Where Is Urdu Spoken?

Part of the Urdu alphabet.
Part of the Urdu alphabet.

Urdu is a type of Hindustani language which evolved from medieval Apabhramsa of northwest India. Urdu was influenced by Arabic and Persian. It’s the world’s twenty-first most spoken first language with over 66 million speakers. Over 75% of the words in Urdu have etymological roots in Prakrit and Sanskrit. Urdu is one of the official languages which are recognized by the Indian and Pakistani constitution.

Where Is Urdu Spoken?


English and Urdu are the official Pakistani languages. Urdu is the main means of communication in Pakistan that is understood by about 75% of the population. Urdu is the national language of Pakistan, even though it is the first language of about 8% of the population. There are over 60 languages spoken in Pakistan.


The diverse linguistic heritage of Nepal stems from various language groups including Tibeto-Burman, Indo-Aryan, and numerous indigenous dialects. According to the 2011 census, about 2.6% of the residents were Urdu speakers. The official language of Nepal is Nepali, while Urdu is a registered regional dialect of Nepal. Some of the local dialects spoken in the southern Madhesh area include Urdu, Bhojpuri, Awadhi, and Maithili.


Urdu is one of the principal languages spoken in Jammu and Kashmir in India. A majority of people living in Jammu and Kashmir use English or Urdu as a second language. Urdu is the main dialect used in political, religious, education, and media discourses. Urdu is accepted by the Kashmiri Muslims, even though it’s considered to be a non-native dialect. However, it is the native language of less than 1% of the population of Jammu and Kashmir.


The official languages of Telangana are Telugu and Urdu. Urdu is spoken by over 12% of the residents of Telangana while Telugu is used by 77% of the population. Urdu was Hyderabad’s official language before 1948, and since Telugu was not taught in schools, it became the language of the elites. After Hyderabad merged with India and Telugu became the government language, and it was introduced in schools. The Urdu used by the locals in Telangana is known as the Hyderabadi Urdu.


Bihar has a population of over 104million people with about 8.42% of the residence being Urdu speakers. Urdu is one of the official languages in fifteen districts of Bihar while Hindi is the state’s official language. Some of the places where Urdu is spoken in Bihar include Patna and Purnia among others.


The most widely spoken languages in Delhi include Hindi (80.94%), Urdu (6.31%), Bengali, and Punjabi. The official language of Delhi is Hindi while Punjabi and Urdu are additional official languages. According to the Indian Directorate of Education, Urdu is one of the languages being taught in schools.

West Bengal

West Bengal has various official languages including Urdu, Santali, Rajbanshi, Punjabi, Odia, Hindi, Bengali, and Kamtapuri. Over 1.82% of the local can converse in Urdu while 86.22% are Bengali speakers. West Bengali had over 1,653,739 Urdu speakers by 2001.

Other Places Where Urdu Is Spoken in India

Other states like Jharkhand accorded the second language status to numerous dialects including Urdu. Even though Uttar Pradesh’s official language is Hindi, various regions in Uttar Pradesh use their native dialects. Urdu is recognized as an official language in Uttar Pradesh.


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