Urdu (//; Urdu: اُردُو ALA-LC: Urdū ( listen), or Modern Standard Urdu) is a Persianised and standardised register of the Hindustani language. It is the official national language and lingua franca of Pakistan. In India, it is one of the 22 official languages recognized in the Constitution of India, having official status in the five states of Jammu and Kashmir, Telangana, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, and Jharkhand, as well as the national capital territory of Delhi.
Apart from specialized vocabulary, Urdu is mutually intelligible with Standard Hindi, another recognized register of Hindustani. The Urdu variant of Hindustani received recognition and patronage under British rule when the British replaced the local official languages with English and Hindustani written in Nastaʿlīq script, as the official language in North and Northwestern India. Religious, social, and political factors pushed for a distinction between Urdu and Hindi in India, leading to the Hindi–Urdu controversy.
Urdu, like Hindi, is a form of Hindustani. It evolved from the medieval (6th to 13th century) Apabhraṃśa register of the preceding Shauraseni language, a Middle Indo-Aryan language that is also the ancestor of other modern Indo-Aryan languages, including the Punjabi dialects. Urdu developed under the influence of the Persian and Arabic languages, both of which have contributed a significant amount of vocabulary to formal speech. Around 99% of Urdu verbs have their roots in Sanskrit and Prakrit.