Urdu (/ˈʊərduː/; Urdu: اُردُو, ALA-LC: Urdū) is an Indo-Aryan language spoken chiefly in South Asia. It is the national language and lingua franca of Pakistan.In India, Urdu is an Eighth Schedule language whose status, function, and cultural heritage is recognized by the Constitution of India; it also has an official status in several Indian states. In Nepal, Urdu is a registered regional dialect. As of 2021, Urdu is the 21st-largest first language spoken in the world, with approximately 61.9 million native speakers. According to 2018 estimates by Ethnologue, Urdu is the 10th-most widely spoken language in the world, with 230 million total speakers, including those who speak it as a second language. If spoken colloquial contexts are broadly taken into account, the Hindustani language (Hindi–Urdu) is the 3rd-most spoken language in the world.

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