Inder Sabha in Judeo-Urdu
Native toIndian subcontinent
RegionBombay, Calcutta
EthnicityBaghdadi Jews
Era18th Century
Hebrew script
Language codes
ISO 639-3

Judeo-Urdu (Urdu: یہود اردو, romanizedyahūd urdū; Hebrew: אורדו יהודית, romanizedūrdū yehūdīt)[1] was a dialect of the Hindustani language spoken by the Baghdadi Jews in the Indian subcontinent living in the areas of Mumbai and Kolkata towards the end of the 18th century. It is a dialect that was written in the Hebrew script and found to be used for several pieces of literature, such as Inder Sabha ,a copy of which is kept at the British Library.


The Judeo-Urdu dialect was written in the Hebrew script.[2] The orthography is one of the primary reasons for this dialect being associated with Urdu, rather than Hindi or Hindustani, as the spelling of lemmas found in literature written in the Judeo-Urdu dialect seem to correlate with the Perso-Arab spelling.[2] For instance, Arabic loanwords which contain the letters ط would be mapped to the Hebrew equivalent ט, a pattern which is consistent with other loanwords and loan-letters.

However, when it comes to the representation of sounds found in Indo-Aryan languages, such as retroflex consonants, they were not represented by unique or modified Hebrew letters. Rather, alveolar consonants were also used to represent these sounds, as well as aspirated consonants. This could create ambiguity as some letters, like Dalet, could denote up to four different phonemes, while an unvocalised Gimel, could denote potentially up to five.[2]

See also


  1. ^ Hashmi, Arshad Masood (2018-08-01). "اندر سبھا کا یہود اردو مخطوطہ (A Judaeo-Urdu Manuscript of Indra Sabha)". Social Science Research Network. Rochester, NY. SSRN 3993268.
  2. ^ a b c D. Rubin, Aaron (2016-12-31). A Unique Hebrew Glossary from India. doi:10.31826/9781463237349. ISBN 9781463237349.