Learning Urdu Language(اردو زبان)

I being a polyglot, I like languages, scripts. During my Indology course, I learnt even ancient script Bramhi. Because of my education and profession, which is related to computers, I learnt quite a few computer programming languages as well in the past.  I also got exposed to languages and use in computers more when I was involved in localization for software systems. Due to that, and also mainly my exposure to languages such as Urdu(which has right to left script), because of trekking to forts in Sahyadri, I wished to know more and learn Urdu, Persian and even Arabic. One can find many inscriptions in these right-to-left scripts on the forts, I was left wondering as to what would their content be, due to lack of knowledge of those scripts.

My opportunity to learn Urdu came by in 2009, when I learnt about Urdu diploma program which is run by NCPUL(National Council for Promotion of Urdu Language, under Government of India). They have tied up with various Urdu schools all over in the country to run this special program which is open to anyone, and the program is highly subsidized. Plus they provide all the course material which includes 4-5 books. I enrolled myself into it that year and whole new world of this language, script, literature, its influence, role in the history opened in front of me.

I wanted to write this blog mainly to let my readers know that if you want to have opportunity to learn it, the course would begin soon in year 2016. The registration will soon be open. Watch out for an ad which appears in the newspapers later in December for more information. You can get more details on their website too. Let me give you brief details of this course and what all you can expect.

The course, of course, begins with Urdu script. The detailed explanation of various rules associated with reading and writing, with help of practice books is provided. Introduction to words, simpler to complex is provided. The nuances of language is further introduced with help of book containing reading material. During the course, student is also introduced to influence of Arabic, Persian and even Hindi words to the language. As it is well known fact that Urdu developed during 13th century in Deccan, by borrowing words from different languages which army-men spoke. Urdu poetry, such as ghazals, is also introduced. Ghazals are hugely popular in India, and many students come to this course have background of ghazals. The course ends with an easy examination at the end of year. The lectures are conducted twice a week, for about 3 hours each time, and one can attend one of the two days.The course material consists of following books:

  1. Urdu for All(introduction to Urdu script)
  2. Ibtedai Urdu(preliminary reading material)
  3. Assan Urdu Shayari(poetry)
  4. Intekhab-e-Nasr-e-Urdu(essays, advanced reading material)

To me the key thing was script. We generally are familiar with many Urdu words due to its closeness to Hindi, and also due to wide use of it in movies. I am, of course, no Urdu expert, and have a long way to go in ability to read fast, also decipher variants of scripts, and writing. I am on it though, slowly and steadily! Google Language Bar also provides Urdu as a choice for input, that makes it easy while typing on computers, but writing on piece of paper is always a joy.


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