Learn Urdu Through Online Lessons
Urdu is an Indo-Aryan language that is the national language of Pakistan and official language of six Indian states. Urdu is associated with the Hindu community and with Muslims of the region of Hindustan. Urdu has about 104 million speakers including those who speak Urdu as a 2nd language. In addition to Pakistan and India, Urdu is also spoken and understood in Bangladesh, Nepal, the Middle East, the UK, and many other countries around the world where Pakistani communities have settled.

Urdu and Hindi are very similar with just some slight differences. Urdu and Hindi are alike in structure, grammar, vocabulary, and phonology. The difference between the languages is in how they are written. While Urdu script comes from Persian and Arabic, Hindi comes more from Sanskrit. The population of Hindi-Urdu speakers is ranked the fourth largest of the languages in the world.

If you are thinking of living or visiting Pakistan, certain areas of India, or places where Hindu and Muslim communities are prominent, learning Urdu will be in your best interest. Learning how to read, write, and speak Urdu will help you become familiar with the language of the people living in these parts of the world. Learning Urdu will also not only help you read and write the Arabic and Persian alphabet but will also help you become more familiar with how to speak Hindi. If you are interested in learning Urdu, here are the top four websites to help you get started.

  1. Linguanaut - http://www.linguanaut.com/english_urdu.htm
    This link is ideal for learning the most common Urdu greetings, phrases, and expressions. This site gives translations to help with common scenarios: how to introduce yourself, how to wish someone something, solving a misunderstanding, etc. The site displays the translated word or phrases the way it would be pronounced and the way it would be written in Urdu script. This conveniently allows for a learner to practice how to read, write, and speak Urdu sayings.

  2. WikiHow-How to Speak and Understand Urdu - http://www.wikihow.com/Speak-and-Understand-Urdu
    This link presents a step-by-step process on how to speak and understand Urdu. The steps primarily focus on teaching Urdu grammar such as pronouns, verbs, tense usage, sentence structure, etc. The laid-out steps make the learning process easy to follow and understand.

  3. Surface Languages-Urdu - http://www.surfacelanguages.com/language/Urdu
    This site is very helpful for learning the basics of Urdu such as common phrases and vocabulary. Surface Languages offers interactive flashcards and games on multiple topics to help you learn Urdu easily. One of the stand out features of this site is that it allows you to listen to words being spoken aloud so you are able to hear and copy correct pronunciations.

  4. MyLanguages-Urdu - http://mylanguages.org/urdu_phrases.php
    This site is a great resource for learning and practicing Urdu. My Languages offers an endless list of English to Urdu basic words and phrases that can be learned such as colors, numbers, food, etc. The site has pictures and audio to better help you remember these new words and sayings as well. What makes this site useful is that the Urdu words and phrases are not only translated but written in Urdu script as well.

Photo Credit: Syed Tirmizi

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