What Are the Different Ways to Learn Urdu?

Laura M. Sands

There is a variety of ways to learn Urdu, including learning at a college or university or learning from independent Urdu classes. It is also possible to learn from a private language tutor online or in person. Many learn Urdu by using special language software or audio tapes. One of the best ways to learn this particular Indo-Aryan language, however, is by visiting India or Pakistan and becoming more fully immersed in the language.

Travelling to Pakistan is one way to learn Urdu.
Travelling to Pakistan is one way to learn Urdu.

Many have found that Urdu courses taught at a community college or university can be very useful in learning the Urdu alphabet and language basics. Endeavoring to learn Urdu in this way can take a considerable amount of time and study, but is an effective way of also learning cultural tidbits that may help put certain words or phrases in a correct context. Individuals who engage in Urdu instruction at a college or university usually have to complete several class levels before becoming fluent in the Urdu language.

A college might offer an exchange program with India that would allow a student to learn Urdu.
A college might offer an exchange program with India that would allow a student to learn Urdu.

Independent Urdu courses may also be taught by private teachers and organizations. One-on-one instruction sometimes makes it easier for individual students to learn Urdu since lessons are at a more controlled pace. Private Urdu lessons may also provide more opportunities to practice speaking the language with an Urdu tutor.

Using videoconferencing tools over the Internet, some find it possible to learn Urdu online. This method can be as effective as meeting with a private tutor in person, as the same face-to-face interaction is possible via videoconferencing. It is even possible for a person hoping to learn to speak Urdu to connect with a native speaker living in South Asia using this method. Special websites are also dedicated to teaching Urdu, which may serve as an introduction to this language.

Urdu software may also offer an effective way to learn Urdu. By utilizing this method, students may also learn to write Urdu, as many software lessons also teach students the Urdu alphabet and how to read the language in print. As unique fonts are used in this written language, learning how to read Urdu is particularly important for students who will travel to India or Pakistan where it is commonly spoken.

One of the most effective ways to learn Urdu is by visiting a country where the language is spoken in everyday life. Urdu courses can be taken from a native speaker, but individuals are likely to learn more and at a faster pace when surrounded by large numbers of native speakers. Many colleges even offer opportunities to visit Pakistan or India as an exchange student to help pupils learn about new cultures and the Urdu language.

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