Urdu is an Indo-Aryan language, which is in turn a member of the wide-reaching Indo-European language group. Other branches of the Indo-European language group include Celtic, Germanic and Balto-Slavic to name a few.
Urdu is the second official language of Pakistan, alongside English, and it is also spoken in India, where it is historically associated with Muslims of the Hindustan region.
In Pakistan, although Urdu serves as lingua franca, most of the population learn it as second or even third language. Only 7% of Pakistan’s population speaks Urdu as their first language. In India, Urdu is mutually intelligible with Hindi, the official language of the Union of India. There has been some dispute as to whether Urdu and Hindi are actually two languages, or two dialects of one language, Hindustani.
Urdu is written with the Persian script from right-to-left (instead of left-to-right like Hindi or English). Although beautifully intricate, the Urdu Nastaleeq font is notoriously difficult to typeset electronically with Apple only just implementing an Urdu keyboard in autumn 2014.