The Hindustani language got influenced by West Asian languages like Persian, Arabic, Turkish etc. I wanted to know apart from the West Asian languages which other languages influenced the Hindustani language.

Edit: I have updated my question to which languages influenced Hindustani other than the West Asian languages

  • 1
    English, for example. Probably not Norwegian. Is that what you had in mind?
    – user6726
    Dec 27, 2018 at 17:59
  • Does Mongolian count? Is it West Asian? Is that what the Moghuls spoke or some version of it?Did any East Asian languages influence it?
    – Mitch
    Dec 27, 2018 at 20:38
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    Wikipedia says the Mughal Empire had: Common languages Persian (official and court language) Arabic (for religious ceremonies) Chagatai Turkic (only initially) Urdu (language of the elite, later made official) Other South Asian languages. (Urdu would be Hindustani with Persian and Arabic loans. Maybe some Turkic words got in, too, but I wouldn't know. You'd need a Turkologist)
    – jlawler
    Dec 28, 2018 at 0:16
  • Presumably you mean more than just "influenced" here? There's obviously centuries of contact with the Dravidian and other southern languages, Sino-Tibetan languages like Newari, etc., and you can find borrowings, both old and new, from all of them. Indian Buddhism is full of terms borrowed back from other (mostly Sino-Tibetan) languages. Do those count, or are you looking for only things like influences on grammar or core lexicon or at least much more massive borrowing?
    – abarnert
    Jan 19, 2019 at 21:50

3 Answers 3


The Hindustani language is Hindi-Urdu dialect continuum. It is derived regularly from older stages of Indo-Aryan (like Sanskrit). You have already noted the influence of Persian (which was a major one because it was the official language of the Moghul empire), Turkish (which was minor and mainly through Persian transmission), and Arabic (both through Persian transmission and directly through the influence of Islam on Hindustani, the influence is bigger for Urdu than for Hindi).

Other major influences to Hindustani are the Western languages, first Portuguese and later English. Hindi is also influenced by learned borrowings and calques from Sanskrit.

  • 1
    I have reminded you on another occasion that "Aryan" (Arier) and "Arian" (Arianer) are two different words.
    – fdb
    Dec 30, 2018 at 16:00
  • 1
    @fdb Sigh, it happened again. Corrected. Dec 30, 2018 at 16:03

The problem with your question is that you are assuming that Hindustani was “spoken in India before any West Asians invaded it”. The fact is that Hindi/Urdu does not emerge as specific language before the 13th century. By this time India had already been invaded by many West Asians, beginning with the Achaemenid Persians, and later by Persian and Turkic speaking Muslims.

  • I have updated the question title. I guess now it doesn't seem that I assume that Hindustani was spoken in India before any West Asians invaded it.
    – logdev
    Dec 30, 2018 at 12:33

The perhaps obvious answer, if we speak of the ancestors of today's Indic languages relative to other Indo-Iranian and Indo-European languages, is that they were greatly influenced by the languages that existed there before them, that is, substrate.

There is some debate as to what the substrate languages actually are. The Dravidian languages and other local languages like Munda apparently had less influence than one might expect. The Indic names for local flora and fauna may be from some long extinct local languages.

See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Substrata_in_the_Vedic_language.

  • Dravidian languages, except Tamil, are much influenced by Sanskrit. In fact, Malayalam, the language of Kerala is considered born of Sanskrit as the father, and Tamil as the mother. And when we speak of Dravidian languages, the popular languages are Telugu, Tamil, Kannada and Malayalam.
    – Ram Pillai
    Jul 31, 2020 at 11:20
  • The question is about influences on Hindustani, not influence by Hindustani or its phylogenetic ancestors. Jul 31, 2020 at 18:24

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