MultiLingual : Learning Urdu

Features, Other, Self-help

Vol 25, Issue 20, 24 March 2023

This article is a continuation of the previous article, “MultiLingual: Learning Thai”. In this article, techniques to learn the language – Urdu will be discussed.

Spoken in South Asia, Urdu or Standard Urdu is an Indo-Ayan language which is a branch of Indo-European languages. It is the national language of the country Pakistan, where it is also the administrative language alongside English. It is spoken approximately by 70 million people. Phonetically, Urdu is similar to Hindi and can be used interchangeably with some differences in vocabulary, however, in written form it is very different.

There are a total of 36 letters in the Urdu alphabet, though the number of letters in the Urdu language is usually debated. The language is written from right to left, which is in the opposite direction to English and is derived from the Persian script. There are differences in tones and this can be shown via symbols that can go above or below the letters to change the pronunciation of the words. ‘آ’ is the first alphabet of the Urdu language and is pronounced as ‘alif madda’. ‘ے’ is the last alphabet and is pronounced as ‘baree yeh’. Urdu being an Indo-European language, it requires more precision and care in vowel sound pronunciation. Further modifications to the Urdu language enable one to write languages like Punjabi and Saiaiki. Urdu language has ten vowels and ten nasalized vowels. These vowels have four forms depending on their placement.

Urdu is a fun language to learn and with enough practice one can master it easily. It is quite a poetic language and consists of letters that convey various feelings that some other languages can not. Music is a great way to get acquainted or to start off. The best recommendation would be productions from Coke Studio that originated from Pakistani media and took over other nations as well.

Sahar Farzand
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