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Indo-Aryan language used by Muslims in India and Pakistan. In the sociopolitical realm, Urdu and Hindi are different languages, but the colloquial basis of both is identical, and as a written language Urdu differs from Hindi principally in its greater acceptance of Persian-Arabic vocabulary and in some syntactic features. It is written in the Arabic alphabet with modification of some letters to denote specifically Indo-Aryan sounds. As Pakistan's official language, Urdu has been promoted as a token of national unity, though less than 8% of Pakistanismainly immigrants and descendants of immigrants from India after the 1947 partitionspeak it as a first language.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on Urdu language, visit Britannica.com.
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