Since I’ve been struggling with Urdu for over a year now, I thought it would be interesting to build an Online Urdu Learning Guide similar to the one I did for Hindi. So, if you want to learn some basic Urdu vocabulary or intend to study the language in a more profound manner, here are some links, resources and online courses that might help you out.
- A Door Into Urdu – a quite abundant Urdu course created by Dr. Afroz Taj, professor of South Asian Languages at the University of North Carolina. The course starts with basic information about Urdu, the Urdu alphabet and later covers vocabulary and grammar topics. A truly great course if you plan to study the language extensively.
- Hugo’s Simple Urdu Sentences – Learning a new alphabet involves lots of practice, here are some list of simple Urdu sentences that will familiarize you with the Nastaʿlīq script.
- Intermediate Urdu Course - published by a team of professors from the University of Chicago and the University of Washington. The course contains a script guide, a section with Urdu texts featuring highlighted translation to English and lots of video interviews and video lessons! Don’t skip these!!
- UrduWord.com – a basic Urdu English dictionary.
- GeoUrdu.com – links to lots Urdu media & news sites, these may help you practice reading and listening as well.
- Memrise.com - the courses here cover basic introduction vocabulary + some basic grammar.
- LiveMocha.com – I haven’t tried Urdu, but I did have some fun times with Hindi on LiveMocha.com. The great thing about this website is that it connects you to Urdu speakers. Here you can submit your Urdu sentences or samples of your speaking skills, and natives from Pakistan will be happy to look these through and offer you some advice.
- UkIndia.com – Urdu reading instructions.
- ForumPakistan.com – Basic Urdu reading and writing instructions, well illustrated through writing samples.
- UrduSeek.com – yet another English Urdu dictionary.
- Google Translate – even though Urdu is still running in beta, the tool performs decently in 1-2 word translations. Nevertheless, it is far from being reliable.
- Google Input Tool – type Urdu words using Latin characters and this tool will automatically covert them to Nastaʿlīq script.
- Urdu01A - Detailed videos on how to write the Urdu script (can be quite useful when you’re starting out with Urdu on your own).
- NCERT Textbooks - learn the language exactly as it is taught in public Indian schools, from this site you can download Urdu textbooks for any school grade from 1 to 12.
- Radio.gov.pk – I’m still in that stage where a full page of Urdu scares me off, but this looks like a great website to practice reading and listening. Hopefully I’ll find the courage to tackle it within the next few days…
- BBC Urdu - once you get a grip over the language, why not start… reading the news in Urdu?
- Coke Studio Pakistan – last but not least, check out Coke Studio Pakistan for some amazing Pakistani songs. Of course, you can start right away with some of my favorite songs: 1,2,3,4. The last one isn’t Urdu, but it does sound great – hopefully it doesn’t contain any weird extremist messages. :-S
- Another huge list of Urdu resources at Awazsayeed.com - this page is pretty old and most links are broken, but you still might find some goodies here and there.
To be continued…