Universal Declaration of Human Rights
Source: United Nations Information Centre, Pakistan
Usage By Country
Official Language: Pakistan, Kashmir Official Status: India Home Speakers: Bangladesh, South Africa
Urdu belongs to the Indic group of the Indo-European family of languages and is the official language of Pakistan. It is also widely spoken in India. In Pakistan it is the mother tongue of about 10 million people and is spoken fluently as a second language by perhaps 80 million more. In India, where it is spoken by some 50 million Moslems, it is one of the official languages recognized by the constitution. Together with Arabic, it is a religious language for Moslems. Urdu and Hindi, the official language of India, are virtually the same language, though the latter is written in the Sanskrit characters and derives most of its vocabulary from Sanskrit, while Urdu contains many words from Persian and Arabic. The basis of both languages is actually Hindustani, the colloquial form of speech that served as the lingua franca of much of India for more than four centuries. "Rekhta" is a form of Urdu used in poetry.