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How to Translate English to Urdu
Spoken by more than 100 million people, Urdu is the official language of Pakistan. It’s also widely spoken in India and places that have large numbers of expats from these countries. If you need to translate Urdu text to English, you can find translators online and in software programs.
What Is Urdu?
Urdu is an Indo-Aryan language that’s mutually intelligible with Hindi, the official language of India. Although speakers of both languages can understand each other, there are some slight differences between them. Urdu draws on influences from Arabic and Persian, and the language is written in Arabic script that moves from left to right across the page. Hindi uses Devanagari script written from left to right.
Google Translate is available on a web page and as an app for mobile devices. To use the program, type the text you want to translate in one column. You can let the program detect the language you’re using or select one from the drop down menu. When you click the button to translate the text, the translated text appears next to the original words. You can then copy and paste the Urdu text into your working document.
Although machine translation works in some situations, there are times when you should consider using a human translation service. These services can be more reliable than a machine because the people completing the translation know how to make sure the words on the page reflect the context of the document.
To use these services, you submit the document to a website. They start with machine translation, but then a person who is fluent in the language reviews it make sure the translated text is accurate. They also check the actual words used to ensure there is nothing offensive in the new text. This is an important consideration if you’re translating official documents for the government of a business.
Some Microsoft Office products let you translate all or part of a document from one language to another. To use this feature, copy and paste the Urdu text into the document. Then select Translate from the Review menu. The system sends the text over the internet to a third-party translation service that completes the translation. You also can translate parts of the text in the Mini-Translator. Microsoft uses machine translation for both of these services.
Tips for Translating from English to Urdu
When translating from one language into another, it helps to have an understanding of both languages. Although a simple word to word translation is acceptable when you need to get the gist of a document, it may not be enough for written communication. Keep this in mind as you choose a translation service.
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Free Urdu lessons
LingoHut, as always, provides a user-friendly platform with 125 free lessons tailored to grant you mastery over Urdu vocabulary and pronunciation. Each lesson is a 5-minute capsule of linguistic essentials, equipped with voice recordings to guide your pronunciation to native-like fluency. These brief yet comprehensive sessions are designed to easily fit into the schedules of immigrants, refugees, and globetrotters. Whether you're seeking employment opportunities in Urdu-speaking regions or simply captivated by the richness of the language, LingoHut ensures that your learning journey is both cost-free and fulfilling.
Learn to speak Urdu
Imagine being a healthcare worker aiming to offer compassionate services in Pakistan, or a refugee trying to navigate a new life in an Urdu-speaking community abroad. LingoHut prepares you for such real-world scenarios by offering you a deeply engaging experience without any financial strings attached. It stands as an invaluable tool to enrich your interaction with Urdu culture, deepen your understanding of its history, and most importantly, foster genuine connections with its speakers. In essence, LingoHut doesn't just teach you words; it grants you a lens through which you can perceive the cultural and emotional nuances that make Urdu a language as rich as the history it embodies.
Urdu, the poetic language that harmonizes the intricate threads of various cultures—ranging from Persian to Arabic to Sanskrit—holds an aura that transcends borders. Often dubbed the 'language of love and etiquette,' Urdu is more than just a means of communication; it's an artistic medium that has graced the pages of legendary literature and the scripts of iconic films. For the many Pakistanis and Indians who form part of the global diaspora, as well as for refugees displaced by regional conflicts, the language is a cherished heirloom, a marker of identity.
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Why learn urdu, urdu resource for homeschooling.
As homeschooling grows, parents look for good foreign language resources to teach Urdu. Your homeschooler deserves the best platform to learn Urdu, giving them the tools to communicate and understand Urdu. This free homeschool foreign language resource helps build Urdu vocabulary and provides a place to practice the proper pronunciation of Urdu. Does your child want to learn Urdu?
Urdu resource for foreign language teachers
It isn't easy for a foreign language teacher to find good foreign language resources to help students improve their new Urdu language skills. At LingoHut, we focus on building Urdu vocabulary and teaching the proper pronunciation of Urdu. It is an entirely free resource that foreign language teachers can confidently recommend. Students do not need an account to learn on the website. Do you teach Urdu? Share this free foreign language resource.
Boost your professional development with Urdu language skills
Invest in your future and learn Urdu to accelerate your career. With the rapid pace of change, you must continually update your skills and knowledge. Stand out from the crowd with Urdu language skills.
Learn Urdu and get more out of your travel experience
Before a trip, the best preparation you can do is to learn some Urdu words. Learning Urdu will provide you with a better experience during your travels. Start learning Urdu today at LingoHut.com. Click on any of the 125 + free online Urdu lessons above to start your journey to communicate in Urdu.
Learn Urdu with the "drip-feed" approach
Imagine a dripping faucet, each drop collecting to form a puddle that continues to expand with each drip. Similarly, this approach focuses on understanding Urdu in small increments. Think of each Urdu word as a drop and each Urdu phrase/sentence as a small puddle, which finally becomes the large pool of your new language mastery and success. Bit by bit, step by step, drop by drop, Urdu is integrated successfully into your knowledge base!
ONLINE URDU CLASSES
Grammar-based - Student-centered - One-to-one approach
My name is Naveed, I have been teaching Urdu for 28 years now.
I use a variety of teaching methods in my class to make sure that everybody feels welcome, engaged and excited to learn. On top of that, I do my best to provide students with any help and support they need to get the best results. In my class, you will never be alone.
Please see below some testimonials from former students. Get in touch to know more about my approach and to get a quote. I look forward to helping you learn Urdu!
"Naveed is an excellent Urdu teacher. His teaching method yields quick results and you can learn a ton of grammar and vocabulary in a short amount of time (in fact, much quicker than a university language I once did or with any other teacher I worked with). He teaches well online, is very reliable, and can adapt style and content to your needs. I would highly recommend him to anyone looking to study Urdu - whether it starting from scratch or brushing up on existing knowledge!"
"Great grammar instructor and experienced educator!"
"This guy is a great Urdu teacher! When I learned from him, he was teaching all ex-pats living in Lahore. Naveed really knows how to teach the language, and he's super knowledgeable about it as well."
"I've been studying with Naveed for several months now. I knew absolutely nothing about Urdu when we began. I'm not the fastest learner either. Naveed is a wonderful teacher though. He is very patient and professional. He has a great system he uses that makes learning the sentence structure very easy. i highly recommend Naveed if you want to learn this beautiful language."
"Mr. Naveed's class is comfortable and interactive. His conversation style approach is supplemented perfectly with grammar and vocabulary. I learnt so much Urdu in a short period of time, but most importantly I look forward to class every week because he makes learning fun!"
"Naveed was a great introductory teacher, he helped me gain confidence in speaking and was extremely helpful with foundational grammar rules and vocabulary. I would recommend him to anyone."
"Naveed is a great teacher, and his lessons are very practical. They're conversation oriented rather than about doing worksheets or straight memorization, with bits and pieces of vocabulary and grammar added in each lesson. We get to talk about all sorts of things, not just standard language lesson topics. The flow is very organic, and I've learned massive amounts of Urdu in a short time. Do recommend!"
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Aamozish aims to provide unique and unconventional online education of Urdu language, Poetry and Literature.
Rasm-ul-Khat: Learning the Urdu Script
The word literally translates to “script”. This course, with its unconventional yet scientific approach helps you become a master at reading Urdu.
Alfaaz Part - I : Learning the Urdu Vocabulary
Enrich your Urdu vocabulary with 14 categories of most essential Urdu words used in poetry with hundreds of examples from the marvellous legacy of Urdu poetry.
Alfaaz Part - II : Learning the Urdu Vocabulary
Build upon Alfaaz Part - I and learn another set of most popular poetic words of Urdu poetry. Using words in sentences becomes very easy by prose examples in Alfaaz Part - II.
A Rekhta Foundation Initiative
Rekhta Foundation is a not-for-profit organization working for the preservation and promotion of Urdu language, literature and culture. Urdu’s eloquence and elegance make it into the perfect medium for emotional expression through poetry and graceful articulation in conversation.
Through Aamozish, Rekhta aims to build the world’s largest online Urdu learning platform that pays homage to this soulful language.
On successful completion of the course at 50% score, you will be provided course completion certificate.
Rekhta Foundation, B - 37, Sector - 1, Noida U.P. - 201301, India
8 Best And Worst Online Urdu Courses For 2023
- Read time 8 mins
Looking for the best online Urdu course to learn the language?
Urdu is rising in popularity, as more and more course options are being released.
In addition to tourism and foreign language careers , the benefits of speaking Urdu cannot be overstated.
Today I’m going to give you my rundown of the best (and worst) online Urdu courses.
Below you’ll find pros and cons for each Urdu course, pricing and a summary. Where applicable, I’ll link to a review of the course.
Table Of Contents
- Transparent Language
- Mango Languages
- Living Language
IMPORTANT : Some of the items listed below are probably only loosely defined as “courses” for Urdu. The reason I’ve included them is that they’re popular enough Urdu tools and therefore should be included.
DISCLAIMER : The comments below are personal opinions and some affiliate links are used.
The best Urdu courses online (most popular Urdu resources)
Cost: Starts as low as $4 a month.
Summary: UrduPod101 is a brilliant online resource for learning Urdu (especially listening comprehension). If you’re into podcast learning especially, this might be the course for you.
UrduPod101 uses audio lessons similar to podcasts. Lessons are suitable for beginners through more advanced levels. The instruction not only includes listening skills but also incorporates essential vocabulary and grammar with loads of other useful features.
What I like:
- Large and always expanding variety of Urdu lesson material
- Clean lesson interface and downloadable content
What I don’t like:
- Content choices are sparse beyond the beginner level
- Too much English banter
- While the lesson interface is nice, the rest of the site is overwhelming and confusing to navigate
UNIQUE OFFER : Use the code MEZZOGUILD to save 25% on any of their Urdu course options.
Cost: Prices vary widely
Summary: italki connects learners with tutors, teachers and conversation partners. As with similar services, it doesn’t a curriculum or content to instructors - just facilitates.
The good thing about italki is their vetted onboarding process for teachers which ensures quality. italki has earned its amazing reputation.
Teachers succeed on italki through client feedback, meaning subpar teachers simply will not cut it on the platform.
- Facilitates great connections with expert teachers.
- No set curriculum means you could be paired with an inexperienced new teacher not yet weeded out by italki’s review system.
Summary: Memrise moved its free “community” courses to a site called Memrise a while back, while it continues to run a premium subscription on the original Memrise site.
From what I see, Memrise is identical to what Memrise use to offer.
Memrise are 100% free community-added courses (Urdu and others) in the form of a gamified flashcard deck. You select a language or dialect, then go through a flashcard game of “watering plants”. It’s highly addictive and actually quite effective.
Some courses are excellent but not all courses are good. Look for ones that include audio and ones that teach phrases rather than single words.
See my video on downloading Memrise to Anki.
- It’s an effective memorization tool for phrases and words.
- The addictive nature of the game gets you coming back often to continue learning.
- It’s all free.
- There are loads of community-driven courses to choose from.
- As it’s community-driven, you can’t always guarantee quality.
4. Transparent Language
Cost: Pricing varies
Summary: Transparent is one of the most surprising online Urdu courses I’ve tried.
The system and interface are antiquated and slow which is a real drawback, but if you can look past it, Transparent Language provides a real depth of Urdu course content.
The voice recognition comparison is non-existent in Transparent Language. It relies on recording on your voice and showing you your sound wave to compare with the native speaker’s sound wave.
No inbuilt system to automatically compare sounds.
The Transparent Language course has a “Produce it. Say it.” section that literally asks you “Were you right?”.
In other words, no way to automatically detect whether you were correct or not – it relies on your own determination. This is incredibly outdated.
Overall, if you can look past the outdated design and deficient voice recording aspect, Transparent Language Urdu is an outstanding course option.
- Urdu dialogue is 100% natural speed
- Extensive coverage and depth of content
- Outdated and slow interface that’s a pain to navigate
- Pronunciation section has no inbuilt voice recognition to compare to native dialogue
Cost: $4.99 monthly per language, $9.99 for all 140 languages, $99.99 for a lifetime subscription
Summary: uTalk is essentially a fancy flashcard app, an alternative to Memrise and a great way to learn words and phrases in hundreds of different languages.
There are thousands of potential language pair combinations and tons of native speaker audio recordings with picture associations.
- Authentic native speaker audio
- Hundreds of available languages
- Thousands of potential language combinations
- Easily affordable
- Games are mediocre
- Broad approach that isn’t tailored for specific languages
6. Mango Languages
Cost: $7.99 a month
Summary: Mango Languages has implemented what I believe to be one of the best ‘chunking’ approaches in its course style I’ve ever seen (very close to my own successful method). It does this by avoiding grammar Urdu explanations and instead highlighting lexical chunks in colors to help you learn language patterns.
One of the best features I’ve seen in a language product. Period.
The only problem with Mango is that it’s quite lightweight on its course depth. If they developed an advanced course for Urdu, I’d be a raging fan.
- Beautifully designed Urdu course
- Focuses on lexical chunks (color coded) rather than rules which is how I prefer to learn
- Minimal grammar focus
- Lack of content depth for higher-level learners
7. Pimsleur Urdu
Cost: $14.95 a month subscription (or $119.95 per level)
Summary: Pimsleur’s a household name for learning Urdu using spaced repetition recall. The lessons focus on practical vocabulary and expressions one might need in various scenarios. This includes greetings, common phrases, and vocabulary you might need when talking to native speakers.
In terms of just how much you get out of it, I’d say Pimsleur is a good entry point for Urdu but it will only familiarize you with the basics. Treat its Urdu course as a foundational course and then move on to something more comprehensive.
Pimsleur does not offer any video or written content. It’s audio only.
Read this Pimsleur review .
- Pimsleur was based on solid research in second language acquisition.
- Extremely effective method despite its age.
- Heavy repetition of Urdu language samples.
- Outdated scenario examples.
- Too much English.
8. Living Language Urdu
Cost: Starts from $25
Summary: I was never a fan of Living Language when I reviewed it several years ago. I’m including it on this list because it is one of the big names and most popular courses for Urdu (plus I get asked about it from time to time).
I found Living Language to be bland, incorrectly levelled and just a very uninspiring grammar-heavy course.
- Very thorough in its grammar explanations
- Incorrect levelling – especially for higher levels
- Trashing of competitors in its marketing is extremely off-putting
UPDATE: Living Language is currently unavailable.
Summary: Best online Urdu courses
This pretty much sums up every online Urdu course option currently available (if I missed one, go ahead and let me know!).
In addition to an Urdu course, make sure you’re getting regular Urdu practice with native speakers.
For that, italki is the easiest way to find really inexpensive practice partners and tutors.
Just remember that even if you have all the courses on this list, you’ll still fail at Urdu without the right motivation, and even a poor Urdu course can be effective in the hands of someone with the right amount of determination to succeed.
For tips on how to learn Urdu and overcoming various language learning struggles, subscribe below by ‘Joining the Guild’ (select Urdu as your target language).
Know of an Urdu course that I didn’t mention?
Share it below in the comment section.
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Urdu language courses.
Studying Urdu at SOAS Language Centre
Urdu came into existence as a result of the Muslim conquest of the Indian sub-continent. The Persian-speaking invaders needed to communicate with the local inhabitants and the medium which evolved was Urdu, whose grammar is based on the Hindustani dialects of the Delhi area but which draws on Persian (and, through Persian, on Arabic) for much of its vocabulary.
Urdu is the national language of Pakistan as well as one of the twenty-two official languages of India. It is often overlooked that the greater number of speakers of Urdu are to be found in India, where they constitute around 7% of the total population. In both Pakistan and India, Urdu serves an important function both as a lingua franca and as a hallmark of an Islamic socio-cultural identity.
Patterns of emigration from the subcontinent have carried Urdu far beyond Pakistan and India, with the result that Urdu can claim with some justice to be one of the more widely spoken languages of the world. Its place among communities of Pakistani and Indian origin in the United Kingdom is a particularly strong one, extending beyond the Muslim community for whom it has a special significance.
Short course in Urdu
- Urdu Beginners online
For course dates and information, please see our timetables .
Back to the Language Centre
In this section
Specialist art short courses
In-person and online short courses specialising in the arts of Asia.
SOAS-Alphawood Postgraduate Diploma in Asian Art
Offered by the SOAS-Alphawood Postgraduate Diploma in Asian Art this is an object-based study of the arts of Asia.
Online Postgraduate Certificate in Asian Art
Offered by the SOAS-Alphawood Postgraduate Diploma in Asian Art, in association with the British Museum and Victoria and Albert Museum.
- VIDEO LESSONS
WHAT IS URDU SEEKHIYE?
Urdu Seekhiye (US) is a project started by Shireen to help her learn Urdu with the whole world. It offers a FREE podcast and a YouTube channel full of video lessons on various topics. Watch the video to learn more! (By the way, Urdu Seekhiye means Learn Urdu .)
New Urdu Handwriting Course
Urdu Seekhiye partners with Handwriting Universe to bring you this COMPLETE-15-lesson-course on how to improve your Urdu handwriting. This is great for all levels; if you’re brand new to Urdu, you can learn to write the alphabet with us and if you’re a seasoned Urdu writer, then you can improve your handwriting with us! We are slowly growing our community of learners, come join us!
Urdu Seekhiye Podcast
For the podcast, Shireen collaborates with various Urdu speakers to bring you short audio lessons. If you want to start speaking Urdu right away, start listening to the podcast now. Be sure to subscribe so you never miss an episode! Thank you for your support!
- Short free audio lessons
- Free PDF handouts
- Fun quizzes to test yourself
- Everyday dialogues
Amazing! Thank you so much for doing this podcast. There’s such a dearth of Urdu learning materials. I’ve been trying to learn Urdu for years. The grammar explanations and pdfs are wonderful.
I’ve just listened to episode 1- Introducing Yourself, and I think it’s a great introduction to a new language. I found it easy to follow with an appropriate amount of detail into the grammar and nuances of Urdu. Looking forward to listening to additional lessons and practicing what I’ve learned!
Great new Urdu Podcast! I am so thrilled to see a new Urdu podcast! Very clear and easy to follow, بہت شکریہ بنا نے کے لیے!!
As someone who has grown up in the states, this podcast has greatly helped me to communicate with family and reconnect with my culture.