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"Buenos dias", "buenas noches" -- this was the first words in a foreign language I heard in my life, as a three-year old boy growing up in developing post-war Western Germany, where the first gastarbeiters had arrived from Spain. Fascinated by the strange sounds, I tried to get to know some more languages, the only opportunity being TV courses of English and French -- there was no foreign language education for pre-teen school children in Germany yet in those days. Read more

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Discussion Details

Title: Re: Etymology of 'Urdu'
Submitter: Nicholas Kontovas
Description: Syed-Mohsin Naquvi <mnaquviyahoo.com  wrote:

'The word Urdu itself is a word from the Turkish language akin to the
English word Horde. However, the word Urdu which means an army, in
Turkish,is actually spelled Ordu in modern Turkish with an umlaut on the
initial O. I am trying to ascertain as to how and when this vowel-shift has
taken place. '

Actually, the word in Turkish is just 'ordu' -- no umlaut on the 'o'.

As for how the sound changed from Turkish 'o' to Urdu 'u', I'm not too sure.
The Ottoman script version of this word ('elif-re-del-vav') would similarly
be read in (Iranian) Farsi 'ordu', which would normally correspond to Tajiki
and Urdu 'urduu' ('uu' = long 'u'). Not sure what that means, but it's a start.
Date Posted: 05-Sep-2010
Linguistic Field(s): Historical Linguistics
LL Issue: 21.3535
Posted: 05-Sep-2010

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