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Linguaholic

Arabic, Urdu and Farsi


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I'm a literature student and my coursework has led me to discover Urdu, Arabic and Farsi poetry. Being a complete stranger to these languages, except what little words have been adopted by Hindi, I cannot fully distinguish between the three languages.

Are these three languages entirely different? Or do they come from a common mother/root language and have a common script? Subsequently, which of these three would be easier to learn? In that case I would love to start on it as soon as I can. I started dappling into Urdu on my won, but the script and letters of the alphabet are harder to internalize than I thought.

Can anyone explain the etiology behind these three languages?

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  • 2 months later...

Arabic is a Semitic language, so it is different than Urdu and Farsi. It's cousin languages under the same tree are Hebrew and Aramaic and the different dialects under either. The script for the languages is the same due to the Muslim lands adapting the Arabic script.

Urdu and Farsi are linked in some ways, but not totally. In fact, Urdu was invented as a language that could be spoken in the area and natives of multiple countries could understand. Urdu is a Turkish word meaning "army" or "army barracks" with the implication being soldiers and tradesmen could use Urdu on their travels through a certain part of the world. Urdu has words from Farsi, Turkish, and Hindi. But it has a 50% vocabulary share with Arabic.

Since you speak Hindi, you will find Urdu easier to understand. If you learn the Arabic script, you would be able to read either language to some degree, and old Turkish (called Osmanli).

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  • 4 months later...

I had no clue that Urdu is Turkish. I have many Indian friends of which speak urdu and I naturally assumed thinking that it was just one of the many languages that they speak and did not think it has any connection outside of India.  As I read the comment from @Honest_Abe I felt bad because I never thought to ask one of my friends. @Honest_Abe  Is Farsi also used in this same region? 

 

@Ayesha    Keep in mind that Arabic has different dialects throughout the middle east.  Similar to Spanish- You may visit Puerto Rico and completely understand and then go to Mexico and the same words are pronounced differently and may have a slightly different translation.  Same with Arabic-  People from Morocco and Lebanon speak similar Arabic. Go to Egypt and their Arabic is spoken/written slightly different.  

 

Best of luck in your studies! 

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My mother tongue is Urdu so I am a fluent speaker of Urdu. Urdu is technically a mix of Punjabi, Putwari, Hindi & a bit of Arabic so if you know one of those languages, you are likely to understand Urdu slightly better. 

Nonetheless good luck with you studies and course work.

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