu language. Many English words had been accepted in their real form while others had been accepted after some modifications.

At present, Urdu vocabulary incorporates approximately 70% of Persian words and the remaining are a mixture of Arabic and Turkish words. However, there are additionally traces of the French, Portuguese and Dutch language in Urdu. But these influences are little.

Urdu was taken to other parts of the country by soldiers, saints and sufis and by the common people. As a result of the political, social and cultural contacts amongst the folks of various speech and dialects, a combined form of language formed called 'Rekhta' (Urdu and Persian in combined form). Soon folks started to make use of the new language in their speech and in literature which resulted in the enrichment of Urdu language and literature.

Urdu Literature

The origin of Urdu literature dates back to the 13th century in India through the Mughal rule. One of the vital eminent earliest poets who made usage of Urdu in his poetry is Amir Khusro who may be called the daddy of Urdu language. In literature, Urdu was often used along side Persian. Mughal kings have been the good patrons of art and literature and it was under their rule that Urdu language reached its zenith. There was once a tradition of 'Sheri Mehfils' (poetic gatherings) within the kings' courts. Abul Fazal Faizi and Abdul Rahim Khankhana have been the well-known Urdu poets of Mughal court. 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 means of their literary works.

It is indeed true that Hindi and Urdu are descendents of the identical language i.e. Prakrit, but the place the Hindi took affect from Sanskrit and adopted Devanagri script of writing, Urdu absorbed words from Persian, Turkish and Arabic languages and adopted Persian-Arabic script and Nastaliq calligraphic type of writing and emerged as a separate language. But beside widespread ancestry, the two languages are as completely different as can be. There are marked grammatical, phonological and lexical variations in each languages.

Urdu was also used as a software by the Muslims for freedom struggle and for making awareness among Muslim communities in South Asia to unite under the banner of Independence from British Raj. For this, services of Maulana Hali, Sir Syed Ahmed Khan and Allama Iqbal aren'table, who through their poetry and prose provoked the required spark in the lives of the Muslims. Urdu was chosen to develop into the nationwide language of Pakistan on the time of Independence from British. Urdu is now the national language of Pakistan, spoken and understood completely by mainity of the population.

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