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Learn Verb Tenses in Urdu

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Do you aim at passing through the labyrinth of Urdu tenses without becoming lost in it? Like you, many Urdu learners are hesitant to enter the intricate maze of Urdu-language tenses and their numerous conjugations for the present, past, and future.

That said, you may be relieved to hear that dealing with mundane matters in the Urdu language does not require you to learn the verb tenses in Urdu to mastery. If you’re a smart learner with some linguistic common sense, you’ll find ways to formulate Urdu sentences for everyday usage—even if you only have a rudimentary knowledge of tenses. 

In this article from UrduPod101, we’ll guide you through the vast world of Urdu verbs and tenses. You’ll learn how to form everything from the simple present to the future conditional, and the examples we provide along the way will help you understand how each tense is used. 

Are you ready for the challenge?

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in Urdu Table of Contents
  1. An Overview of Urdu Verb Conjugation
  2. Present Tenses in Urdu
  3. Past Tenses in Urdu
  4. Future Tenses in Urdu
  5. Conclusion

1. An Overview of Urdu Verb Conjugation

Urdu verbs conjugate according to the person, mood, tense, voice, and gender. For now, though, don’t worry too much about the details. In this section, we’ll cover only the most important aspects.


A- Tense

As an Urdu learner, you should be glad to know that learning just three basic Urdu tenses can empower you to deal with any real-life situation in an Urdu-speaking society

1. زمانۂ ماضی (zamana-e-maazi) – past tense
2. زمانۂ حال (zamana-e-haal) – present tense
3. زمانۂ مستقبل (zamana-e-mustaqbil) – future tense

If you can master using the present simple, past simple, and future simple effectively, you’ll be well-equipped to manage any situation or occasion that may arise while in Pakistan.

B- Mood 

“Mood” refers to the speaker’s attitude toward the action described by the verb. This is a key factor in the conjugation of Urdu verbs, but we won’t go into too much detail here. For now, just keep in mind that there are four grammatical moods in Urdu:

  • I – Indicative
  • II – Subjunctive
  • III – Conditional
  • IV – Imperative
A Corporate Boss in an Unpleasant Mood

C- Simple vs. Complex Tenses

In Urdu, tenses can be further categorized as “simple” or “complex.” 

A simple tense is one that does not make use of auxiliary verbs; a complex tense is one that does. By the end of this article, you’ll be able to easily distinguish one from the other. 

D- Gender

In the Urdu language, every noun has a gender. While this can certainly make it a challenge to use nouns properly, it also affects the conjugation of Urdu verbs!

The Symbols of Male and Female Genders Drawn on a Blackboard

2. Present Tenses in Urdu

Because present tenses are the most commonly used in daily Urdu conversations, it’s appropriate for us to study them first. The Urdu present tense is used to describe actions that happen frequently, ongoing affairs, and what may happen in the future. 

For your convenience and understanding, we’ll use a single Urdu sentence and verb throughout this article to demonstrate how a verb conjugates for each tense. We’ll use the Urdu verb کھیلنا (khelna), meaning “to play.”

Also keep in mind that each conjugation will be for the first person singular. 

·  فعل حال مطلق (fael haal mutliq) Present Indefinite Tense

        Masculine

    میں کرکٹ کھیلتا ہوں۔
    Mein cricket khelta hun.
    I play cricket.

        Feminine

    میں کرکٹ کھیلتی ہوں۔
    Mein cricket khelti hun.
    I play cricket.

A Cricketer Driving the Ball on the Leg-side

·         فعل حال جاری (fael haal jari) Present Continuous Tense

        Masculine

    میں کرکٹ کھیل رہا ہوں۔
    Mein cricket khel raha hun.
    I am playing cricket.

        Feminine

    میں کرکٹ کھیل رہی ہوں۔
    Mein cricket khel rahi hun.
    I am playing cricket.

·          فعل حال مکمل (fael haal mukammal) Present Perfect Tense

        Masculine

    میں کرکٹ کھیل چکا ہوں۔
    Mein cricket khel chuka hun.
    I have played cricket.

        Feminine

    میں کرکٹ کھیل چکی ہوں۔
    Mein cricket khel chuki hun.
    I have played cricket.

·          فعل حال مکمل جاری (fael haal mukammal jari) Present Perfect Continuous Tense

        Masculine

    میں صبح سے کرکٹ کھیل رہا ہوں۔
    Mein subah se cricket khel raha hun.
    I have been playing cricket since morning.

        Feminine

    میں صبح سے کرکٹ کھیل رہی ہوں۔
    Mein subah se cricket khel rahi hun.
    I have been playing cricket since morning.

Present Conditional

        Masculine

    اگرمیں وقت پر آؤں تو کرکٹ کھیل سکتا ہوں۔
    Agar mein waqt par aao tu cricket khel sakta hun.
    If I come on time, I can play cricket.

        Feminine

    اگرمیں وقت پر آؤں تو کرکٹ کھیل سکتی ہوں۔
    Agar mein waqt par aao tu cricket khel sakti hun.
    If I come on time, I can play cricket.

Present Imperative

Here, you can simply use the same sentence for both genders.

    کرکٹ کھیلو۔
    Cricket khelo.
    Play cricket.

3. Past Tenses in Urdu

You can’t expect to master any language without giving due consideration to the past tense forms of its verbs. In this part of the article, you’ll learn a few constructions that are widely used in formulating the Urdu past tense.

 فعل ماضی مطلق (fael maazi mutliq) – Past Indefinite Tense

        Masculine

    میں کرکٹ کھیلا۔
    Mein cricket khela.
    I played cricket.

        Feminine

    میں کرکٹ کھیلی۔
    Mein cricket kheli.
    I played cricket.

 فعل ماضی جاری (fael maazi jari) – Past Continuous Tense

        Masculine

    میں کرکٹ کھیل رہا تھا۔
    Mein cricket khel raha tha.
    I was playing cricket.

        Feminine

    میں کرکٹ کھیل رہی تھی۔
    Mein cricket khel rahi thi.
    I was playing cricket.

فعل ماضی مکمل (fael maazi mukammal) – Past Perfect Tense

        Masculine

    میں کرکٹ کھیل چکا تھا۔
    Mein cricket khel chuka tha.
    I had played cricket.

        Feminine

    میں کرکٹ کھیل چکی تھی۔
    Mein cricket khel chuki thi.
    I had played cricket.

 فعل ماضی مکمل جاری (fael maazi mukammal jari) – Past Perfect Continuous Tense

        Masculine

    میں صبح سے کرکٹ کھیل رہا تھا۔
    Mein subah se cricket khel raha tha.
    I had been playing cricket since morning.

        Feminine

    میں صبح سے کرکٹ کھیل رہی تھی۔
    Mein subah se cricket khel rahi thi.
    I had been playing cricket since morning.

Past Conditional 

        Masculine

    اگر میں وقت پر آتا تو کرکٹ کھیل سکتا۔
    Agar mein waqt par aata tu cricket khel sakta.
    If I had come on time, I could have played cricket.

        Feminine

    اگر میں وقت پر آتی تو کرکٹ کھیل سکتی۔
    Agar mein waqt par aati tu cricket khel sakti.
    If I had come on time, I could have played cricket.

4. Future Tenses in Urdu

Learning to speak or write about the future in Urdu is an essential skill that any Urdu learner will need to master eventually. To give you an idea of what to expect from the Urdu future tenses, we’ve compiled some example sentences for you.

 فعل مستقبل مطلق (fael mustaqbil mutliq) – Future Indefinite Tense

        Masculine

    میں کرکٹ کھیلوں گا۔
    Mein cricket khelun ga.
    I will play cricket.

        Feminine

    میں کرکٹ کھیلوں گی۔
    Mei cricket khelun gi.
    I will play cricket.

A Highway Ending at the Horizon, Symbolizing a Hopeful Future

 فعل مستقبل جاری (fael mustaqbil jari) – Future Continuous Tense

        Masculine

    میں کرکٹ کھیل رہا ہوں گا۔
    Mein cricket khel raha hun ga.
    I will be playing cricket.

        Feminine

    میں کرکٹ کھیل رہی ہوں گی۔
    Mein cricket khel rahi hun gi.
    I will be playing cricket.

 فعل مستقبل مکمل (fael mustaqbil mukammal) – Future Perfect Tense

        Masculine

    میں کرکٹ کھیل چکا ہوں گا۔
    Mei cricket khail chuka hun ga.
    I will have played cricket.

        Feminine

    میں کرکٹ کھیل چکی ہوں گی۔
    Mei cricket khail chuki hun gi.
    I will have played cricket.

 فعل مستقبل مکمل جاری (fael mustaqbil mukammal jari) – Future Perfect Continuous Tense

        Masculine

    میں صبح سے کرکٹ کھیل رہا ہوں گا۔
    Mein subah se cricket khel raha hun ga.
    I will have been playing cricket since morning.

        Feminine

    میں صبح سے کرکٹ کھیل رہی ہوں گی۔
    Mein subah se cricket khel rahi hun gi.
    I will have been playing cricket since morning.

Future Conditional 

        Masculine

    اگر میں وقت پر آؤں گا تو کرکٹ کھیل لوں گا۔
    Agar mein waqt par aaon ga tu cricket khel lun ga.
    If I come on time, I’ll play cricket.

        Feminine

    اگر میں وقت پر آؤں گی تو کرکٹ کھیل لوں گی۔
    Agar mein waqt par aaon gi tou cricket khail lun gi.
    If I come on time, I’ll play cricket.

A Young Business Professional Looking at His Wristwatch and Preparing to Leave for a Destination to Reach it on Time

5. Conclusion

In this article, you learned about both simple and complex tenses in Urdu. You should now have a better idea of how to conjugate Urdu verbs for each tense and gender. With some practice and real-world experience, you’ll be able to handle nearly any conversation topic using what you’ve learned today! 

Do you already feel confident in your Urdu conjugation skills? Or do you still have a question or concern about something we covered? Don’t hesitate to reach out to us in the comments; we’ll get back to you at the earliest! 

If you enjoyed this article, make sure to create your free lifetime account on UrduPod101.com today to explore the easiest and most effective ways to learn the Urdu language. You’ll benefit from a wide range of online Urdu resources, including simple guides to Urdu pronunciation and grammar, vocabulary lists, and more. 

Very Happy Urdu Learning!

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How Long Does it Take to Learn Urdu?

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Is it possible to give a definite time-frame for learning Urdu? 

Frankly speaking, it’s quite difficult to specify exactly how long it will take someone to learn the language. There are multiple variables that affect one’s second-language acquisition, such as necessity, motivation, level of education, culture, and previous experience with languages.

Keeping this in view, it’s also imperative for an aspiring Urdu learner to decide what level of fluency they hope to attain. For example, picking up basic survival phrases for travel will take far less time than trying to become fluent.

In this article, we’ll answer questions such as, “How long does it take to learn Urdu?” and give you some tips on how to learn Urdu fast!

A Calendar
Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in Urdu Table of Contents
  1. Key Considerations
  2. Beginner Level
  3. Intermediate Level
  4. Advanced Level
  5. Learning Urdu When You’re Short on Time
  6. Conclusion

Key Considerations

The United States’ Foreign Service Institute (FSI) groups languages into four categories, with Category I languages being those most similar to English and Category IV languages being the least similar. According to this system, Urdu falls under Category III. The FSI approximates that one can gain basic fluency in a Category III language with about 720 hours of intensive study (10 hours per day) and reach full fluency with around 1100 hours (44 weeks) of intensive study. 

Of course, this is only an approximate.

If you plan to study Urdu, you must first take the time to consider the following factors. Doing so will give you a good idea of what your strengths and weaknesses will be as you start out, so you can plan accordingly. Who knows? You may even discover that you’re at an advantage! 

1. Your Background

Have you already studied a second language? Were you raised bilingual? What language(s) do you know besides English? 

Your answers to these questions will play a major role in how long it takes to learn Urdu. 

Urdu learners who already know an Oriental language tend to have a much easier time with their studies than learners who do not. In addition, people who have learned a second language already—no matter what that language is—have a huge advantage over those who only know one language. 

Also, a person with prior exposure to the native Pakistani culture and ways of living is at an advantage. 

2. Your Motivation

Another dominant factor that may affect the pace of your Urdu learning is your implicit or explicit motivation for learning the language. If you have a lucrative end-goal in mind (such as a promotion or acceptance to a university) or are learning so you can better communicate with a loved one, you’ll be willing to put in more effort and will achieve your goals faster.

A Man Climbing a Steep Mountain, Symbolizing a High Level of Motivation

3. Your Learning Methods

Your selected method of learning is another significant factor here. For example, students who learn via the grammar-translation method will require a different amount of overall learning time than students being taught via the direct method

In the same vein, you should determine whether to take an Urdu course at a language institution, at a university, via a tutor, or even online. Each of these methods will result in a different type of language learning experience, and the amount of time it takes you to master Urdu will vary as a result. 

Of course, any learning method you opt for should be supplemented (as much as possible) by direct exposure to the language and immersion in the culture.

Beginner Level

It may take you around 150 to 200 hours to reach the A1 (absolute beginner) level.

At the beginner level, you should be able to understand and apply basic survival phrases and other day-to-day vocabulary. There are a few fundamental concepts of the Urdu language you should focus on mastering at this point. Here are some tips on how to learn Urdu quickly as you approach and attain the beginner level: 

1. Study the basic syntax. 

Try to focus on the rudimentary word order and sentence structure. It’s too early to comprehend all of it right away, but you should still familiarize yourself with the basics. It will become more clear to you as you advance and gain more exposure to the language. 


2. Start dealing with the present. 

The present tense is very important when learning any language. Try to grasp command over the present tense, and practice using it with the first and second person pronouns.

3. Don’t hesitate to conjugate.

While you shouldn’t be overly ambitious here, you should try learning to conjugate some basic Urdu verbs. Practice is the only way to get better, and your mistakes will help you learn even faster! 


4. Flashcards are effective.

Never underestimate the power of the flashcard technique. Try to learn as many nouns, verbs, and adjectives as possible, along with examples of their appropriate usage in the Urdu language.

A Small Girl Using Flashcards for Learning the Names of Different Fruits

Intermediate Level

It may take you approximately 500-600 hours to reach the B1 level of proficiency in the Urdu language.

At the intermediate level, you’ll be able to…

  • …comprehend basic conversations on familiar topics and things that interest you.
  • …interact with native Urdu speakers concerning routine matters. 
  • …explain your ideas, plans, and experiences with others in an appropriate manner. 

Here are a few things you can do to learn Urdu effectively at this point:

1. Experiment with the tenses.

At the beginner level, you became familiar with how to use the present tense. Now that you’re approaching the intermediate level, you should begin experimenting with the other tenses. In doing so, you can formulate more interesting sentences on a number of topics.

A Small Boy Experimenting with Science Equipment and Enjoying Learning

2. Build up your vocabulary and practice your pronunciation.

You should focus on building and expanding your vocabulary so that you can avoid using words that sound very basic or childish. In addition, you should work on mastering your pronunciation of Urdu words. Being able to use more advanced words and pronounce them correctly will surely impress native speakers! 


3. Start learning and using common phrases.

As you build your vocabulary, you should also start learning more common phrases. Pay attention to how native speakers converse with each other, and try applying the most frequently used phrases and sentences to your own speech. At this stage, you can also begin crafting your own unique phrases using your newly acquired vocabulary. This will enhance your sentence formulation skills and keep you interested in your studies.


Advanced Level

You should expect to spend a good 1000-1200 hours reaching the threshold of the advanced (C1) level. 

While many learners are satisfied with reaching the intermediate level, the most devoted students have set their minds to mastering Urdu completely! This is a huge feat and certainly not an easy one, but well worth the effort. At the advanced level, you can…

  • …understand intricate texts and their implicit meanings. 
  • …effectively communicate in both professional and casual contexts. 
  • …present your thoughts and ideas in a clear, unmistakable manner. 

Here are a few tips to speed up your progress: 

1. Confidence does matter.

Having reached the B1 level, you’ve covered a lot of distance. Total mastery and command of the Urdu language are not too far out of reach at this point. Nonetheless, you must remember that the final steps are always hard to take.

But don’t worry. Have confidence in yourself. Keep the joy of getting a befitting reward in your mind to muster up your courage for these heavy steps. There’s only one level (B2) between you and your dream level (C1).

A Working Executive Woman, Posing Confidently

2. Explore classic Urdu books, movies, and music.

While traditional study methods play a key role in mastering Urdu, you should begin exploring some secondary Urdu resources as well. The best way to become proficient in the language is to expose yourself to it outside of the classroom (or textbook, or app). 

Some of the best ways to immerse yourself in the language include: 

  • Watching classic Urdu movies
  • Reading Urdu literature
  • Listening to Urdu music

If you’re not sure where to start, why not see our lists of the Top 10 Urdu TV Shows and Drama Series and YouTube Channels to Enhance Your Skills?

A Man Enjoying a Movie on a Tablet

3. Interact with native Urdu speakers.

If possible, you should plan to either live in Pakistan for a while or visit for a short time. This will work wonders for your Urdu language skills! Your time in Pakistan will give you constant exposure to Urdu in natural contexts, from slang terms to formal everyday language—something you would miss out on in the traditional classroom setting. 

Learning Urdu When You’re Short on Time

As already discussed, how long it takes to learn Urdu is determined by numerous factors. These include your attitude toward learning it, how much time you spend studying each day, and why you’re learning it in the first place. 

We understand that not everyone has enough time in their busy schedules to attend regular classes or devote hours a day to studying. The good news is that you can learn Urdu online or through mobile apps—both methods give you much more flexibility than traditional courses and let you study from anywhere. 

While there’s no substitute for hard work, we believe these methods can help you learn Urdu more effectively even when you’re short on time. Let’s take a closer look. 

1. Online Resources

Despite the proven track record of classroom education, virtual education has revolutionized the way in which people learn and study. This applies to language learning as well, and you can find many online resources to help you learn Urdu to varying degrees of proficiency.

UrduPod101.com is unparalleled in this regard. We have the solutions to all your language learning problems, and we seek to answer all of your questions and dispel all of your doubts. When you subscribe, you get access to a huge resource of online lessons customized to the needs of Urdu learners at all different levels. We make learning Urdu both fun and effective! 

To reinforce what you’ve learned on our website, you can head over to our YouTube channel and watch any number of our fun, educational videos. 

2. Mobile Phone Applications

Google and other app stores are replete with applications claiming to teach the Urdu language effectively. While many of them can be used as excellent secondary resources, we recommend choosing your learning apps with caution. 

In addition to the InnovativeLanguage101 app, we recommend trying out Learn Urdu Kids

Conclusion

In this article, we answered the frequently asked question: How long will it take to learn Urdu? 

We also discussed what factors will determine your learning speed, what skills are expected of you at each Urdu proficiency level, and how to learn Urdu effectively. 

Are you ready to hop on the plane of Urdu learning and enjoy its adventurous pathways? More importantly: Have we answered all of your questions? If not, feel free to reach out to us and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible! 

We hope you choose to make UrduPod101.com a part of your Urdu learning diet. We’re a rich repository of learning resources, ready to help you master all of the necessary Urdu language skills. 

Very Happy Urdu Learning!

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Urdu Proverbs: Sound Wise Among Urdu Speakers

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Have you ever found yourself struggling to get a point across, only to have the perfect proverb come to mind and save the day? You really can’t deny the utility of proverbs in everyday communication! 

The Urdu language is resplendent with traditional sayings and proverbs that reflect the collective consciousness and group identity of its speakers. These Urdu proverbs may come from a variety of sources, from popular folk wisdom to words of the learned elite, but they all share a common cultural understanding and value for the community. 

In this article, we’ll introduce you to several of the most common Urdu proverbs and their meanings in English. Studying these proverbs will not only stretch your vocabulary and grammar muscles, but also get you better acquainted with Pakistani culture and enlighten you on a personal level. Shall we begin?

A Man Contemplating while Keeping His Index Finger on His Right Temple

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in Urdu Table of Contents
  1. Proverbs About Success
  2. Proverbs About Life
  3. Proverbs About Time
  4. Proverbs About Love
  5. Proverbs About Family and Friends
  6. Proverbs About Health
  7. Conclusion

1. Proverbs About Success

Let’s start our Urdu proverbs list with a few frequently used proverbs on success. These can serve as words of congratulations or as advice on how to succeed in life. 


#1 

محنت کامیابی کی کنجی ہے۔
‘mehnat kamyabi ki kunji hai.’
Hard work is the key to success.

This proverb is popular in both Urdu- and English-speaking cultures. It can be used to motivate someone to work hard in order to achieve his/her goals, or as a compliment to acknowledge someone’s hard work. 

#2

ہمتِ مرداں مددِ خدا۔
‘himmat e marda madad e khuda.’
God helps those who help themselves.

This Urdu proverb means that when men muster up their courage, the God Almighty helps them. While it literally translates to, “Courage of men, help of God,” it’s very close in meaning to the English saying, “God helps those who help themselves.” Like the previous phrase, it can be used to motivate or compliment someone. 

#3 

کام بِن دام نہیں۔
‘kaam bin daam nahi.’
No pain, no gain.

This proverb means that if you do not work, you will not get money. It’s the near equivalent of the given English proverb. It can be used to warn a worker who isn’t performing well, or to motivate someone to work even harder to earn more money.

#4

مشق انسان کو کامل بنا دیتی ہے.
‘mashq insaan ko kamil bana deti hai.’
Practice makes a man perfect.

This Urdu proverb is the true translation of its English counterpart. It’s used to encourage someone who wants to master a skill or to congratulate someone who has already mastered a skill after practicing very hard.

#5

جہاں چاہ وہاں راہ۔
‘jahan chah wahan raah.’
Where there’s a will, there’s a way.

Here’s another Urdu proverb that’s the exact translation of its English counterpart. It means that if someone is interested in any particular job, he’ll find an apt way to do it successfully. 

#6

انت بھلا تو سب بھلا۔
‘anth bhala toh sab bhala.’
All’s well that ends well.

This proverb has the same meaning as the English version. In Urdu, it’s used to congratulate someone who has completed a task well despite facing multiple hurdles. It can also be roughly translated as, “The ends justify the means.”

A Man Standing at the Peak of a Mountain and Celebrating Success

2. Proverbs About Life

Now, let’s spend some time poring over the most common Urdu proverbs about life. These sayings touch on the harsh and sweet realities of our existence, and they’re sure to give you valuable insight into Pakistani culture. 

#7

زندگی پھولوں کی سیج نہیں۔
‘zindagi phoolon ki sej nahi.’
Life is not a bed of roses.

This Urdu proverb is the true translation of its English counterpart. It’s typically used to console someone who has undergone a bitter life experience, though it can also be used to warn young people not to waste their time without purpose and to instead prepare for the hard times. 

#8

زندگی زندہ دلی کا نام ہے۔
‘zindagi zinda dili ka naam hai.’
Life is the name of liveliness.

This is a poetic verse by Sheikh Imam Baksh Nasikh, but has gained acceptance as a proverb in Pakistani society. It’s used to cheer up sad souls and to uplift their spirits to enjoy life fully.

#9

تجربہ سب سے بڑا استاد ہے۔
‘tajurba sab say barha ustad hai.’
Experience is the greatest teacher.

If you know someone who is going through a trying situation or a new experience, you can use this proverb to shed some light on how significant it is.

An Old Man Who Seems to Have Undergone Several Experiences and Learned a Lot

#10

دودھ کا جلا چھاچھ بھی پھونک پھونک کر پیتا ہے۔
‘doodh ka jala chach bhi phoonk phoonk kar peeta hai.’
A burnt child dreads the fire.

The Urdu version of this proverb is very similar to the Turkish proverb that goes: “If you burn your mouth on hot milk, you blow before you eat yogurt.” It evokes the same imagery as its English counterpart does.  

3. Proverbs About Time

No society could make any significant progress without giving due importance to time. With this in mind, let’s see how people in Pakistan value this priceless commodity…

#11

وقت کسی کا انتظار نہیں کرتا۔
‘waqt kisi ka intezar nahi karta.’
Time and tide wait for none.

In Urdu-speaking societies, this proverb is often used to address the fanciful youth who waste their precious time doing unimportant activities. Feel free to use this phrase on occasion if you come across any such person!

An Hourglass in Which Sand Is Coming Down Fast, Signifying the Unstoppable Nature of Time

#12

وقت پر ایک ٹانکا نو کا کام کر دیتا ہے۔
‘waqt par ek tanka no ka kaam kar deta hai.’
A stitch in time saves nine.

The Urdu proverb is the literal translation of the English one. It refers to the mending of any stitched article, where getting it fixed early on using only one stitch will save you needing to use nine stitches later on. It means that if one acts in a timely manner, it can save that person from many impending ordeals. 

#13

وقت سب سے بڑا مرہم ہے۔
‘waqt sab say barha marham hai.’
Time is a big healer.

Like its English equivalent, this proverb is used to soothe one’s grief and sorrow. It guarantees that all wounds will heal with time.

#14

وقت وقت کا راگ اچھا ہوتا ہے۔
‘waqt waqt ka raag acha hota hai.’
An appropriate action at the right time and right place is appreciated.

This proverb literally translates to, “The melody is good from time to time.” It refers to raags, a unique component of Eastern Classical music. In a raag, a specific melodic framework is used and then built upon through improvisation in order to influence the emotions of the audience in a fresh, distinctive way. 

The proverb encourages us to take the right step at the right time, and to talk pertinently. For example, if an old person was talking and acting like he was still young, someone may tell him this proverb as a way of saying, “Act your own age.”

#15

وقت پڑنے پر گدھے کو باپ بناتے ہیں۔
‘waqt parhnay per gadhe ko baap banatay hain.’
In the hour of need, fools are praised and respected.

This Urdu proverb can be translated as, “to make a donkey your father in the hour of need.” Both this translation and its English counterpart describe the bitter reality that, when in need, people give even fools undue attention. 

#16

دیر آید درست آید۔
‘der ayad durust aayad.’
Better late than never.

In Urdu-speaking societies, this proverb might be used when a person understands something very late. Saying this to someone would simultaneously point out their mistake and show them that it’s not a big deal. 

#17

آج کا کام کل پر مت چھوڑو۔
‘aaj ka kaam kal par mat chorho.’
Do not put off till tomorrow what you can do today.

The Urdu and English versions of this proverb are synonymous with each other. This proverb is used to help someone understand the value of doing a given task on time.

4. Proverbs About Love

Love is a universal phenomenon, and people from all walks of life and in every culture have something to say about it. Though there are myriads of Urdu proverbs about love, we’ll only cover the most common ones here.

#18

محبت اندھی ہوتی ہے۔
‘Mohabbat andhi hoti hai.’
Love is blind.

This Urdu proverb refers to the blind nature of love. It means that when a person is in love, he/she is unable to evaluate their feelings or the situation rationally. This proverb is often used to point out the irrationality of lovers.

 #19

محبت اور جنگ میں ہر چیز جائز ہوتی ہے۔
‘Mohabbat aur jang mei har cheez jayaz hoti hai.’
Everything is fair in love and war.

The English and Urdu versions of this proverb are identical in meaning. One can use this proverb to comment on (or to justify) the wrongdoings of lovers and warriors. 

#20

دل کو دل سے راہ ہوتی ہے۔
‘dil ko dil se raah hoti hai.’
Love begets love.

This Urdu proverb is the near equivalent of the given English proverb. It means that a loving heart attracts another loving heart. It’s used to express that a person who feels love for another will have their love reciprocated.

A Group of Young People Making the Heart Sign with Their Hands, Exhibiting the Significance of Love

#21

دل کو ہو قرار تو سب کو سوجھیں تیوہار۔
‘dil ko ho qarar to sab ko soojhain teohaar.’
A cheerful heart aims at festivities.

We use this proverb when we see someone who is happy and unworried engaging in merrymaking. 

5. Proverbs About Family and Friends

Family and friends are part and parcel of any humane society. Therefore, you’ll find an abundance of proverbs related to friends and family in the Urdu language.

#22

دوست وہ جو مصیبت میں کام آئے۔
‘dost woh jo moseebat mei kaam aaye.’
A friend in need is a friend indeed.

This Urdu proverb means the same thing as its English equivalent, and it helps us to differentiate between true friends and false friends.

#23

اپنا اپنا غیر غیر۔
‘apna apna ghair ghair.’
Blood is thicker than water.

This one refers to the fact that blood relations differ from all other relations. It expresses that our family should always come before the other people in our lives. 

#24

دوست ہوتا نہیں ہر ہاتھ ملانے والا۔
‘dost hota nahi har hath milane wala.’
Every visitor is not a friend.

This is a poetic verse by the famous Urdu poet Ahmad Faraz. Nowadays, it has gained currency as an Urdu proverb, and we use it to draw a line of demarcation between true friends and seasonal birds.

A Person Offering His Hand for a Handshake, with the Other Person not Reciprocating

#25

دوست کا دشمن دشمن، دشمن کا دشمن دوست
‘dost ka dushman dushman, dushman ka dushman dost’
The enemy of a friend is an enemy; the enemy of an enemy is a friend.

This famous quote has gained status as a proverb in Pakistan. It justifies the act of befriending the enemy of an enemy and developing animosity for the enemy of a friend. 

#26

یار زندہ صحبت باقی۔
‘yaar zinda sohbat baqi.’
Reunion is subordinate to survival.

We use this phrase when parting ways with friends and loved ones. It also contains an embedded prayer for the survival of the other party and for future reunions with him/her. 

#27

ماں کی دعا جنت کی ہوا۔
‘maa ki dua Jannat ki hawa.’
A mother’s prayer brings heavenly air.

This Urdu proverb is used to elevate the rank of the mother in society. It also has a religious connotation as it’s inspired by an Islamic Hadith meaning that Heaven lies under the feet of the mother.

#28

دوستوں کو قریب لیکن دشمنوں کو قریب تر رکھو۔
‘dosto ko qareeb lekin dushmano ko qareeb tar rakho.’
Keep your friends close but your enemies closer.

We use this proverb to advise others to keep a close eye on their enemies. Because an enemy is likely to try and harm you, it’s important to be vigilant about watching them. 

6. Proverbs About Health

All the pleasures of life become meaningless if you’re unhealthy. Take a look at the proverbs below to see how much importance Pakistani culture places on health.

#29

تندرستی ہزار نعمت ہے
Keep your friends close but your enemies closer.
Health is wealth.

This proverb is the near equivalent of its English counterpart, and it means that health is equal to a thousand blessings. It’s often used to encourage someone to be thankful for their health.

#30

تن سکھی تو من سکھی
‘tan sukhi toh mann sukhi’
Healthy body, healthy mind.

This one states that only a healthy body guarantees a healthy mind. It’s often used to emphasize the significance of a healthy lifestyle, especially when speaking to workaholics or those who don’t take good care of themselves. 

#31

پرہیز علاج سے بہتر ہے۔
‘perhaiz ilaj se behtar hai.’
Prevention is better than cure.

This proverb underscores that it’s better to prevent a problem than to fix it after it happens. We most often use it to convince someone to take preventive measures so they can avoid the anticipated medical complications.

A Huge Stock of Drugs Symbolizing the Cure with Antibiotics

7. Conclusion

In this article, you learned a number of commonly used Urdu proverbs with their meanings in English. By memorizing these proverbs and learning how to use them, you can begin to take on your new identity as a very literate Urdu speaker and impress those around you. 

Which proverbs did you most resonate with, and why? We recommend starting with those, because they’ll be easier for you to remember! 

If studying these proverbs has made you even more curious about Pakistani culture and the nuances of the Urdu language, consider creating your free lifetime account with UrduPod101.com. We will be your friendly and knowledgeable companion, always here to help you along on your language learning journey. To give you a sample of what to expect, here are links to just a few resources we provide our learners: 

Very happy Urdu learning! 

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10 Places to Visit in Islamabad, the City of Peace

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Is Islamabad your next summer holiday destination? Endowed with natural beauty and embellished with well-thought-out and perfectly executed infrastructure, Islamabad remains one of the best tourist attractions in Pakistan. In addition, the city’s cultural diversity marks it with a cosmopolitan hue and makes it the ultimate heaven for tourists.

The city was built in 1960 to become the capital of Pakistan. Despite its youth, the city has its historic value, a few glimpses of which will be provided in this Islamabad travel guide from UrduPod101.com.

Before you travel to Islamabad, it’s crucial that you know the best and most beautiful attractions in this lively city. To give you a hand, we’ll not only outline the top ten places to visit in Islamabad, but also provide you with useful information on the city and a list of Urdu survival phrases.   

A View of Blue Area, Islamabad at Night

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Table of Contents
  1. Considerations Before You Go
  2. 10 Must-Visit Places in Islamabad
  3. Even More Places to Visit for an Extended Stay
  4. Urdu Survival Phrases for Travelers
  5. Conclusion

Considerations Before You Go

We’ll start with a question that many potential tourists ask themselves: “Is it safe to visit Islamabad?” The answer to this question is a very simple “yes.” Islamabad has a steady system of law and order, and the crime rate here is very low compared to that of other global metropolitans.

Why Visit Islamabad?

Islamabad is the federal capital of Pakistan, situated in the Pothohar Plateau 14 kilometers northeast of Rawalpindi. With a population of just over 1.1 million, it’s considered the ninth-largest Pakistani city. It’s famous for its high living and maintenance standards, and the city itself was built with immaculate planning.

While visiting Islamabad, you’ll find greenery everywhere due to its tropical rainy climate. The beautiful Margalla Hills, for example, lend the city a breath of fresh air. Islamabad is a place where you can find modernity inextricable from nature.

Still not convinced this gorgeous city is for you? Read on for more compelling reasons to visit Islamabad! 

An Ideal Time to Visit

As an insider, I would encourage you not to worry about finding the “best” time to visit Islamabad. The weather of Islamabad remains moderate most of the year, and bouts of extreme weather are very unusual. I recommend booking your tickets at the earliest. Natural beauty and cultural uniqueness abound any time of year! 

Popular Intercity Modes of Transportation

In Islamabad, taxis are the most popular mode of transportation. Other than that, you can also use the Metro Bus Service, which covers most of the areas of Islamabad. Remember to bargain over taxi fare with the taxi driver before hiring, because some of them tend to overcharge foreigners (if not all their passengers).

Language

Though Islamabad accommodates people from all provinces and foreign lands, the Urdu language is a binding factor and is used for most communication and connection among the city’s inhabitants. Since most of Islamabad’s citizens are educated, English is also used as a lingua franca to communicate with foreigners.

Food & Lodging

You can book a hotel at rates of anywhere from 4000 Pakistani rupees (about 25 USD) to 25000 (about 155.50 USD) per night. As for food, you can get a wide variety of Desi, Chinese, and continental food in Islamabad. Dining can be as cheap as 500 PKR (about 3 USD) per meal, or as costly as a Western five-star restaurant.

If you’re a lover of Desi cuisine, don’t forget to visit UrduPod101’s article all about Pakistani Cuisine!

10 Must-Visit Places in Islamabad

Now that you’re equipped with the information you need to make the most of your trip, let’s have a look at the top ten must-visit places in Islamabad.

یادگارِ پاکستان .1 (Yadgar-e-Pakistan) – Pakistan Monument

Inaugurated on March 23, 2007, Pakistan Monument is one of the national monuments of Pakistan. It’s situated on the Western Hills of Shakarparian, has a total area of 2.8 hectares, and features a granite construction. 

An average of 1500 tourists visit this site each day, taking in its unique blooming flower shape. Its four chief petals represent the unity of Pakistan. An aerial view of the monument gives the impression of a crescent with a star in its center.

A Beautiful Front View of Pakistan Monument at Night

2 (Shah Faisal Masjid) – Shah Faisal Mosque

Shah Faisal Mosque is another must-visit place in Islamabad. You’ll find this mosque on the foothills of the Margalla Hills. The mosque is named after the Saudi King Faisal, who granted $120 million for the construction of this mosque in 1976. The mosque bears a contemporary design inspired by a nomadic tent in an Arabian desert.

The total area of the mosque is approximately 54,000 square feet, including the structure. It’s located on the northern side of Faisal Avenue.

A Front View of Faisal Mosque, Islamabad

3 (National Art Gallery)

The National Art Gallery is the first of its kind in Pakistan. It’s located in Islamabad, opposite the مجلسِ شوریٰ (Majlis-e-Shoora), or the Parliament of Pakistan, and ایوانِ صدر (Aiwan-e-Sadar), which is the Pakistani President’s House. The gallery is run by پاکستان قومی انجمن فنون (Pakistan Qaumi Anjuman Fanoon), or the Pakistan National Council of Arts.

It covers a nearly 1800-square-yard area with a total of fourteen galleries and areas for display. It also has certain other facilities such as a library, lecture halls, laboratories, and arrangements for workshops. The Pakistan National Council of Arts is well-known for arranging the meritorious events regarding visual arts, performing arts, pictorial exhibitions, etc. If you’re an art-lover, do not miss the opportunity to visit this place. It will add value to your memories.

The Building of the National Art Gallery, Islamabad

4 (Pakistan Museum of Natural History)

The Pakistan Museum of Natural History is located at the Garden Avenue in Shakarparian, and has been functional since 1976. With a rich collection of over 300,000 objects, it has been divided into four main sections: 

  • Earth Sciences
  • Botanical Sciences Division
  • Zoological Sciences Division
  • Public Services Division

Today, it’s one of the largest attractions in Islamabad for tourists and locals alike. 

The museum is a compendium of information on the subjects of geology, ecology, and the country’s paleontology. It’s also a research center that works under the guidance of the وزارتِ سائنس و ٹیکنالوجی (Wazarat-e-science wa technology), or Ministry of Science and Technology. Every day but Friday, the museum is accessible for all from ten a.m. to five p.m. If you’re curious about natural history, include this place on your Islamabad agenda! 

دامنِ کوہ .5 (Daman-e-koh) – Foothill   

The phrase Daman-e-Koh is made by combining the two Persian words دامن (daman) and کوہ (Koh), and it means “foothill.” Located on the Margalla Hills, this is a famous viewing point that attracts many visitors who want to enjoy the panoramic view of Pakistan’s capital. From this point, you can capture the full-frame view of Faisal Mosque, Rawal Lake, and Seventh Avenue with the help of already-installed telescopes. It also serves as a midpoint to the place of Pir Sohawa. 

Coming across wildlife here is a common event, with monkeys being particularly abundant. Some people have even spotted snow leopards during the season of snowfall.   

Tourists Enjoying the Beauty of Daman-e-Koh

6 (Lok Virsa Ajaib Ghar) – Lok Virsa Museum

Started in 1974 and gaining autonomy in 2002, لوک ورثہ عجائب گھر (Lok Virsa Ajaib Ghar), or Heritage Museum, is located in Islamabad at the Hills of Shakarparian. The National Institute of Folk and Traditional Heritage runs the museum, which focuses on the subjects of culture and history. It’s a vast complex with an area of 60,000 square feet and the capacity to hold 3000 visitors simultaneously.

Among its major departments are: 

  • Pakistan National Museum of Ethnology
  • Lok Virsa Library
  • Virsa Research and Publication Center
  • Virsa Media Center
  • Sufi and Shrines Hall 

This is a great source for learning about the folklore, folk music, anthropology, folk history, arts, and so on, of Pakistan. You’ll also be able to see a great collection of Pakistani jewelry, embroidery, pottery, textiles, and statues. Your trip to Islamabad should absolutely include this gem of a museum, especially if you want to explore the Pakistani folk realm.

The Main Entrance of Lok Virsa Museum, Islamabad

7 (Said Pur Gaon) – Said Pur Village

With a 500-year-old history, Said Pur Village has been influenced by the Muslim, Sikh, and Hindu eras. The village is situated on the Hills of Margalla in the city of Islamabad. This location has been mentioned in the biography of the famous Mughal emperor Jahangir in Tuzk-e-Jahangiri.

During the Mughal reign, the village was named after Sultan Said Khan, the son of Sultan Sarang Khan. The latter was the lord of the region of the Pothohar. 

Due to its richness in cultural terms, the Government of Pakistan has given concentrated efforts to restore and maintain its ancient grandeur. The goal is to make it an attraction for tourists visiting Islamabad from different corners of the world.

A Splendid View of the Said Pur Village, Islamabad

8 (Islamabad Chirrya Ghar) – Islamabad Zoo

If you love animals and want to spend some quality time with the indigenous species, mark the Zoo of Islamabad as a place to visit during your visit to Pakistan. It covers an area of approximately 82 acres in the Hills of Margalla and has a huge collection of birds and animals. In the past, it provided a natural habitat for wildlife, but it has been converted into a zoo for the public.

Roaring wild animals and enchanting fowls are waiting to entertain you and keep you company at the Zoo of Islamabad. Go visit them!

راول جھیل .9 (Rawal Jheel) – Rawal Lake

Covering an area of 8.8 kilometers, Rawal Lake is a water reservoir. A few small streams and the River of Korang contribute to making this artificial reservoir sufficient for the water requirements of the twin cities (Islamabad and Rawalpindi). It’s located in the Hills of Margalla and also touches the premises of the Bani Gala and the villages of Malpur.

It’s a famous picnic spot with heavy flowery plantations. You can enjoy boating and fishing here, and you may even see some rare wildlife species such as jungle cats, wild boars, foxes, jackals, and some poisonous reptiles like the Indian cobra. 

A Beautiful View of the Rawal Lake with the Margalla Hills Visible in the Background

10 (Shahdara Valley)

The Valley of Shahdara is also located in the Hills of Margalla, and it lies at a distance of 10 kilometers from the official residence of the president of Pakistan (Aiwan-e-Sadar). The residents of this valley largely speak Potohari, though they can understand and speak Urdu and Punjabi as well.

It’s full of natural beauty with green hilltops, agricultural planes, natural meadows, and flowing water rills. If you want to return to your country regret-free, do not exclude Shahdara Valley from your list of must-visit places in Islamabad.

Even More Places to Visit for an Extended Stay

Are you going to be spending a little longer in Pakistan and have some extra cash to spend? Great! Here are our recommendations on where to visit in Islamabad for an extended stay.

سملی ڈیم (Simli Dam)

Nineteen miles east of the city of Islamabad, on the Soan River, lies the Simli Dam. This is the drinking water reservoir of Rawalpindi and Islamabad, which gets its water from the melting snow of the Murree Hills. It’s 260 feet high and became functional in 1982. This is a good tourist resort for travelers, so make sure to put it on your list! 

شاہ اللہ دتہ کیوز (Shah Allah Ditta Caves)

Shah Allah Ditta is an ancient village located in Islamabad in the Hills of Margalla, and also functions as the union council of the city of Islamabad. Its history dates back many centuries, as it’s thought to have existed for more than seven hundred years. Its remnants and relics of the Budh culture attract visitors from all over the world. 

فاطمہ جناح باغ (Fatima Jinnah Bagh) – Fatima Jinnah Park

Also known as Capital Park and F-9 Park, Fatima Jinnah Park occupies an area of 750 acres. This public park is named after the مادرِ ملت (Madar-e-millat), or Mother of Nation, Fatima Jinnah. This is one of the best parks to visit in Islamabad if you have enough time during your stay. 

Urdu Survival Phrases for Travelers

When visiting a foreign land, it’s always useful to have a set of phrases and sentences in the native language. They can save you trouble and money under numerous circumstances. To give you a head start, here are some useful Urdu survival phrases that you can use as needed.

 السلامُ علیکم
(Assalam-u-alaikum.)
Hello.

 صبح بخیر
(Subha Bakhair.)
Good morning.

اللہ حافظ
(Allah Hafiz.)
Goodbye.

شکریہ
(Shukriya.)
Thank you.

 معاف کیجئے گا۔
(Maaf Kijiye ga.)
Excuse me.

میں معافی چاہتا/چاہتی ہوں۔
(Main Maafi chahta/chahti hun.)
I am sorry.

بیت الخلاء کہاں ہے؟
(Baitul Khala Kahan Hai?)
Where is the restroom?

براہِ مہربانی کیا آپ دُہرا سکتے ہیں؟
(Barah-e-meharbani kya aap dohra sakte hain?)
Can you repeat it, please?

براہِ مہربانی، ذرا آہستہ۔
(Barah-e-meharbani, zara aahista.)
A bit slower, please.

معاف کیجئے، مجھے سمجھ نہیں آئی۔
(Maaf kijiye, mujhe samajh nahi aayi.)
I am sorry, I couldn’t understand.

کیا آپ انگلش بولتے ہیں؟
(Kia aap English bolte hain?)
Do you speak English?

In addition to learning these survival phrases, we recommend checking out our lesson on the 20 Travel Phrases You Should Know on UrduPod101.com.

Conclusion

In this article, you’ve learned tons of useful information to help you plan your visit to Islamabad: the best time to visit, what to expect weather-wise, the best places to see, and much more. 

Are you ready to pack your bags and book your ticket to Islamabad? Are you excited to explore the beauty and cultural heritage of this magnificent city? 

If so, you’re in for the experience of a lifetime. But it’s okay if you’re not quite feeling up to the task yet. Feel free to leave us a comment with any questions you still have about Islamabad or Pakistan in general. We’re always glad to help! 

Also, remember to visit UrduPod101.com to hone your Urdu language skills. Our website is a rich repository of Urdu language learning resources with pages on Urdu vocabulary, pronunciation, grammar, and more—all designed to develop your integrated language skills and help you benefit from them in real-life situations.

Very Happy Urdu Learning!

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English Words in the Urdu Language: Do You Know Pinglish?

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While visiting Pakistan, don’t be surprised if you hear the indigenous people using a few English words in their Urdu conversations. This implementation of English words in the Urdu language (a phenomenon referred to as Pinglish or Paklish) is a normal occurrence in everyday Urdu speech. 

The English language and culture have imprinted deeply on Pakistani society, largely due to the historical colonial context of Pakistan. Remember that before it gained its independence in 1947, Pakistan was under British rule for many decades.

In this article, we’ll discuss two categories of English words used in the Urdu language: Pinglish/Paklish and loanwords. And because this language exchange goes both ways, we’ll also introduce you to some common Urdu words used in English. 

Let’s get started.

A Man Dressed in Pants and Shirt Waving Pakistani Flag Signifying Cultural Hybridity

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in Urdu Table of Contents
  1. Introduction to Pinglish / Paklish
  2. Pinglish Examples
  3. Loanwords vs. Pinglish
  4. How to Say These Names in Urdu
  5. English Words Derived From Urdu
  6. Conclusion

Introduction to Pinglish / Paklish

Language is a continuous phenomenon. In fact, it’s much like a living organism in that it evolves over time as the world around it changes and advances. This is especially noticeable in the fields of education, science, medicine, and technology, for example. 

With the rise of globalization, the Urdu language has come to accommodate, adapt, and assimilate a bunch of useful English words, creating a unique language hybrid: Pakistani English. 

Historical Development

The evolution of Pinglish didn’t happen overnight. Its roots can be traced back to the nineteenth century, when educationists and political activists (such as Sir Syed Ahmed Khan) motivated Muslims to learn English and use that knowledge as a medium of resistance against the colonial forces.

Impacts of Colonization

Colonization deeply affected the culture of the subcontinent, which in turn had an impact on the Urdu language. During the colonial era, people were discouraged from using the Urdu language and higher-ups in particular were encouraged to learn and use English. This resulted in an emerging comprador class that popularized English among Pakistanis at every level of society.

A Man Dressed in Clothing Reminding of the Colonial Era

Current Sociolinguistic Scenario in Pakistan

Keeping this historical context in view, it’s easy to see how the English language made its initial cultural inroads into Pakistani society. Pakistanis took pride in learning and using English, which served as a mode of communication in a variety of public and private sectors. 

This trend continues to date, and English is popular among the majority of Pakistanis today. Being able to speak English is seen as a status symbol in Pakistan. Over time, they have acclimatized the language according to their needs.

Pinglish Examples

Today, there are many English words used in Urdu across a variety of sectors and mediums, at every level of society. 

Pinglish refers to the mixing of English and Urdu words by Urdu speakers, and this mixing is often necessary when discussing certain topics. For example, Pinglish may be employed if an Urdu word does not exist for a specific concept (or vice-versa). 

In the following sections, we’ll introduce you to a few Pinglish words as well as important grammatical concepts related to Pinglish. 

Urdu Vocabulary Used in Pakistani English

As mentioned, Pakistanis often switch between English and Urdu while speaking in order to use the best words for a given context. When it comes to topics such as Islamic values and Pakistani culture, Urdu words are most often used because there are no suitable English words to describe them. 

Here are a few examples of Urdu words used when speaking Pinglish:

  • مدرسہ (madressa) – school
  • نماز (namaz) – prayers
  • مشاعرہ (mushaira) – a gathering of poets for a poetic rendition
  • بُزکشی (buzkushi) – a game of sheep-hunting

a Muslim Offering Namaz

Pinglish Grammar

In addition to vocabulary swapping, another common characteristic of Pinglish is the adaptation of English grammar rules when inflecting Urdu words. A great example of this is when Pakistanis add the ‘s’ sound to the end of an Urdu noun to make it plural:

  • جاگیردار (jagirdar) – “landlord” —-> جاگیردارز (jagirdars) – “landlords”
  • جلسہ (jalsa) – “meeting” —-> جلساز (jalsas) – “meetings”

The opposite also takes place, where Pakistanis use an English word and apply Urdu grammar rules to it. For example, one of the formulas for making a word plural in Urdu is to attach یں (ain) to the end:

  • آنکھ (aankh) – “eye” —-> آنکھیں (aankhain) – “eyes”

Pakistanis sometimes attach this suffix to English words to make them plural: 

  • کلاس (class) – “class” —-> کلاسیں (classain) – “classes”
  • میڈم (madam) – “madam” —-> میڈمیں (madmain) – “madams”
  • بال (ball) – “ball” —-> بالیں (ballain) – “balls”

Urdu Vocabulary Used for Abrogation

Sometimes, Pakistanis use an Urdu word even when there is a suitable English word available. This is especially common among Pakistani writers who do so as an act of abrogation or defiance, in order to strengthen the process of decolonization. 

Below are a few examples of words that some famous postcolonial writers have used in their fiction writing.

  • جشن (jashan) – festival
  • تھانہ (thana) – police station
  • میلہ (mela) – a Punjabi festival

Baisakhi: A Cultural Festival [Mela] of Punjab

Loanwords vs. Pinglish

So far, we have talked about the various manifestations of Pinglish. But now we will focus our attention on loanwords, which are English words commonly used in Urdu without any morphological or semantic changes. These words are taken directly from English and do not have a translation in Urdu. 

Below are some examples of English loanwords in Urdu you’re likely to come across. 

Food-Related Vocabulary

  • برگر (burger)
  • ہوٹل (hotel)
  • سینڈوچ (sandwich)
  • چاکلیٹ (chocolate)
  • چپس (chips)

Be sure to check out our Food vocabulary list to learn more relevant words! 

 Technology-Related Vocabulary

  • کمپیوٹر (computer)
  • ٹیلیویژن (television)
  • فریج (fridge)
  • فریزر (freezer)
  • اوون (oven)
  • موبائل (mobile)
  • انٹرنیٹ (internet)

 For more words, see our vocabulary list on Technology.

Film Industry-Related Vocabulary

  • فلم (film)
  • کیمرہ (camera)
  • مووی (movie)
  • فلم سیٹ (film set)
  • سینما (cinema)
  • تھیٹر (theater)

Are you a film buff? Here are some Useful Words and Phrases for Going to the Movies

A Movie Theater with the Curtains Drawn

More Loanwords

  • پیریڈ (parade)
  • پیٹرول (petrol)
  • نمبر (number)
  • سر (sir)
  • ریڈیو (radio)
  • ماسٹر (master)
  • فلائی اوور (flyover)

How to Say These Names in Urdu 

Having discussed a few intricacies of Pinglish, let’s divert our attention to a lighter subject. Have you ever wondered how Urdu pronunciation affects the way Pakistanis say Western names? Below are a few examples of how Pakistanis pronounce some of the most famous brand and personality names. 

چارلس (Char-las) – Charles

The name ‘Charles’ is given an Urdu touch by being pronounced with two syllables. 

لیڈی ڈیانا (Lady Da-ya-na) – Lady Diana

Despite Lady Diana being one of the most renowned Western celebrities in Pakistan, the majority of the population mispronounces her name. In this case, it’s often broken down into three syllables: ڈیانا (da-ya-na).

نائیکی (Nike-ee) – Nike

Nike is a famous brand in Pakistan, but is pronounced incorrectly as نائیکی (Nike-ee).

قلوپطرہ (Colo-pat-ra) – Cleopatra

The historically famous name ‘Cleopatra’ has been appropriated into Urdu as قلوپطرہ (Colo-pat-ra). As you can see, its Urdu pronunciation is quite different from its English one.

میڈم باوری (Madam Bav-ri) – Madame Bovary

The popular fictitious character ‘Madame Bovary’ becomes میڈم باوری (Madam Bav-ri) in Urdu.

English Words Derived From Urdu

Until now, we’ve discussed how colonization has affected the Urdu language and resulted in what we now know as Pinglish or Pakistani English. But did you know that there are plenty of English words borrowed from Urdu as well? 

During the colonial era, English administrators, missionaries, and travelers picked up certain oriental words and added them to their memoirs and travelogues. Many of these words became an integral part of the English language over time.

Here are just a few examples of common English words from Urdu: 

  • جنگل (jungle)
  • کمربند (cummerbund)
  • خاکی (khaki)
  • پاجامہ (pajama)
  • خوشی (cushy)
  • ٹھگ (thug)

Army Troops Wearing Khaki and Marching

Conclusion

In this article, we introduced you to the various dimensions of Pakistani English and even presented you with English words that originally came from Urdu. We hope you now feel more confident about your upcoming trip to Pakistan and that you’re better equipped to handle day-to-day conversations using Pinglish and loanwords. 

Are there any loanwords we forgot to mention? Or a name you would like to know the Urdu pronunciation of? Drop us a comment and we’ll get back to you! 

If you enjoyed this article, make sure to continue exploring UrduPod101.com. We are the best online platform for learning Urdu and studying Pakistani culture, offering our students a rich repository of resources on Urdu vocabulary, grammar, pronunciation, and more. Learn Urdu faster and easier than ever before, and start speaking from your first lesson. 

Very Happy Urdu Learning!

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The Colorful Corridor of Pakistan and its Culture

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Culture defines a nation’s society. Not only does it contextualize the multiple perspectives contained within that nation, but it also influences how people live, behave, engage, and communicate with others. As such, studying a nation’s culture will provide you with the framework you need to make the most of your travels there. It’s also a great opportunity to broaden your horizons by exploring cultural traits unfamiliar or foreign to you. 

While exploring the cultural background of Pakistan, you’ll find its society to be a montage of various cultural and ethnic values of different provinces. Its unique sociopolitical, gastronomic, cultural, historical, and artistic identities are certainly a sight to behold! 

In this Pakistani culture introduction, you’ll gain a wealth of information regarding Pakistan and its culture. We will cover a range of topics, from the political culture of Pakistan to its most popular foods and customs.

Let’s get started.

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in Urdu Table of Contents
  1. Values and Beliefs
  2. Philosophies and Religions
  3. Family and Work
  4. Art and Sports
  5. Food
  6. Traditional Holidays
  7. Conclusion

1. Values and Beliefs

Minar-e-Pakistan, a National Monument of Pakistan

While Pakistan is not a ‘melting pot’ nation, it does feature numerous provinces and sub-regional cultures with their own sets of traditions. This creates a kaleidoscope of customs that reflects our unity in diversity. Let’s take a look at how this ‘kaleidoscope’ applies to the values and beliefs held throughout Pakistan. 

A- The Cultural Kaleidoscope of Pakistan

What comes to mind when you think of the ‘typical’ Pakistani? A man wearing a شلوار، قمیض، شیروانی (shalwar, qameez, sherwani) and speaking the Urdu language? If so, you’re not necessarily wrong. But to really understand Pakistani culture and society, you must dig deeper. There is a lot of diversity to be discovered!

In Pakistan, each province contributes to enriching our cultural kaleidoscope without compromising its own unique indigenous identity. To give you a clearer picture of what this Pakistani cultural diversity looks like, let’s have a brief look at life in the different cultural regions throughout the Islamic Republic of Pakistan.

Punjab

Population-wise, پنجاب (Punjab) is Pakistan’s largest province. The language spoken here is Punjabi. It is customary for the men of Punjab to wear shalwar and qameez, though you can also find a large number of men wearing pants and a shirt in the metropolitan areas. Women wear شلوار، قمیض، دوپٹہ (shalwar, qameez, dupatta). Traditional men still cover their heads with a پگڑی (pagri), or turban.

Sindh

Sindh is another provincial unit of Pakistan with its own unique history, culture, and language. The language spoken here is Sindhi. In addition to the شلوار قمیض (shalwar, qameez) mentioned earlier, men of Sindh also wear a سندھی ٹوپی (Sindhi topi), or Sindhi cap, or a shawl called اجرک (ajrak). Like Punjabi women, Sindhi women also tend to wear شلوار، قمیض، دوپٹہ (shalwar, qameez, dupatta).

Balochistan

Territorially, Balochistan is the largest province of Pakistan. Due to its remoteness, it is quite orthodox and more traditional in its cultural approach. People in this region live in tribes, and the province’s indigenous language is Balochi. Men wear شلوار، قمیض، بلوچی پگڑی (shalwar, qameez, Balochi pagri), while women wear a headscarf, a long upper dress, and a shalwar

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa is the North-West Frontier Province of Pakistan, and it parallels the traditionalist and orthodox approach of Balochistan. Khyber Pakhtunkhwa also features a tribal system in which people prefer living in tribes and clans. Men wear شلوار، قمیض، پختون پگڑی (shalwar, qameez, Pakhtoon pagri) and women wear فراک پرتوگ (firaq partug), which is a Pashtun type of shalwar and qameez.

B- Motto & Slogan

Even though there is much diversity in the ways of living of these major provincial units, Pakistanis are bound together with a common motto and slogan. 

ایمان، اتحاد، تنظیم (Iman, Ittihad, Tanzeem) – Faith, Unity, Discipline

ایمان، اتحاد، تنظیم (Iman, Ittihad, Tanzeem) translates to “Faith, Unity, Discipline.” This motto has become the unifying force among Pakistanis. It was put forward by the nation’s founder, Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah, whom Pakistanis revere as the father of the nation.

پاکستان زندہ باد (Pakistan Zindabad)

The national slogan of Pakistan is پاکستان زندہ باد (Pakistan Zindabad), meaning “Long Live Pakistan.” It is customary to raise this slogan at all national festivities to ensure patriotism and strengthen the nation’s unity.

A Few People Holding Pakistani Flags in Their Hands in an Ecstatic Mood

2. Philosophies and Religions

Pakistani culture and traditions are largely influenced by our dominant religions and philosophical ideals. In this section, we’ll discuss the most important information regarding the topics of philosophy and religion in Pakistan. 

اسلامی جمہوریہ پاکستان (Islami Jamhooria Pakistan) – The Islamic Republic of Pakistan

Pakistan is an ideological country that attained independence in the name of Islam. Therefore, the country is named after the Islamic religion: اسلامی جمہوریہ پاکستان (Islami Jamhooriya Pakistan).

دو قومی نظریہ (Do Qaumi Nazria) – Two-Nations Theory

At the time of the decolonization of the subcontinent in 1947, Pakistan was encouraged to remain a part of the united sub-continent. However, Pakistanis had already defined their national philosophy in the form of the دو قومی نظریہ (do qomi nazriya), or “two-nations theory.” 

This theory states that Muslims are part of a separate nation from the Hindus. Further, it states that Muslims have a different religion, culture, and language from the Hindus, as well as distinct ways of worshipping and living. 

The two-nation theory was postulated and popularized by the father of the Pakistani nation, Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah.

A Portrait of the Founder of Pakistan, Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah, Probably on a Postal Stamp

An Ideal Islamic State/Sovereignty of Islam

Since Pakistan was founded on the ideology of Islam, it seeks guidance from the two Islamic sources: the Holy Quran and Hadith. The National Assembly of Pakistan passed the current Constitution of Pakistan on April 10, 1973. The constitution also seeks guidance from the Holy Quran and Hadith, and never contradicts them.

Freedom of Religion for Minorities

Despite being an Islamic state, Pakistan allows minorities to exercise full religious freedom in light of The Constitution of Pakistan. You will also see an inter-religious harmony in Pakistani society, refuting the narratives of fundamentalism.

3. Family and Work

Like in any country, family and work are two integral aspects of daily life in Pakistan. The institution of family, in particular, is a cementing force in Pakistani society. Let’s take a closer look.

A- The Joint Family System

In Pakistani culture, family life is largely centered on the joint family system. According to this system, several generations of a family live together under the same roof, with one person heading the household. While you may also find nuclear families in Pakistan, they are uncustomary and few in number. Nuclear families tend to be more popular in urban areas than in the countryside.


B- Friendship and Unmarried Couples

Because Pakistan is an Islamic country, you will not find opposite-sex friendships here. It is also illegal to move in with someone as a couple or friend if you’re not married to that person.

C- Government vs. Private Sector

Whether it’s a remnant from the Colonial era or due to some other reason, Pakistani people prefer to enter the civil services rather than the private sector in their work. In general, they associate civil services with the sense of security government jobs offer.

D- Work Ethics 

In Pakistan, you’ll find that most places have gender segregation. For this reason, there are separate work ethic expectations and protocols for both genders. For example, male employees may be asked to spend extra time at the office while a female employee would not face this situation.

4. Art and Sports

Art is part and parcel of any culture. As such, you would be hard-pressed to find a culture that doesn’t preserve its indigenous arts! Pakistani culture features a rich artistic history, and the country also has a strong presence in the sports world. Take a look.

A- Legacy of Mughal Art

Originating in the sixteenth century, the Mughal dynasty of the Muslim rulers contributed greatly to the cultural art of the sub-continent. After partition from India, Pakistan received a large heritage of Mughal art in different domains. The Mughals encouraged generous patronage to different art forms like music, architecture, painting, and calligraphy.

The Lahore Fort, a Building Reminiscent of the Mughal Architecture in Pakistan

B- Pakistani Music, Dramas, and Movies

After gaining its independence in 1947, Pakistan made great progress in its film, music, and TV industries. The dramas telecasted by the national TV channel of Pakistan (PTV) were widely popular among the neighboring countries because of their strong scripts and high standards of acting. The Pakistani film industry, named Lollywood, has gone through different boom and bane periods and is now struggling to once again raise its standard.

Classical and semi-classical are the most-praised forms of Pakistani music. Pakistan has produced many great names in these genres, including Ustad Mehdi Hasan Khan, Ustad Ghulam Ali Khan, and Madam Noor Jehan.

C- Calligraphy and Painting

Contemporary Pakistani artists have benefited from the legacy left behind by Mughal calligraphy and paintings, and have taken this legacy to the pinnacle of their careers. In the fields of calligraphy and painting, we must mention two names who greatly contributed to these fine arts: Sadequain and Chughtai. 

D- Pakistani Literature 

Pakistani culture finds its due representation in the domain of Pakistani literature. Pakistan has produced many poets, novelists, and dramatists of worldwide merit. To give you an idea of the most prominent names:

Poets

  • Faiz Ahmad Faiz
  • Ahmad Faraz
  • Muneer Niazi

Short Story Writers

  • Saadat Hasan Manto
  • Ghulam Abbas

Novelists

  • Abdullah Hussain
  • Mumtaz Mufti
  • Quratul-ain-Haider

Pakistani Literature Written in English

  • Taufiq Raffat
  • Ahmad Ali
  • Mohsin Hamid
  • Kamila Shamsi

Be sure to check out our vocabulary list for Talking About Books in Urdu to learn some useful vocabulary! 

E- Sports

Pakistanis are a sports-loving people. The average Pakistani is well-built, muscular, and loves physical activities. Hockey is the national sport of Pakistan; nevertheless, cricket is the most popular. Pakistan won the Cricket World Cup in 1992. کبڈی (kabaddi) and کشتی (kushti) are two other indigenous sports of Pakistan, both of them well-loved and often-played throughout the country. 

    → See our lesson on Sports to learn some relevant Urdu vocabulary—and to familiarize yourself with the top five sports in Pakistan.

5. Food

Pakistan can be described as a foodie nation. In Pakistani culture, food is considered one of life’s pleasures, and Pakistanis enjoy eating a good meal and arranging food-related festivities. Pakistani cuisine has a long list of specialties! Because we can’t list all of the delicacies here, we’ll just introduce you to the most popular ones. 

چکن/مٹن کڑاہی (Chicken/Mutton Karrahi)

To make this dish, the meat is fried right in front of the customer. Tomatoes, onions, ginger, chilis, and lemon are then added, in addition to a variety of spices including: coriander, pepper powder, cumin seeds, and red button chilis.

نهاری (Nihari)

The main ingredients in Nihari are meat, onion, ginger-garlic paste, chili paste, yogurt, and wheat flour. Coriander, cumin, cinnamon, salt, and cardamom give it a special aroma. Lemon and ginger make the best garnishes for this dish.

بریانی (Biryani)

Filled with the aroma of Pakistani Basmati rice, this dish is one of the most popular Desi main courses. To make this dish, rice is boiled in water and then combined with meat and cooked with the following ingredients: green chili paste, ginger-garlic paste, coriander, cumin, yogurt, black pepper, and bay leaf.

حلیم (Haleem)

The meat is cooked while mixing grains and lentils in with it. Spices like cumin, coriander, cardamom, and cinnamon are added later to add flavor and aroma.

چپلی کباب (Chapli Kabab)

This dish consists of minced mutton or beef (with a reasonable amount of fat in it) that is deep-fried in boiling oil. Other ingredients include onion, ginger, garlic, tomato, coriander, and chilis.

A Traditional Pakistani Delicacy: Chapli Kabab

6. Traditional Holidays

While visiting Pakistan, you’ll notice that Pakistanis celebrate many holidays of religious significance. However, there are also a few holidays that are more secular in nature. Let’s take a look.

یومِ آزادی (Youm-e-Azadi) – Independence Day

August 14 is a national holiday to commemorate the Independence Day of Pakistan. The country received its independence on August 14, 1947.عیدین (Eidain)

A Father and Son Embracing Each Other at the Sight of the Moon in the Background

Pakistanis celebrate three عیدین (Eidain), or Eids, at different times of the year.

عیدالفطر (Eid-ul-fitr) is celebrated after the completion of the holy month of Ramadan on the first day of the Islamic month Shawwal. عیدالاضحٰی (Eid-ul-azha) is celebrated on the tenth of Zilhaj. Pakistanis normally get three days of holiday for both of these Eids. 

The final Eid celebrates the birthday of the Holy Prophet Hazrat Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him). This is a public holiday celebrated on the twelfth of the holy month of Rabi-ul-awwal. It’s called عید میلاد النبی (Eid Milad-ul-nabi).

The Mosque of Holy Prophet Hazrat Muhammad [Peace Be Upon Him]

 (Ashur)

Ashur is a public holiday celebrated on the tenth of the Islamic month of Moharam to commemorate the martyrdom of Hazrat Imam Hussain, the grandson of the Holy Prophet Hazrat Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him).

یومِ یکجہتئ کشمیر (Youm-e-Yakjehti E Kashmir) – Kashmir Solidarity Day

Every year on February 5, Pakistanis observe this public holiday to exhibit solidarity with the Indian-occupied Kashmiris and to help them achieve their right of self-determination.

یومِ مزدور (Youm-e-mazdoor) – Labor Day

On May 1, all public and private offices and institutions remain closed.

یومِ پاکستان (Youm-e-Pakistan) – Pakistan Day

March 23 is a national holiday to commemorate the historic achievement of the Muslims of the sub-continent on this particular date in 1940. The Muslims of the sub-continent passed the Resolution of Pakistan on this date at the historical Minto Park Lahore.  

7. Conclusion

In this guide to Pakistani culture, you’ve learned a lot of practical information that you can start applying to your language studies or travel plans right away. Did we forget to bring up any particular detail about Pakistan? If you have any questions, feel free to ask us in the comments; we’ll get back to you as soon as possible! 

In the meantime, don’t forget to explore UrduPod101.com to benefit from this extremely rich repository of Urdu language learning resources. Here, you’ll have access to a variety of useful Urdu linguistic resources, including an Urdu dictionary, pronunciation tips, vocabulary lists, and grammar lessons. We also aim to include practical cultural information in each of our lessons, so you can get a more immersive learning experience.

Very Happy Urdu Learning!

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Let’s Take a Tour of Some Mouthwatering Pakistani Foods

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We’ve all heard the cliché that the way to a man’s heart is through his stomach. 

But are you familiar with the following words from George Bernard Shaw? 

There is no love sincerer than the love of food. 

Or these from Virginia Woolf? 

“One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well.”

Considering the significant role that food plays in our lives, we’ve decided to compose an entire article dedicated to Pakistani food and cuisine. In this article, you’ll learn about a variety of traditional Pakistani dishes, from Pakistani street food to recipes you can make at home. You’ll also discover some facts about Pakistani food culture and pick up essential food-related vocabulary. 

Let’s dig in.

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Let's Cook in Urdu Table of Contents
  1. Must-Try Dishes in Pakistani Restaurants
  2. Unique Pakistani Foods
  3. Food-Related Vocabulary
  4. Cultural Tips Regarding Food in Pakistan
  5. Conclusion

1. Must-Try Dishes in Pakistani Restaurants

A superb way to begin is with some widely popular Desi dishes of Pakistan. You’ll find them available at just about any Pakistani restaurant, with few exceptions.

چکن/مٹن کڑاہی (Chicken/Mutton Karahi)

Chicken or mutton Karahi is one of the most popular main courses in Pakistani restaurants. Karahi refers to the cookware the meal is cooked (and sometimes also served) in. It’s a metal pan, often made of iron, with a flattened base.

The meat (either chicken or mutton) is fried in an open fire until tender, usually right in front of the customers. Seeing the meat cooked in front of you makes the dish more desirable. The main ingredients include: 

  • Chicken/Mutton (cut into small pieces)
  • Tomatoes
  • Onions
  • Ginger
  • Chilis
  • Lemon 

Common spices include coriander, pepper powder, cumin seeds, and red button chilis.

The meat can be served with butter, and many Desi foodies love to have it cooked in desi ghee which makes the meal very authentically Desi. The best time to have this dish is in the evening, though it’s also served in the afternoon.

Of course, روٹی (roti) and نان (naan) are Pakistani food staples that will always be present at the table. Enjoy your karahi with a crispy Roti or Nan.

Chicken Karahi recipe

Karahi Dish

 (Nihari)

Nihari, another Desi delicacy, is said to have been the recipe of the eighteenth century. It’s associated with the Nawabs of the Indian subcontinent. Since, etymologically, the word is derived from the Urdu word نہار (nihar) meaning “morning,” it’s clear to see that the best time to enjoy this dish is in the morning at breakfast time.

On average, it takes 6-8 hours to cook beef Nihari, though the time frame may change for lamb or chicken. This dish’s main ingredients are:

  • Meat
  • Onion
  • Ginger-garlic paste
  • Chili paste
  • Yogurt
  • Wheat flour

The main spices are coriander, cumin, cinnamon, salt, and cardamom. Lemon, ginger, and coriander can also be used as tasty garnishes.

Nihari recipe

 (Biryani)

The first two Pakistani dishes we described are served with Roti or Nan. Now, let’s move toward something a little different: Biryani. This is a frequent main course in Pakistani homes and restaurants, easily identified by the unique aroma of Pakistani Basmati rice.

Its main ingredient is rice boiled in water, and you can add chicken, mutton, or beef depending on your preferences. This dish features a range of flavors from spices like: 

  • Green chili paste
  • Ginger-garlic paste
  • Coriander
  • Cumin
  • Yogurt
  • Black pepper
  • Bay leaf

Note that this dish has a completely different taste and texture when cooked in the cauldron! 

Biryani recipe

Biryani Dish

 (Haleem)

Haleem is another must-eat Pakistani Desi dish. Beef is usually the main ingredient, but you can replace it with chicken or mutton. This dish also includes grains and lentils, including rice, mixed lentils, barley, and wheat. 

Cumin, coriander, cardamom, and cinnamon are commonly used to flavor haleem. Popular garnishes include chopped ginger, fried onion, green chilis, and lemon wedges.

Haleem recipe

 (Sajji)

It’s not unusual to see whole chickens being barbecued at small ‘Sajji corners’ throughout Pakistan. Sajji is a common delicacy everywhere in the country. That said, you should expect a little bit of variation in the recipe and ingredients depending on the region.

Originally, Sajji was a Balochi dish from the nomads of Balochistan. But today, it’s just as popular among Pakistanis all over the country. 

Sajji is barbecued on the coals; a whole chicken is grilled on the fire and served with a great deal of simplicity, with or without fried rice. Other ingredients and spices used in this simple meal include: 

  • Vinegar
  • Ginger-garlic paste
  • Black pepper
  • Cardamom
  • Cumin
  • Coriander
  • Garlic
  • Cinnamon

Sajji recipe

 (Chapli Kabab)

The authentic Pakistani cuisine item chapli kabab, also called Chappal kabab, is a delicacy of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (the Northern Western province of Pakistan). The city of Peshawar is the most famous place to order chapli kabab in the country. 

The most important ingredient in this dish is mince of mutton or beef, preferably with a reasonable amount of fat. Other essentials include:

  • Onion
  • Ginger
  • Garlic
  • Tomato
  • Coriander
  • Chilis 

After marinating the mixture for an hour or two, the kababs are ready to be fried and enjoyed. They’re typically served with Naan or Roti.

The unique flavor and aroma of these kababs distinguish them from the rest!

Chapli Kabab recipe

Chapli Kebab

 (Hareesa)

Another popular Desi Pakistani recipe, Hareesa consists of a meat, porridge, and lentil mixture. This dish demands patience; it’s cooked slowly and requires constant stirring.

Beef is the ideal meat for this delicacy, though people may use lamb or chicken instead. It’s also worth noting that three types of lentils are used: channa, moong, and maash

Although it looks like gravy, Hareesa is ultimately unique from other Desi gravies in its taste and texture. When it’s ready, some chefs add kababs or koftas (meatballs) to it to make it thicker. It’s then served with Roti or Naan.

Hareesa recipe

 (Paye)

One of the most popular Pakistani cuisine dishes, paye (goat/calf trotters) are often served as the main course at breakfast. This delicacy is normally eaten during winter, but it’s easily available year-round as it’s never out of demand. To prepare it, one uses goat/cow trotters and spices them with: 

  • Coriander
  • Red chili
  • Ginger-garlic paste
  • Onions
  • Oil
  • Salt

You can get ready-to-cook paye in any meat market in Pakistan. This delicacy tastes best when served fresh with lemon wedges, green coriander, and green chilis for garnish.

Paye recipe

2. Unique Pakistani Foods

Having discussed some finger-licking main course Desi Pakistani dishes, let’s expand your knowledge of Pakistani food culture. Below is a list of unique Pakistani foods that are typically used as side dishes, appetizers, desserts, or staples to be eaten with certain main course dishes.

پراٹھہ (Paratha)

In Pakistan, paratha is a staple food that can be used with curry in place of Roti or Naan. It can also be stuffed with potatoes or mince and eaten as a main course. It’s made by kneading wheat flour and frying it in oil or desi ghee on a traditional tawa (a Desi utensil).

Paratha

 (Lassi)

Lassi is a traditional Pakistani drink, usually taken alongside breakfast. It’s prepared by blending yogurt, milk, butter, and sugar or salt.

Glasses of Lassi

 (Halwa Poori)

While visiting Pakistan, never miss Halwa Poori at breakfast; it’s a real exotic specialty of Pakistani cuisine. This typical Desi breakfast consists of fried bread served with the traditional sweet dish halwa. A curry of chickpeas (channay) is another integral part of this meal.

Halwa Poori

 (Gol Gappay)

For those who love spicy foods, Gol Gappay is a must-try dish. You’ll enjoy the hollow, ball-like fried Poori with the tamarind drink. You may fill the Poori with boiled chickpeas or aloo-chat to discover a range of flavors.

 (Sweets/Desserts)

We can’t forget dessert. Never underestimate the power of Pakistani sweets—they’re good enough to challenge any main course! There are three Pakistani desserts you really need to try on your visit:

1.  جلیبی (Jalebi)

Jalebi consists of maida flour batter that’s been fried in a circular shape and then dipped in sugar syrup. This usually red-colored Pakistani sweet is a treat for the eyes and the tongue! We recommend you treat your taste buds to it during your visit.

2.  رس ملائی (Ras Malai)

Ras Malai (roughly translated to “juicy cream” in English) is a Desi Pakistani dessert consisting of milk, sugar, cream, cardamom, saffron, and pistachio.

3. گلاب جامُن (Gulab Jamun)

Gulab Jamun is known as the national sweet of Pakistan. It’s prepared with dried milk (khoya), oil, and flour (maida). It’s dipped in sugar syrup and flavors such as saffron, rose water, and cardamom are added to it.

3. Food-Related Vocabulary

Now that you’re good and hungry for Desi Pakistani cuisine, it’s time to jump into some practical vocabulary. We’ll cover phrases you can use during conversations or at the restaurant, as well as other food-related words you should know!

    → For even more words and their pronunciation, you can visit our Food vocabulary list.

Basic Phrases

مجھے سخت بھوک لگی ہے۔
Mujhe sakht bhook lagi hai.
I am very hungry.

مجھے بھوک نہیں ہے۔
Mujhe bhook nahi hai.
I am not hungry.

مجھے لسّی پسند ہے۔
Mujhe lassi pasand hai.
I like lassi.

مجھے سلاد پسند نہیں ہے۔
Mujhe salaad pasand nahi hai.
I don’t like salad.

میں گوشت نہیں کھاتا۔
Mei gosht nahi khata.
I don’t eat meat.

مجھے سی فوڈ سے الرجی ہے۔
Mujhe seafood se allergy hai.
I am allergic to seafood.

میرا پسندیدہ کھانا پلاؤ ہے۔
Mera pasandeeda khana pulao hai.
My favorite dish is pulao.

Ingredients

Whether you plan on reading through some Pakistani food recipes in Urdu or just want to add to your core vocabulary, these ingredient words will come in handy.

  • چینی (cheeni) – sugar
  • نمک (namak) – salt
  • لال مرچ (lal mirch) – red chili
  • کالی مرچ (kaali mirch) – pepper
  • تیل (teil) – oil
  • دودھ (doodh) – milk
  • پانی (pani) – water
  • آٹا (aata) – flour
  • پھل (phal) – fruit
  • گوشت (gosht) – meat
  • سبزی (sabzi) – vegetable

Utensils

You should also be familiar with the names of common cooking utensils:

  • کڑاہی (karrahi) – a type of Desi cooking pan
  • تندور (tandoor) – a type of Desi oven
  • دیگ (deig) – cauldron
  • چاقو (chaqoo) – knife

To learn more utensil-related vocabulary, please visit our vocabulary list for Talking About Utensils and Tableware in Urdu

Cooking Verbs

Here are a few cooking verbs you’ll come across often in recipes:

  • پکانا (pakana) – to cook
  • تلنا (talna) – to fry
  • کاٹنا (katna) – to cut
  • چیلنا (cheelna) – to peel

You can find more useful words and their pronunciations on our list of Essential Vocabulary About Cooking

How to Order at a Restaurant

Learn the following Urdu sentences to impress the crew of a Pakistani restaurant with your Urdu speaking skills.

مینو لائیں۔
menu layain
Bring the menu.

آپ کھانا کتنی دیر میں لاؤ گے؟
aap khana kitni der mei lao gey?
How much time will you take to bring food?

بِِل لے آئیں۔
bill le ayain.
Bill, please.

To learn more relevant phrases, please visit our list of the Most Useful Phrases and Vocabulary for Ordering Food in Urdu.

4. Cultural Tips Regarding Food in Pakistan

Because Pakistan is an Islamic country, it has some cultural specificities concerning food. Let’s wade through these customs together so you can become familiar with them and respect them while in Pakistan.

Remember to Ask for Hilal Food Only

Pakistani society is traditionally orthodox and Islamic, so you should never ask for any food item that’s not Hilal. If you insist on doing so, you’ll have to face the music. We recommend that you don’t do this under any circumstances.

Hospitality in Pakistan

Because Pakistan is a tradition-bound society, you’ll find that the majority of the population follows the tradition of hospitality. If you’re a guest, they’ll go out of their way to entertain you. 

On a side note, if you have a Pakistani host who has invited you to a meal, do not try to pay the bill. He will take this as a token of discourtesy.

5. Conclusion

In this article, you’ve learned about the most popular Pakistani foods, relevant vocabulary, and crucial Pakistani food customs.

Are you ready to order your favorite Pakistani dish in Urdu? Have we answered all your questions? If we missed anything, please let us know in the comments and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible.

Continue exploring UrduPod101.com to speed up your Urdu language learning process. Our website is a huge compendium of Urdu language learning resources that will prove useful in improving your Urdu vocabulary, pronunciation, grammar, and more.

Very Happy Urdu Learning!

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A Concise Guide to Urdu Grammar

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Edgar Allan Poe believed, “A man’s grammar, like Caesar’s wife, should not only be pure, but above suspicion of impurity.” 

If you want to sanctify your Urdu grammar, you’re in the right place.

The structure of every language hinges upon its grammar. Having a basic understanding of a language’s grammar allows learners to fine-tune their listening comprehension and use the language clearly and accurately.

On this page, UrduPod101.com will inspire you to learn Urdu grammar in full by providing you with comprehensive overviews of the Urdu grammar basics and showing you how everything falls together.

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in Urdu Table of Contents
  1. The Urdu Script and Transliteration System
  2. Urdu Syntax and Word Order
  3. Verbs and Tenses
  4. Nouns
  5. Pronouns
  6. Adjectives
  7. Negation
  8. Interrogation
  9. Conclusion

1. The Urdu Script and Transliteration System

Urdu is a complete language with a unique script. It borrows its script from two widely popular oriental languages: Persian and Arabic. خطِ نستعلیق (khat-e-Nastaliq) is the standard Urdu writing system, which emerged from a mixture of two different writing scripts called Naskh and Talique. As a rule, you’ll find it written from right to left (instead of left to right, like in English). This writing script includes thirty-eight letters and ten vowel marks (called airaabs).


2. Urdu Syntax and Word Order

As an English speaker, you’re probably used to the SVO (Subject + Verb + Object) word order. Well, in Urdu grammar, sentences follow the SOV (Subject + Object + Verb) order, where the verb and object switch places.

Urdu is called a ‘verb final’ language because, syntactically, the verb comes at the end of the sentence.

To understand this properly, have a look at the following example:

میں چائے پیتا ہوں۔
mei chaye peeta hun.
Subject + Object + Verb

In English, this sentence would be:

I take tea.
Subject + Verb + Object

The word order will take some getting used to, but with enough practice and exposure, it will become second-nature to you.

Apple-cinnamon Tea

I take tea.

3. Verbs and Tenses

In Urdu grammar, verbs are rather complex. That said, it’s generally best to start learning the Urdu verbs in their basic (infinitive) form.

Urdu Infinitives

Urdu infinitives always end with نا (na):

  •  بولنا (bolna) – “to speak”
  • ہنسنا (hansna) – “to laugh”
  •  دوڑنا (dodhna) – “to run”

See our article on the 100+ Must-Know Urdu Verbs on UrduPod101.com to learn the most common verbs and how to use them.

The Conjugation of Urdu Verbs

Once you’ve learned a good number of Urdu infinitives, you’ll be better placed to start learning how to conjugate them. We’ll admit that Urdu verb conjugation is pretty complex, but there are several keys to it that will make the process simpler for you over time.

Urdu verbs conjugate according to the tense, person, number, gender, and mood. For the purposes of this overview, we’ll discuss the two most important factors: tense and gender.

Tenses

In Urdu grammar, tenses affect conjugation in a consistent manner. To see what we mean, study the example given below.

سونا (sona) is the base for the Urdu verb that means “to sleep.” Now, let’s have a look at how it conjugates in the present, past, and future simple tenses.

وہ سوتا ہے۔
woh sota hai.
“He sleeps.”

وہ سویا۔
woh soya.
“He slept.”

وہ سوئے گا۔
woh soye ga.
“He will sleep.”

A Baby Comfortably Sleeping in a Blanket

Gender

Gender also plays a vital role in the conjugation of Urdu verbs. Let’s see how gender affects the conjugation of سونا (sona), or “to sleep.”

Male:

میں سوتا ہوں۔
mein sota hun.
“I sleep.”

Female:

میں سوتی ہوں۔
mein soti hun.
“I sleep.”

You can see that the English translation of the sentence remains the same, while the gender of the subject has conjugated the verb in Urdu.

To learn everything about verb conjugation in Urdu, visit our Urdu Verb Conjugation article on UrduPod101.com.

The Symbols of Male and Female Genders Drawn on a Blackboard

4. Nouns

Now that we’ve talked about verbs and their conjugation, let’s spend some time discussing the Urdu nouns.

Every Noun Has a Gender 

Remember: In Urdu, every noun has a gender. This means that it’s necessary for foreigners to learn the nouns with their proper gender. 

For example:

  • کرسی (kursi) – “chair” [feminine]
  • میز (maze) – “table” [masculine]

Once you acquire the skill of using Urdu nouns properly, it means that you’ve covered a long distance in your learning and aren’t very far away from total mastery!

Chairs and a Table, Probably a Kitchen’s Furniture

Noun Types and Placement in Sentences

The two basic noun types in Urdu are: 

  • اسمِ نکرہ (isme nakirah) – “common noun”
  • اسمِ معرفہ (isme marfa) – “proper noun” 

They play the same roles in Urdu as their counterparts do in English. Normally, Urdu nouns are placed between the subject and verb of a sentence.

To know more on this topic, read our Urdu Nouns article on UrduPod101.com.

5. Pronouns

Just like English pronouns, Urdu pronouns play a significant role in the structure and function of sentences. They replace nouns that are mentioned more than once in order to avoid repetition.

Basic Types of Urdu Pronouns

Urdu uses many of the same pronoun types as English does. For example, you’ll find the following groups in Urdu:

  • ضمیر متکلم (zameer mutkallam) – “first person”
  • ضمیر حاضر (zameer hazir) – “second person”
  • ضمیر غائب (zameer ghayab) – “third person”

The Special Case of تم (tum) and آپ (aap)

In Pakistan, always be vigilant when using the second person pronoun “you,” which can be translated two ways: آپ (aap) and تم (tum). You must use the former with people you don’t know, the elderly, or those who are above you in status; it sounds the most respectful and formal. Use the latter only if you’ve developed a high level of intimacy with the other person. Otherwise, you may face some serious repercussions.

To explore this topic further, read our Urdu Pronoun article on UrduPod101.com.

A Woman Raising Her Finger to a Man in Anger

6. Adjectives

Like those in English, Urdu adjectives describe nouns and thus are a crucial element of Urdu grammar. Let’s have a cursory look at the nature and function of Urdu adjectives.

The first thing that you must learn is that the gender of an adjective is determined by the noun:  

  • گہرا دریا (gehra darya) – “deep river”
  • گہری نہر (gehri nehar) – “deep canal”

In the first example, the adjective گہرا (gehra) is used in masculine form because the noun دریا (darya) is masculine. In the second example, the adjective گہری (gehri) is used in feminine form because the noun نہر (nehar) is feminine. Thus, you can see how Urdu adjectives must agree in gender with the noun they describe.

Also remember that Urdu adjectives are normally placed before the nouns they describe. 

7. Negation

In the Urdu language, نہیں (nahi) and نہ (nah) are the most important words of negation. They are equivalent to “no” or “not” in English. Being able to use these words of negation in your own Urdu sentences is a huge milestone, as it will allow you to communicate more complex thoughts. 

Here are a couple of examples of how these words can be used:

یہ نہ کرو۔
yeh na karo.
“Don’t do this.”

میں تم سے ناراض نہیں ہوں۔
mein tum se naraz nahi hun.
“I am not angry with you.”

A Girl Gesturing to Negate and Decline Something

8. Interrogation

You can hardly imagine a conversation without questions, right? Let’s look at how to form questions in Urdu! 

Words of Interrogation

The first step is to memorize the question words in Urdu. These are:

  • کیا (kia) – “what”
  • کیوں (kyun) – “why”
  • کب (kab) – “when”
  • کہاں (kahan) – “where”
  • کیسے (kaise) – “how”

Using These Words in Questions

Got it? Great! Then let’s see how to form interrogative sentences with them. 

You can form questions by placing the appropriate question word at the beginning of the sentence or after the subject. 

کیا تم خوش ہو؟
kia tum khush ho?
“Are you happy?”

 تم کیسے ہو؟
tum kaise ho?
“How are you?”

تم کیوں ناراض ہو؟
tum kyun naraz ho?
“Why are you angry?”

تم کہاں ہو؟
tum kahan ho?
“Where are you?”

تم کب آؤ گے؟
tum kab aaoge?
“When will you come?”

A Boy Gesturing to Ask a Question

9. Conclusion

We’ve now guided you on the basic Urdu grammar rules. You can always use this concise Urdu grammar guide as a quick reference point for your Urdu learning in the future. 

How do you feel so far? If you have any questions or concerns about something we covered here, don’t hesitate to let us know! We’ll be glad to help you out. And if you feel like you need to go over this information with fresh eyes, check out our lesson Painless Urdu Grammar

If you enjoyed this lesson and want to learn more with us, feel free to explore UrduPod101.com. We are a rich repository of Urdu language learning resources designed to enhance your Urdu vocabulary, pronunciation, and other relevant skills.

Very Happy Urdu Learning! 

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The Top 30 Urdu Quotes for Language Learners

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Have you ever encountered a quote that moved you to think more deeply about something or motivated you to start walking another path in life? Quotes can be very influential, spurring individuals and even entire communities into action.

Quotes from different language backgrounds reflect the socio-cultural norms and values of different nations. Luckily for you as a language learner, the Urdu language in particular is quite rich in the field of quotes, with many Pakistani people opting to express themselves through popular Urdu quotes when the situation allows for it.

In this article, you’ll learn a variety of Urdu quotes on life, as well as life’s many aspects and experiences. 

Are you ready? Then let’s get to it.

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in Urdu Table of Contents
  1. Quotes About Wisdom
  2. Quotes About Struggle and Success
  3. Quotes About Life
  4. Quotes About Time
  5. Quotes About Love
  6. Quotes About Family and Friends
  7. Some Funny Quotes
  8. Conclusion

1. Quotes About Wisdom

In Pakistani society, wisdom and foolishness are common topics of conversation. Here are a few Urdu quotes that touch on the topic!

#1

(ہم تعلیم خرید سکتے ہیں لیکن عقل خدا کا عطا کردہ تحفہ ہے۔ (سعادت حسن منٹو 

hum taleem khareed sakte hain lekin aqal khuda ka ata karda tohfa hai. (Saadat Hasan Manto)

“We can buy education, but wisdom is the gift of God.” (Saadat Hasan Manto)

This quote by Saadat Hasan Manto—a famous Pakistani short story writer—indicates that wisdom and education are not one and the same, and that wisdom is far superior to education. While you can buy education, true wisdom is endowed by God Almighty. 

#2

عقلمند ہے وہ شخص جو انجام سوچ کر کام کرے۔ (حضرت علی) 

Aqal mand hai woh shakhs jo anjaam soch kar kaam kare. (Hazrat Ali)

“Wise is the person who thinks about the result before doing something.” (Hazrat Ali)

This is an Islamic quote by Hazrat Ali, the fourth caliph of Islam. It highlights the foresightedness of a sage, and it can be used to compliment someone who anticipates the aftermath of a deed—or to admonish those who act without thought of the future. It’s a near equivalent of the English quote, “Think before you leap.”

 #3

 مصیبت اگر انسان کو دولتمند نہیں تو عقلمند ضرور بنا دیتی ہے۔

museebat agar insaan ko dolatmand nahi to aqal mand zaroor bana deti hai.

“Adversity makes a person wise if not wealthy.”

You can use this particular quote to console someone who is facing hard times.

#4 

عقلمند اپنے عیب خود دیکھتا ہے اور بیوقوف کے عیب دنیا دیکھتی ہے۔ (شیخ سعدی) 

Aqal mand apne aib ko khud dekhta hai aur bewaqoof ka aaeb dunya dekhti hai. (Sheikh Saadi)

“A wise person looks at his vices himself and the vices of fools are seen by others.” (Sheikh Saadi)

This quote is by Sheikh Saadi, another renowned Muslim scholar. You can use it to ridicule a foolish person who is unable to identify their vices, or to applaud someone for their ability to do so.  

2. Quotes About Struggle and Success

Spend enough time in Pakistan, and you’re likely to hear a few inspirational quotes in Urdu. Life can get tough, and these uplifting words can make all the difference. 


#5

انسان کے لئے وہی کچھ ہے جس کے لئے وہ کوشش کرے۔ (القرآن)

insaan ke liye wohi kuch hai jis ke liye wo koshish kare. (Al-Quraan)

“A man gets only what he strives for.” (Al-Quraan)

This quote is perfect for boosting someone’s morale! The quote also takes precedence over the others in this section because of its religious background, being taken from The Holy Quran.

 #6

 محنت اتنی خاموشی سے کرو کہ تمھاری کامیابی شور مچا دے۔

mehnat itni khamoshi se karo ke tumhari kamyabi shor macha de.

“Work hard in silence and let your success make the noise.”

This Urdu quote is a near equivalent of the English saying, “Actions speak louder than words.” It indicates that if you keep working hard, a day will come when your success becomes obvious to others.

#7

بڑی منزلوں کے مسافر چھوٹا دل نہیں رکھتے۔ (وااصف علی واصف) 

badhi manzilon ke musafir chota dil nahi rakhte. (Wasif Ali Wasif)

“Those destined for greater destinations keep a bigger heart.” (Wasif Ali Wasif)

This quote is a near equivalent of, “Not failure, but low aim, is a crime.” It comes from the pen of famous Urdu scholar Wasif Ali Wasif. It means that one should never aim for lower goals and to keep the target and objectives high.

#8

 ذرا نم ہو تو یہ مٹی بڑی ذرخیز ہے ساقی (علامہ اقبال)

zara num ho to yeh matti bari zarkhez hai saqi.(Allama Iqbal)

“This soil is very fertile; just a drop of water is needed.” (Allama Iqbal)

This quote was penned by the national poet of Pakistan, Doctor Allama Muhammad Iqbal. It describes the presence of potential talent in someone that, with only a little circumstantial prompting, will grow into something spectacular. It’s used when someone with limited resources brings extraordinary achievements.

A Man Waving His Arm in the Air Upon Reaching the Top of a Mountain

3. Quotes About Life

The world over, people have been trying to pinpoint the meaning of life and our existence. Read through these thought-provoking quotes about life in Urdu to gain some cultural perspective on how Pakistanis view this phenomenon. 

#9

زندگی خود راستے بناتی ہے، راستے زندگی نہیں بناتے۔ (سعادت حسن منٹو) 

zindagi khud raaste banati hai, raaste zindagi nahi banate. (Saadat Hasan Manto)

“Life determines its course, courses do not determine life.” (Saadat Hasan Manto)

Saadat Hasan Manto’s quote refers to life as the driving force in determining one’s course. It doesn’t matter which way you choose to go, because life has its plans to execute.

A Straight Road Showing a Path with Some Clouds in the Sky

#10

 زندگی ریاضی کا سوال نہیں جس کا جواب معلوم ہو سکے۔ (واصف علی واصف)

zindagi riyazi ka sawal nahi jis ka jawab maloom ho sake.(Wasif Ali Wasif)

“Life is not a question of mathematics where the answer must be known.” (Wasif Ali Wasif)

This quote explains the enigmatic nature of life. It emphasizes that life is not a mathematical problem that has a definite answer. You can use this quote whenever you’re facing inexplicable circumstances.

#11

 زندگی جبرِ مسلسل کی طرح کاٹی ہے جانے کس جرم کی پائی ہے سزا یاد نہیں (ساغر صدیقی)

 zindagi jabre musalsal ki tarah kaati hai jaane kis jurm ki paayi hai saza yaad nahi. (Saghar Siddiqui)

“I have spent my life like a continuous coercion; I don’t know why I have been punished.” (Saghar Siddiqui)

In Pakistan, people often quote poetic couplets in conversation. This couplet is from the very famous Urdu poet Saghir Siddiqui. It speaks of the tyranny of life, with the poet crying about his continuous sufferings and lamenting for his punishment of an unknown crime. You can use this couplet to comment on the sufferings of someone else or to underline your own sufferings.

#12

زندگی ہے یا کوئی طوفان ہے

zindagi hai ya koi toofan hai

“Is it my life or some kind of a storm?”

This is another popular couplet, often used to comment on the cruelty of life. 

4. Quotes About Time

Time is priceless, and Pakistanis have quite a lot to say on the matter. Read through the following Urdu quotes about time to gain some cultural perspective!

An Old Solar Metallic Clock – Suggestive of Hard Times

#13

وقت اچھا بھی آئے گا ناصر غم نہ کر زندگی پڑی ہے ابھی (ناصر کاظمی) 

waqt acha bhi aaye gaa nasir gham na kar zindagi parhi hai abhi. (Nasir Kazmi)

“The time will change (Mr. Nasir), there is still a long way to go in this life.” (Nasir Kazmi)

The well-renowned Pakistani poet Nasir Kazmi penned this couplet, in which he forbids sorrow and states that the good times will soon follow, and that life is very long. You can use this quote whenever you want someone to be more hopeful and optimistic.  

#14

 وقت تو وقت پر بدلتا ہے لیکن انسان کسی بھی وقت بدل سکتا ہے۔

waqt to waqt per badalta hai lekin insaan kisi bhi waqt badal sakta hai.

“Time changes at its time but a person can change any time.”

This Urdu quote is used to complain about the transient nature of human beings. It accentuates the fact that time changes over a specified period, but human beings are fickle and may change spontaneously. You can use this quote when someone betrays or disappoints you.

#15

 مشکل وقت سبھی پر آتا ہے کوئی بکھر جاتا ہے کوئی نکھر جاتا ہے۔

mushkil waqt sabhi per aata hai koi bikhar jaata hai koi nikhar jaata hai

“Everyone passes through hard times; some get scattered while the others survive to shine.”

This is the type of quote a leader may use to console an audience and encourage them to pass through an ordeal with dignity to come out victorious.

#16

وقت، اعتبار اور عزت ایسے پرندے ہیں جو اڑ جائیں تو واپس نہیں آتے۔

waqt, aitbaar aur izzat aisay parinde hain jo udh jayain to wapas nahi aate.

“Time, trust, and respect are like those birds that do not return after they fly away once.”

This quote means that you can trust someone only once; after you have been betrayed or let down, that trust vanishes forever.

5. Quotes About Love

Love is universal, and you’ll find a huge collection of love quotes in the Urdu language. Here are just a few of our favorites.


Two Heart-Shaped Balloons Flying in the Skies Signifying Love

#17

مانگی ہوئی محبت کا مزہ بگڑی ہوئی شراب جیسا ہوتا ہے۔ (بانو قدسیہ) 

mangi hui mohabbat ka maza bigdhi hui sharaab jaisa hota hai. (Bano Qudsia)

“If you beg for love, it will taste like a spoiled wine.” (Bano Qudsia)

This Urdu quote on love is often used to admonish someone who is ready to start begging for love. It reminds that person of how distasteful such love is.

#18

ستاروں سے آگے جہاں اور بھی ہیں ابھی عشق کے امتحاں اور بھی ہیں (علامہ اقبال) 

sitaron se aagey jahan aur bhi hain abhi ishq ke imtihaan aur bhi hain. (Allama Iqbal)

“There are other worlds beyond the stars, and there are still more tests to go in love.” (Allama Iqbal)

Pakistanis often utter this couplet when they see a lover struggling in a romantic relationship.

#19

 زمین کے سفر میں اگر کوئی چیز آسمانی ہے تو وہ محبت ہے۔

zameen ke safar mei agar koi cheez aasmani hai to woh mohabbat hai.

“The only heavenly thing in this journey of earth is love.”

This quote touches on the heavenly nature of love and declares it to be something that doesn’t actually belong on earth.

#20

 عشق ایک مرض ہے اور جب تک طول نہ پکڑے، مرض نہیں ہوتا۔ محض ایک مذاق ہوتا ہے۔ (سعادت حسن منٹو)

ishq ek marz hai aur jab tak tool na pakdhe marz nahi hota. Mahaz ek mazaaq hota hai. (Saadat Hasan Manto)

“Love is a disease and if it is not protracted it is just a joke.” (Saadat Hasan Manto)

This phrase differentiates between temporary infatuation and the permanence of real love. It suggests that only long-term love is real.

#21

محبت لین دین نہیں محبت صرف دین ہے۔ (ممتاز مفتی) 

mohabbat lein dein nahi mohabbat sirf dein hai. (Mumtaz Mufti)

“Love is not give and take, it is only to give.” (Mumtaz Mufti)

Mumtaz Mufti was a highly celebrated Urdu novelist and short story writer. In this quote, he clarifies that love is not a deal that involves giving and taking, but rather one that calls for sacrifice.

6. Quotes About Family and Friends

Love of family and friends is an inseparable part of human nature. Let’s go over a few Urdu quotes on friendship and family to help you gain some cultural insight into how Pakistanis view these topics.


#22

 ہر اس دوست پر بھروسہ کرو جو مشکل میں تمھارے کام آیا ہو۔ (حضرت علی)

her uss dost par bharosa karo jo mushkil mei tumhare kaam aya ho. (Hazrat Ali)

“Trust every friend who helped you in hard times.” (Hazrat Ali)

Here’s another Islamic quote by Hazrat Ali, the fourth caliph of Islam. It guides us to trust a friend who remains helpful in difficult situations.

#23

 رشتے نبھانے کا ظرف نہ ہو تو رشتے بنانے سے پرہیز کریں۔

rishte nibhane ka zarf na ho to rishte banane se perhez karain.

“If you do not know how to maintain relationships, avoid making them.”

You can use this phrase when a person is unable to meet your expectations regarding the maintenance of your relationship.

#24

 تین رشتے تین وقتوں میں پہچانے جاتے ہیں۔ اولاد بڑھاپے میں، بیوی غربت میں، دوست مصیبت میں

teen rishte teen waqton mein pehchane jaate hain. Aulad budhapey mei, biwi ghurbat mei, dost musibat mein

“These three relations are tested three times. Children in your old age, wife in your poverty, and friends while you are in trouble.”

This quote emphasizes the need for caring children in old age, a cooperative wife in poverty, and a helpful friend in times of need.

Family Members Showing Concern for the Old Mom

#25

 اچھے لوگوں کا ملنا ہی اچھے مستقبل کی ضمانت ہے۔

ache logon ka milna hi ache mustaqbil ki zamanat hai.

“Meeting good people is the guarantee of a good future.”

This quote can be used as an Urdu greeting upon meeting someone for the first time, especially if you see this person being in your future.

#26

 کسی رشتے کو کتنی بھی محبت سے باندھا جائے لیکن اگر عزت اور لحاظ چلا جائے تو محبت بھی چلی جاتی ہے۔

kisi rishte ko kitni bhi mohabbat se bandha jaye lekin agar izzat aur lihaaz chala jaye to mohabbat bhi chali jati hai.

“It does not matter how much you love a relationship; if respect and forbearance departs, they take away the love with them.”

This Urdu quote highlights the importance of respect in maintaining a solid relationship.

#27

برے دوست سے بچو ایسا نہ ہو کہ وہ تمھارا تعارف بن جائے۔ (امام مالک)

burey dost say bacho aisa na ho ka woh tumhara taaruf ban jaaye. (Imam Malik)

“Avoid a bad friend lest he become your introduction.” (Imam Malik)

This is another Islamic quote from Imam Malik, asking us to refrain from being in the company of bad friends. It is nearly equivalent to the English adage, “A man is known by the company he keeps.”

7. Some Funny Quotes

To close, let’s digress from the serious business with some comic relief.

#28

 سمجھدار آدمی نظر ہمیشہ نیچی اور نیت خراب رکھتا ہے۔ (مشتاق احمد یوسفی)

samajhdar aadmi nazar hamesha neechi aur niyyat kharab rakhta hai. (Mushtaq Ahmad Yousafi)

“A wise man always keeps his eyes down and intentions bad.” (Mushtaq Ahmad Yousafi)

This quote is often used in reference to a person who pretends to be noble but, inwardly, is lecherous.

#29

محبت انسان کو اندھا کر دیتی ہے اور پھر شادی یہ بینائی لوٹاتی ہے۔ (ڈاکٹر محمد یونس بٹ) 

mohabbat insan ko andha kar deti hai aur phir shaadi yeh beenai lotathi hai. (Dr. Muhammd Younis Butt)

“Love makes a person blind, but his eyesight returns after marriage.” (Dr. Muhammd Younis Butt)

In Pakistan, many married men enjoy taunting their wives with this quote.

#30

خاوند کے لئے بیوی کو سمجھنا کوئی مشکل نہیں، بشرطیکہ وہ دوسرے کی ہو۔ (ڈاکٹر محمد یونس بٹ) 

khawand ke liye biwi ko samjhna koi mushkil nahi, bashart ye k woh doosre ki ho. (Dr. Muhammd Younis Butt)

“It is not difficult for a man to know a wife, but the only pre-condition is someone else’s wife.” (Dr. Muhammd Younis Butt)

Now it’s the married women’s turn! They often use this quote to make fun of their husbands who fail to understand their own wives, but claim to understand the miseries of other women.

8. Conclusion

In this article, you learned several Urdu quotes about love and life in a variety of categories and gained lots of cultural insight that will further benefit your language studies.

Do you feel better placed to choose and use any of these quotes? Or do you have questions about something we covered? Let us know in the comments, and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible.

Make sure to visit UrduPod101.com frequently to improve your Urdu language skills and gain total mastery! We provide you with resources on Urdu vocabulary, Urdu grammar, popular Urdu phrases and sentences, and so much more. We are a huge source of Urdu learning materials, aiming to fulfill your needs and facilitate your success—all of this on just one platform!

Very Happy Urdu Learning!

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Embark on a Corporate Voyage with Urdu Business Phrases

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You may have come across this well-known saying: “Communication works for those who work at it.”

Well, let us add a word—business—to the beginning of that saying. 

If you plan on doing business in an unfamiliar land, you must prepare yourself accordingly in order to enjoy tangible results. Failing to prepare yourself, on the other hand, can be detrimental to your business venture! 

With this in view, if you intend to set up a business in Pakistan or plan to visit the territory for the sake of a business commitment, you must learn some commonly used Urdu business phrases. Even a basic understanding of the business language of Pakistan can make your time there more productive.

In this article, UrduPod101.com will introduce you to some inevitable Urdu phrases for business that you can start practicing today.

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Business Words and Phrases in Urdu Table of Contents
  1. Choosing the Right Pronoun – آپ vs. تم
  2. Greetings and Goodbyes
  3. Nailing a Job Interview in Urdu
  4. Interacting with Coworkers
  5. Handling Business Phone Calls and Emails
  6. Going on a Business Trip
  7. Conclusion

1. Choosing the Right Pronoun – آپ vs. تم 

Before we go into detail about Urdu business phrases, there’s an important topic we need to cover. 

In the Urdu language, there are two words for the pronoun “you”: آپ (aap) and تم (tum). Now, the responsibility of choosing the right one rests on your shoulder. 

Which one you use depends on your level of intimacy with the other person. To address your interlocutor formally, you will use آپ (aap); once you become closer to and more familiar with that person, you can always use تم (tum).

2. Greetings and Goodbyes

Let’s start simple and learn the basic words and phrases you can use to greet and bid farewell in the Pakistani business sector. Whether you’re leaving after a business meeting or starting a conversation with a coworker, these three phrases will be invaluable to you.

السلامُ علیکم
assalam-o-alaikum
“Peace be upon you.”

This first phrase is the best way to start a business conversation, wherever you are in Pakistan. It can also serve as an acceptable way to close a meeting or conversation; however, we’ll give you another, more common closing phrase at the end of this section.

آپ سے مِل کر خوشی ہوئی۔
aap say mil kar khushi hui.
“It is a pleasure to meet you.”

After you’ve greeted someone with السلامُ علیکم (assalam-o-alaikum), you can add this sentence as a token of courtesy. Doing so will ensure that the meeting takes place in a friendly business atmosphere.

خدا حافظ
khuda hafiz
“May God be your protector.”

This phrase can always be used as an appropriate ending to your conversation. It’s almost as popular in Pakistani society as “goodbye” is in the West.

Business Professionals Shaking Hands to Confirm the ‘Nice to Meet you’ in a Business Environment

3. Nailing a Job Interview in Urdu

Job Interview

One of the first things one must consider before doing business in Pakistan is how to land a job. 

The job interview is one of the most important steps in attaining work, acting as the gateway to the next level of your career. But here’s the catch: You need to leave a good impression on your interviewer. 

To do this, you must prepare. We recommend learning as many relevant business phrases as you can before the interview date. Being able to conduct at least part of the interview in Urdu will show your interviewer that you’re serious about wanting the job, and that you’re a willing learner.

Below are some common questions and answers during a job interview. They may seem difficult to navigate at first, but with enough practice, they’ll bring you miraculous results.

A- Education

Most employers are curious about candidates’ level of education, and may ask questions about where you went to school and what you studied. Following are some questions you can expect to hear, and possible answers to them. 

Questions

آپ کی تعلیمی قابلیت کیا ہے؟
aap ki taleemi qabliyat kia hai?
“What is your qualification?”

کیا آپ مجھے اپنی تعلیم کے بارے میں بتائیں گے؟
kia aap mujhay apni taleem kay baray mein bataein gay?
“Will you tell me about your qualifications?”

آپ نے کون کون سی ڈگریاں حاصل کر رکھی ہیں؟
aap nay kon kon si digrian hasil kar rakhi hain?
“Which degrees have you achieved?”

Answers

میرے پاس کامرس کی ڈگری ہے۔
meray pass commerce ki degree hai.
“I have a degree in Commerce.”

میں نے بزنس ایدمینسٹریشن پڑھی ہے۔
mei nay business administration parhi hai.
“I have studied business administration.”

B- Professional Experience

In some professions, employers care even more about your professional experience than your education. Be prepared to discuss this aspect of your career with the interviewer.

Questions

آپ کا پیشہ وارانہ تجربہ کیا ہے؟
aap ka peshawarana tajarba kia hai?
“What is your professional experience?”

کیا آپ مجھے اپنی گذشتہ ملازمتوں کے متعلق بتا سکتے ہیں؟
kia aap mujhe apni guzishta malazmaton kay mutaliq bata saktay hain?
“Can you tell me about your previous jobs?”

Answers

میں نے نیشنل بینک میں چھ سال کام کیا ہے۔
mei nay national bank mei chay saal kam kia hai.
“I have worked at the National Bank for six years.”

میں مائیکرو سوفٹ کمپنی میں پانچ سال سے کام کر رہا/رہی ہوں۔
mei Microsoft company mein panch saal say kam kar raha/rahi hun.
“I have been working for Microsoft for five years.”

Remember that if you’re answering these questions as a male, use رہا ہوں (raha hun); if you’re answering as a female, use رہی ہوں (rahi hun).

C- The Languages You Speak

Especially when you’re interviewing for a job in a foreign country, the interviewer will likely want to know which languages you speak. 

Questions

آپ کتنی زبانیں بول سکتے ہیں؟
aap kitni zubane bol saktay hain?
“How many languages can you speak?”

آپ کو کتنی زبانوں پر عبور حاصل ہے؟
aap ko kitni zubano per aboor hasil hai?
“How many languages are you adept at?”

Answers

میں انگریزی اور اردو فراوانی سے بول سکتا/سکتی ہوں۔
mei angrezi aur urdu farawani say bol sakta/sakti hun.
“I can speak English and Urdu fluently.”

In this case, if you’re answering as a male, use سکتا ہوں (sakta hun); if you’re answering as a female, use سکتی ہوں (sakti hun).

مجھے جاپانی اور اردو پر عبور حاصل ہے۔
mujhe japani aur urdu par aboor hasil hai.
“I am adept at Japanese and Urdu.”

D- How to Ask an Interviewer to Repeat a Question

If you couldn’t hear or were unable to understand a question your interviewer asked, you could use the following expressions to have them repeat what they said.

معاف کیجیے گا، میں آپ کی بات سن نہیں پایا۔
muaf kijiye ga, mei aap ki baat sun nahi paya.
“I am sorry, I could not hear you.”

کیا آپ اپنا سوال دوہرا سکتے ہیں؟
kia aap apna sawal dohra saktay hain?
“I beg your pardon?”

معذرت کے ساتھ، میں آپ کی بات سمجھ نہیں پایا۔
maazrat kay sath, mei aap ki baat samajh nahi paya.
“With a due apology, I could not understand you.”

4. Interacting with Coworkers

Business Phrases

Interaction with coworkers is a significant aspect of doing good business, and in Pakistan, communicating with confidence will place you at a vantage point. Below are a few expressions for interacting with your coworkers in the Urdu language.

A- How to Ask for Help

Here are some phrases you can use to ask your colleagues for help with something:

کیا آپ میری مدد کر سکتے ہیں؟
kia aap meri madad kar saktay hain?
“Can you help me?”

کیا آپ اس کی وضاحت کریں گے؟
kia aap iis ki wazahat karain gay?
“Will you explain it?”

میں اس دستاویز کو سمجھ نہیں پایا۔
mei is dastawaiz ko samajh nahi paya.
“I could not comprehend this document.”

کیا آپ اس سسٹم کو چلانا جانتے ہیں؟
kia aap is system ko chalana jantay hain.
“Do you know how to run this system?”

A Business Professional Helping a Subordinate in an Office

B- How to Thank or Congratulate Your Coworkers

When your partner does a great job on a project or a colleague gives you a hand with something, it’s always polite to congratulate or thank them. 

آپ کی مدد کا شکریہ۔
aap ki madad ka shukriya.
“Thank you for your help.”

میں آپ کا احسان مند ہوں۔
mei aap ka ahsan mand hun.
“I am thankful to you.”

بہت خوب۔
bohat khoob.
“Well done.”

Business Professionals Thanking Each Other in an Official Meeting

C- How to Apologize

In the business world, there are some situations that require an honest apology. If you find yourself in such a situation, use the following Urdu phrases to apologize without compromising your dignity.

    → Don’t forget that you can find more apology phrases in our lesson Apologies in Urdu.

میں معذرت چاہتا ہوں۔
mei mazrat chahta hun.
“I apologize.”

میں معافی چاہتا ہوں۔
mei mafi chahta hun.
“I am sorry.”

معاف کیجئے گا، میں آپ کی مدد نہیں کر پایا۔
maaf kijiye ga, mei aap ki madad nahi kar paya.
“I am sorry, I could not help you.”

An Office Worker Taking Responsibility by Giving an Explanation and Apologizing

D- How to Give Your Opinions or Suggestions

There are certainly benefits in being able to communicate your opinions and suggestions in a business meeting. In addition to making your voice heard, doing so may pave new paths for your professional development and growth. Below is some useful Urdu for business meetings.

یہ کام انسانی وسائل کے شعبے کا ہے۔
yeh kam insani wasayal kay shobay ka hai.
“This job belongs to the human resources department.”

ہم اسے کسی تیسرے فریق سے کروا سکتے ہیں۔
hum isay kisi teesray fareeq say karwa saktay hain.
“We can get it done by a third party.”

یہ سودا ہمارے ادارے کو نقصان پہنچا سکتا ہے۔
yeh soda hamaray idaray ko nuqsan pohancha sakta hai.
“This deal may cause a loss to our organization.”

E- How to Express Your Concern

In business meetings, it’s crucial that you can express your concerns or reservations. Doing so can add another plume in your career and open new avenues of success for you.

اس کام کے لئے مقررہ وقت بہت کم ہے۔
iss kam kay liye muqar-ra waqt bohat kam hai.
“The time specified for this task is too short.”

ہمارے پاس اتنا بجٹ نہیں ہے۔
hamaray pas itna budget nahi hai.
“We do not have this much budget.”

یہ کام اتنے وقت میں نہیں کیا جا سکتا۔
yeh kaam itnay waqt mei nahi kia ja sakta.
“This job can’t be completed in the given time.”

مجھے اس کام میں مہارت حاصل نہیں ہے۔
mujhe iss kam mei maharat hasil nahi hai.
“I am not skillful in this job.”

اس کام کے لئے بہت زیادہ وسائل درکار ہیں۔
iss kam kay liye bohat zayada wasail darkar hain.
“This job requires too many resources.”

5. Handling Business Phone Calls and Emails

Depending on where you work, business communication in the Urdu language may be part and parcel of your position. In case you need to make business phone calls or manage emails, the following phrases will be useful for you.

A- Business Phone Calls

کیا میں مینیجر صاحب سے بات کر سکتا/سکتی ہوں؟
kia mei manager sahib say baat kar sakta/sakti hun?
“Can I speak to the manager?”

کیا سجاد صاحب سے میری بات ہو سکتی ہے؟
kia Sajjad sahib say meri baat ho sakti hai?
“Can I talk to Mr. Sajjad?”

میں حسین صاحب سے بات کرنے کی کوشش کر رہا ہوں۔
mei Hussain sahib say baat karnay ki koshish kar raha hun.
“I am trying to reach Mr. Hussain.”

کیا آپ رجسٹرار صاحب سے میری بات کروا سکتے ہیں؟
kia aap registrar sahib say meri baat karwa saktay hain?
“Can you connect me to the Registrar?”

How to Reply

میرے ساتھ رہئے گا۔
meray saath rahiye ga.
“Stay with me.”

میں ابھی آپ کی بات کروا دیتا/دیتی ہوں۔
mei abhi aap ki baat karwa deta/deti hun.
“I will connect you right now.”

مہربانی فرما کر مجھے پیغام دے دیں، میں ان تک پہنچا دوں گا/گی۔
meharbani farma kar mujhe pegham de dain, mei un tak pohancha dun ga / gi.
“Please leave the message, I’ll convey it to him.”

کیا آپ تھوڑی دیر بعد کال کر سکتے ہیں؟
kia aap thori der baad call kar saktay hain?
“Can you call back in a short while?”

A Female Employee Answering a Call in Her Workplace

B- Emails and Letters

It’s no secret that the era of letter writing has passed and been superseded by electronic mail, particularly in the business sector. Of course, there are still certain situations that call for a traditional business letter, though you’ll find yourself using email far more often as an employee in Pakistan. 

Whether you’re writing an official email or a business letter, always remember to include the following components.

Personal Information (Name, Address, Contact Number, Email) of Sender and Receiver

When you’re sending the initial email, first type your own information. This includes:

  • Your name
  • Your business address
  • A valid contact number
  • Your email address

Next, include the details of the receiver. Besides the aforementioned information, try to include that person’s job title.

A Man Reading a Business Letter/Official Correspondence in an Office

Below are some Urdu words that are often used in business correspondence:

نام
naam
“Name”

پتہ
pata
“Address”

رابطہ نمبر
rabta number
“Contact number”

ای میل
email
“Email”

عہدہ
uhda
“Designation”

Subject

Don’t forget to include an apt subject for your letter or email to let the receiver know its nature.

عنوان
unwan
“Subject”

Salutations

Let’s have a look at a couple of widely used Urdu salutations:

جناب
janab
“Sir”

محترم
mohtram
“Respected”

Closure

Close your letter or email by using words that express your respect or affection.

آپ کا مخلص
aap ka mukhlis
“Yours sincerely”

آپ کا خیر خواہ
aap ka khair khwah
“Your well-wisher”

6. Going on a Business Trip

Many employees of successful business enterprises must travel frequently to meet with clients. If you’re traveling to Pakistan, we recommend that you memorize a few practical Urdu sentences to avoid any inconveniences.

A- How to Book a Hotel and Purchase Tickets

To book a room in a hotel or get a ticket reserved, take advantage of the following expressions.

کیا مجھے آپ کے ہوٹل میں دو دن کے لئے ایک کمرہ مل سکتا ہے؟
kia mujhe aap kay hotel mei do din kay liye aik kamrah mil sakta hai?
“Can I have a room for two days at your hotel?”

کیا مجھے لاہور سے کراچی کی دو ٹکٹیں مل سکتی ہیں؟
kia mujhe Lahore say Karachi ki do ticketain mil sakti hain?
“Can I have two tickets from Lahore to Karachi?”

B- How to Thank a Partner or Client

Showing politeness and gratitude toward your business partner and other associates can take your business relationship to the next level. Here are some phrases you can use to thank them.

میں آپ کی میزبانی کا گرویدہ ہو گیا ہوں۔
mei aap ki mezbani ka garwidah ho gaya hun.
“I have been completely enamored with your hospitality.”

آپ کی میزبانی کا بہت شکریہ۔
aap ki mezbani ka bohat shukriya.
“Thank you for your hospitality.”

میں آپ کی میزبانی کبھی بھی نہ بھلا سکوں گا۔
mei aap ki mezbani kabhi bhi na bhula saku ga.
“I will never be able to forget your hospitality.”

7. Conclusion

In this article, UrduPod101.com introduced you to the basic Urdu business phrases you need to do business in Pakistan, and other useful vocabulary.

Now, are you prepared to surprise your Pakistani business partners? If yes, best of luck! On the other hand, if you have any queries or questions, do write to us; we’ll respond at the earliest.

If you’re serious about mastering Urdu, but haven’t found a good fit for you, keep exploring UrduPod101.com. We are a great repository of Urdu language learning materials and provide an outside-the-classroom feeling. We guarantee you’ll feel the difference.

Very Happy Urdu Learning!

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