Difference Between Urdu and Hindi (with Table)

India takes pride in the way the country is often symbolised and hailed for her diversity. Indian diversity can be seen in many forms.

There is diversity in every nook and cranny, that is, in the breath-taking monuments and buildings, in the busy streets and shops, in the vibrant people and in the 21 languages that they use to speak with.

Languages are the prime mediums through which communication takes place. It is with the help of languages that one is able to express his or her opinions on any topic, his or her feelings, ideas and even information about anything and everything.

And in case of people living in India, they have 21 language to exchange information and ideas, such as Bangla, Kashmiri, Kannada, Konkani, Nepali, Malayalam, Marathi, Tamil, Hindi, Urdu and 11 more.

Each language has its own unique characteristics, making it easier for other people to differentiate between these languages.

However, Hindi and Urdu are not that easy to differentiate. They are strikingly similar making it hard to differentiate them.

But there are a few categories on which these two languages differ.

The difference between Urdu and Hindi is its association. Urdu is associated with Muslims, who are the natives and are considered to be the leading population of Pakistan. Hindi is associated with Hindi people, who are the natives and are considered to be the leading population of India.

Comparison Table Between Urdu and Hindi

Parameter of Comparison Urdu  Hindi
AssociationUrdu language is associated with Muslims who are the natives and the leading population of Pakistan.Hindi language is associated with Hindi people who are the natives and the leading population of India.
Foreign InfluencesUrdu language is influenced by foreign languages a lot, thus having foreign vocabulary and loanwords.Hindi language is considerably less influenced by foreign languages, thus having a smaller number of loanwords.
Writing systemUrdu language follows the Nastaliq script, where the writing system is from right to left.Hindi language follows the Devanagari script, where the writing system is from left to right.
National languageUrdu is the national language of Pakistan.Hindi is the national language of India.
  VocabularyThere are differences when it comes to the vocabulary used in Urdu too. For example, ‘dost’ is the Urdu word for a ‘friend’.There are many differences in the vocabulary used. For example, the word ‘mitr’ means a ‘friend’ in Hindi.

What is Urdu?

Urdu and Hindi are languages that have a lot of similarities within them. They are alike in terms of their origin, derivation, grammar, phonology, etc.

Both these languages include a mixture of Indo-Aryan and Indo-European languages. Most part of these languages are derived from Sanskrit, which is why they have a common Indic base with the same rules for grammar.

However, there are certain differences based on which one can differentiate these two languages.

Urdu is a language that is associated with Muslims. Muslims constitute the leading population of Pakistan and are also considered the natives of Pakistan. Thus, Urdu is associated with Muslims, who form a large part of Pakistan.

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Languages such as Persian, Turkish and Arabic have heavily influenced Urdu language. As a result of this, one can spot the presence and frequent use of foreign words and other loanwords from these three languages in Urdu.

Another characteristic feature of the Urdu language is the writing system it follows. Urdu follows the Nastaliq script. Nastaliq script comprises of parts from Persian and Arabic script.

Thus, Urdu language follows the writing system of writing from right to left.

As mentioned earlier and above, Urdu is associated with Muslims, who are the natives and leading population of Pakistan. Thus, Urdu is hailed and designated as the national language of Pakistan.

Although certain element of grammar such as sentence structure is the same in both Urdu and Hindi, there are certain vocabulary differences found in both of them.

Few examples of the words used in Urdu are: –

  1. Dost- means ‘friend’
  2. Shukriya- means ‘thank you’
  3. Dil- means ‘heart’
  4. Aurat- means ‘woman’
urdu

What is Hindi?

Hindi is a language that is associated with the Hindi people. Hindi people constitute the leading population of India. They are also considered the natives of India.

Thus, Hindi is associated with Hindi people, who form a large part of India.

Persian, Turkish and Arabic languages have also influenced the language of Hindi, but lesser when compared to Urdu language. Thus, there are a smaller number of foreign words and loanwords in Hindi language, unlike in Urdu.

The writing system that the language follows also plays a key role in differentiating these two languages. Hindi follows the Devanagari script. Thus, in this language, one writes from left to right.

Hindi being primarily associated with the Hindi people, who form the leading population of India, Hindi language is hailed and designated as the national language of India.

There are differences in the way certain words are used in Hindi language. Few examples of the words used in Hindi are: –

  1. Mitr- means ‘friend’
  2. Dhanyavad- means ‘thank you’
  3. Hriday- means ‘heart’
  4. Sthree- means ‘woman’
hindi

Main Differences Between Urdu and Hindi

  1. Urdu is associated with the Muslims, who are considered the natives of Pakistan, and also constitute the leading population of Pakistan. But Hindi is associated with the Hindi people, who are considered the natives of India, and also constitute the leading population of India.
  2. Urdu is more influenced by foreign languages, thus using more foreign words and loanwords in it. But Hindi is less influenced by foreign languages, thus using a smaller number of foreign words and loanwords in it.
  3. While Urdu follows the Nastaliq script, having to write from right to left, Hindi language follows the Devanagari script, having to write from left to right.
  4. Urdu is called the ‘National language of Pakistan’. But Hindi is called the ‘National language of India’.
  5. While a friend, heart, woman and thanking someone is referred to by the words ‘dost’, ‘dil’, ‘aurat’ and ‘shukriya in Urdu; the same are referred to by the words ‘mitr’, ‘hriday’, ‘sthree’ and ‘dhanyavad’ in Hindi.

Conclusion

Both Urdu and Hindi are two variation of the same language. Both of them have the same Indic base, grammar, phonology, derivation from Sanskrit and influence from foreign languages.

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They differ based on the percentage of influence of foreign languages, their association to different group of people and countries, the writing systems they follow and other minor differences in vocabulary.

No matter how different they are, diversity has its own beauty and it unifies people!

References

  1. https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s11145-010-9256-9
  2. https://languagelog.ldc.upenn.edu/myl/llog/King2001.pdf