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Urdu Resources

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Joined 3692 days ago

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Studies: German

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05 May 2020 at 12:21am | IP Logged 
During the period from February 2020 through May 2020, I conducted a complete revision to the twenty-eight (28) lists of resources which I had posted on the LLORG during the previous three-year period. As revising these types of documents directly on the LLORG in the “Edit Mode” is fraught with difficulties, I removed their contents from the LLORG, stored them on my computer, and completed the revisions. During the revision process an event occurred which prevented me from reposting the contents to their original files and, as a contingency measure, I have posted them here on the HTLAL in the anticipation that either the Administrator or the Moderators of the LLORG will copy/paste them to the LLORG. - Speakeasy


Languages of Pakistan
Pakistan's national language is Urdu, which, along with English, is also the official language. Five languages have more than 10 million speakers each in Pakistan – Punjabi, Pashto, Sindhi, Saraiki and Urdu. Almost all of Pakistan's indigenous languages belong to the Indo-Iranian group of the Indo-European language family. The country also has several regional languages, including Punjabi, Saraiki, Pashto, Sindhi, Balochi, Gujari, Kashmiri, Hindko, Brahui, Shina, Balti, Khowar, Dhatki, Haryanvi, Marwari, Wakhi and Burushaski. – Source: Wikipedia

Languages of India
According to the Census of India of 2001, India has 122 major languages and 1599 other languages. Despite misconceptions, Hindi is not the national language of India. A constitutional amendment, The Official Languages Act, 1963, allowed for the continuation of English alongside Hindi in the Indian government indefinitely until legislation decides to change it. The Constitution of India does not give any language the status of national language. Nevertheless, the Eighth Schedule of the Indian Constitution lists 22 languages, which have been referred to as scheduled languages and given recognition, status and official encouragement. – Source: Wikipedia

Urdu Language
Urdu – Modern Standard Urdu – is a Persianised standard register of the Hindustani language, which itself is based primarily on the Khariboli dialect of Delhi and neighbouring areas of Northern India. Urdu is the official national language, and lingua franca, of Pakistan. In India, it is one of 22 constitutionally recognised official languages, having official status in the five states of Telangana, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand and West Bengal, as well as the national capital territory of Delhi.

As both registers are composed of the same Indo-Aryan vocabulary base, colloquial Urdu is largely mutually intelligible with colloquial Hindi, with the two registers being grouped together as Hindustani or Hindi-Urdu. With respect to literary vocabulary, however, formal Urdu draws heavily from Persian vocabulary and requires knowledge of some simple Persian grammatical structures, while formal Hindi heavily draws from Sanskrit for its formal and technical vocabulary.

Urdu became the official language of government in northern and northwest British India, along with English, from 1837 onwards in place of Persian, which had been used by various Indo-Islamic empires as their language of government. Religious, social, and political factors arose during the colonial period that advocated for a distinction between Urdu and Hindi, leading to the Hindi–Urdu controversy. – Source: Wikipedia


Urdu Courses, Supplements, etc.

Basic Urdu and English Wordbook (1975), 149 pages, by William E. Alli; Agency for International Development (U.S. Dept. of State)
Supplemental text for individual study and classroom instruction. Bulk of the publication is English/Urdu vocabulary, of about 3,000 entries. Document is pending restoration.

Course in Urdu Vol. 1 (1967), 497 pages
Course in Urdu Vol. 2 (1967), 225 pages
Course in Urdu Vol. 3 (1967), 469 pages
By Muhammad Abd-Al-Rahman Barker et al.; McGill University. Audio-lingual method. Course manuals: 1.291 pages. Audio recordings were prepared to accompany the course manuals.   In 1975, Spoken Language Services issued a reprint of these courses, in two volumes, under the title “Spoken Urdu” (see the listing below).

DLI Urdu Basic (1960s – 1970s) - NONE

FSI Urdu Basic (1960s – 1970s) - NONE

Linguaphone Hindustani (Urdu) (1940s-1960s)
Linguaphone publishing history lists a course for Hindustani (Urdu). Out-of-print. Internet resellers offer digitized copies. Linguaphone has begun offering to sell digitized versions of their legacy courses dating as far back as the 1950s.

Spoken Urdu 1 (1975), 497 pages.
Spoken Urdu 2 (1975), 576 pages
By Muhammad Abd-Al-Rahman Barker et al.; published by Spoken Language Services. Likely a reprint, in two volumes, of the 1967 series “A Course in Urdu” by Muhammad Abd-Al-Rahman Barker et al. The two volumes are condensed. Audio cassettes were once available.
Daristani wrote:
While looking forward to Speakeasy's description of his newly purchased Urdu materials, I can confirm that the "Spoken Urdu" series put out by Spoken Language Services was indeed a reissue of the set "A Course in Urdu" by Barker, Hamdani, etc., originally published by McGill University. (The SLS reprint was in considerably reduced size, though, making the already-small letters very tiny indeed.)…

Urdu Course (revised 1982) by the Missionary Language Board of Pakistan (MLB)
Substantial package of materials (books, cassettes) for the acquisition of spoken and written Urdu destined for use by missionaries stationed in Pakistan. Beginners to intermediate. Conceived for use with the assistance of a native-speaker. More details in subsequent post, below.

U.S. Peace Corps Urdu (1960s – 1990s) - NONE

Urdu Readers, Literature, etc. (Legacy)
For reasons of expediency, irrespective of their dates of publication, "legacy" readers and similar materials have been listed in the “contemporary” section of this file.

Urdu Courses, Supplements, etc.

BBC Hindi Urdu Bol Chaal – Review of Course
BBC Hindi Urdu Bol Chaal - YouTube
With many thanks to Daristani!

Beginning Urdu: A Complete Course (2008) by Joshua H. Pien; Georgetown University Press

Colloquial Urdu (2nd ed., 2015) by Tej K. Bhatia; Routledge

Complete Guide for Urdu Examinations (3rd ed., 2003) by Zarina Khand; Noor Sons Publisher

Complete Urdu (5th ed., 2014) (400 pages) by David Matthews et al.; Teach Yourself Books


DLI Headstart2 Urdu

Circa 2018: announcement of prospective expansion of languages. Urdu materials not yet available.

Let's Study Urdu, by Asani, Akbar Hyder; Yale University Press
Let's Study Urdu: An Introductory Course with Online Media (2014), 528 pages
Let's Study Urdu: An Introduction to the Script (2007), 320 pages

Pimsleur Urdu: Level I, by Simon & Schuster

Urdu (Books 1, 2, 3, 4) (2015) by Islamic Educational Organisation of Southern Africa

Urdu Phrasebooks, Language Guides, etc.
This list is not exhaustive, it is a small sample of the phrase books and language guides available for the Urdu language.

DLI Language Survival Kit

Guide de conversation Ourdou (2010), 192 pages; Assimil
Available in FRENCH only.

Kauderwelsch Urdu für Indien und Pakistan, by Daniel Krasa et al.; Reise Know-How Verlag
Kauderwelsch-Sprachführer: Urdu für Indien und Pakistan - Wort für Wort (3rd ed., 2015), 192 pages
Kauderwelsch- AusspracheTrainer Urdu für Indien und Pakistan: AUDIO recordings         
Available in German only. Phrasebook and AUDIO recordings (extracts only). Sold separately.

Learn Urdu (audio download); Innovative Language Learning

Urdu-English/English-Urdu Dictionary & Phrasebook (2003), 175 pages, by Nicholas Awde; Hippocrene Books    

Urdu for Beginners (2007), 148 pages, by Krawaja M. Zakariya; Kazi Publications

Urdu Grammars, Writing, etc.
This list is not exhaustive, it is a small sample of grammars available for the Urdu language.
Urdu: An Essential Grammar (1999), 320 pages, by Ruth Laila Schmidt; Routledge

Urdu Grammar (2014), 198 pages, by David James Young; Independently published

Urdu Grammar Workbook for Beginners (2019), xxx pages, by Michaela Bekaan; Zubaan Professional Language Training & Services
Introductory Grammar of Urdu (Urdu & English) (2001), 219 pages, by Ravinder Gargesh; National Council for Promotion of Urdu Language

Read and Write Urdu Script: A Teach Yourself Guide (2nd ed., 2010), 160 pages, by Richard Delacy; Teach Yourself Books      

Urdu Dictionaries, etc.
This list is not exhaustive, it is a small sample of dictionaries available for the Urdu language.

Essential Urdu Dictionary (2016), 256 pages, by Timsal Masud; Teach Yourself Books

Ferozsons Urdu - English Dictionary (2nd ed., 1988), 831 pages, by Raza Muhajir Ali Mus; Ferozsons Ltd

Oxford Urdu-English Dictionary (2013), 1200 pages, by S.M. Salimuddin et al.; Oxford University Press
Oxford Urdu-English Mini Dictionary (2010), 700 pages, by Rauf Parekh; Oxford University Press         
Urdu-English/English-Urdu Practical Dictionary (2016), 420 pages, by Daniel Krasa; Hippocrene Books    
Urdu Readers, Literature, etc.
For reasons of expediency, irrespective of their dates of publication, readers and similar materials have been listed in the “contemporary” section of this file.

Advanced Urdu Reader(2008) by Sultan Ysafzai; Dunwoody Press

Some Useful Sources on Hindi/Urdu Language and Literature; Columbia University
With many thanks to Daristani!

Urdu Newspaper Reader (1985), 322 pages, by Mumtaz Ahmad; Dunwoody Press

Urdu Writing System (1958, reprinted 1976) by William Bright, Saeed A. Kahn - Spoken Language Services
A reprint of the authors’ 1958 course in written Urdu.

Urdu Media


Urdu Miscellany


Please feel at liberty to post your own recommendations and/or comments and I’ll see what I can do about incorporating them into the lists above.

Visitors to this file are encouraged to review the subsequent comments, posted below, as they include members’ suggestions concerning materials and form a running commentary on resources for the study of this language.

Completely revised: April 2020

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