Hindi – Urdu
Rahmat Yousufzai and Amba Kulkarni
Characteristics of Urdu alphabet
Most of the Urdu characters join with the
following character and make one ligature.
This Urdu word is combination of 5 characters
5 4 3 2 1
ت ک ل ی ف
Urdu characters typically have different
shapes in different positions – beginning,
Characteristics contd ...
Some characters do not join with the following
character and are written in full form even if they
come in a middle position.
ا آ د ذ ڈ ر ز ژڑ و
مالک آم بدلہ تہذیب بڈھا برما بزنس ویژن کڑیل بولنا
Please note that there is no space in between.
अ आ इ ई उ ऊ ऋ
ए ऐ ओ औ अं अः
क ख ग घ ङ
च छ ज झ ञ
ट ठ ड ढ ण
त थ द ध न
ऩ प फ ब भ
म य र व ष श स ह
Consonants missing in Hindi
ث ، ح ،خ ، ز ، ذ ، ص ، ض ، ط ، ظ ، ع ، غ ، ف ، ق
These characters do not exist in Hindi.
They are borrowed from Arabic and are
used for the words borrowed from
ث ص ظ ض ذ ز
(Close to سin Urdu with In Hindi ज & ज़ Is used
a minute difference in for all these characters.
pronunciation. In Hindi स However most of the
is used to express these times ज is written
characters including س without dot.
This character is
represented by क़
Same as ہin Urdu with
This character is
a minute difference in
represented by ख़
pronunciation. In Hindi ह
is used for both the
But normally the dot is
: عThis is an Arabic
consonant which is
transliterated into Hindi عالجइराज
as one of the vowels. عید ईद
اAlif: with some
If عcomes in between or as a last
character then most of the Urdu speakers
normally pronounce it as Alif but in poetry,
special care is taken to pronounce it
فThis Character is
same like F in English.
طand تhave similar
pronunciation and in This sound is
Hindi त is used to represented by प or फ़.
represent both the But many a times Hindi
writers do not use the
غThis sound also does not exist in Hindi.
To represent this character, ग or ग़ is
used. However normally Hindi writers do
not use the dot.
ژThis is a Persian character and does not
exist in Arabic. In Hindi this is represented
by ज and ज़.
Example: Television ٹےلی ویژنटे रीववज़न
ھThis is Do-chashmi He and gives its sound only
when joined with certain characters.
An important point to be noted:
Arabic has a character ( ھdo-chashmi he ). This
character retains its shape only when it comes
as first and middle position. In the last position it
gets changed as ( ہgola he ).
Suggestion: For Urdu we should use ھwith
ں Noon without dot (Noon Gunna)
When this character comes in between the
word then dot is marked. This creates
ambiguity as it can be read as ن
Urdu characters borrowed from
ٹ،ڈ،ڑ ट, ड, ड़
These characters do not exist in Arabic or
Persian. These have been borrowed from
Certain Hindi characters
representation in Urdu
چھ ،جھ ، گھ ، کھ ، ٹھ ، ڈھ ڑھ ، ، تھ ، دھ، بھ ، پھ
ख, घ, झ, छ, ठ, ढ, ढ़, थ, ध, प, ब
These are the Hindi characters and are
represented in Urdu by adding ( ھDo-
Chashmi He) to the initial character.
، نھ، وھ، ےھ رھ ، لھ ، مھ ، نھ
There are no specific characters in Hindi.
However the sound is represented as
न्ह , भह , ल्ह, हह , व्ह , ँह, ँंह, ँेह
تےرھواں ، کولھو ، تمھارا ، ننھا ، اونھ، وھےل
तेयहवा, कोल्हू, तुभहाया, नन्हा, ऊह,
However in Urdu these words are also written
as تےرہواں ، کولہو ، تمہارا
But ننھاis written without change.
1. aliph ( & ) اEna ()ع
These two characters are pronounced
differently, but Urdu speakers do not pay
attention to the difference.
Example: (عامआभ common) ( ، آمआभ
2. sa: se ( ,)ثsIna ( ,)سsvAda ()ص
se ( )ثand svAda ()ص
These are purely arabic and Persian
characters and are used in only Arabic or
Persian words. Where as sIna ( )سis used
in Hindi, Urdu, Persian and Arabic.
The above characters including سare
written as स in Hindi.
3. Ta: Te ( ,)تToya ()ط
Toya ( )طis purely Arabic and Persian
character and is used only in Persian and
Both the characters are written as त in
4. he: badI he ( &)حgola he ()ہ
badI he ( )حis Arabic/Persian character.
gola he ( )ہis common in Arabic, Persian,
Urdu and Hindi.
Hindi equivalent for both: ह
5. ja: jAla ( ,)ذje ( ,)زjvAda ( ,)ضjoya (,)ظ
PArasI je ()ژ
Z sound is not available in Hindi and
almost in all Indian languages. Instead j is
The sound of ja: jAla ( ,)ذje ( ,)زjvAxa (,)ض
joya ( )ظare almost the same and all are
je ( )ژis purely Persian character and is not
available in even Arabic.
For all the above characters ज or ज़ is
It may be noted that if the next character after अं
is ऩ, प, फ, ब, भ then it is pronounced as "अभ"
otherwise it is pronounced as "अन".
1., अंफारा, अंबोज, अंभय
انبالہ ، انبھوج ، عنبر
2. चंऩा, कप, फंफ, गंबीय, संभान
3. अंक, अंग, अंतय, अंधा, अंडा
Also, when अं comes as a last character of the word
then it gives the sound of "अभ".
अहं , स्वमं, फारकं
اہم سویم بالکم
Interestingly the same rule of ऩ, प, फ, ब, भ is
applied in Urdu also but mostly the character مis
used in proper nouns and English words.
Example: امپائر امپھل امبانی
अंऩामय, अंपर अंफानी
This also is the combination of अ and ँः
It does not come as the first character of the
word however it comes in the middle and last.
अंतःप्रवेश, अंतःकयण, प्रामः, अतः
انتہ پروےش انتہ کرن پرایہ اتہ
These characters do not exist in Urdu.
Instead نis used.
वाङ्मम, वऩङ्गरा وانگ مے ، پنگال
चञ्चर(चञ ् चर), गञ्जन(गञ ् जन) چنچل ، گنجن
कायण, कणक کارن ، کنک
These two characters have almost the same
sound with a minute difference.
In Uru there is only one character شto express
ششٹھی ، آکرشن ، پرش
शयीय, भश्ककर, ककशमभश
شریر مشکل کشمش
Diacritic marks in Urdu
In Urdu, there are no Matras like Hindi.
Urdu has some diacritic marks but uses
them only in elementary books.
Zabara َ This is placed
above the character to indicate a
consonant with अ.
Zer َ This is placed below the
character and to indicate a vowel इ or ए.
Ex- ب बफ, फे
Pesh َ This is placed above the
character and creates the sound of उ
along with the sound of the character on
which it is applied. Ex- بफु
Jazama َ Equivalent of Halant in
Ex- بफ ् शब्द شبد
Tashdeed َ This is used for
reduplication as in
ہال _گال، دھباहल्रागल्रा , धब्फा
Do zabar َ This is placed above the
last character Alif ( ) اand gives the sound
of n . It may be noted that the character
just before Alif should be with Zabar.
Example : فوراफ़़ौयन (the character
رis with Zabar but normally it is not
Do zer َ This is placed above the
last character Alif ( ) اand gives the sound of n
. It may be noted that the character just before
Alif should be with zer but normally it is not
Example: نسال بعد نسالनस्रन फाद नश्स्रन
(The character لis with Zer )
Ulta pesh : َ This is placed above the
character and gives the sound of oo (ऊ)
Example: مالہ بعدہफादहू भारहू
Khada zabar: َ This adds the sound of
Alif to the character on which it is applied.
Mostly it is put on Choti ye and Badi ye ( ی
) ، ےand the efect of it ie Aa sound is
transfered to the character earlier to Choti
ye and Badi ye. It comes in the middle
also and the character on which it is
applied is added with the sound Aa.
Example: اعلی ، مصطفے ، ہذا
आरा भुस्तफ़ा हाज़ा
Other Diacritic marks are pesh and khada
Rules for gender in most of the words
which have been derived from Hindi/Indian
languages, do not change between Urdu
and Hindi. But for some of the words
which have been borrowed from Arabic or
persian, the gender changes.
vyavastha (feminine) ( انتظامMasculine)
aakarshan (Masculine) ( کششfeminine)
prakash(Masculine) ( روشنیfeminine)
In Urdu two words are joined together.
( Same as in English where Apostrophe is
used to join the words and Apostrophe
gives the sense of "of"). In Urdu, the words
are joined by "Izaafat". There are three
types of Izaafat.
1. Zer is added after the first word and then the
other word is written.
Example: درد دل
Most important thing is that there has to be
space after zer other wise the words may join
together and will be problematic to read
Example: شاخ گل
If space is not given then the word will appear
like this. شاخگل
2. If the last character of the first word is
"he" or "choti ye", then Hamza is added
after the first word.
Example: نغمہ آب، گرمی عشق
3. If the last character of the first word is
alif or wav then "Hamza Badi ye" is added
after the first word.
Example: اداۓ خاص، بوۓ گل
Compound words without Izaafat
Normally in Hindi some words are written
Example isaka, usaka, Taajmahal etc but
in Urdu they are written separately.
اس کا، اس کا، تاج محل
It may be noted that if Tajmahal is written
together then it will not be readable. تاجمحل
1. In Urdu when choti ye یand ےcome as
a last character of a word then it retains its
original shape. But if it comes in middle
then it is difficult to recognize because the
appearance is same in hand written text
and Word processing packages like
Inpage. Unicode badi ye does not join with
the following character.
example: کےال کیال
In all Urdu packages this will be written as
کیالwhich creates ambiguity and
transliteration through machine becomes
2. There are certain characters in Urdu
which do not join with the following
character. These characters are ،ا،آ،د، ذ، ڈ
. ر، ز، ژ، ڑ وData entry operators do not
care much to give space between the two
words as it is difficult for them to notice the
joined position of the words. Due to this
machine takes the two words as one and
fails to process the word.
3. The diacritic marks are ignored in Urdu
and hence apparently there is no
इस اس and उस اس
हवा ہوا (noun)
हुआ ہوا (verb)
In Urdu both words are written in the same
way but meaning is different. The spelling
in Hindi is also different.