Hindi and Urdu are descended from the language that was spoken in the area in and around Delhi in North India roughly in the ninth and tenth centuries. This language was given the Persian metonym Hindvi/Hindi, i.e the language of Hind (the land of the Indus river), by the Persian-speaking Turks who overran Punjab and the Gangetic plains in the early eleventh century and established what is known as the Delhi Sultanate. Hindvi was constructed largely from Sanskrit loan words which had been 'softened' for 'bol-chal' or common speech. It also absorbed Persian, and through Persian, Arabic loan words, and developed as a mixed or broken language of communication between the newly arrived immigrants and the resident native population of North India. It travelled south and west as the Sultanate expanded beyond the Gangetic plains. From the eighteenth century Hindvi began to flower as a literary language. In the course of another century it split into Hindi and Urdu, the former representing a Sanskrit bias and the latter a Persian one. Contemporary spoken Hindi and Urdu speech registers have a measure of English thrown in too. With such rich historical antecedents, it is an exciting language to learn. If you choose to learn the Urdu script you get two languages for the price of one.