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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 numerous ethnicities like Turks, Arabs, Persians, Pathans, Balochis, Rajputs, Jats and Afghans. These soldiers lived in close contact with each other and communicated in several dialects, which slowly and gradually evolved into current 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 term Urdu-e-Maullah which means the exalted military which was given by Emperor Shah Jahan and the time period Rekhta meaning 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 depends on the evolution and development of a society the place that language is spoken. Varied invasions and conquests on a spot affect the development of its language. Urdu is no exception as it additionally underwent numerous levels of development.
Urdu belongs to the Indo-Aryan household of languages. Urdu by origin is considered to be a descendent of Saur Senic Prakrit. The term Prakrriti means root or basis. It's a later model of Sanskrit. As Prakrit language started to develop, it was influenced by Western Hindi dialects of Khari Boli, Brij Bhasa and Haryanvi.
With the approaching of Insha's Darya-e-Latafat*, a necessity was felt to distinguish Urdu with other languages particularly Hindi. It became a Hindi-Urdu controversy and because of this 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 purpose of differentiating Hindi from Urdu.
Urdu emerged as a distinct 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 evolved which later grew to become Urdu. In the course of the Mughals reign, Urdu was spoken in palaces and court and till the end of the Mughal rule; Urdu was the official language of most of Mughal states. This was the time when Urdu had turn into Persianized and enriched with Persian words, phrases and even script and grammar. With the coming of the British, new English words also grew to become part of the Urdu language. Many English words have been accepted of their real form while others have been accepted after some modifications.
At present, Urdu vocabulary contains approximately 70% of Persian words and the rest are a combination 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 different parts of the country by soldiers, saints and sufis and by the frequent people. Because of the political, social and cultural contacts amongst the folks of different speech and dialects, a blended form of language formed called 'Rekhta' (Urdu and Persian in blended form). Quickly folks started to use the new language in their speech and in literature which resulted within the enrichment of Urdu language and literature.
The origin of Urdu literature dates back to the thirteenth century in India during the Mughal rule. One of the eminent earliest poets who made usage of Urdu in his poetry is Amir Khusro who will be called the daddy of Urdu language. In literature, Urdu was usually used along side Persian. Mughal kings were the great patrons of art and literature and it was under their rule that Urdu language reached its zenith. There was a tradition of 'Sheri Mehfils' (poetic gatherings) in 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 way of their literary works.
It is certainly true that Hindi and Urdu are descendents of the same language i.e. Prakrit, however 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. However beside frequent ancestry, the two languages are as different as can be. There are marked grammatical, phonological and lexical differences in both languages.
Urdu was additionally used as a tool by the Muslims for freedom struggle and for creating 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 within the lives of the Muslims. Urdu was chosen to change into the national language of Pakistan on the time of Independence from British. Urdu is now the nationwide language of Pakistan, spoken and understood thoroughly by majority of the population.
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