Read on below to understand the evolution and characteristics of Urdu – the language of enticing ghazals and nazms of the Indian subcontinent.
About Hindustani (from Wikipedia)
Hindustani was the native language spoken in northern India (what is historically known as the region of Hindustan), and it belongs to the Western Hindi language class of Central Indo-Aryan languages. Mughal rulers brought with them to India the Persian language. In cities such as Delhi, Hindustani began to acquire some Persian loanwords and continued to be called “Hindi” as well as “Urdu”. While Urdu retained the grammar and core vocabulary of the local Delhi dialect, it adopted the Nastaleeq writing system.
Urdu, like Hindi, is a form of the same language, Hindustani. It evolved from the medieval (6th to 13th century) Apabhraṃśa register of the preceding Shauraseni language, a Middle Indo-Aryan language that is also the ancestor of other modern Indo-Aryan languages. Around 75% of Urdu words have their etymological roots in Sanskrit and Prakrit, and approximately 99% of Urdu verbs have their roots in Sanskrit and Prakrit. The remaining 25% of Urdu’s vocabulary consists of loanwords from Persian and Arabic.
About Urdu (from Wikipedia)
Urdu has been described as a Persianised standard register of the Hindustani language. Urdu and Hindi share a common Indo-Aryan vocabulary base and very similar phonology and syntax, making them mutually intelligible in colloquial speech. Formal Urdu draws literary and technical vocabulary and some simple grammatical structures from Persian, whereas formal Hindi draws these from Sanskrit.
Urdu became a literary language in the 18th-century and two similar standard forms came into existence in Delhi and Lucknow; since 1947 a third standard has arisen in Karachi. Deccani, an older form used in the south, is now considered obsolete.
Urdu was chosen as the language of East India Company rule across northern India in 1837 when the Company chose it to replace Persian, the court language of the Indo-Islamic empires.
About Hindi-Urdu (from Wikipedia)
Hindi and Urdu are mutually intelligible as spoken languages, to the extent that they are sometimes considered to be dialects or registers of a single spoken language referred to as Hindi-Urdu or sometimes Hindustani. But they are written in very different scripts: Devanagari (for Hindi) and a modified Perso-Arabic script (for Urdu), each of which is completely illegible to readers literate only in the other.
Both Modern Standard Hindi and Urdu are literary forms of the Dehlavi dialect of Hindustani. A Persianized variant of Hindustani began to take shape during the Delhi Sultanate (1206–1526 AD) and Mughal Empire (1526–1858 AD) in South Asia. Known as Dakkani in southern India, and by names such as Hindi, Hindavi, and Hindustani in northern India and elsewhere, it emerged as a lingua franca across much of India and was written in several scripts including Perso-Arabic, Devanagari, Kaithi, and Gurmukhi.
The Perso-Arabic script form of this language underwent a standardization process and further Persianization in the late Mughal period (18th century) and came to be known as Urdu, a name derived from the Turkic word ordu (army) or orda and is said to have arisen as the “language of the camp”, or “Zaban-i-Ordu“, or in the local “Lashkari Zaban“. As a literary language, Urdu took shape in courtly, elite settings. Along with English, it became the first official language of British India in 1850.