This week’s #WeeklyTongue is Urdu, in celebration of Pakistani Independence day on 14 August. You can watch Scarlett speaking Urdu in our video above.
Urdu has between 60 and 70 million native speakers and is the national language of Pakistan and an official language in 6 Indian states. Urdu is linguistically similar to standard Hindi. Much of the Urdu vocabulary derives from Persian and Arabic.
Urdu script is an extension of the Persian alphabet and is written in a Nastaliq style from right-to-left. Urdu is fairly difficult to typeset and until the late 1980s, a few Urdu newspapers were handwritten, and one is still being published in Chennai.
You can see more of the alphabet on Omniglot: http://www.omniglot.com/writing/urdu.htm
Learn lots of phrases here:
There’s a great tumblr blog too!
You can get your name written in Urdu too.
Fun fact: Wikitongues Ambassador Lindie spent some of her childhood in Pakistan and had to learn Urdu as a compulsory subject at school. A phrase she remembers from Pakistan Independence day is “Pakistan Zindabad”, or long live Pakistan! پاکستان زِنده باد