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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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How Hard is it to Learn the Urdu Language?

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Some people say that Urdu is easy to learn, while others claim that Urdu is difficult. 

Who are these people, and why should you believe them? Is it hard to learn Urdu, or easy? 

Ask yourself these fundamental questions, and you may discover that the answers aren’t so straightforward. 

At this stage, say goodbye to assumptions and taking others at their word. Instead, figure out the answers to these questions yourself as you begin your Urdu language-learning journey. It’s very likely that you’ll find some aspects of the language quite difficult and others much easier—this is normal when you start learning a language. 

Due to its completely different writing script, Urdu tends to be a struggle for native English-speakers and Europeans, especially when they first start learning. Conversely, Arabic and Persian natives will find Urdu much easier to master. This is because the Urdu language contains a handful of words from these two languages, as well as Punjabi, Pashto, Turkish, Sindhi, Sanskrit, etc. This particularity of the Urdu language provides speakers of these other languages with a fairly easy Urdu-learning experience. 

That said, is Urdu worth learning? And if so, why?

Urdu is a rapidly growing language. The total number of Urdu-speakers across the globe exceeds 170 million, and Urdu is also the official language of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan. The constitution of India also recognizes it as one of the country’s twenty-two official languages. So if you plan on visiting these countries, doing business there, or even relocating, you should absolutely learn Urdu! 

In this article, we’ll guide you through the easy and hard tracks of the Urdu language. We anticipate that after reading this article, you’ll be better placed to accept the truth that Urdu is the language of civilized and courteous people, and anyone can master it with enough practice and dedication.

A Smart Student Studying with Closed Eyes and a Smile on His Face

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Learning Urdu Table of Contents
  1. What is the Hardest—and Easiest—Part of Learning Urdu?
  2. I Want to Learn Urdu. Where Should I Start?
  3. Advice for New Learners
  4. Why is UrduPod101.com Great for Learning Urdu?
  5. Conclusion

1. What is the Hardest—and Easiest—Part of Learning Urdu?

You can’t learn any language until you overcome its challenges. In this section, we’ll unfold some of the hardest and easiest parts of Urdu language-learning for you.

A- Why Urdu is Easy

When you set out to learn Urdu, you’re going to hear a lot of false myths and misconceptions concerning the language’s difficulty. Well, we’re here to let you know that Urdu isn’t that hard. At least, not all of it. Following is a list of things about Urdu that make it surprisingly easy for foreigners to learn.

1.  لشکری زبان

Although historians of the Urdu language are divided on its origin and its label as a لشکری زبان (lashkri zuban) camp language, it’s clear that Urdu uses an abundance of words from other languages. Some critics say that Urdu possesses this rich abundance of words because the language came into being as a shared language for soldiers of different ethnicities in a common war camp. Irrespective of this belief’s authenticity, it emphasizes the fact that non-natives were able to pick up the language easily due to shared vocabulary.

2+2=4 on a Chalkboard

2. Similarities with other languages

If you’re familiar with Oriental languages—such as Arabic, Persian, Sanskrit, Punjabi, Sindhi, Pashto, Balochi, or Turkish—you’ll start to see similarities with Urdu right away. The majority of Oriental languages have common writing scripts or sounds, usually with a little bit of variation. Most of the alphabets present in one Oriental language can be identified in the others too, with a few exceptions. 

That said, it’s true that there are a couple of unique alphabets and sounds in Urdu which are missing in the other Oriental languages altogether. Also note that Urdu has the capacity to assimilate new words from other languages. For example, Urdu has borrowed a number of English words and molded them for use in Urdu-speaking countries: 

  • فریج (fridge) — fridge
  • ٹیلیویژن (television) — television
  • ڈاکٹر (doctor) — doctor
  • انجینیئر (engineer) — engineer

B- Why Urdu is Hard

Below are some of the most common difficulties faced by Urdu learners. As you go through these, remember that being aware of an Urdu difficulty is the best way to prepare for it and succeed! 

1. The uniqueness of the Urdu script خطِ نستعلیق

The Urdu language is complete with its own script, which is an amalgam of the Arabic and Persian scripts. Urdu uses thirty-eight letters in total, and has its own اعراب (airaab) vowel marks that are not included in those thirty-eight letters.

The Urdu writing system is called خطِ نستعلیق (khat-e-Nastaliq). Since the two writing scripts نسخ (naskh) and تعلیق (talique) were combined to make another script, it was initially named Naskh-Talique. With the passage of time, it received fame as Nastalique. The script is written from right to left and follows the top right to bottom left order. This particular characteristic makes it difficult for many non-natives to understand and master it.

A Golden Egg Placed among the White Eggs - Unique from the Others

2. Different grammatical syntax – فاعل،مفعول،فعل

Aside from the script itself, why is Urdu so hard to read for non-natives? Well, this is likely because the sentence structure of Urdu is different from that of most other languages. It does not follow the usual SVO (Subject + Verb + Object) pattern, and instead uses the SOV (Subject + Object + Verb) arrangement.

Here’s an example:

میں یونیورسٹی جاتا ہوں۔

mei university jata hu.

S      O     V

“I go to University.”

If you want to learn more about Urdu sentence structure and word order, UrduPod101.com has you covered.

3.  Complicated conjugations

Like its syntax, the فعل کی گردان کرنا (fail ki gardaan kerna), or “conjugation of verbs,” in Urdu can be a bit tricky. However, once you’ve learned the basic rules, you’ll be able to conjugate with ease. 

Urdu verbs conjugate depending on their person, mood, voice, gender, and tense. Remember that these concepts are a little hard to comprehend, but they’re certainly not impossible to learn. 

To make this task a bit easier for you, UrduPod101.com has this handy article on Urdu verb conjugation. Read through it a couple of times and start conjugating Urdu verbs right away.

4.  Never undermine the role of gender

Now, here comes another point you have to remember as an Urdu-learner: everything, movable or immovable, has a gender. This may create some trouble for learners just starting out. 

To overcome this challenge of the Urdu language, you must memorize each new noun you learn along with its gender. This will reduce the chances of making a mistake, and you’ll also be in a position to identify and rectify the mistakes you do make. Have a look at the following sentences:

میری قمیض تنگ ہے۔
meri qameez tang hai.
“My shirt is tight.”

میرا جوتا کھلا ہے۔
mera joota khula hai.
“My shoe is loose.”

You can see in these sentences that قمیض (qameez), or “shirt,” is feminine while جوتا (joota), or “shoe,” is masculine.

Signs of Male and Female Gender Drawn on a Blackboard

5. Beware of false friends

With ten vowels and thirty-eight consonants, the Urdu language is self-sufficient in terms of sound representation. As it has a rich assortment of sounds, however, there’s a greater chance of mispronouncing something. The situation becomes even more stressful when you throw in false friends:

دوا (dawa) — “medicine”                        and                           دعا (dua) — “prayer”

سستی (sasti) — “cheap”                           and                           سُستی (susti) — “laziness”

عرض (arz) — “request”                          and                           ارض (arz) — “land”

Identical Twin Sisters with Hands Up in the Air

6. Pronunciation difficulties

Now, let’s look at some sounds that non-natives (especially English-speakers) find rather exotic. 

The most difficult of these sounds is ڑ (rr), the fifteenth letter in the Urdu language. It’s unique in that it never comes at the beginning of a word. 

غ (ghain) is the twenty-fifth letter, and its sound is not found in English. The letter is preceded by another sound not found in English: ع (ain). 

Since many Urdu sounds are new to English-speakers, it’s imperative that they become familiar with them early on in the learning process. Luckily for you, UrduPod101.com has a blog post dedicated to Urdu Pronunciation. Check it out! 

2. I Want to Learn Urdu. Where Should I Start?

Deciding to learn Urdu is a huge leap, so we recommend starting small. For example, studying Urdu vocabulary lists, learning the most common sentence patterns, and getting started with basic everyday phrases will help you ease into the learning process. Becoming familiar with the basic parts of speech in Urdu will also prove beneficial moving forward. 

Here are some highly useful articles to start your Urdu-learning journey.


3. Advice for New Learners

The best advice we can give is to keep it simple. Try to learn phrases in small chunks and practice using them often. Small bricks of knowledge can be used to craft a building with the right tools and enough time. 

Here’s an example of what we mean:

میں جاتا ہوں
mei jata hu.
“I go.”

Now add an object to the phrase to make a complete sentence.

میں گھر جاتا ہوں۔
mei ghar jata hu.
“I go home.”

And you can always add an adverb.

میں آہستہ آہستہ گھر جاتا ہوں۔
mei ahista ahista ghar jata hu.
“I go home slowly.”

By learning phrases this way, you’ll be able to easily alter and add to them to meet your communication needs. Indeed, it’s a small step but a giant leap. 

Practice Makes a Man Perfect

You can never expect to become masterful at anything if you don’t put in the time and practice. Practicing on a daily basis will not only improve your skills, but it will also increase your self-confidence. In particular, we recommend practicing your Urdu with native Urdu-speakers if possible, as this will expedite your language skills.  

Soccer Players Practicing with the Ball on the Ground

4. Why is UrduPod101.com Great for Learning Urdu?

Even the most ambitious man needs the proper means to reach his goals. In this case, a determined Urdu-learner requires top-notch learning materials and teachers. By signing up for UrduPod101.com, you’ll gain access to tons of fun lessons and learning tools that will make learning Urdu so much easier than traditional learning methods. Let’s take a look at our best features:

A- A Hub for Learning Integrated Language Skills

UrduPod101.com focuses on all aspects of the language so you’ll never be left out in the cold! Each of our lessons contains material to help you improve your Urdu listening, writing, reading, and speaking skills at the same time. This feature makes us a unique hub of Urdu language-learning and distinguishes us from other online resources.

B- An Affordable but High-Quality Learning Resource

In this era of consumerism, it’s a rarity to find a free lunch anywhere. But UrduPod101.com understands the need for valuable resources at reasonable prices, and we won’t disappoint—in fact, we have tons of free learning tools just waiting for you! You can even download some of these to use offline. Creating an account will also allow you to communicate with our team about any issues or questions! 

Pakistani Food i.e. Spicy Chapli Kabab with Salad and Sauce, a Good Healthy Lunch

C- Tailored Learning Approach to Meet Your Individual Needs

Once you’ve gotten the Urdu basics down, you’ll probably want to move forward to more advanced lessons. This is easy! All you need to do is subscribe to our MyTeacher service to start getting live interactive coaching from experienced Urdu teachers. Your Urdu teacher can help you find and complete suitable exercises, help you correct your pronunciation, and offer customized assignments through audio or text messages. This will help you set and achieve personalized goals without a hitch. 

5. Conclusion

So, is Urdu hard to learn? We’ll let you answer that question yourself once you’ve begun your studies! 

Do you have any further questions about how to learn Urdu in an easy way? Are you ready to apply the tips and techniques discussed here to learn Urdu free and easily? If you have any questions about what we covered today, let us know in the comments section; we’ll be glad to help you out! 

Keep exploring UrduPod101.com, a rich repository of Urdu language-learning. Take full advantage of our free Urdu-learning resources and start your journey toward Urdu mastery.

Very Happy Urdu Learning!

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The Most Common Urdu Mistakes a Learner Makes

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“The price of inaction is far greater than the cost of making a mistake.” — Meister Eckhart

As a learner of a foreign language, you should always opt to make mistakes instead of keeping quiet. While no one enjoys making mistakes, they’re an inevitable part of language-learning, and every successful learner has made them. Just remember that it’s important to learn from those mistakes so as not to repeat them! 

In this article, we’ll outline the most common mistakes Urdu-learners make and how to avoid them. 

But before we start, a quick note:

If you’re an Urdu-learner, you’ll come to know at some point that even native Pakistanis are susceptible to making mistakes in their own language. For example, many Pakistanis are unable to differentiate between غلط العام (ghalat-ul-aam), which are Urdu words that are incorrect but accepted by the academics due to their overuse, and غلط العوام (ghalat-ul-awam), which are incorrect Urdu words that are frequently used in public but are not accepted by the academics as correct.

So don’t be discouraged if you make the occasional error in Urdu—you’re not alone!

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Beginner Vocabulary in Urdu Table of Contents
  1. The Incorrect Use of Gender Cases
  2. Beware of False Friends
  3. Some Common Mistakes in the Conjugation of Urdu Verbs
  4. Common Word Order Mistakes in Urdu
  5. Some Common Urdu Pronunciation Mistakes
  6. Other Urdu Mistakes
  7. Conclusion

1. The Incorrect Use of Gender Cases

Gender Symbols Signifying Masculine, Feminine, and Neutral Icons

Native speakers almost never make this mistake in Urdu, but new learners make it all the time! For example, in Pakistani society, a native Urdu-speaker will never say:

کیا آپ نے دودھ پی؟
kia aap nay doodh pi?

It’s an incorrect sentence because دودھ (doodh), meaning “milk,” is always masculine. The correct sentence is:

کیا آپ نے دودھ پیا؟
kia aap nay doodh piya?
“Did you drink milk?”

A non-native may also say:

کیا آپ نے چائے پیا؟
kia aap nay chaye piya?

This is also incorrect, for the noun چائے (chaye), meaning “tea,” is always treated as feminine in the Urdu language. The correct sentence is:

کیا آپ نے چائے پی؟
kia aap nay chaye pi?
“Did you take tea?”

We recommend that you always learn the Urdu nouns along with their gender so you can use them correctly in terms of gender agreement.

Appropriate use of تاہے/تی ہے and تاہوں/تی ہوں

Another set of common Urdu-learner mistakes involves using the inappropriate words for masculine and feminine subjects. Here’s an example of how a non-native female may speak incorrectly in this regard:

میں ٹی-وی دیکھنا پسند کرتا ہوں۔
mei TV dekhna pasand karta hu.
“I like to watch TV.”

The sentence above is incorrect when spoken by a female, but is correct when spoken by a male. The following sentence is the correct way for a female to say this sentence:

میں ٹی-وی دیکھنا پسند کرتی ہوں۔
mei TV dekhna pasand karti hu.
“I like to watch TV.”

Here, the key is to learn the appropriate usage of تا ہوں (masculine) and تی ہوں (feminine). This will help you avoid making gender agreement mistakes in Urdu.

2. Beware of False Friends

A Woman with Two Faces Who is Quite Deceptive

Common Urdu mistakes often arise from “false friends,” which you’ll find plenty of while studying the language. False friends are words which appear to be similar to each other, but communicate different meanings. This may result in confusion and complicate the communication process. 

Below is a list of words that are often mistaken for one another in Urdu:

  • محرم (moharam) – first month of the Islamic calendar / محرم (mehram) – “one who knows”
  • پیڑ (peerr) – “pain” / پیڑ (pairr) – “tree”
  • دانہ (dana) – “grain” / داناء (danaa) – “wise”
  • ریت (rait) – “sand” / ریت (reet) – “tradition”
  • پریت (preet) – “love” / پریت (prait) – “apparition”
  • کھاتہ (khata) – “account” / کھاتا (khata) – “eats” [conjugation of the Urdu verb کھانا (khana), meaning “eat”]
  • پتہ (pata) – “address” / پتا (patta) – “leaf”

3. Some Common Mistakes in the Conjugation of Urdu Verbs

Making it through the labyrinth of Urdu verb conjugation is an uphill task for any foreign learner. However, it is achievable once you understand the rules and how they work. Before we continue, you may want to read our article all about Urdu Verb Conjugation to brush up on the basics. 

Below, we’ll introduce you to some very basic Urdu mistakes that one may make while conjugating verbs.

میں یہ کرے گا
mei yeh karay ga.

وہ یہ کروں گی
woh yeh karu gi.

تم یہ کرے گی
tum yeh karay gi.

In each of these three sentences, the Urdu verb  کرنا (karna), meaning “to do,” is incorrectly conjugated. Now, let’s see how to conjugate this verb correctly:

میں یہ کروں گا۔
mei yeh karun ga.
“I will do this.”

وہ یہ کرے گی۔
woh yeh karay gi.
“She will do this.”

تم یہ کرو گے۔
tum yeh karo gay.
“You will do this.”


4. Common Word Order Mistakes in Urdu

Different Vegetables Arranged on the Floor in an Orderly Manner

Did you ever have to complete sentence diagrams in school? Well, believe it or not, those exercises probably gave you a good idea of how word order and sentence structure work in your language. Better still, you can transfer this knowledge over to Urdu! Here, we’ll introduce you to the basic concepts pertaining to proper Urdu word order.

If you want to have an even deeper understanding of Urdu word order, see our dedicated Urdu Word Order article!

A- SVO vs. SOV

One unique distinction of Urdu script is that it’s written from right to left; its syntactic word order is Subject + Object + Verb. On the other hand, the word order of English is Subject + Verb + Object. To understand the difference, have a look at this sentence:

وہ بانسری بجاتا ہے۔

V     O     S

woh bansuri bajata hai.

V     O      S

“He plays the flute.”

S     V     O

B- Placement of Adjectives and Pronouns

In Urdu, pronouns are usually placed at the beginning of the sentence. Here are some examples:

ہم فلم دیکھتے ہیں۔
hum film daikhtay hain.
“We watch a film.”

تم گانا گاتے ہو۔
tum gana gatay ho.
“You sing a song.”

As for the placement of adjectives in Urdu sentences, note that they’re always placed before the noun they describe:

وہ نیلی کار چلاتا ہے۔
woh neeli car chalata hai.
“He drives a blue car.”

وہ سرخ سیب پسند کرتا ہے۔
woh surkh saib pasand karta hai.
“He likes red apples.”


5. Some Common Urdu Pronunciation Mistakes

A Female Teacher Trying to Explain the Pronunciation of Some Words Transcribed on a White Board

Among all of the Urdu language mistakes that learners make, incorrect pronunciation is at the top of the list. That said, the best way to improve your pronunciation is to practice and learn from your mistakes as you go. If you want to dig deeper into the topic of pronunciation, feel free to read our article all about Urdu Pronunciation

Now, let’s see a few of the most common pronunciation mistakes for Urdu-learners.

ا (alif) vs. ع (ain)

Urdu-learners often confuse the sounds ا (alif) and ع (ain). 

The pronunciation of آم (aam) and عام (aam) are quite similar in English, but they tend to sound different when spoken by natives. Since, in English, there’s no sound equal to the consonant ع, it’s very common for native English-speakers to say it incorrectly. 

ت (tay) vs. ط (to’e)

On a similar note, non-natives tend to confuse the sounds of ت (tay) and ط (to’e). The latter sound is absent in English as well. Let’s see how these two sounds are most often confused.

  • تارک (tarik) – “the one who denounces”
  • طارق (tariq) – “morning star”

Due to the absence of the latter sound in English, it’s much more commonly mispronounced by English-speakers than the former sound. 

ک (kaaf) vs. ق (qaaf)

Another pair of sounds that often confuses Urdu-learners is ک (kaaf) and ق (qaaf). However, there’s a big difference in the pronunciation of these two sounds; the former is much closer to the ‘k’ sound and the latter is equivalent to the ‘q’ sound. Here’s an example of how these sounds are often confused:

  • کاش (kaash) – “would that”
  • قاش (qaash) – “piece”

6. Other Urdu Mistakes

Two Girls Sitting on a Sea-side, Experiencing an Embarrassing Situation

Finally, some of the most common embarrassing mistakes in Urdu have to do with using the wrong word! Following are some examples of mistakes you should avoid. 

A- Replacing سوکھی with سکھی

سدا سکھی رہو۔
sada sukhi raho.
“May you be happy forever.”

سدا سُوکھی رہو۔
sada sookhi raho.
“May you be thin forever.”

B- Replacing مرض with مرد 

اسے ایک مرض لگا ہوا ہے۔
Usay aik marz laga hua hai.
“She is suffering from an illness.”

اسے ایک مرد لگا ہوا ہے۔
Usay aik mard laga hua hai.
“A man is attached to her.” OR “A man is using her.” (sexual connotation)

7. Conclusion

In this article, you’ve learned about the most common mistakes in learning Urdu along with some common Urdu grammar mistakes. With this knowledge in mind, and an abundant source of vocabulary tools and other language lessons, you should be able to avoid these Urdu mistakes with few problems. 

Did we miss any particular Urdu mistakes that you wanted to know about? Let us know in the comments! 

Remember to visit UrduPod101.com—a storehouse saturated with resources about the Urdu language. We always take pleasure in extending our helping hand to you in your efforts to learn Urdu.

Until next time, very happy Urdu-learning!

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Urdu Keyboard: How to Install and Type in Urdu

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You asked, so we provided—easy-to-follow instructions on how to set up your electronic devices to write in Urdu! We’ll also give you a few excellent tips on how to use this keyboard, as well as some online and app alternatives if you prefer not to set up a Urdu keyboard.

Log in to Download Your Free Urdu Alphabet Worksheet Table of Contents
  1. Why it’s Important to Learn to Type in Urdu
  2. Setting up Your Computer and Mobile Devices for Urdu
  3. How to Activate an Onscreen Keyboard on Your Computer
  4. How to Change the Language Settings to Urdu on Your Computer
  5. Activating the Urdu Keyboard on Your Mobile Phone and Tablet
  6. Urdu Keyboard Typing Tips
  7. How to Practice Typing Urdu

1. Why it’s Important to Learn to Type in Urdu

A keyboard

Learning a new language is made so much easier when you’re able to read and write/type it. This way, you will:

  • Get the most out of any dictionary and Urdu language apps on your devices
  • Expand your ability to find Urdu websites and use the various search engines
  • Be able to communicate much better online with your Urdu teachers and friends, and look super cool in the process! 

2. Setting up Your Computer and Mobile Devices for Urdu

A phone charging on a dock

It takes only a few steps to set up any of your devices to read and type in Urdu. It’s super-easy on your mobile phone and tablet, and a simple process on your computer.

On your computer, you’ll first activate the onscreen keyboard to work with. You’ll only be using your mouse or touchpad/pointer for this keyboard. Then, you’ll need to change the language setting to Urdu, so all text will appear in Urdu. You could also opt to use online keyboards instead. Read on for the links!

On your mobile devices, it’s even easier—you only have to change the keyboard. We also provide a few alternatives in the form of online keyboards and downloadable apps.

3. How to Activate an Onscreen Keyboard on Your Computer

1- Mac

1. Go to System Preferences > Keyboard.

2. Check the option “Show Keyboard & Character Viewers in Menu Bar.”

3. You’ll see a new icon on the right side of the main bar; click on it and select “Show Keyboard Viewer.”

A screenshot of the keyboard viewer screen

2- Windows

1. Go to Start > Settings > Easy Access > Keyboard.

2. Turn on the option for “Onscreen Keyboard.”

3- Online Keyboards

If you don’t want to activate your computer’s onscreen keyboard, you also have the option to use online keyboards. Here are some good options:

4- Add-ons of Extensions for Browsers

Instead of an online keyboard, you could also choose to download a Google extension to your browser for a language input tool. The Google Input Tools extension allows users to use input tools in Chrome web pages, for example.

4. How to Change the Language Settings to Urdu on Your Computer

Man looking at his computer

Now that you’re all set to work with an onscreen keyboard on your computer, it’s time to download the Urdu language pack for your operating system of choice:

  • Windows 8 (and higher)
  • Windows 7
  • Mac (OS X and higher)

1- Windows 8 (and higher)

  1. Go to “Settings” > “Change PC Settings” > “Time & Language” > “Region & Language.”
  2. Click on “Add a Language” and select “Urdu.” This will add it to your list of languages. It will appear as اردو with the note “language pack available.”
  3. Click on اردو > “Options” > “Download.” It’ll take a few minutes to download and install the language pack.
  4. As a keyboard layout, you’ll only need the one marked as “Urdu – اردو.” You can ignore other keyboard layouts.

2- Windows 7

1. Go to Start > Control Panel > Clock, Language, and Region.

2. On the “Region and Language” option, click on “Change Keyboards or Other Input Methods.”

3. On the “Keyboards and Languages” tab, click on “Change Keyboards” > “Add” > “Urdu.”

4. Expand the option of “Urdu” and then expand the option “Keyboard.” Select the keyboard layout marked as “Urdu.” You can ignore other keyboard layouts. Click “OK” and then “Apply.”

3- Mac (OS X and higher)

If you can’t see the language listed, please make sure to select the right option from System Preferences > Language and Region

1. From the Apple Menu (top left corner of the screen) go to System Preferences > Keyboard.

2. Click the Input Sources tab and a list of available keyboards and input methods will appear.

3. Click on the plus button, select “Urdu,” and add the “Urdu” keyboard.

Adding a system language

5. Activating the Urdu Keyboard on Your Mobile Phone and Tablet

Texting and searching in Urdu will greatly help you master the language! Adding a Urdu keyboard on your mobile phone and/or tablet is super-easy.

You could also opt to download an app instead of adding a keyboard. Read on for our suggestions.

Below are the instructions for both iOS and Android mobile phones and tablets.

1- iOS

1. Go to Settings > General > Keyboard.

2. Tap “Keyboards” and then “Add New Keyboard.”

3. Select “Urdu” from the list.

4. When typing, you can switch between languages by tapping and holding on the icon to reveal the keyboard language menu.

2- Android

1. Go to Settings > General Management > Language and Input > On-screen Keyboard (or “Virtual Keyboard” on some devices) > Samsung Keyboard.

2. Tap “Language and Types” or “ + Select Input Languages” depending on the device and then “MANAGE INPUT LANGUAGES” if available.

3. Select اردو from the list.

4. When typing, you can switch between languages by swiping the space bar.

3- Applications for Mobile Phones

If you don’t want to add a keyboard on your mobile phone or tablet, this is a good app to consider:

6. Urdu Keyboard Typing Tips

Typing in Urdu can be very challenging at first! Therefore, we added here a few useful tips to make it easier to use your Urdu keyboard.

A man typing on a computer

1- Computer

How you type Urdu depends on the Urdu keyboard you’re using. If the Urdu keyboard displays all the characters, it’s easiest to use. 

However, if all the characters are not displayed at once, then you can always use the Shift button to use the characters that aren’t being displayed. 

2- Mobile Phones

If you’re using the QWERTY keyboard, then it’s identical to any other computer keyboard. Writing Urdu on this keyboard is relatively easy as compared to the shortened version of the keyboard.

7. How to Practice Typing Urdu

As you probably know by now, learning Urdu is all about practice, practice, and more practice! Strengthen your Urdu typing skills by writing comments on any of our lesson pages, and our teacher will answer. If you’re a UrduPod101 Premium PLUS member, you can directly text our teacher via the My Teacher app—use your Urdu keyboard to do this!

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An Unavoidable Guide to Talk about Family in Urdu

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Family is one of the most powerful and influential social institutions in Pakistan. It has certain emotional and economic factors that invigorate its roots in Urdu culture. People are ready to jeopardize anything when it comes to their family; therefore, knowing the prevalent familial system and its values can empower you to be a good fit in Pakistani society.

If you want to win the heart of someone, be smart enough to explore the vocabulary for talking about family in Urdu. By doing so, you can always increase your chances to break through the walls of indifference and become personal with Urdu people.

In this article, you will learn many Urdu words and phrases concerning the questions and queries such as the Urdu word for family, family name in Urdu, family relationship in English to Urdu, family members in Urdu, etc. You will also learn various expressions to talk about one’s family in dear ones in Urdu.

A Family of Four Persons Walking on a Trail

Log in to Download Your Free Cheat Sheet - Family Phrases in Urdu Table of Contents
  1. Family in Urdu
  2. List of Family Member Terms and Basic Sentence Pattern to Talk about Family in Urdu
  3. Terms of Relatives in Urdu
  4. Family Member Terms as a Married Person in Urdu
  5. Endearment Terms
  6. Extra Information
  7. Conclusion

1. Family in Urdu

Family Quotes

(khaandaan) is the Urdu word that is used as the equivalent of the English word family. Whenever someone starts speaking and sharing his or her family chit-chat with you, it is the moment to realize that you have become significant to him or her finally. Also, have a look at some other not-to-be-missed Urdu words and phrases in the following section. It is a fact that family is important to all English and Urdu speaking people equally; therefore, knowing the family meaning in Urdu with its cultural implications is as important as understanding its meaning in English.   

  • خاندان (Khaandaan) – family
  • رشتہ دار (rishtah daar) – relative
  • میرے اپنے (meray apnay) – my own (a slang for blood relations)
  • میری والدہ (meri waalidah) – my mother
  • میرے والد (meray waalid) – my father
  • والدین (waalidain) – parents

A Group Photo of a Muslim Family

A- The Sociocultural Significance of Family in Pakistan

In Pakistani culture, people live in a joint family system. Due to this reason, family plays a vital role in making the major decisions about a member’s life including personal matters like marriage, studies, and career. People also live in nuke families in the metropolitans but the numbers of such families are considerably lesser than the joint families.

B- Family a Cementing Force in Urdu Culture

Since Pakistanis living in joint family systems are tuned to follow a proper chain of command in which elder members act as the upper tier of hierarchy and they make sure to decide and implement their decisions in the best interest of the family; therefore, the institution of the family tends to act as an adhesive force in Pakistani culture. People tend to respect and obey the elder’s decisions so that the family may remain intact. In this way, they prefer the collective cause to the individual pursuits.

C- Mind the Age, Please!

When you are talking to or about someone’s family in Urdu, please be mindful of the age of the person under discussion because if you are speaking to or about an elder person, you should be reasonably respectful. It does not hurt your ego but it is normative to give respect to the elders. Pakistanis think it to be offensive if you talk to or speak about their elders rudely.

Also, be respectful to or about the female family members. Gender is a sensitive issue in Urdu culture. Children should be treated with love; however, you can afford to be a bit casual with them. You can take maximum liberty in the case of your age fellows as they can respond to you back casually and cheerfully most of the time.

2. List of Family Member Terms and Basic Sentence Pattern to Talk about Family in Urdu

The most immediate family members are given more value and treated with great affection and reverence in Urdu culture; therefore, starting with a list of such relations is the best approach. Below, you will learn some words used for the most immediate blood relations along with a few sentence patterns about how to speak about the most immediate blood relations also. 

A- Parents

  •          ماں  (maa) – mother

وہ میری ماں ہے۔
Woh meri maa hai.
She is my mother.

  •          باپ (baap) – father

میرا باپ ایک امیر آدمی ہے۔
Mera baap aik ameer aadmi hai.
My father is a rich man.

B- بہن بھائی (Behan bhai) – Siblings

  •          بھائی (bhai) brother

میرا بھائی ایک سپاہی ہے۔
Mera bhai aik sipaahi hai.
My brother is a soldier.

بڑا بھائی (bara bhai) – elder brother
چھوٹا بھائی (chota bhai) – younger brother

  •          بہن (behan) – sister

میری بہین کالج جاتی ہے۔
Meri behan college jaati hai.
My sister goes to college.

بڑی بہن (bari behan) – elder sister
چھوٹی بہن (choti behan) – younger sister

Two Sisters Playing with a Toy in the Jolly Mood

C- Grandparents and Great Grand Parents in Urdu

  •          دادا (daada) – grandfather
  •          دادی (daadi) – grandmother
  •          پردادا (pardaada) – great grandfather
  •          پردادی (pardaadi) – great grandmother
  •          لکڑدادا (lakkar daada) – great-great-grandfather
  •          لکڑدادی (lakkar daadi) – great-great-grandmother

میرے دادا جان ایک کاروباری آدمی تھے۔
Meray dada jaan aik kaarobaari aadmi thay.
My grandfather was a businessman.

میری دادی جان ایک گھریلو خاتون ہیں
Meri daadi jaan aik gharelu khatoon hain.
My grandmother is a housewife.

A Family Photograph Having a Daughter, a Mother, Grandmother, and a Great-Grandmother in a Single Frame

3. Terms of Relatives in Urdu

Relative Words

Do not underestimate the significance of relatives in Urdu culture, as they constitute a major part of the برادری (baraadri) brotherhood/caste system. People tend to live in the brotherhood of the same caste. Usually, they marry within the same caste and develop deeper relationships with the people of the same caste. This reason elevates the importance of relatives in Pakistan. Let us go through a list of unavoidable relatives below here.

  •          چچّا (chach-cha) – paternal uncle
  •          چچّی (chach-chi) – paternal aunt
  •          ماموں (mamoon) – maternal uncle
  •          ممانی (mamaani) – maternal aunt
  •          بھابی (bhaabi) – sister in law
  •          خالہ (khaala) – mother’s sister
  •          خالو (khaaloo) – husband of mother’s sister
  •          پُھوپھی (phoophi) – father’s sister
  •          پُھوپھا (phoopha) – husband of father’s sister
  •          بھتیجا (bhateeja) – paternal nephew
  •          بھتیجی (bhateeji) – paternal niece
  •          بھانجا (bhaanja) – maternal nephew
  •          بھانجی (bhaanji) – maternal niece
  •          چچّا زاد بھائی (chach-cha zaad bhai) – paternal cousin (male)
  •          چچّا زاد بہن (chach-cha zaad behan) – paternal cousin (female)
  •          خالہ زاد بھائی (khaala zaad bhai) – maternal cousin (male)
  •          خالہ زاد بہن (khaala zaad behan) – maternal cousin (female)

A Group of Cousins Enjoying Something Funny on a Laptop

4. Family Member Terms as a Married Person in Urdu

Extended families cannot be ignored for they have their importance for the Urdu people. When a person gets married, the circle of the family is broadened. Although they cannot replace the blood relations, they still have a set place in the extended family circle particularly in the lives of the newly married couples. Let us go through a list of a few such relations underneath here.

  •          بیوی (beevi) – wife
  •          خاوند (khaawand) – husband
  •          بیٹی (beti) – daughter
  •          بیٹا (beta) – son
  •          سالا (saala) – brother-in-law (brother of wife)
  •          بہنوئی (behnoi) brother-in-law (sister’s husband)
  •          سالی (saali) – sister-in-law (sister of wife)
  •          بھابی (bhaabi) – sister-in-law (wife of brother)
  •          ساس (saas) – mother-in-law
  •          سُسر (susar) – father-in-law

5. Endearment Terms

When Pakistanis adore and love someone, they become more expressive and never hesitate to tell their feelings. It is because of this reason that the Urdu language has a wide range of terms of endearment and keeps on using them in their real-life situations on the required basis. Given below are some of the endearment terms frequently used in the Urdu language.

  •          امّی جان (ammi jaan)  – mother

میری امّی جان سے ملیں۔
Meri ammi jaan say milain.
Meet my mother.

  •          ابّو جان (abbu jaan) – father

میرے ابّو جان نے مجھے ایک تحفہ دیا۔
Meray abbu jaan nay mujhay aik tohfa diya.
My father gave me a gift.

  •          بابا جانی (baaba jaani) – father

بابا جانی، مجھے کچھ پیسے دیں۔
Baaba jaani, mujhay kuch paisay dein.
Father, please, give me some money.

The Shape of Heart Made with Hands – a Gesture of Showing Endearment

6. Extra Information

Now, it is the right time to discuss some Urdu proverbs that pertain to the familial conditions present in Pakistan. The proverbs speak of certain societal and universal facts across the globe. The following proverbs also reveal some generalities about the family and subsequent relations popularized by the masses in Pakistan.   

  •          جیسا باپ ویسا بیٹا
    Jaisa baap wesa beta
    Like father, like son.

The above-mentioned proverb is used to depict a similarity between a son and a father.

  •          ہونہار پُوت کے پاؤں پالنے میں ہی نظر آ جاتے ہیں۔
    Honhaar poot kay paaon paalnay mein he nazar aa jaatay hain.
    Coming events cast their shadows beforehand.

This proverb speaks about the predictability of the future of a son based on his childhood habits.

  •          اپنا اپنا غیر غیر
    Apna apna ghair ghair
    Blood is thicker than water.

You can use the above-given expression to differentiate between a blood relation and the otherwise.

7. Conclusion

This article has not only helped you learn about family terms in the Urdu language but also empowered you to learn about family through Urdu words, Urdu phrases, and Urdu family vocabulary. Also, it has added value to your existing knowledge about basic family words in Urdu as well as about the most common family words in the Urdu language. Not only the article has helped you to grasp certain Urdu and English family words but also it imparts you with some basic expressions to speak Urdu and talk about familiar concerns. 

Do you feel prepared to speak about a family with the natives with full confidence? Regardless of whether your answer is ‘yes’ or ‘no’, we look forward to having your response at UrduPod101.com as we are ever ready to get back to you at the earliest to address your concerns and queries.

Besides it, forget not to be a frequent visitor of UrduPod101.com as it is a rich repository of Urdu language learning resources such as Urdu dictionary, Urdu vocabulary, Urdu pronunciation, Urdu grammar, etc. that will help you hone your integrated Urdu language skills eventually.

Very Happy Urdu Learning!

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