With English spoken so often in the business world, its status as an official language in Pakistan, and its prominence across the globe, the interest and need to learn the language has risen for many Urdu speakers. There is a major discrepancy between those interested in learning Urdu and those interested in learning English, making language exchange a challenge. That doesn’t mean that there are not opportunities to learn English instructed in Urdu for free.
Instructional YouTube Videos are useful because they can reach many people with one episode and offer an opportunity to hear and practice pronunciation. Some channels to check out include Nafisa Spoken English Institute and English4UrduSpeaker, as well as this How to Learn Simple Spoken English through Urdu playlist.
Vocabulary Lists are a good place to start building your basic vocabulary. Though not ideal once you get further along in your abilities, these will give you a good jumping off point into your studies. Urdu-English and About English Language both have strong vocabulary lists and other instructional materials.
Urdu-English Online Dictionaries will be useful once a general English foundation has been acquired and you can move on to more specific, unusual vocabulary that you may not have run into during your studies. This dictionary is particularly easy to use.
Language Exchange Websites are a great way to learn new languages by connecting partners to swap knowledge. LRNGO is one of these sites, connecting people worldwide to promote all types of learning, including language. Type in your teaching abilities, learning needs, and location to find people in your area (or online via Skype) who you can work with as language exchange partners.
Meetup Groups are interest groups created on the Meetup website in order to connect people in a localized area with similar interests. This website focuses on face-to-face interaction and is an easy way to connect with others in your community who have the same language goals as you. Here is a group that is a good example: Houston Language Partners Check out the language exchange groups in your city, and if there are none currently listed, create one yourself! Find others that share a desire to learn a new language and work together to reach that goal.
Photo Credit: Muhammad Imran Saeed