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Nineteenth-century prose

Chandrakāntā by Devaki Nandan Khatri (selection from the novel) Urdu
Premsāgar by Lallulal (selection)
Literary criticism by Bhartendu Harishchandra, “Hindī bhāshā” and “Urdū kā syāpā”

Twentieth-century prose

“Sadgati” by Premchand
“Dudh kā dām” by Premchand Urdu
“Urdū, Hindī, aur Hindūstānī” by Premchand Urdu
“Malbe kā mālik” by Mohan Rakesh
“Tanāv” by Rajendra Yadav
“Dillī mẽ ek maut” by Kamleshwar
“Paccīs caukā deṛh sau” by Omprakash Valmiki
Apne-apne pinjare by Mohandas Naimishray Urdu
“Lājwantī” by Rajinder Singh Bedi Urdu


Two Braj Bhasha poets:
  • Kabir Urdu
  • Rahim Urdu
Selections from Braj works: The Chayavad movement, with
  • Selection from the critical essay “Kalpnā ke kānan kī rānī” in Chāyāvād by Namwar Singh
  • “Vishva chavi” by Sumitranand Pant
  • Nīrajā by Mahadevi Varma (selection)
Old Avadhi texts: selections from
  • the Rāmcaritmānas of Tulsīdās
  • the Madhumālatī of Manjhan

“Urdū, Hindī aur Hindustānī
by Premchand

This excerpt from Premchand’s “Urdū, Hindī aur Hindustānī” (1934) evinces the position of a well-meaning nationalist-period writer who saw himself as a champion of the linguistic middle ground of Hindustani. He advocates a national language that would eschew complex words from Sanskrit, Persian, and Arabic and be readily accessible to all. While Premchand recognizes that the literary registers of Hindi and Urdu of necessity part ways, comparing the vastly divergent Hindi and Urdu versions of his own essay, both of which rely on precisely the type of loanwords that are mutually unintelligible, is a glaring indicator that the Hindustani middle ground is not always so easy to achieve.

PDF availableOne of the students in our class, Zahra Sabri, attempted to rewrite the essay in a more Hindustani idiom. Read her version here.

-Allison Busch

On this page

PDF availableThe Hindi text of this article is available as a PDF with pages corresponding to the page numbers below. It is also available in Nastaliq.Nastaliq (Urdu script) text available

If the words below appear as boxes or nonsense, please see the introduction page for help.


ملک- mulk (m.) state, country, kingdom (देश, m.)
تعداد - taʻdād (f.) number; amount (संख्या, f.)
انفرادی - infirā'di (adj.) individual, solitary
نشو و نما - (f.) development (उन्नति f. और विकास m. )
حارج - ḥārij (m.) obstructer; obstacle (बाधक m./adj.)
یکسانیت - yaksāniy'yat (f.) uniformity (एकता f. और समानता f.)
اتصال - ittiṣāl (m.) connection, adhesion; here: "congruence" would work as a translation
فطری - fit'rī (adj.) natural, inherent (प्राकृतिक, स्वाभाविक)
رجحان - rijḥān' (m.) inclination ( प्रवृत्ति)
مناسبت - munāsabat (f.) connexion; suitableness (सम्बन्ध m.)
پراکرت - prākrit (adj.) a proper name for Middle Indic language; also original, essential, ordinary
باهم - bā-ham, (adv.) Together
ملانا -milānā(v.t.) to cause to meet, bring together
نقصان پہنچانا - nuqṣān (in Hindi: हानि ) pahuṅćānā (-ko), (v.t.) To cause loss, damage, or injury (to)
مولد - maulid (m.) Birth; birth-place (जन्मस्थान m.)
مسکن - maskan (m.) Place of habitation (प्रचार क्षेत्र m.)
محدود - maḥdūd Limited, bounded, terminated, finite; separated; defined (adj. परिमित )
اعتراض - ěʻtirāẓ (f.) Opposition; objection; criticism (आपत्ति f.) (Platts lists this as f. but it is certainly used as m. here.)
صوبه - ṣūba (m.) a province (one of the large divisions of the Mogul empire, such as Bengal, Behār, &c.)
متعلق - mutaʻalliq connected (with), attached (to); appertaining (to)
اختيار - iḵẖtiyār (m.) Choice; discretion; control, power, authority (also aḵẖtiyār)
فيصله - faiṣala (m.) decision, judgment; also separation, division
نوعیت - naw'iyyat (f.) kind, quality, particular nature
جدا - judā (adj.) Separated
قومي - qaumī (adj.) Of or relating to a people, or nation, &c.; national; tribal
مدعي muddaʻī (m.) A claimant
انفرادی (adj) individual
صورت (f.) form
تکميل takmīl (f) fulfillment
اضطراري iẓt̤irārī (f) compulsion
اتصال ittiṣāl (m) Conjunction, contact; contiguity, neighbourhood; connection, adhesion, union, attachment
متحدہ muttaḥad (adj) - united
حق بہ جانب (adj) correct
مأنوس maʼnūs, vulg. mānūs (adj.) familiar
گراں بار (adj.) Heavily-laden; pregnant (woman or animal); wealthy
garāṅ-bār honā (-meṅ), To be heavily burdened (with)
ثقيل s̤aqīl ( adj.) Heavy, ponderous; hard to be borne
لدنا ladnā (fr. the trans. lādnā, q.v.), v.i. To be loaded or laden; to be borne or carried
مسلك maslak (m.) an institution; a regulation; rule (of conduct).
تحریری literary
مفہوم mafhūm (m.) Acceptation (of a word or an expression), meaning, sense, tenor, contents (of a letter, &c.)
مطلق mut̤laq adv. Wholly, entirely, altogether, absolutely; at all; not in the least, never
عمومیت generality, universality
احتراز ěḥtěrāz (m.) Guarding (against), being cautious (of); abstaining (from); abstinence( used here as a conjunct verb, to abstain from/avoid, i.e. take closely with کرنا)
معیار (m.) standard
محاوره muḥāwara (m.) idiom, phraseology, common or current speech; usage
اصطلاح (f.) Phrase, phraseology, idiom , usage; accepted signification, conventional meaning; conventional term, technical term.
مروج murawwaj, vulg. murauwaj (adj.) current, in general use, usual, customary
مخرج maḵẖraj (m.) source, origin, root (of a word, &c.)
مولود maulūd (adj.) Generated, born;— (m.) A son (compare to above: مولد - maulid (m.) Birth; birth-place (जन्मस्थान m.))
پرواه parwāh (f) Same as پروا (f.) Care, concern.
وزن wazn, vulg. wazan (m.) weight;— measure, model
مناسب munāsib (adj.) just, fit, convenient, proper, suitable, applicable, becoming
لازمي lāzimī (f.) Anything that is necessary; what must be; a necessity.

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This site last updated by Justin Ben-Hain on 5 November 2013.