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Why learn Urdu? Let’s explore some reasons to start today.

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Should I learn Urdu? 

While this may appear to be a simple yes-or-no question, its answer is embedded within myriads of internal discourses. There are several reasons that one may wish to learn Urdu, and still other reasons that one may shy away from the task.

Because people differ in their proclivities, it’s also common for one to be drawn to Urdu for a very different set of reasons than another person is. A backpacker, for instance, will learn Urdu for a different reason than that of a culture critic. Likewise, an anthropologist will give a different reason for learning the language than a businessman would.

In this article, we’ll discuss why you should learn Urdu as well as the numerous benefits doing so can bring to your life.

An Asian Boy Using Headphones to Listen and Learn; He Is Enjoying the Activity
Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in Urdu Table of Contents
  1. The Country and the Language
  2. Benefits of Learning Urdu
  3. Personal and Professional Aspects
  4. How Difficult is it to Learn Urdu?
  5. Conclusion

1. The Country and the Language

Pakistan has the largest number of Urdu speakers in the world. Considering the country’s wealth of natural beauty and its share of UNESCO World Heritage Sites, it’s not surprising that it’s become a new tourist hotspot in recent years. 

Our first few reasons for why you should learn Urdu have to do with certain facts and figures about this increasingly popular country and its culture. 

1. Learning Urdu will help you experience the exotic Urdu culture, literature, and music.

The culture of Pakistan attracts foreigners due to its exotic nature. 

Pakistani people have inherited some of the oldest civilizations on Earth, including Mohenjo-Daro and Harappa; they are also heirs to the famous Indus civilization. Nowadays, Pakistan is home to a variety of cultures and languages—including Punjabi, Pashto, Balochi, Saraiki, and Urdu—which presents a unique diversity that tempts foreigners to come here in exploration of these cultures. Those interested in this distinctive conglomerate of culture and language have a very good reason to learn Urdu! 

Also, the Urdu language is self-sufficient in terms of its literature and music. It has a rich poetic tradition that dates back to the seventeenth century, with meritorious poets like Ghalib and Meer having written phenomenal works in this language. In addition, there are a number of writers who have together composed the pinnacle of Urdu literature in the form of short stories and novels. These writers include, to name only a few:  

  • Saadat Hasan Manto
  • Prem Chand
  • Abdullah Hussain
  • Mumtaz Mufti
  • Quratul ain Haider

Works by these authors are absolutely worth reading! One of the foremost reasons to learn the Urdu language is so that you can enjoy these great feats of writing in their original language.

A Collection of Classic Literary Books

Similarly, Urdu musicians have preserved the legacy of Indian classical music and carried it forward in its original form. They have also made some highly appreciated innovations to it, while still keeping the element of the Urdu language alive. Learning Urdu will allow you to cherish the legacy of Indian classical music as it’s played and enjoyed today.

A Female Rehearsing Classical Music on Tanpura, an Eastern Musical Instrument

2. Urdu has a rich linguistic and political history.

Another compelling reason to learn the Urdu language is to explore its rich background. In fact, even the British colonizers of the nineteenth century learned Urdu and translated a wide range of Urdu writings into English for this reason. Also consider that most primary resources on topics surrounding the historic turmoils and political upheavals of the region are written in the Urdu language. Therefore, ardent lovers of history and linguistics should consider learning Urdu in order to gain access to these invaluable resources.   

3. The number of Urdu speakers is rapidly increasing.

Ethnologue reports the total number of Urdu speakers (including those who speak it as a second language) to be 170 million. It also reports that the Urdu language is the 11th most widely spoken language across the globe. These facts demonstrate the rapid growth of the Urdu language, giving you one more reason to consider studying it yourself. 

2. Benefits of Learning Urdu 

Having discussed some of the cultural and historical reasons for learning the language, let’s look at a list of more-specific benefits you can expect from learning Urdu. 

4. Urdu has increasing geo-strategic significance.

The Urdu language has entered a new era of international acceptance and popularity with the creation of the CPEC (China-Pakistan Economic Corridor) in the region. In addition, this language becomes truly relevant in the backdrop of the Afghan war as well as the future role of Gwadar Port. Other than these factors, the nuclear status of Pakistan also makes it geo-strategically unavoidable. These regional developments have further bolstered the growth of the Urdu language and motivated a great number of foreigners to learn and speak Urdu.

A Map Highlighting the Geographical Location of Pakistan

5. It will open up refreshing Oriental vistas.

Since the establishment of the Fort William College in Calcutta in 1800 by Lord Wellesley, the unique cultural imagery put forth by the Urdu language has become accessible to Europeans and other foreigners. The language’s unconventional writing script, unfamiliar vowel and consonant sounds, and culturally estranged stories and their characters are just a few examples of new Oriental vistas foreigners can now enjoy.

6. You’ll be able to build rapport with the natives.

Another fair reason to learn Urdu? Being adept in the Urdu language will place you at a vantage point when it comes to building rapport with native speakers. This advantage might just be the first step toward achieving your goals in Pakistan.

3. Personal and Professional Aspects

Imagine yourself as an entrepreneur or employee in Pakistan. Without the ability to communicate in Urdu, you would always feel handicapped and this personal incapacity would impede your success in Pakistani society. Therefore, Urdu can be an instrument to polish your personal and professional skills. Here are a few advantages of learning Urdu in this regard:

7. Pakistan has a developing marketplace.

Keeping the emerging geo-strategic significance of Pakistan in mind, you can anticipate a surge in the country’s developing marketplace. Many unattended business opportunities and avenues speak of gaps in the market that need to be bridged. If you want to avail yourself of any such opportunity here, you should learn Urdu to maximize the chances of your success.

8. The nation also has a growing tourism industry. 

As mentioned earlier, the tourism industry is on the rise in Pakistan. This will be of particular interest to you if you like to follow tourism trends or are looking for business opportunities in this sector. In either case, you’ll need to be well-versed in the Urdu language to succeed in the field of tourism.

A Beautiful View of a Tourist Spot in Pakistan

9. Knowing Urdu will help you make a difference in Pakistan.

Above all, it’s not easy to assert your identity in a culture unknown to you. In order to make a difference in Pakistan, you must differ from the rest. Mastering Urdu can help you become familiar with the surrounding culture, give you a means to communicate with native speakers, and help you stand out from the crowd. 

4. How Difficult is it to Learn Urdu?

Many aspiring Urdu learners get cold feet when they hear others talk about how hard it is to learn the language. But is it really that difficult? 

10. The language is difficult for Western learners to master, but…

…modern technology is making it easier than ever to learn the language anyway. 

A major factor to consider here is that Westerners with no prior exposure to Oriental languages will find learning Urdu to be a Herculean task, while someone who already speaks an Oriental language will have a much easier time. The reasons behind this are the unique Urdu writing script and the unavailability of certain Urdu sounds in the European languages; these facts may perplex Westerners looking to learn the language.

A Wind Compass Pointing East and West

The good news? The technological revolution has made language learning easier by bringing a wealth of languages right to your fingertips. Learning Urdu has never been easier or more convenient, considering the number of apps and language learning sites offering courses and materials on this language.

If you’re wondering where to learn Urdu online for the best experience, consider UrduPod101.com. As one of the top Urdu learning sites, we have several resources and lesson pathways to help make your language learning journey easier and more joyful. Our YouTube channel is another technological innovation that will make your studies less stressful and more engaging!

The Interface of a YouTube Channel

5. Conclusion

In this article, we answered the question, “Why learn Urdu?” and listed several benefits that come with knowing this distinctly beautiful language. 

Have you identified your reason to learn Urdu? If you want to dig deeper into the topic or have any questions you’d like answered, feel free to let us know! We’ll get back to you at the earliest. 

To make the most of your studies, we recommend you explore UrduPod101.com and create your free lifetime account today. We provide lessons and learning materials on every aspect of the Urdu language and culture, for learners at every level. Themed vocabulary lists, audio and video lessons, and pronunciation guides are only a small sample of what you can expect when learning with us.

Very Happy Urdu Learning!

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