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Hindi and Urdu Languages

Hindi (Modern Standard Hindi or Mānak Hindī) is an Indo-Aryan language spoken in India and across the Indian subcontinent. It is developed from 'Sanskrit’, the ancient and classical language when writing Indian literature and poems. It became the official language of India in 1881, and has been standardized since the 1950s.

Urdu belongs to the same Indo-European languages and Indo-Aryan language families as Hindi. It is the national and one of the official languages of Pakistan, and also one of the 24 prescribed languages in India. Calligraphy written in Urdu is famous all over the world as there are no space between words, which beautifies the layout of a piece of writing. Until the 1980s, each Urdu written newspaper in Pakistan was an art piece as they were still handwritten by famous calligrapher and reprinted for publication.

Hindi and Urdu are mutually intelligible as spoken languages. Their main difference is Hindi is written from left to right and it retains some ancient vocabularies, while Urdu is written from right to left and is highly influenced by Arabic and Persian foreign languages.

Interested users could go to the Language Learning Centre of the Hong Kong Central Library to find out more about Hindi and Urdu Languages.


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