Urdu language – Spreading its wings
all over the world
Did you know that there
are between 60 and 80 million native Urdu speakers? Besides the more than 160 million who speak Urdu in
Pakistan, there is considerable Indian population who communicate in Urdu everyday!
Some interesting facts about Urdu
- In Pakistan, Urdu
is spoken and understood by a majority of urban dwellers in such cities as Karachi, Islamabad, Lahore,
Rawalpindi, Peshawar, Quetta, Hyderabad, Sialkot, Gujranwala, Faisalabad, Multan and Sukkur.
- Urdu is used as
the official language in all provinces of Pakistan.
- It is also taught
as a compulsory language up to high school in both the English and Urdu medium school systems. This has
produced millions of Urdu speakers whose mother tongue is one of the regional languages of Pakistan such as
Punjabi, Sindhi, Pashto, Gujarati, Kashmiri, Balochi, Siraiki, and Brahui.
- Most of the nearly
five million Afghan refugees of different ethnic origins (such as Pakhtun, Tajik, Uzbek, Hazarvi, and
Turkmen) who stayed in Pakistan for over twenty-five years have also become fluent in
- In India, Urdu is
spoken in places where there are large Muslim majorities or cities, which were bases for Muslim Empires in
the past. These include parts of Uttar Pradesh, Delhi, Bhopal, Lucknow, Hyderabad, Bangalore, and Mysore.
- Some Indian
schools teach Urdu as a first language and have their own syllabus and exams; Indian madrasahs also teach
Arabic as well as Urdu.
- India has more
than 2900 daily Urdu newspapers. Newspapers such as Daily Salar, Daily Pasban, Siast Daily, Munsif Daily
and Inqilab are published and distributed in Bangalore, Mysore, Hyderabad, and Mumbai.
Urdu beyond the Asian
- Outside South
Asia, it is spoken by large numbers of workers in the major urban centers of the Persian Gulf countries and
- Urdu is also
spoken by large numbers of immigrants and their children in the major urban centers of the United Kingdom,
the United States, Canada, Norway and Australia.