مرکزی صفحہ Teach Yourself Complete Urdu

Teach Yourself Complete Urdu

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It's easy to teach yourself Urdu! Complete Urdu: A Teach Yourself Guide provides you with a clear and comprehensive approach to Urdu, so you can progress quickly from the basics to understanding, speaking, and writing Urdu with confidence. Within each of the 24 thematic chapters, important language structures are introduced through life-like dialogues. You'll learn grammar in a gradual manner so you won't be overwhelmed by this tricky subject. Exercises accompany the texts and reinforce learning in listening, speaking, reading, and writing. This program also features current cultural information boxes that reflect recent changes in society. Features: One and five-minute introductions to key principles to get you started Lots of instant help with common problems and quick tips for success, based on the author's many years of experience Tests in the book and online to keep track of your progress Extra online articles at www.teachyourself.com to give you a richer understanding of the basics of the language
سال:
2011
اشاعت:
3rd Edition
ناشر کتب:
McGraw-Hill
زبان:
english
صفحات:
467
ISBN 10:
0071758747
ISBN 13:
9780071758741
سیریز:
TY: Language Guides
فائل:
PDF, 90.08 MB

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آپ کتاب کا معائنہ کر سکتے ہیں اور اپنے تجربات شیئر کرسکتے ہیں۔ دوسرے قارئین کتابوں کے بارے میں آپ کی رائے میں ہمیشہ دلچسپی رکھیں گے۔ چاہے آپ کو کتاب پسند ہے یا نہیں ، اگر آپ اپنے دیانتدار اور تفصیلی خیالات دیںگے تو لوگوں کو نئی کتابیں ملیںگی جو ان کے لئے صحیح ہیں۔
1

Computer Music Magazine CM173 January 2012 issue 173

سال:
2012
زبان:
english
فائل:
PDF, 106.14 MB
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2

SKF Traijning on Reliability

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®

Teach
Yourself

COMPLETE
adjectives
Take a taxi
the
Tell
future tense
bazaar
old
at the airport
doctor Families
and learn more
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Ask for directions Greetings
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2 x 70-minute audio COs (MP3 compatible)

Level4

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"Global scale" of the Common European Framework of Reference
for Languages: learning, teaching, assessment (CEFR)

"'u......

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>-'

Can understand with ease virtually everything heard or read. Can
summarise information from different spoken and written sources,
reconstructing arguments and accounts in a coherent presentation.
Can express him/herself spontaneously, very fluently and precisely,
differentiating finer shades of meaning even in more complex situations .

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Can understand a wide range of demanding, longer texts, and recognise
implicit meaning. Can express him/herself fluently and spontaneously
without much obvious searching for expressions. Can use language
flexibly and effectively for social, academic and professional purposes.
Can produce clear, well-structured, detailed text on complex subjects,
showing controlled use of organisational patterns, connectors and
cohesive devices.

1-U

Can understand the main ideas of complex text on both concrete
and abstract topics, including technical discussions in his/her field of
specialisation. Can interact with a degree of fluency and spontaneity that
makes regular interaction with native speakers quite possible without
strain for either party. Can produce clear, detailed text on a wide range of
subjects and explain a viewpoint on a topical issue giving the advantages
and disadvantages of various options.
Can understand the main points of clear standard input on familiar
matters regularly encountered in work, school, leisure, etc. Can deal
with most situations ; likely to arise whilst travelling in an area where the
language is spoken. Can produce simple connected text on topics which
are familiar or of personal interest. Can describe experiences and events,
dreams, hopes and ambitions and briefly give reasons and explanations
for opinions and plans.
Can understand sentences and frequently used expressions related to
areas of most immediate relevance (e.g. very basic personal and family
information, shopping, local geography, employment). Can communicate
in simple and routine tasks requiring a simple and direct exchange of
information on familiar and routine matters. Can describe in simple terms
aspects of his/her background, immediate environment and matters in
areas of immediate need.

:;;:

............
->

.....
>-'

~ff
>-w

Can understand and use famili r everyday expressions and very basic
phrases aimed at the satisfaction of needs of a concrete type. Can
introduce him/herself and others and can ask and answer questions
about personal details such as where he/she lives, people he/she knows
and things he/she has. Can interact in o simple way provided the other
person talks slowly and clearly and is prepared to help.

1-U

<0 Council of Europe. www.coe.int/lang.
Extract reproduced with the permission of the Council of Europe, Strasbourg

•

Teach

Yourself

Complete Urdu
David Matthews
and
Mohamed Kasim Dalvi

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1

Contents
vii
viii

Meet the authors
Only got a minute?
Only got five minutes?
Introduction
Reading and writing Urdu
1

X

x/1
XV

~'f-IJI/Ju~.~Y,f-'(JJ.)J Hello! Where Is Vidorla Road?

1

Greeting people, saying hello and goodbye, asking for
directions, identifying people, exchanging personal details
and telephone numbers
2

?.~..JJ/:f:-JJ..Jj_?-f:- f

Please come In and take a seat

19

Introducing yourself, making polite conversation, formal
and respectful expressions, describing your family, talking
to children
3

~'f-~~1/jt:/'~/'T' f

Do you like Pakistani food?

42

Accepting invitations, expressing your needs, likes and
dislikes, taking a taxi, ordering a meal in a restaurant
4

~~viu1J..t;
Life Is not so badl
•

63

~v.! L.f1/J"'A'T' f

83

Expressing possession, describing relationships, talking
about origins, expressing your age, the geography and
people of Pakistan

5

What do you do every dayl

Talking about your work and daily routine, asking others
about what they do, telling the time, the days of the week

{J''vL.~JY

By the seaside

105

Leisure activities, some customs of Pakistan, schooling in
Pakistan, identifying 'who?: 'whose?: 'someone' and
'someone's: talking about the weather, months and dates

Contents

iii

7

8

9

10

11

.::....v.fJ!"'~"vL.:-.~Irl
•
•

We don't have a reservation
123
Describing what you are doing and going to do, booking rail
tickets, using the telephone, finding hotels in another city

if:.J'-:"1.,?~ Can we have the blll1
Talking about future plans, checking out of a hotel,
settling bills, hiring porters at the station

140

fi.)Jvl/~1.5~ Where Is my wlfe7
156
Talking about the past, boarding trains, making comparisons,
more directions, life in Pakistan, arriving in a new city
r'f-J,vr..t~b't'

What a splendid hotell
173
Asking permission and making requests, being hungry and
thirsty, visiting the old bazaar, the history of Lahore

(IJ$~1.)$("'/'Y' fl.)! I'll show you my village

190

Describing what you used to do, discussing the weather,
village life in Pakistan, the points of the compass, more
ways of expressing dates, the 'Great Mughals'
12

I.)J'f-"irJ)f We're off to Delhi
201
Saying what you have been doing, more on the telephone,
excusing yourself for impoliteness, accepting hospitality

13

f~..t~cJLI.-J}L'Y' i Did you pack the luggage yourself?
Checking in at the airport, telling the time more precisely,
fractions, dealing with talkative people, some religious
observances

14

iv

v../J ~V:.If'ml

227

Let'stalk only In Urdu
246
Arriving in India from Pakistan, addressing Hindus and
Sikhs, calling a doctor, coping with minor ailments, stating
your date of birth

15

\'V,T tf.y;t:JJ~Lrr L

16

~'I', I:Jfli1T Ladles and gentlemen

rJJ/"f" f How long have you been
inDelhl7
Announcing yourself to strangers, coping with requests,
using the post office, students and colleges
283

Making a formal speech, saying what you have to do,
saying 'perhaps' and 'although: problems faced by Asians
abroad
17

./:.(d

Bring down the prlcel
Saying if you had done something, saying things keep
happening, buying clothes in the bazaar, weddings

Taking it further
Urdu-English vocabulary
English-Urdu vocabulary
Answer key
Appendix 1: numbers
Appendix 2: relations
Grammatical index

298

316
319

352
370
420
423
424

v

Credits
Front cover: © Mike Bousquet/iStockphoto.com

Back cover and pack:© Jakub SemeniukliStockphoto.com, © Royalty-Free/
Corbis, © agencyby/iStockphoto.com, © Andy CookliStockphoto.com,
© Christopher Ewing/iStockphoto.com, © zebicho - Fotolia.com, © Geoffrey
Holman/iStockphoto.com, © PhotodisdGetty Images, © James C. Pruitt/
iStockphoto.com, © Mohamed Saber- Fotolia.com

Pack: © Stockbyte/Getty Images

vi

Meet the authors
Having taken my first degree in Classics at University College London, I went to
Cambridge University to research into the connections of Greece with the Ancient
Near East. For this, I was required to study a number of Semitic languages, principally
Babylonian and Assyrian. In 1965 I was appointed to a lectureship in the phonetics of
Indian languages at ·the School of Oriental and African Studies in London University.
In the following year I transferred to the Department of South Asia, where for the next
40 years I taught Urdu and Nepali. During this time I was able to spend lengthy periods in
the subcontinent, which I still visit frequently. For my doctoral thesis, I made a study of the
early Urdu literature, which had been produced under the patronage of the Deccan Sultans
between 1500 and 1700 AD. I have published extensively on aspects of Urdu and Nepali
language and literature and have been invited to address conferences in many pares of the
world. For several years I served as Chief Examiner for the International Baccalaureate and
have received many international awards for my services to Urdu literature. In 2009 I was
awarded the Sitara-~ lmtiyaz ('Star of Distinction') by the Government of Pakistan. Apart
from Urdu and Nepali, I also speak fluent French and Russian, in both of which I have
published a number of works.

I was born in 1932 at Dabhil, some 100 miles from Bombay (Mumbai) and had my entire
education in Bombay, acquiring my first degree in English and Urdu literature at St Xavier's
College, University of Bombay. I also have post-graduate degrees in geography, Urdu
and Farsi. Following teacher training at St Xavier's Institute of Education, specializing
in teaching English as a foreign/second language, I began teaching in Bombay, reaching
the position of principal of a high school. Moving to Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, I was
appointed head of the Aga Khan High School and later became headmaster of Aga Khan
Mzizime Higher Secondary School. During my stay in East Africa, I learnt Swahili. I also
speak Gujarati, Hindi and Marathi fluently.
I arrived in the United Kingdom in the spring of 1981 and began teaching English
and Urdu at Leyton Senior High School in London. I soon became Head of Urdu
and subsequently Co-ordinator of Community Languages and Deputy Head of
the Multicultural Development Service in Waltham Forest and, finally, Head of the
Bilingual Education project of the borough.
I retired in 1996, but soon after retirement I began teaching Urdu at the Language
Centre, SOAS, University of London. I was a member of the steering committee for
graded assessment in modern foreign languages, Chief Examiner, Chief Moderator and
Chair of Examiners for GCSE and A level Urdu examinations for the University of
London school examinations council (now Edexcel).

Meet the authors

vii

atlc»mu language of Pakistan, and, in India,
of Jammu and Kashmir, is widely
spoken in the subcontinent and also functions as a
convenient means of communication among Indians
and Pakistanis in the diaspora. Urdu first developed
in and around Delhi after the Muslim conquests of
India in the 13th century AD. It is written in an adapted
form of the Arabic script and has acquired a large part
of its vocabulary from Persian, which for a long time
remained the language of the royal courts. Linguistically,
it belongs to the Indo-European family and is thus
related to English and many other European languages.
Its literature goes back to the end of the 15th century AD
and its poetry, in particular, has always been popular.
Indeed, many'Bollywood'film songs reflect the long
poetic tradition of Urdu and some of the best known
lyrics have been composed by famous Urdu poets.

viii

Grammatically, Urdu is identical to Hindi and
at the spoken level they are mutually intelligible.
When you have learnt Urdu, you will have no trouble
in communicating with Hindi speakers. The obvious
difference between Urdu and Hindi is the script- Urdu
employs the Arabic alphabet and Hindi the distinctive
devanagari script in which Sanskrit, the classical

language of India, was written. Hindi draws much of its
technical vocabulary from Sanskrit, while Urdu retains
its vast stock of Arabic and Persian words that entered
the language several centuries ago. It is here that Hindi
and Urdu mainly diverge.
The grammar and structure of Urdu will appear
familiar to those who have learnt other European
languages. Like French, for example, it has two genders
and a similar range of verbal tenses and moods. One
consolation is that Urdu, unlike French or
hardly any irregular verbs!

got five minutes?
,_'ll,I~Wpi'll'stan, Urdu is universally regarded as 'sweet' (shirin). This

no1nu1g to do with its phonetics, but is rather due to the beauty of its
love poetry, which still forms the basis of the songs that are an obligatory
component of popular 'Bollywood' films. In the past Urdu was cultivated by
the royal courts of the later Mughals, some of whose rulers proved themselves
to be talented Urdu poets. Later it was fostered by the British, who called
the language 'Hindustani' ('Indian') and employed it as a major tool in their
administration.
Urdu belongs to the Indo-European family oflanguages and it is thus related
to English and many other European languages, with which it shares many
grammatical and structural elements. This, of course, makes Urdu much
easier to learn than, say, Arabic or Chinese, the structure and syntax of which
appear quite unfamiliar to English speakers.
Urdu first developed in the areas around Delhi, which became the capital
of the Muslim Sultans, who began their conquest of India at the start of the
13th century AD. The Delhi Sultans spoke a form of Turkish as their mother
tongue, but for their literature and administration they chose Persian, which
by that time had become the undisputed language of polite society and IN/ks
kttrts. The vernacular Indian languages very rapidly acquired a vast stock of
Persian vocabulary, but retained their 'Indian' grammatical base. Here there
is an obvious parallel with English, which, after the Norman conquests, was
enriched by words borrowed directly from French.
During the period of the Sultanate, which held power for over two centuries
until the coming of the Mughals in 1525 AD, the language of Delhi developed
into a convenient means of communication with those who were unable
to understand Persian, the language of the court. Muslim missionaries (the
intrepid Sufis) travelled far and wide to preach the message of Islam and in
doing so transmitted the language of Delhi, at that time generally styled
'Hindi' (the Persian word for 'Indian') as far afield as Bengal, Gujarat and

X

the Deccan plateau in the south. In Delhi, it acquired the name of khari bo/i
'the upright speech', and later came to be known as Urdu (a Turkish word
for 'army camp') taken from the name of the Imperial Barracks, known in
Persian as Urdu-e Mu'al/a 'the Exalted Camp', where it functioned as an
important link language. Even today Urdu has the same role in the whole of
the subcontinent.
In spite of the fact that, in India, Urdu now takes second place to Hindi,
the 'official' language of the Union, at the spoken level, at least, it can be
understood almost everywhere and is still the preferred language of the fllm
industry.
For English speakers, Urdu presents few difficulties and one of its greatest
virtues is that, like English, the spoken and written languages are practically
the same. Since, also like English, Urdu has always been a language of mass
communication, it has virtually no dialects. Regional variants differ from
each other only in terms of 'accent' in much the same way as northern and
southern English.
The version of the Arabic script used for writing Urdu does, however,
cause initial problems, since it does not indicate vowels. For this reason,
an accompanying romanized transcription is employed in Complete Urdu
to ensure correct pronunciation. Spelling, which is almost as illogical as
English, needs to be given special care. Urdu speakers are inordinately proud
of their script and calligraphy is still a highly prized form of art. Incorrect
spelling is regarded as a social failing!

Introduction
Urdu, the official language of Pakistan and one of the 15 officially
recognized languages of India, is spoken as a mother tongue by an estimated
50 million people. To this we may add the millions of people both inside and
outside the subcontinent who use Urdu in addition to their own language
as a primary means of spoken and written communication. Like its 'sister',
Hindi, Urdu came into being in Delhi and its surrounding areas as the result
of the Muslim conquests of India in the nth and 12th centuries AD. The
Persian- and Turkish-speaking invaders adopted the language of the capital
to communicate with the local inhabitants and quickly added a vast stock
of Persian (and through Persian, Arabic) words to its vocabulary. At first
the Muslim rulers referred to this growing language simply as 'Hindi', i.e.
'Indian'. Much later it acquired the name 'Urdu', a Turkish word meaning
'barracks' from the area of Old Delhi with which it was closely associated the Urdu-e Mu'al/ii 'the Exalted Royal Army Camp'. In English, we find the
word 'Urdu' as 'horde', the armies ofGenghis Khan and the Mongols.
By the end of the 16th century, Urdu written in a modified form of the
Arabic alphabet, with an ever increasing number of Arabic and Persian
loanwords, became a flourishing literary language and over the last three
centuries has been the major vehicle for the literature of the Muslims of the
subcontinent. From the beginning Urdu functioned as a convenient lingua
franca and was not linked to any one geographical area, so its appeal became
universal and it was much favoured by the British, who often referred to it
as 'Hindustani' ('Indian'). Although it is fair to say that the language is now
mainly connected with the Muslims of the subcontinent, its literature also
boasts a number of prominent Hindu and Sikh writers. After Partition in
1947, Pakistan chose Urdu for the national or official language.
Wherever they have migrated, Urdu speakers have taken their language and
culture with them. In parts of East Mrica, the Persian Gulf and, of course,
Britain and the USA, Urdu still maintains its role as a major means of general
communication.
At the basic, conversational level, Urdu and Hindi are virtually identical,
differing from each other in script, technical and literary vocabulary and,

xii

of course, cultural background. The debate about whether one is speaking
Hindi or Urdu is endless and fraught with subtle problems. Suffice it to say
that if you chat in Urdu to a Hindi speaker, he will naturally assume you are
speaking Hindi and vice versa.
Urdu belongs to the Indo-European family of languages and is ultimately
related to English and many other European languages, with which you will
find it has much in common. Like English, French and German, it has the
familiar patterns of nouns, verbs, gender, case, etc. It is a very regular, but
at the same time an extremely precise language, making clear distinctions
in its pronouns between people of lower and higher orders and in its verbs
between what happens now and what happens generally. Because it is
written in a script that does not employ vowels and which, like English, has
a number of letters used to represent the same sound, spelling is something
that requires constant attention.

How to use this book
First, you must thoroughly master the script, which is introduced gradually
in the first section. At the same time, you should make sure that you fully
understand the system of phonetic transcription used throughout to indicate
correct pronunciation. The dialogues of the first five units are fully transcribed,
as are all new words and phrases in the following units. Examples of the
Urdu script, often beautifully written, can often be found outside Indian and
Pakistani restaurants and shops in almost any town in Britain and the USA.
Practise your reading skills by trying to decipher them as you pass.
Each unit contains two or three dialogues composed in practical, everyday
Urdu. From the outset care has been taken to give you practice in the 'polite'
style of speaking, which is characteristic of Urdu. Literal translations of
many polite phrases may sometimes seem a little quaint, but in Urdu such
expressions are part of ordinary speech.
First, try to understand each dialogue by reading and listening to the
recording in conjunction with the vocabulary that follows.
Only then should you have recourse to the transliterated and translated
versions provided. When you have finished a unit, it is a good idea to read
the dialogues out loud to yoursel£ The more you can commit to memory,
the easier it will be to speak without hesitation.

Introduction

xiii

The spelling and grammar notes in each unit relate directly to the new
material contained in the dialogues. They also contain a certain number of
additional words and expressions that will be of use. The precision of Urdu
means that grammar should be mastered as thoroughly as the vocabulary.
You will find that committing very logical rules to memory will pay great
dividends in the future.
The exercises within and at the end of the units are of a practical nature
and will help you check your progress. For those who wish to learn how to
compose Urdu, some English-Urdu translation exercises are also included.
It goes without saying that you should make sure you have completely
mastered one unit before going on to the next. When testing yourself on
vocabulary, it is a good idea to proceed from the English side of the list to
the Urdu. If you know the Urdu word for 'book', you will naturally know the
meaning of the Urdu word in English!

Because of the somewhat illogical nature of the Urdu counting system,
the numbers have been given in an appendix. Whatever your purpose in
learning Urdu, numbers will always be essential and, once learnt, should be
constantly practised.
The English translations of the dialogues in the first five units deliberately
follow the Urdu as closely as possible, at the expense of making the English
seem a little stilted. Once you have been through the dialogue, it would be
good practice to recast the translation into a more idiomatic style.

xiv

Reading and writing Urdu
The Urdu alphabet
Urdu is written in an adapted furm of the script which was first used to write
Arabic in the 6th and 7th centuries AD. During the 8th century the Persians began
to use the Arabic script fur their own language, adding a few extra letters fur
sounds which did not occur in Arabic. After the 12th century the Central Asian
invaders of India, who had already adopted the Arabic script fur writing Turkish,
used it to write the language of Delhi, which eventually became modem Urdu.
The Arabic script, like that of Hebrew, is written from right to left, the
opposite direction from English:

UJ1~.1.fn.Av!
The script is cursive, that is, most of the letters join each other, and cannot
be 'printed' separately. There are no capital letters and for the most part
only consonants are written. Although there are special signs for indicating
vowles these are rarely used. Since there is no way of telling which vowels
are to be employed, each word has to be learnt with its pronunciation. This
is indicated in simple phonetic transcription in the book. In the vocabulary
sections each word will be noted thus:

sabab

cause

kalkatta

Calcutta

Many letters of the alphabet have the same shape, and are differentiated from
one another by the arrangement of dots which may be written either above or
below the letter. Reading from right to left, compare the following basic shapes:

s

b

t

The dots play a crucial role and must never be left out.

Rudlng •nd writing Urdu

XV

There are two major styles of printed script, both ofwhich follow handwriting
very closely. The first is known as naskh (the Arabic word for 'writing'). This
is used for typing Arabic and Persian, but has never been popular with Urdu
speakers. The second is known as nasta'liq (literally 'hanging naskh'), an
ornate, sloping version of the script, developed in Persia and India during
the Middle Ages. This is the style preferred for Urdu. At its best, nasta'liq
possesses great natural beauty, and for this reason Urdu speakers have always
resisted the more commonplace naskh. There is not a vast difference between
the two styles, although this may not seem the case at first sight.
Brief examples of verses written in naskh and nasta'liq respectively are as follows:

~ ~ .Jf-4 _jJ c" ~~ ~~ ~.Jol ~ ,:.;.
UA.l c" U4- UA.l c" l:il 'c" u.J~ ~.Jol ~ ~

~IJ lS ~.;II C' ~ 4~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ,:_;,.
~~ .J ~ C' ~ ~ ~ UJA ~ ~,:.;.

~41"-l~~~ J.!.;S~~
,:; ~ l_»i ~ cfii d- JJI:. ~ ~ _jJ

,..tf J~r A i 'f- Jr Af~ ~n J' !:/
IJ"'j ~ t"lv IJ"'j ~ t"i ·~ l)}V ~') J' J
' .
'
'
.,
~~) ( J), L ..;! ~~ ,.; ..;! l.:J J' !:/

~'/. ' ~ L ..;! ~) ~ V- ~) J' !:/
.:-~ ,.; J' )~ I "- j f j~ j~
•

..

"

J ,; V. t;/,; L1 L ).

y

~ Y. i

Since the Urdu alphabet is cursive, most letters have four forms: independent
(the letter written in its full form, standing alone): initial (the letter coming
at the beginning of a word; medial (the letter in the middle of a word); final
(the letter at the end of a word). This can be demonstrated with the Urdu
letter .i z, which starting from right to left is joined thus:

.i is intkpendent; ,) is initial; Ji, is medial; Ji, is finaL
Some sounds are represented by more than one letter of the alphabet. For
example, the sound z is represented by four letters:
j

xvi

;

The Urdu alphabet has 35 letters, plus a number of signs that are written
above the letters to indicate the doubling of a consonant, the absence of a
vowel, a break in the middle of a word, etc.
Most letters fall into sets of the same basic pattern of shapes, members of the set
being distinguished from one another only by the dots written above or below
the basic shapes. For example, the basic shapes ":"' and C. have in their sets:

c.

":"'

b

"r

p

r,

.:..

t

~

!
s

"'~

..!,..

j
c
h
X

Vowels may be indicated by a sign written either over or under the letter:
"

a

-r

.L

u

or by one of the consonants that, in certain circumstances, also function as
vowel markers. The use of three vowel signs is very restricted and is usually
only found in dictionaries, where exact pronunciation needs to be indicated.
Otherwise vowel signs are hardly ever used.

Transcription
As we can never ascertain the correct pronunciation of an Urdu word from
the way in which it is written, it is necessary to transcribe the words into
'roman' letters. The simple phonetic transcription used in this book indicates
as accurately as possible how the Urdu word is pronounced and how the
letters reflect the sounds. The dialogues in the first five units are transcribed
in full. Thereafter transcription is only used where absolutely necessary.
The following features of the transcription should be carefully noted:

A line written over a vowel indicates that it is 'long':

tab 'then'
bab 'gate'

short a which sounds like the u in English 'tub'
long d which sounds like the a in English 'barb'
kis'whom' short i which sounds like the i in English 'kiss'
sim 'silver' long i which sounds like the tt in English 'seem'
pu/ 'bridge' short u which sounds like the u in English 'pull'
ku 'lane'
long u which sounds like the oo in English 'coo'.
Rucllng and writing Urdu

xvii

A dot under the letters ! and 4indicates the distinctive 'Indian' t and d sounds,
which are produced by turning back (retroflexing) the tongue onto the roof of
the mouth. These are known as mrofta sounds and must be distinguished
from t and d (without a dot), which are produced by putting the tip of the
tongue behind the top front teeth. These are known as dental sounds.
Urdu has a set of strongly aspirated consonants, which are produced by
exerting breath pressure when pronouncing them. In Urdu, the presence
or absence of aspiration is crucial. For example, Urdu kha (strongly
aspirated) means 'eat'; ka (no breathiness) means 'of'. In our transcription,
h written a&er a consonant means that it is aspirated.
Pay special attention to the letter c which is pronounced like the ch in
'church' but with no breathiness. Its aspirated counterpart ch is like
English ch but this time with strong aspiration. The Urdu word cat
'tea', sounds like 'chy' (rhyming with 'by') with no breath; the word cht
'six' sounds like chhay with lots of breath. Always remember that in our
transcription c is always pronounced ch and never like k.
The letter x is pronounced like the ch in Scottish loch.
The letter q is similar to English k but pronounced further towards the
back of the throat.
The letter I is pronounced like sh in English ship.
The letter g is pronounced something like the French r in Paris. The
Modern Greek g in Georgiou is closer.
The letter i is pronounced like the si in English television. In fact, the only
common Urdu word in which it makes an appearance is [tliviian.
The letter n coming a&er a vowel indicates that the vowel is 'nasalized'
(pronounced through the nose). The final syllable ofUrdu kitabon 'books'
sounds like French bon.
Other consonants are pronounced in much the same way as their English
counterparts.
The table ofUrdu sounds that follows shows the traditional order of the alphabet.
Reading from right to left you will see the independent form of the Urdu letter
followed by its name, e.g. a/if, be, ct, dallike a, b, c, din English; the symbol
used in transcription; a rough equivalent of the sound in English (or in one of
the better known European languages); an Urdu word containing the sound.
We begin with the vowels, which do not form part of the alphabet as such.
These are followed by the consonants, several of which (t, s, z, h) have the same
sound. The letter 'ain' will be discussed later. The letter ris a quickly produced
4sounding something like the tt in the American pronunciation of butter.

xviii

There are two letters for h: tt known as bari ht 'big ht' and ' known as cho!i
ht 'little ht'.
4

CD 1, TR 1, 00=45
Urdu word

Sound in
English (etc.)

Phonetic
symbol

Urdu
letter

Vowels
ab 'now'
iip 'you'
in 'those'
tin'three'
un'those'
upar'upon'
ek'one'
fon'phone'
aisii 'such'
aur'and'

among, but
after, father
in, bin
teen
pull
pool
(French)
(French) beau
hen
or, because

i

a

r

{J

ete

i

l

i

()!

u
u
e

,,''

I

0

'-',,

ai
au

'-',;

.. CD 1, TR 1, 01:28
Consonants

amir'rich'
bap 'father'
bhai 'brother'
par'on'
pha/ 'fruit'
tum 'you'
tha 'was'
faiksi 'taxi'
!hik 'allright'
sabit 'proved'
jdnd 'to go'
jhi/'lake'
calnd 'to walk'

chat'roof'
hal 'condition'
xdn 'Khan'

(discussed later)
bar
aspirated b
unaspirated p
aspiratedp
dental t
aspirated t
retroflex!
aspirated!
sing
jar
aspirated}
church
aspirated c
hall
(Scottish) loch

nont
b
bh
p
ph
t
th
!

!h
s
j
jh
c
ch
h
X

a/if
bt
bht
pt
pht
tt

tht
!t
!ht
St
jim
jht
Ct
cht
bari ht
xe

":""

A
'\"'

"'

.:,..

~

..:...
~
.!,

~

#.
~

.(

v
~

Readlnt Mid wrltlnt Urdu

xix

ddt 'lentils'
dhu/'dust'
4ak 'post'
tfhai'2 W
zard 'just'
raja 'king'
bard 'big'
barha 'increased'
zaban
teliviian 'TV'
sa/'year'
,
ser 'tiger
sadi 'century'
zarnr 'certainly'
talib 'student'
za/im 'cruel'
'arab 'Arab'
garib 'poor'
forsi 'Persian'
qurdn 'Quran'
kama 'to do'
khana 'to eat'
gand 'to sing'
ghar 'house'
/ahaur 'Lahore'
madras 'Madras'

,
nam'name
valid 'father'
,
ham 'we
ydr 'friend'

dental d
aspirated d
retroflex 4
aspirated 4

wo
(Italian) Roma
(American) butter
aspirated r

wo
television
seven
share
seven

wo
dental t

wo

d
dh
t!
t!h
z
r
r
rh
z
i
s
1
s
z
t
z

(discussed later)
(Greek) Georgiou
g
farm
I
back 'k'
q
k
keep
kh
aspirated k
go
g
gh
aspiratedg
I
lamp
m
Madras
name
n
,
between 'v' and 'w v
home
h
yard
y

ddt
dhe
t/dl
tfhe
zal
re
re
rhe
z
ie

sin
/in
svad
zvad
toe
zoe
'ain
gain

ft
qaf
kdf
khe
gaf
ghe
lam
mim
nun
vdu
choti he
ye

•J

•
. J•
J

J
.J

•

.I

•

•.J

;

'

I)'

J

t.l

J

.J,

B

i

~

_;

J

J
I'

J
I'
J
(
cJ

I)

Reading and writing Urdu
Connectors and non-connectors
We have seen that the Urdu script is cursive and in both type and handwriting
most letters are joined to one another from both the front and the back.
Letters fall into two categories, connectors and non-connectors.
XX

connectors
These are letters that join from both directions.
The letter ":"' be, b, being a connector has four shapes:

Final

Medial

Initial

Independent

~

The initial and medial shapes lose their long 'flourish', and the shapes connect
as follows:
b b+b+b

Non-connectors
These are letters that cannot be joined to a following letter. The first letter of
the alphabet I a/if, whose function is discussed later in this section, is one
of these, and has only an independent and a final shape:

Final

Independent

~

~be+ a/if BUT ":"'I a/if+ be

Functions of 1 allf; vowel signs
We have seen that there are three optional vowel signs, two of which are
written above another letter, and one which is written below. These are:
known as zabar, representing the short vowel 'a'
known as ur, representing the short vowel 'i'
known as pel, representing the short vowel 'u'.
These names are Persian, zabar, meaning 'above', ur, 'below' and pel,
'forward'.
With the letter":"' they are written:

ba
bab

bi
bib

,
":"'

'

bu
bub

When one of the short vowels is required at the beginning of the word, that
is if we want to write ab, ib or ub, the vowel sign is written over or under I
alif, one of whose main functions is to 'carry' initial vowels. Thus:

ub
When I a/iffollows a letter it represents the long vowel a:

ba

":"'~

bab

baba
Rudlng and writing Urdu

xxi

When the sign,., (known as maJd, ' increasing') is written over aliJf at the
beginning of a word it represents the long vowel ti:

"':"'r

ab

Usually the signs for the shon vowels 'a, i, u' are not used. Therefore, unless
we know beforehand, there is no way in which we can tell whether ":"I is
to be pronounced ab, ib or ub. The Urdu word ":"I ab means 'now', but
there are no words ib and ub, i.e. there is only one way in which ":"I can be
pronounced.
The short vowels are optional, but the sign ,., maJd must never be omitted.
Letters 1-10
The first letter, I a/if, is a non-connector and has only independent and final
shapes. Letters 2-6 are connectors and have the basic shape "':"' while letters
7-10 are also connectors with~ as the basic shape.
In the following table, reading from right to left, you will find the
independent, initial, medial and final shapes of the letters; their 'phonetic'
values; the Urdu name and number of the letter.

Name

Phonetic value
a/if
be
pe
te
te
se

1
2

3

4
5
6

Final

Medial

Initial

Independent

-

L

-

"'!""

-k
{

-

b
p
t

I
"':"'

..;:.,

,;.,

!

..:,

~

s

~

7

jim

j

8
9

ce
ba[ihe
xe

c
h

10

X

"r'"

~

"
(;

~

~
J

.,

-

""'

',.

..::-

II

.J

...!.-

..¢

.J

.!.-

1:

.:.!

c.

~

{'

.$

..:?

~
~

~

.?

i

Script exercise 1
4 C01, TR2,
Read the following words, and write them out, omitting the vowel signs,
zabar, ur and pef, but be sure to write .- maJd and all the dots.

x:xii

":"I

ab

..,.;

tab

now
then

but

bap

idol
father

~If

~

"':""'

...r

Idbit
cacd
dp
bacat

.,...>.

proved

t

uncle
you

er

savings

tr;

jab
jaj
d!d
pitd

when
judge
flour
father

Letters 11-19
Letters 11-13 have the basic shape J and are non-connectors. Letters 14-17
have the basic shape J and are also non-connectors.
It is important to keep the J set distinct from the slightly similar J set.

Letters 18-19 are connectors with the basic shape 4/ or alternatively, ,;"
Both shapes are equally common and often alternate with one another in
the same word.

Name

Phonetic value

Final

,, dat

d

),

12 cja/
13 zd/
14 re
15
16 ze
17le
18 sin

q

.i

z

r

);
./

r

}

re

19

~in

)

z
l

s
~

}

4J"

~

J-'

r

Medial

Initial

--

--

----

----

----

---,-

.-"'

_,/

.):,.

,

~

~

~

-

Independent
J

•

J

j
)

•

)

;
j

~
~

4/"
~

We now have two letters for the sound z. J zd[ and; u and two for the sound
~ It and 4/ sin. The letters J and .£,. only occur in words of Arabic and
Persian origin and are much less commonly used than J and 4/. You should,
of course, make sure that you recognize them.
I

The sign ' sukun
The sign 1 written above a letter, known as sukun (an Arabic word meaning
'rest', 'pause'), indicates the absence of a vowel.
In the word~ saxt 'hard', the sign 1 shows that no vowel is to be pronounced
after the letter V u. Similarly, .i$. is pronounced bahs 'discussion', 1 indicating
that no vowel is to be pronounced after V bari he. Like the vowel signs,
t sukim is optional and is rarely used.

"--lftll Mel wrltlftll Urdu

xxiii

Script exercise 2

• CD t, TR 2, oo:zt
Read the following words and write them out, omitting the vowel signs and
sukun.
axir
us
bara
buxar
aidar
zat

jf
~,d
17,

)),,
'
)~

.;:..lj
•

• • t' •

• •- . •

0

•

•

•

•

0

•• •

0

.

finally
that
big
fever
python
caste

.. ~ • • • • • • • • • • • • 0

•

0

••• ••• ••• •

-.'

/.j

r../J

~...

":""'Y
...
V)L

••••••••••••••• 0

zabar
sust
das
saxt

zabar
lazy
ten
hard
wine
rain

~arab

biiris
•••• •

•••••• •••• •• 0

.

... .

.. . . . . .

.. .

..

Letters 2o-2t

All these letters are connectors.
Letters 20 and 21 have the basic shape If.
Letters 22 and 23 have the basic shape J,. The upright stroke is written
separately after the oval: j J,. Letters 24 and 25 have the basic shape (;;. Note
that the medial shape has a flat top.
Letters 26 and 27 are simUar in shape, but note that the final and independent
shape of ..Jfo has a flat flourish, whUe that of J qaf is circular.
Letters 28 and 29 resemble one another, but J kajb.as one sloping stroke at
the top, whUe J gaf has two.
Name
svad
zvad
n toe
20
21

23

zoe

24 'ain
25 gain
26 fe
27 qaf
28 kaf
29 gaf

xxiv

Phonetic value

Final

s
z
t
z

,j'

if

'

~

g
f
q
k
g

Medial
.JI

lntial
.J

Independent

vv:

......

J&,

.....

..;,
..Jr

Ji,.

..Ji;

.:;

J;

1-

,;.;

;.

(;;

-.,.;,

_;,

;

J'

,;;

;

~

J

J

,_

' .t'

f

r

r

J,

i

..J

j
J

We now have more letters representing the sounds t, s and .z. .J, toe, V svllli,
ZIJt are only used in words of Arabic origin.

J zvad and ~

The letter C; 'aln
In Arabic, the letter C; 'ain, which we are transcribing as ', represents a rasping
sound produced at the back of the throat. In Urdu and Persian, the sound is
ignored, even though the letter is preserved in the spelling of Arabic words
in which it occurs. In practice, at the begining of a word it functions in the
same way as fa/if, carrying an initial vowel: in Urdu, the word"':"/ 'arab
'Arab' sounds exactly the same as the word '":"A arab 'necessity'.

Double consonants- the sign· taldid
In Urdu, doubled consonants must be given their full force, as in Italian
bello, ragazzo or in English bookcase (with a double k sound).
A doubled consonants may be indicated by writing
'strengthening' over the letter.

~

abba

'daddy'

y

sattar

the sign • ta/Jitl
seventy

More often that not, as with vowel signs and sukun, the sign • is not written,
and you just have to know the word has a double consonant.

Script exercise 3
o4t CD1, TR2,oo:54
Read the following word and write them out, omitting the optional signs.

scihib

sahib

zid

stubbornness

xat

letter

'arab

Arab

garden

jj

y;

qaht

famine

daftar

office

aksar

most

......-~~ ~ ..... :~~'!.r...... ~-~~i~... .............. ~~ ... ..~!:~~ .......~'!!~~ .............. .
Double consonants
~

et

abba
kutta

daddy

dog

honour
office

Readlnt •ncl Wl'ltlnt Urdu

XXV

Letters J0-2
All these letters are connectors. Care should be taken to distinguish initial
lam J and medial lam 1 which join the following letter, from I a/ifwhich
does not. The initial and medial forms of cJ nun are the same shape as the
":"'set.

Name

Pho!:etic value

Final

Medial

Initial

Independent

30 lam

I

"

J

m
n

t

1
..1

J

mim
32 nun

(

li'

l

"

31

j

c)

cJ niin and I.) niin lunna
The letter cJ nun represents the sound n:
c)lr'

r

dsmdn

sky

.t:

band

closed

In final position when I.) is written without a dot it indicates that the
preceding vowel is nasalized. This undotted nun is known as nun !;unna,
'nasalizing' nun. In transcription, it is written n, with a dot above the n.
Nasalized vowels are produced by divening the airstream through the nose.
French has a number of such vowels which arc usually indicated by the letter
n: bon, tlan, rapidnnmt, etc. In Urdu, all vowels can be nasalized.
The undotted nun can only be used at the end of a word:
I.)L
I.) I..

•

man
. -.
Jan

mother
darling

If a nasalized vowel occurs in the middle of the word then the normal dotted
nun must be used, since omitting the dot would make the letter illegible:
demand
leg

J

ktJf and

J

gtif followed by 1a/If and J ltim

When the letters ltafand gafare followed by a/ifand lam, they have a special
'rounded' shape: ( ltaf ( gaf. Thus:

xxvi

(

Ita

of

((

gam

step

J~

Iikar

hunting

pukar

calling

~
J lam

kat

yesterday

,y

/akl

form

gul

rose

~

jangal

jungle

lddnii

to load
disaster

followed by 1 a/If
ldm is usually written, JJ /d:

Before I a/if,
(;,.~

"'II

J

'iliij
gilds

tJJJ

cure
glass

If bald

Sometimes, especially in words of Arabic origin, ldm-alifis written "' ~ ' ~,
~ {d is the Arabic word for 'no, not' and is used in many Urdu words as an
equivalent to the prefix 'un' or 'in' in English:

ld-'ilaj

incurable

Script exercise 4
<et

CD 1, TR 2, 01=30

Read the following words and write them out, omitting the optional signs:

~
I)L

(!}
l:)lG

qalam
alag
miin
!arka
makiin

kanta
mu!kil
mumkin
kiild
muhammad

l£(

pen

J>;
~

separate
mother
boy

JJ(

house

.:1

fork
difficult
possible
black
Muhammad

Letter 33 , vtiii
The letter , viiu, which is pronounced something like a cross between English
'w' and 'v', has two functions:
I representing the consonant v
il representing the three long vowels u, o and au
Note that, although it is transcribed with two letters, au is a single long
vowel, something like the oa in English 'oar'.

It is a non-connector and has only two shapes.
Name

Phonetic value

33 vciii

v, ii, o, au

Final

,.

Medial

Initial

Independent

-

-

J

Rudlng and writing Urdu

xxvii

' vtiii as the consonant v
.AJf' valid
father
saval
question

J1;..

rav

going

' vtiii as a vowel maker
When the three vowels u, o, au, stand at the beginning of a word, they are
written with fa/if followed by' vau:

{''

upar

above

V''

os

dew

aur

and

"''

In the middle or at the end of a word, they are indicated with ' used alone:
f.1i

~

JJ/i

pura
log
lauq
logo

full
people
keenness
oh people!

These vowels can be nasalized and at the end of a word this is indicated
by ' followed by f.) nun gunna:

lta,.Un
larlton Ita

I may do
of the boys

When necessary, the vowels may be indicated more precisely by writting • pel
over the preceding letter for u and writing " zabar over the preceding letter
for au.
There is no mark for representing o.

/,j,

.

'4

upar
pura

·"'
J}

aur
lauq

If no sign is used, you may assume that the vowel is o:
""'

OS

J;

log

Again, zabar and pel are rarely used and only when confusion is likely to
arise. For example, to distinguish between different words:
"'' or

direction

,~,i

sU

direction

,

Y

xxviii

aur
so

and
thus

Y

sau

hundred

Even in this case, where real confusion can arise, the vowel signs are more
often than not omitted.

j xe-vdii
Urdu has a number of very common words of Persian origin which begin
with xe followed by vdu. If I a/if(making the vowel d) follows vdu, the vdu is
not pronounced. This so-called 'silent' vau' is written in transcription as w:
dream (pronounced xdb)
After

t;., may indicate the long vowels u, o, au, in the normal way:

~j
rj}
J}
..J}

rib

good
blood
helmet
fear

xiln

xod
xauf

But in two very common words, vdu represents the short vowel u:
self
happy

Script Exercise 5
~•

CD 1, TR 2, 01:55

Read the following words and write them out, omitting the optional signs.

,,

.JIJ
.1IJ!

)J~

"

rj P
'":'I}

valid
itvdr
navambar

father
Sunday
November
blood
dream

xiln

xwtib

,.~·/

daur
uncd
gord

t!JJ
J}

xud

J.JJ

~,;

J

au/ad

period
high
white
self
self

Letter 34 chofi he
The next letter of the Urdu alphabet is called cho!i, 'little he' (as opposed to
bari he, tt, which we have already seen). Both cho!i and bari he represent the
'h' sound. bari he is used only in words of Arabic origin.
The initial shape of cho!i he is written with a book underneath it, The medial
form is written either with or without a book.

Name
34 Cho!ihe

Phonetic value
h

Final Medial
'-'

( ,.1) "(

Initial

Independent

"''

0

ANding and writing Urdu

xxix

Chofi he as a consonant
The normal function of choti he is to represent the consonant h. In the
following examples, note its slightly different shapes according to what
precedes and follows it:

,.ts
CJ1

I.JI/

hindu
hona
kahan

Hindu
to be
where

,,,

,/

munh

vah
koh

mount
bravo!
mountain

In the final position, he must be pronounced and given its full force. Initial
cho{i he has a special form written before f a/ifand lam.

J

I,)~
I,)~J

J

Jt

han
vahan
hal
ah/

yes
there
plough
people

Silent he
Urdu derives a large number of its most commonly used nouns and adjectives
from Arabic and Persian. Many of these words end in choti he which is not
pronounced. This so-called 'silent he' is written in the transcriptions with the
vowel a, which is pronounced exactly as the long vowel a:
~ makka
child
Mecca
,f' bacca
dhista
intention
slow
"'"! irdda

;::.,r

The symbol a at the end of such words indicates that the word is written
with choti he, and not with a/if. There is, however, no difference in the
pronunciation of pairs of words such as the following:
CfJ
..;fJ

diind
diina

wise
seed

The word ~f.1 raja 'king' is of Indian origin and properly spelt with a final
a/if. I was taken into Persian and, according to Persian convention, was spelt
~'" raja with a final 'silent he'. It was then borrowed back into Urdu in
that form. Consequently, in Urdu, both spellings ~f.1 and ~f.1 are acceptable.
Whichever spelling is used, the pronunciation is, of course, the same.

Aspirated consonants do calmi he
We have seen that Urdu has a set of aspirated consonants which are produced
with a strong emission of breath. In the transcription, these are indicated by
the consonant immediately followed by h: bh, ph, dh, th, kh, gh, etc. In the
XXX

script. rhe h marking aspiration is indicated by a variant of cho!i ht, which
is known as do calmi ht ('two-eyed ht'). do calmi ht has independent, initial,
rnedial and final forms as shown in the following table.

Name

Phonetic value

34(a)

do casmi he -h

Final

Medial

Initial

Independent

•

•

•

•

The aspirated consonants are written as follows:

.JI.

""Ji

)

i.

.,

i

bh
ph
th
!h
jh
ch

.)

.)•

•

•J

I'

r

dh
t/h
rh
kh
gh

Unril recently cho!i he' and do calmi ht • were regarded as alternative forms of
the letter h, and could be used interchangeably. In other words, what is now
properly written in Urdu as IJ~ han, 'yes' or trr hond, 'to be' was also written
as IJ~ or t.l'. The modern convention is to use cho!i ht as a consonanat,
while do calmi ht is used exclusively for aspirates. Many people, however, stil
confuse the two letters. You should follow the modern convention.

Script Exercise 6

ott CD 1, TR :a, o:a:17
Read the following words and write them out, omitting the optional signs.

Chop he as a consonant
IJ~j

tJf

r

,/

vahan
hond
ham

there
to be
we

;,f~

koh
ldhaur
gahnd

mountain
Lahore
jewel

ahista
bacca

slow
child

,f

vL

bara
satra

twelve
seventeen

til.

khana
mujh
dudh

ro eat
me
milk

~

Silent he

,.

~!

Aspirated consonants with do calmi hr.

..:-!If

~

bhat
pha/
accha

cooked rice
fruit
good

~
I

•JJJ

R"dlng•nd writing Urdu

x:xxi

Letter Jsye
The last letter of the Urdu alphabet is y(, written in the transcription as y.
Like vau, it is used both as a consonant and to represent long vowels. The
initial and medial shapes are the same as the"':"" set.
There are two forms of the independent and final shapes, which are explained
in the following table.

Name

Phonetic value

35 ye

y

Final

Medial

Initial

t.f

~

=

-

~

Independent

0

-

~

Ye as a consonant
At the beginning and in the middle of a word p usually represents the
consonants y:

vH

friend
shadow

f

bayan
sayyid

left
Sayyid, Syed
{a Muslim title)

Ye as a vowel marker
The letter p is also used to represent the three long vowels i, (, and ai. Note
that, although transcribed with two letters, ai is one long vowel pronounced
similarly to the ~ in English hm.
When these three vowels occur at the beginning of a word they are written
with a/iffollwed by p:
l.:)~f imlin

faith

...fl

(k

one

L::'f

aisa

such

In the middle of a word, these vowels are indicated by y( used alone:
~

sina

breast

to give

At the end of a word, the first final shape
girl

~

jaisa

as

t.f indicates the long vowel i:

J!

bhi

also

At the end of word, the second final shape ~ represents both the long vowels
(and ai:
boys

.:;:-

hai

All three vowels may be nasalized with nun gunna:
were

xxxii

us

is

When it is necessary to indicate pronunciation more precisely, the vowel sign
0 to indicate i:

, zer may be written under the letter preceding

(;)k!!

imdn

.:cr;

~

sina

thHz

, zabar may be used to indicate the vowel ai:

(df

aisd

l,.j

jaisa

hai

No sign is used for indicating e:

You will notice that this is a similar convention to that used for precisely
indicating u, o and au written with vdu. Again, the vowel signs are rarely
used.

Script exercise 7
~•

CD 1, TR :a, 02:56

Read the following words and write them out, omitting the optional signs:
here

~

dayan

right

4

pir

Monday

~~

int

brick

1,)~
I,)~IJ

~

yahan

be!i

daughter

khelna

to play

I)!

men

in

4.'

kaise

how?

navve

ninety

hai

is

4-J

'

41-

More on vowels
Pronunciation of short vowels before h
When coming immediately before h either V or ' - the short vowels - have
special pronunciation.

a before h is pronounced ai like the e in English hen :

..J'f
l:,..i

.)
i before

J~ /'
4"

'-"''

ahmad
rahna
Iahr

Ahmad
to remain
city

h also sounds like the e in English hen :
mihrbani
vazih

kindness
clear

Rudlng end writing Urdu

xxxiii

u before h sounds like the o in English cot:

.:..)

Juhrat
tavajjuh

_.;i

fame
attention

Note the pronunciations of three very important words that end in
'unpronounced' cho!i hf:
Tramcription

f

ki
yih
vuh

~

u

Pronunciation
ke
ye

that
this, he, she, it
that, he, she, it

VO

Pronuncl•tlon of short vowels before(; 'aln
When the short vowels come before i 'ain, which is itself ignored in
pronunciation, i 'ain has the effect of changing the quality of the vowel:
before 'ain is pronounced a
before 'ain is pronounced f
before 'ain is pronounced o

a

u
Tramcription

~

Pronunciation

ba'd

bcid

after

jama'

jamil

collected

fi
e,,,

si'r

ser

verse

vaqi'

vaqe

situated

~
t

su•fa

sola

flame

tavaqqu•

tavaqqo

hope

~

~i

Vowel junctions with ' hamza
In many Urdu words, one vowel may follow another, and both must to given
their full value. For example: do 'come' is dearly pronunced d-o (not rhyming
with English 'cow'); similarly ltai 'several' is pronunced kai (not like English
'kay').

The junction between vowels is marked by the sign'· which is known as
hamza. In Arabic, hamza is a catch in the throat, sounding like tt in the
Cockney pronunciation of 'bottle'.

xxxiv

When ye indicates the vowels i or e coming immediately after another vowel,
·r must be preceded by the sign~ hamza. The hamza is written over a base
~hich has the shape .J traditionally, this is called the 'chair' on which hamza
'sirs'.

t_

kai
teis
koi
gae
gde

~

J/
£.

L(

several
rwenty-three
someone
they went
they sang

The short vowel i coming after another vowel is indicated by hamza 'sitting
on its chair':

,.1/

(-fJr

koi/a coal

dis krim

ice cream

,JJJ

lain queue

When ' vdu represents the long vowels u and o coming after another vowel,
hamza is usually placed directly over' -without a 'chair':

:Ji do

come

L)~~

jdun

I may go'

Often the hamza over l)'~ is omitted:

Ji

L.J'~

do

jdun

If you mentally split the rwo vowels, ka -i, ko-i/a, d-o, you may think of
hamza as the line-you put berween them.
There are many words that have the vowel combinations [id, ie, io] in which
hamza is not generally employed. For example:

uifJ

!arkidn

girls

J,~J

ihtidt

caution

.::...lv
......

cdhie

in needed

4
(L)J/}

1)!'..)/:J

calie

come on

!arkion kd

of the girls

khi,rkion men

in the windows

Script exercise 8
-4$

CD 1, TR 2, 03:21

Read the following words and write them out, omitting the optional signs,
but writing the hamza in all cases:

Rucllng and writing Urdu

XXXV

..;,

Ahmad
~caution
~
position
Llr
some
objection 4,)~1)

ahmad
ihtidt
'uhda
0~'
~ ba'z
JIJ'! i'tiraz
J,~l

~
"

Ju'/a
barhbai
mai
cde

!dun

flame
Bombay
May
tea
let me bring

The Arable definite article
4 CD 1, TR 2, 03=46
The Arabic word for 'the' (the 'definite article') is
word it precedes:

/-til

al-iksir
al-kuhl
al-quriin

J4

(;)7)'1

J1 al, and is joined to the

elixir ('the potion')
alcohol ('the powdered' lead)
the Quran (Koran)

Note that, exceptionally, fa/if madd is used for the ii in the word for Quran.

J1

The word
al- is employed in many Urdu expressions borrowed from
Arabic. When the word following
al- begins with a letter representing
one of the sounds d, n, r, s, J, t, n, I or z, the ldm of the article is pronounced
like the following letter. The most common example of this is the Muslim
greeting:

J1

~(JJ.)I as-saldmu 'alaikum

the peace upon you

i.e. 'peace be upon you' (/ + s > s- s).
The letters which 'attract' ldm in this way are:
,::..
~
J

j
~

;

"'

te
se
tid/
ziil
re

ze
sin

&

"'~

,
J,

J
(;)

Jin
sviid
zviid
toe
zoe
ldm
nun

The most common examples of this 'attraction' are proper names taken from
Arabic. In this case, the vowel of the article is changed to u:

f:!..JI/
l.:)lr)IJ!
I.)L}I~i

xxxvi

Jams ud din
'abd ur rahmiin
nur uz zamiin

Shams ud Din
Abd ur Rahman
Nur uz Zaman

c e other letters, the lam of the article retains its value I:
Be1or
'abd ul 'aziz
'Abdul 'Aziz

Khurshid ul Islam

xur/id ul Islam

These names literally mean 'Sun {of) the Faith', 'Servant {of) the
Compassionate', 'Light {of) the Age', 'Servant (of) the Noble' and 'Sun
(ofl the Islam'.

punctuation
Punctuation is a fairly recent innovation in Urdu. The only regularly
employed punctuation marks are:
comma

full stop

question mark

Even in the most carefully printed Urdu books, the use of punctuation is
still erratic.

Compound words
Like English, Urdu has many 'compound' words, i.e. one word made up of
two, e.g. 'tea shop', 'fruit seller'. The modern convention in Urdu is to write
the two words separately without a hyphen:
,;~Lr

J.Jt,J!
~JJ

ciUxdna

tea shop

phalvala
do pahr

fruit seller
two watch = afternoon

or as one word:

J.Jt,l( phalvala

~JJ

dopahar

In this book, compounds are written as separate words.

Numerals
Unlike the rest of the alphabet, the numerals are written from left to right,
as in English:
-+

I•

rl)

10 25

r

,..

("

I)

'1

2

3

4

5

6

"'

147

' 8"

7

~

•

9

0

t•Mr

10892
RHdlng ancl writing Urdu

xxxvii

Test yourself
a connect the following letters; write the resulting word in roman
transcription and give the English equivalent. All the words are wellknown cities and landmarks in the subcontinent e.g.
C.,. ( ~ 1..:,.
r:,C Taj mahal Taj Mahal:

J

J'

J ~ "':"' ( "':"'; J Je'; ,.::.,/J/; 1 ,,1J; tJ ~11 .:f

v;II;)"':"';..!.-!)';,tJI..!.-d''(; ,I"':"'L,;c.,
b Write the following names in roman transcription and give the normal
English form of the name e. g. ;/ muhammad Muhammad:

~ J~(~1.-l

vt:;.J ~ (')- ..,,

Y.j;.- ~~,1~ w·~'--

,; -.::.-~

c The following words will be familiar to you from menus in Indian and
Pakistani restaurants. Write them in roman transcription:

e)~-'' - ~~ - IJ-1, "':"'V J~ 0c
fiJI~ ,jt- 4:/~"':"'t
d The following words are names of countries. Transcribe them into the
roman script and give their English equivalents:

J.,~·
..
~I
e It will be seen that the names of many countries and cities, which
historically had no particular links with India and Pakistan, are English
n~es merely transcribed into the Urdu script e.g. {- be/jam Belgium,
k(.C ntiijiriya Nigeria etc. The names of countries that have closer ties with
or relevance to the subcontinent have their own Urdu forms. Transcribe

x:xxviii

the following into the roman script and see if you can guess which
countries they are:

~

!)~

- !;),)

- '-:"'/ u'~"

-1;)1::--,v.

u') - J;,tt. - tJ Jr - /.;J
f Revise the rules for the pronunciation of shon vowels before C.. 'ain and
transcribe the following words in the roman script also indicating the
pronunciation: e.g. Pl ba'd (bad) (See Introduction):

J'l - -:,.,;1, -;: ; - (}Y

d -~'r - ;~J - 0'-

RHCIIng and writing Urdu

xxxix

1
ff- l) I{;'-'=-' Y,,f-'( JJ)1
Assalamu 'a/aikum!
rod• kahari hai?
viktoria
•
Hello! Where is Victoria Road?
In this unit you will learn bow to:
• Say 'hello' and 'goodbye'
• Ask directions
• Address strangers
• Obtain information

..[I J ~ muktillma ek Dialogue 1
~•

CD 1, TR J, 00:10

John stops Aslam in a Karachi street and asks him the way to Victoria Road.
······························································································~~;;;············~~··!

(fVI~

tTvtiJ,"d)p;~~

rv,;ol.I'Y 1{-r~•""".J"~·kw.lv.'

Unit,

;,

I

~" l

f, !

Hello! Where Is Vktorlll RCMCI7

1

-UYl{.)iV.,,_,dl].
f~k'(t(,.-f
Y(,.- t,r_~l:l~(t~

-~{l(t~
_.::,.)~1-.::....
I_, JYl, ~-~"" Y,,~,
• , I.) ""'
:.r·· •
r. •
__.;I, I.Ji._ ~ l,.,l:)~l( I
-_.;I, I..Ai1 jan
1 as/am
1 jan
1 as/am
,=

l jan
1 as/am
1 jan
1 as/am

jan

'=.l

1 as/am

I

jan

1 John
1 Asl•m

i John
l,

Aslam

1 John
1 Asl•m
1 John

1 Aslam
1,,

i

John
Aslam

assa/amu •a/aikum.
va 'a/aikum ossa/am
yih bataie, vik{oria roq kahcin hal?
vik{oria roq vahat1 hoi. dekhie. bahut dur nohill hoi.
kyo ap amrikan ha/1'1 ?
ji nahit1. main angrez hun.
ap ka nom kyo hal?
mera nom jan hoi. our ap ka?
mera nom as/am hal.
acchd, as/am sahib. mera hotel yahciti
hoi. ijiizat.
acchci, jan sahib. xuda hcifiz.
xuda hdfiz.

Hello.
Hello.
Tell (me) this. Where Is Victoria Road?
Victoria Road Is there. Look. (It) Is not very far. (What), are
you American?
No. I am English.
What is your name?
My name is John. And your name?
My name is Aslam.
Very well, As lam Sahib. My hotel is here. Excuse me. [may
I take leave?]
Very well, John Sahib. Goodbye.

1.. ~~~~..............~.~~-~~:......................................................................................... :

2

i:J~

t-(IY'
(I
(JJ)I~
-:
~t:c

jdn
assaldmu
•a/aikum
as/am
va•a/aikum
assaldm
yih
batdie

John

•

JJ.J=.J

hello

vtf
.::...

As lam

'

1,)~1

hello (in

~

answer)
this

,;:,(.

(please)

""

v:i
(.,.r

tell (me)

~

kya

what?;
introduces

(t
~~

questions

""r

cf./,

tip

you

"''
ILl

[polite]

amrikan

"

American,

"'="""~

American
person
~

vi~

!,)!

~-"

hain
ji nahin
main
angrez

;r;,

J.Yl

are

1,)"'

no

.:.-J!rl

vik!oria
rot/
kahan
hai
vahan
dekhie
bahut
dur
nahin
apka
ndm
merd
aur
acchd

where?
is
there
look!, see!
very
far
not
your
name
my
and
good, very

sahib

Mr

ho!al
yahan
ijdzat

hotel

;
i

here
Excuse me
[lit.: may

English,
person

hun

Road

well

I take

English
I,).Yl

Victoria

leave?]
Jjlri..W

am

xuda
hafiz

goodbye

..

.;wl} qavd'id Grammar

4- hl}}e Spelling
Note the special way in which the Arabic word (u.JI assaldmu 'the peace' is
spelt in the phrase
assaldmu 'alaikum '(the) peace (be) upon you'. In
such phrases the J lam of J1 a/ becomes s before a following 1.1 s.

f-'ru.J'

Unit,

Hello! Where Is Vlctorl• Ro8d7

3

.

Greetings: 'hello' and 'goodbye';..>!,., sahib
The normal greeting used by Muslims is f-'rJ.I...I' assalamu 'a/aikum. It
literally means 'the peace upon you', and can be used at any time of day for
'hello', 'good morning', 'good evening', etc. It is answered by saying (IJ..II~
va 'akzikum assalam 'and upon you peace'. When taking leave of someone
you can say .,:..)~f ijiizat 'excuse me', literally '(give me) leave'. The phrase for
'goodbye' is Jilr 1..; xudd hafiz, a Persian expression meaning 'God (be your)
Protector'. The word~~ sahib 'Mr' follows the person's name. It may be
added to any of the person's names. Thus John Smith rt 1.:1~ jan ismith
could be addressed either as~~ 1.:1~ jan sahib or as~~
ismith sahib.

n

The verb 'to

be~

'am, Is, are'

A verb is a word that denotes action, feeling, existing and so on. English
examples are 'to do', 'to seem', 'to be', 'I do, you seem, he is', etc. In Urdu,
the verb 'to be' is honti.
In Dialogue 1, you met the forms:

main hun
yih hai }
vuh hai
tip hain

I am
he, she, it is
you are

Note that the words-:! yih 'this' and u vuh 'that' can also mean 'he, she, it',
and that verb always comes at the end of the sentence:

vikforia rot/ dur hai
main amrikan nahin hun
vuh vahtin hai

Victoria Road is far away
I am not American
He is there

Personal pronouns 'I' and 'you'; polite
commands 'tell me' and 'look!'
Personal pronouns are words such as 'I', 'you', 'he', 'they', etc. The Urdu
pronoun main 'I' is used like its English counterpart:

U.tl'jt:f'~(.)!

main pakistani hun

I am Pakistani

We shall see that Urdu has three words for 'you', which indicate various
degrees of familiarity and respect. The word most commonly used when

4

r

ddressing adults and elders (including one's father, elder brother, etc.) is.,...
a This requires a special form of the verb which conveys respect. The polite
Z;rn of command, which always ends in ~ -it, e.g. ~tc battiit' (please)
II rne, ~ dekhit '(please) look, see', is only used with 'T' f and is in itself
:Spectful. Urdu therefore, requires no word for 'please':
~tc=

~
~

yih batait
dekhit

please tell me
please look

ylh u vuh 'this, that; he, she, It'

: yih means 'this' and " vuh means 'that', and may be used like their English
equivalents:

~ft.~

.

c.!/'"
fri:C=

~Jnu

yihangrrz
vuhamrikan
yih bata~
vuh ho!tl hai

this English (man)
that American
tell (me) this
that is a/the hotel

Urdu has no special word for 'a' or 'the', thus
'a hotel' or 'the hotel'.

JJil ho!al can mean either

-: yih and " vuh are also used as pronouns meaning 'he, she, it'. The actual
meaning can be determined only from the context. ~ yih refers to a person
or thing nearby: 'this person/thing here', " vuh refers to a person or thing
further away: 'that person/thing there':

'f-j~~"·"''T-~)j~

yih angrrz hai aur
vuh pakistani hai

He/she (here) is English
and he/she (there) is
Pakistani

yih kya hai?

What is it (this thing here)?

vuh kyti hai?

What is it (that thing there)?

In neutral circumstances when no contrast of distance is implied, " vuh is
more commonly used:

'T-j~~"
r~v.,

'

-

vuh pakistani hai
vuh kyti hai?

Unit 1

He/she is Pakistani
What is it?

Hello! Where Is VIctoria Road?

5

Leaving out the pronoun
The personal pronoun is often omitted when the sense is clear:

U,..~Ji,v:YL>rv.tcf-/,"r' f

dp amrikan haHz? ji Are you American?
No, (I) am English
nahin, angra; hun

Questions

v:1

L> ji
Questions to which the answer may be either u~ L> ji han. 'yes' or
nahin 'no', as in English, are asked with rise in intonation, but in Urdu, the
word order remains that of the statement:

rv.r cf-/,"r' r

dp amrikan hain?

Such questions are often prefaced by the word

fi.).!~Ji"V' fk"

"'f-""'-'J,..("V' fk"
6

Are you American?

V kyd 'what?':

kya dp angrez hain?

(What), are you English?

kyd dp kd hotaf yahdn hai?

Is your hotel here?

.ng (/ /eyd at the start of the question makes little diffe~nce to the sense
futtl
.
.
.
and its induston IS opttonal.
• ~·, 'whe~ IS.
• )', the questton
• word I~( ,._,..
J...A 'what.~·
In questions that ask 'whatIS.
or v'f!tahdn 'whe~?' always comes immediatdy befo~ the verb:

\''f- ~

yih lty4 hai?

What is this?

f.::..vl/c.~t1'~
'

Whe~ is Pakistan?
What is your name?

paltistan lt4hdn hai?
f'f-l{(~r"'f 4p ltd nam ltyd hai?

~ merl

my

r,..1lp kl your

These words come befo~ the word to which they ~fer. Note that ("f'1 ap ltd
'your' consists of two dements which ~ written separatdy:

rt~

J,(.,..f

mml ndm

my name

4p ltd hotal

your hotd

n)~ muklllma do Dialogue 2
~

CD,, TR J, 01:o2

John meets .As1am again and after asking him about Karachi invites him to
have tea in a nearby cafe.

r······················································~~·J·~·~·~~f,~·~~·~;············~~··l

fv1~e.rt''-'f-~..,..,..,'f-liJJ'e.rr

r'f-~.:.-A.tJz~,4--~~'~""{i-v.rr~Ji~V-·v~~
-'f-.:.-AJ(j

j(_'f--'~.:.-.Jlt~

r'-"~''f-0'-'''

-'f-~J.:;.,(..JJI'f-AJ~tl{.:;.,f.-'f-A;~JJZiU
f~(/vuf~t:J/(jJ 1o'-"'

___

-'f-UV~·vls'.::.-;1~~-'f-J.~u-v:f~

(1 1
t:Jiv i
;,

I

t:J~ !

(1 I

t:)lv

!

/1 I

Unit, HelloiWhiN .. VlctoM ao.dl

7

,.;(;Lru~,~-'f-,;~)~~,J:'~~(I~,

-~Lr4-'f-

i
1 jiin
1 aslam
~: jiin

1 aslam
1 jan
~. aslam
1 jan
1 aslam
:· ~: jan

~ John

1 Aslam
1,

John

.

j Aslam

l John
!:

Aslam

! John
1 Aslam

assalamu 'alaikum, as/am sahib. kya hal hai?
ap ki du'a hal. sab thik hai. aur ap thik hairi?
ji hiiri, mairi bilkul thik hUri. as/am sahib, yih bataie. yih ba(i
'imarat kya hal?
yih 'imarat habib bairik hai. kafi nai 'imarat hal.
aur vuh kya hal vahari?
vuh bohri bazar hal. bahut purana bazar hal aur bahut dilcasp
hai.
aur vuh admi kaun hal? vuh sindhi hai?
ji nahiri. vuh panjabi hai. lekin yih 'aurat yahari, yih sindhi hai.
acchii, as/am sahib. karaci bahut dilcasp ~ahr hal. dekhie,
yahari cae xana hal. calie, cae pieri.
Hello, Aslam Sahib. How are you?
(It is your prayer), all is well. And are you all right?
Yes, I am extremely well. Aslam Sahib, tell (me) this. What is
this big building?
This building is the Habib Bank. (It) is quite a new building.
And what is that there?
That is Bohri Bazaar. It's a very old bazaar and very
interesting.
And who is that man? Is he a Sindhi?
No. He's a Panjabi. But this woman here. She is a Sind hi.

1..~~.~.~. .... . . . :.~.~;;:;,~~;~~;;~~~~;~;:~~~~~~;.!.~~7~~~;~~~~.~~.~;~. ....:
J~v

hal

condition

)q

bdztir

(m.)
ID

i
~

!:)

\'~J~vi/

'

-

~)

a 'f- ~JJ,... r

kya hal
how are
hai
you?
du'd
prayer (f.)
ap ki du'd 'it is
(your)
hai
prayer'

8

bazaar,
market
(m.)

tl/y

-rJ)
u)r

I;)!
l!v

purarui
dilcasp
ddmi
kaun?
sindhi

old
interesting
man (m.)
who?
Sindhi

...,..,.,

sab

all, everything

._{!

fhik
biiku/
J~
v~J Ji han
=j; fukria
I!{

~At

bara
'imtirat

J.~ panjtibi

Panjabi

"

but

all right

.:;,j/

absolutely

~J./

yes

J

kkin
'aurat
kartici
fahr

woman(£)
Karachi
city, town
(m.)

thank you
big

.;~Lr

elk xtina

building

j(
~

_.qJA'i.

habib
baink
kafi
naya
bohri
biiztir

Habib
Bank (m.)
quite

Lr

,;!1

calie
ctie
pim

ll:

v

a5

(m.)

4

"'
g
v

restaurant

(£)

..{t~

a:a

tea shop,

come on
tea(£)
let's drink

new
Bohri
Bazaar (m.)

..

..JWI} qavd'id Grammar

.S,..

hljje Spelling

Note the way in which the word J~ bi/kul 'absolutely' is spelt. It is, in fact,
a borrowing from Arabic composed of three elements~ bi 'in' a/ 'the'
kul'all'. In Urdu, it functions as an adverb meaning 'absolutely', 'extremely':
...IJ,j~ bilkul fhik 'extremely well', At~JI~ bilkul Jtindtir 'absolutely fabulous!'.

J1

,f

Many Urdu nouns (words for things and people such as boy, city, John)
and adjectives (descriptive words such as big, good, blue), mostly borrowed
from Persian, end in cho!i he, which is not pronounced. The ending in
transcription is written as -a: =At; vik!oria 'Victoria', ,;~Lr ctie xtina 'tea
shop', eJt" ttiza 'fresh'. In pronunciation, the ending e -a is the same as I -ti: ifJ
duii 'prayer', I~ bara 'big', tl{purtinti 'old'.

More greetings

J1r k"

A common way of saying 'how are you?' is \'Tkya hal hai?, literally
'what is (your) condition?'. It may be answered by the phrase -r-lf,J,..r tip ki
du•a hai 'it is your prayer (which makes me well)'.

Unit, Hello! Where Is VIctoria Roadl

9

These phrases may be used by both Muslims and non-Muslims.

=p lultri4 is a common word for 'thank you' used by people of any religion.
Masculine and feminine
Urdu nouns fall into two groups or genders: masculine and feminine. Nouns
denoting males such as (./Jf admi 'man' and~~ sahib 'gendeman' are
always masculine; those denoting females such as .::.JI 'aurat 'woman' and
~~ stihiba 'lady' are always feminine. Other nouns may be of either gender.
Thus JIJ~ bazar 'bazaar' and} lahr 'town/city' are masculine, while I.IJ du'd
'prayer' and .::.AI 'imtirat 'building' are feminine. There are, unfortunately, no
hard and fast rules for determining gender, which simply has to be learnt. In
the first dialogue, all the nouns were masculine. From now on each noun listed
in the vocabulary will have its gender indicated with m. for masculine and £
for feminine; m.p. is used for masculine plural, and £p. for feminine plural.
Adjectives in certain cases must agree with the following noun in gender, i.e.
change their gender to correspond with that of the noun.
Adjectives which have their masculine form ending in I -ti 'alif such as 1(1
acchti 'good', l,t bard 'big', ~ nayti 'new' change the ending 1- -a to 1,) -i before
feminine nouns:
:••••••••oooo-oooouooooooooooooooouoooo-ooooooooooooooooooooooooooo-oooouoooooooooooooooooooo•-••o-ooooooooooouoooo-ooo•oooooo-ooooooo;

Ii }!(• :::~::
AJ~~

naya bdzar

good city
new bazaar

Lr~'
::~::7
.::.AJ(J

nai 'imarat

good tea
new building

Ii

-O"Jv
.
. ,. purdnikitab old book !:
l:....................................................................................................................................
Note the spelling of~ naya (masculine) and (j nai (feminine).
!:
:i J11t1/..

puranahotal old hotel

Agreement must be made wherever the adjective appears in the sentence:

-

"-ILf(./J L yih admi acchti hai
' "
.:r~'.:;;"/" vuh 'aurat acchi hai
~tVJJ1., vuh ho!aipurtina hai
'
"-J.I/.::..JLt.., yih 'imtirat purtini hai

.

'

.

-

Adjectives ending in any other letter e.g.
angrrz 'English' make no change for gender:

UJf.,..JJ
.::.JI:t,/1

10

dikasp ddmi
angrrz 'aurat

this man is good
this woman is good
this hotel is old
this building is old

.,..JJ dikasp 'interesting', :c_,J,
an interesting man
an English woman

r

ords '-"' merti 'my' and (.,.. tip kti 'your' are also adjectives and agree
.
dingly in gender With the noun:
accor
"
/'-"' merti fahr
my city

f)teW

":""Cr'd.,.;(

meri kittib

my book

( ~ f.J{ (.,.. r tip kti purti ntim
LrJ'•y..f tip ki ctie

your full name
your tea

cf-/t

Nore chat the words :t,.f, angrez,
amrikan, jt:f~ ptikisttini,
hindusttini 'Indian' may function as both adjectives and nouns:

.:.-.~ljt:f~
. .. ptikisttini 'aurat
~Jt:f~....
'
.... yihptikisttini hai

j~,-'1

a Pakistani woman
he/she is a Pakistani

~j~,Afu vuh hindusttini hai he/she is an Indian
'
Although j~,Af hindusttini is written with' vau, the u is pronounced short.
Who is that?

Who Is he/she?

The word for 'who?' is 1:)/ kaun, and like all other 'question' words, such as

V kyti 'what?' and 1.)1/ kahtin 'where?' must come immediately before the
verb:

~Jii:tuf~f:)h'
'
'

..

Y~lfv..,.f~f:)£.,

'

-' -

vuh kaun hai?
vuh panjtibi hai
yih kaun hai?
yih sindhi hai

Who is he/she (there)?
He/she is a Panjabi
Who is this?
This is a Sindhi

vfjL,.J"~ calie, cde pielt 'Come on, let's have tea'
The polite command form
The useful expression

4 calie means 'come on' or please get a move on'.

Lf.*Lr ctie pim means 'let's drink/have tea'.

~ masq Exercise
1.1

Fill In the blanks

Fill in the blanks with the correct masculine or feminine form of the
adjective given in brackets (watch out for those that require no change).
Before writing, check the gender of the noun.

Unit 1

Hellol Where Is VIctoria Road7

11

(good)
(new)
(big)
(Indian)

Lr:-

-~

(interesting)

'

-~
-~

'

'

,

.AJ~UA..t! t

J1~.:..1Ltu

3

,.,rv

5

J(''.,t(
" 4

-~

'

-lA

,:JJ~ mukdlima tin Dialogue 3
4 CD 1, TR J. 02:12

John and Aslam go to have tea in a tea shop. In the course of the conversation
they exchange personal details and telephone numbers. John is invited to
Aslam's home.

r~·;;~==;~·~·~;;~;!;~;=~-~-,.~J~~~~;;············~~-···1

I
!

rf-Wt'"{(,.- t~tc~l,~~-f-.r.~u"''u~<>

ff-k'(ti.J{(,.-t,,_f- .r;~~(Cf.l{'.f(
r,_, t,,u~?.f,v!~,)u"'v!-f-~~(i..l(t'"{'.f(

!
! _,)k,_, fv!~,f-u~Y,Jv!v!~N',u~v~v!~'/v!
1

:

j
j

i

i
!:
12

r~u'r
' '<

(i
~~

(i
~~

:

(i

rf-v.J.~e(,.-f_~l,(i,:'.P

~~
(i

-f-~~~~·-=-v·"rm/.'.1(

-f-)}",~f.L'!,._(vf~"''-:'p

!
1

/-,.-tf-"!'cf-f-tiJ-,J.lnt::.(.-~{Ju.~.kJ'.,t(

-~~Jc:J~-&1-~ r

I
I
I

~~

!
!
!
i
!:

IJon
j ostom

,.jim

I

as/om

! Jon
) oslom

! jon
: ostom
i jon

: John
i

Aslam

i

i

John
Aslam

i

John

: Aslam

i John
: Aslam
j John

yih cae xtina vdqa1 bahut acchd hal. cae acchi hal our khdna
bahut mazedar hal.
ji hdr'l, yahar'l sob kuch hal. jan sahib, bataie. ap led piirti nom
kydhal?
merti piira nom j(Jn /smith hoi. our tip kti piirti nom lcyti hoi?
mera piirti nom muhammad as/am xan hal. malr'l yahtir'l koraci
mer'l injlnir hUr'l. our tip?
main kartkimet'l soyytih hiin, Iandon men molr'l cjaf<tor hiin.
kartici men tip ka ghar kohdn hoi?
mera ghar bandor rocj par hoi. bahut diir nahin. ghar purtina
hai.lekin acchti hoi. tip kobhl die. ek pakistani ghar dekhie.
!ukrio, as/om sahib. ap ka telifon nombar lcya hal?
mera nambar do car sat tin par'lc hoi.
!ukria. our merti nambar ek che dfh slfr nau hoi.

This tea shop is really very good. The tea is good and the
food is very tasty.
Yes. (There's) everything here. John Sahib, tell me. What is
your full name?
My full name is John Smith. And what Is your full name?
My full name is Muhammad Aslam Khan. I am an engineer
here In Karachi. And you?
I am a tourist in Karachi. In London, I am a doctor. Where Is
your house in Karachi?
My house on Bandar Road. It (Is) .not very far. The hou$e is
old, but It Is good. (You) come sometime. See a Pakistani
house.
Thank you, Aslam Sahib. What is your telephone number?
My number Is 24735.
Thank you. And my number is 16809.

is

•

i
1

..................................................................................................................................... :

J,,
til
./''~?

J;"r""

.

l.;i

;'i

..1

vdqa'i

really

khdnd
mazedar
sab kuch
purd
ismith
muhammad

food (m.)

.

.

)).J.J.).r.

Bandar

par

on, upon

se

from

kabhi
die

sometime

ek

one, a

Road (m.)

tasty

/y

everything

.::....

full

~

Smith

bandar rot/

4-r

Muhammad

please

i
:w:

~

come

...fi
Unit,

Hello! Where Is Vktorl• Road7

13

xan
mm
injinir

~:)~

...;!

~

I

i
~

5

Khan

I:),;.II

~elifon

telephone
(m.)

nambar

number
(m.)

eW
car
sat
tin
pane

two

in
engineer
(m.)

vk-- sayytih

tourist (m.)

1:).1)1

London

landan

(m.)

/.
JJ

.If
.,:..(,.-

jij t/iik!ar

doctor

cl

(m.)

_/

house,

'L,

ghar

four
seven
three
five

home (m.)

-

~IJ qavd'id Grammar

(t

Names

In India and Pakistan, the western concept of Christian/given name and
surname rarely applies. Many Muslims have three elements in their name,
muhammad aslam xtin 'Muhammad Aslam Khan', any of which
e.g. I,;)~
might be used when addressing or referring to the person. This man might
as/am sahib or --:->~!,;)~ xiin
be called --:->~..1 muhammad sahib, --:->~
sahib. From the dialogues, he obviously likes to be known as
as/am. To
find out a person's full name, you may ask: \''f- v(~ l..1{ ('T' f tip kti purti niim
kya hai? 'What is your full name?'

(f..J

(i

'In~ 'on~

(i

'from'- postposltlons

In English, words such as 'in', 'on, 'from' are known as prepositions and
come before the word they modify: 'in London', 'from here', etc. In Urdu,
their equivalents L)! men 'in', {par 'on',.;::.... se 'from' follow the word they
modify and are termed postpositions:

L)!J..~i~..t.

..

.;::,..._/
{JJ..J..J~

m.;::....l.)'-'

14

brai4fort! men
gharst
bandar rot/par
yahan se dur

in Bradford
from the house
on Bandar Road

far from here

place names

So far we have met various names for countries, towns and streets, the
spelling of which should be carefully noted:
i.:J~'.-'1
i,;J t:f~

111Y

.....,!f..

~,)

..

!,;)_Nl
Jd~/.

• ;.r,

J'-1-:t)

'

jw,k.

.~IJ~J'AJ!

hindusttin
pakistan
sindh
panjdb
kardci
landan
brait/fort/
vik!oria rot/
bandar rot/
bohri biizdr

India
Pakistan
Sindh
Pan jab
Karachi
London
Bradford
Victoria Road (Karachi)
Bandar Road (Karachi)
Bohri Bazaar (Karachi)

Numbers

The Urdu numbers from 0-10 are given in Appendix 1. These should now
be learnt.

Insight
Urdu is one of the major languages of India as well as of Pakistan and
is spoken by people of various religious and cultural backgrounds. In
Pakistan, the majority of people you will meet will be Muslims and
so the customary Muslim greetings (.!'(u.-'1 for 'hello' and ,aji,J...; for
'goodbye' will usually be sufficient. When greeting or taking leave of
one another, Hindus use the word ;;! namaste, which can be used
at any time for both 'hello' and 'goodbye'. A greeting used by people
of all faiths is 'f-,)/"":"'IJf dddb l:zrz hai literally meaning 'respect is
presented'.
Karachi is a huge cosmopolitan port .1.k. bandar 'port' (hence Bandar
Road) in which both western and Asian influences are visible. In its
colourful bazaars, of which the central Bohri Bazaar is the biggest, you
will see not only native Sindhis (people from the province of Sindh),
but Panjabis, Balochis, Mghans and many people who have migrated
there from India.

... .. ...... .. .. ......... .... .... ... .. .. .. ......... .... .... .. ... .... ...... .................. .... ..... ..
Unit 1

Hello! Where Is VIctoria Road?

15

~ malqell Exercises
1.2

Write these sentences In Urdu

Say hello to Mr Khan and ask him how he is.
2 Ask him where Bandar Road is.
J Tell him your name.
4 Tell him your hotel is not f.u away.
5 Take your leave and say goodbye.
1

1.1 Give your part In the dialogue

r-·····································································~;J~~t~~~···········:::··i

!

I

Answer the greeting and say you are fine.

f~:c)j~

rv

I

Aslam

j

Tell him that you are.

You

~

f~,J.Jy;~f

Aslam

!
!
j
I

!

You

~~~~

j

!

~ ~

I
l
Aslam I

'"7-~JJ..:;....i,)"'Jy;(~ r

Aslam

Say that it is not.

You

Jjjpi,.W_..:,;!I''(I

L.................................................................................~!..~~~.~:................!~.~..~
,_. Sums
Work out the answers to these sums and write them out in words and figures.

•>

• (r +
=(If+ f'"')

'.:1L"
'L" 'L"
.JJf JJ

,

~

2

.JJI

J

.JJI

• (6 + 6)
.JJf
J
• (1 + ~) ..:,!,... .JJf ..(1 4
• (f"' + f"')

16

.:1 .:1

1·5

Comprehension

4 CD 1, TR 3, 03=42

Listen to the dialogue and tick the appropriate answers.
Where is Mr Khan's house?
Where is Mr Khan originally from?
3 Is Mr Khan's house far away?
4 What is Mr Khan's house like?
1

l

1 .6

In Karachi (

In London (
India ( )
Yes ( )
New ( )

Pakistan ( )
No ( )
Old ( )

Answer the questions

Look at the visitor's entry form and answer the questions.
Name

1:)'.;./

Country of origin

t,;Jt:fL

Place of residence

~,.f

•

Ju.Jk. ,..,

Address

~I

Occupation

;.~j~/.

Place of residence in UK

(v'J)I•

Duration of stay (days)

Which country does Mr Khan come from?
He lives in Victoria Road. True or false?
3 He is a doctor. True or false?
4 How many days is he staying in the UK?
S He is visiting London. True or false?
1

2

Test yourself
Match the sentences as appropriate

-4-u~t:-1~~/
-vtt ~I \.l ~If

1

2

Unit 1

Hellol WheN II VIctoria Rolld?

17

_.,_J~::-,v,,,!~ tj J

_.,._,;,; -://,/'d'
_.,... ~;!(; ( '

4

r''Jt'd' s

-.,._ J'l L¥ v~·v~ t.f '
_.,... ;~ c''d' -rJJ)' f, '
--:'ft ,.,_'4J' ~

8

_.,_"''~·v~t.f

'

-~ J"'-v~Jy.'d',o

~~I.IJ!,.,...Jt,y c

~.,... vlfJ..'f

d

~ .,._ "''.:.t; L'-: y •
~.,_vr''Jtr";"i ,

~~..C~Ji ";"iV

~.;...Jif/(_i
..

1

h

~.,_Jb{J,i,,f

~'-~Jc j

This list involves understanding some important questions, which you will
have to answer at some stage. Check your answers in the Answer Key for this
unit. If you have difficulty, revise the unit before going on to Unit 2.

18

2
?~..JJ/:~u..JJ/:~r
Aie, tasrif laie,
tasrif rakhie

Please come in and take a seat
In this unit you will learn how to:
Introduce yourself
Make polite conversation
Describe your family
Address children

..II)(,.
.. mukalima ek
~~

Dialogue 1

CD 1, TR 4, oo:1o

John and his wife, Helen, are invited to dinner by Aslam and his wife, Bilqis,
who introduce them to their children.

tT-Jt,V-~v-efi~~cJir'~1

-t#t::-~v;I(-=.PvJ'l-¥v!-~~(I~T-~.;JJ,.,r
-iAY'JVf:,_;!cJ_Nl-T-Jr(t(cJI

-4~;;~~~1- ~J -rfi~t~~~f-"ru.J'
-T-c.rf.(t(t)l
Unit 2

Please come In •nd ub •

SNt

19

fl..1' ~L,_-t.kC~"~''f-J/~IJ f

d:J

-'f-~I%1.Jia~-~V'JI,mtLJI,J-1..1' ~-'f'--'la-~~~

~··

J.~la~-''''f-JY'(~(vl-'f-~e,(t.~la~-'''-'f-""lr(~(vl

~-J~r-,J.J/-'f-JJ(t:.{o~-~.J,,J_I..1'~~'J

-1..1'o ~o/...;_mJ..ZJ'cJ'
r0,'·1..1'~-v.'~~J/
rl..1'~if-L,_-rv-~.
-1!:..'-.Jia-v.'~
.V•\.

aslam
jiJn

aslam
he/an

bllqis

helan

bilqis
he/an

As lam
John

Aslam
Helen

Bllqis

20

,Jz

vl:

,Jz

die, jdn sdhib, ta!rif /die. kyd hdl hoi?
ap ki du'd hoi, as/am sdhib. main thik hun !ukria. meri begam se
mllie. in kd ndm he/an hoi. london men yih bhT gakfar hain.
assaldmu 'alaikum, he/an sdhiba. die, tasrif rakhie. iip log meri
begam se milie. In ka ndm bilqis hai.
iidiib arz hai, bilqis siihlba. kyo ylh iip ke bocce hait'l?
ji hiin. hamiire car bocce hain, do /a{ke aur do la,rkian. yih
hamara bora beta hal. is kd nom hdmld hal. our yih hamiirii
chota beta hal. is kii ncim iqbiil hai. our ylh hamari do betiiili
hain, nargis aur jamila. jamila bahut choti hoi. sirf do sci/.
dekhie. in ki cizen harjagah bikhri-pari hain.
koi biit nahin. bocce hain. aur kyii?
kyo iip ke bhi bocce hait'l?
ji nahin. hamdre bocce nahili
Come (in), John. Please come in. How are you?
Well ['it is your prayer1, Aslam Sahib. I am all right, thank you.
Meet my wife. Her name is Helen. In London, she is also a
doctor.
Hello, Helen Sahlba. Come, please take a seat. (You people)
meet my wife. Her name is Bilqis.
Hello, Bilqis Sahiba. Are these your children?
Yes, we have four children. Two boys and two girls. This is
our elder ['big1 son. His name is Hamid. And this is our
younger son. His name is Iqbal. And these are our two
daughters, Nargis and Jamila. Jamila is very small. Only

two years {old). Look. Their things are scattered around
everywhere.
It doesn't matter. {They) are children. So what?
Do you also have children?
No. We don't have children.

i Helen

! sllqis

1
1
L...............•....•••....•..••••.•.•..•...•••.••..••••.••...•••.••..•.•.•••....••.••.•.•.•..••..••.••.....•...•.....•.....•••...

1 Helen

4--r ait
~r

..Jt.l

to come

ta!rif

honour (f.)

4--V fait
~v

~uJ..I

".J

~

lana

to bring

taJriflak

please

ralthk
ralthna

v!fJ.Jj iarlti,
lar/tian
~-(]-f%

?.·~

btta. bt!t son (m.),
sons
(m.p.)

please sit

...1r

down

eJ1(

hamitJ
Hamid
chora -i,-t small,

please

Jv'
'fl..t:,,}.

""'"" ""

(with)

in Ita, -i,

-t

;qbaJ
b
tfi,

btfilln

his, her,

If
~
~~

J,J

htlan

Helen

bhi
hain
sahiba
log

also, too

ap Jog

nargis

Nargis

~

jamila

Jamila

sirf

only

Mrs, Miss

Jv sal
Jvn tbJsai

(plural)

¥

5

a

(f.),

J;
..J/

you

~

u

(f.p.)

year (m.)
two years

(old)

(m.p.)

Jt.., r

Iqbal
daughter

Gil

c

daughters

are
people

his, her, its

younger

their

J.:r

girls (f.p.)

is lea

meet

u::..J)(I:Jf

girl (f.),

(Lfl

wife (f.)

st milit

boys

bara. -i, -t elder

to put

ta!rif
ralthk

boy (m.),
(m.p.)

come (in)
place, put

~ btgam
~.::.....

iarltt

bring

place

.t.~..Jt.f

LJ,(j iarlta,

come

ana

L,J.(I:JI

un Ita,

their

-i, -t

Unit a PIMM COIM In and tab •..-t

21

~

{:--·.f

bilqis
bacca,
bacce

V.Z·Z

Bilqis
child (m.),

\'1./.1'

bacce

.:......-o-'"n

hain
hamdrd,

1./.1'

0,,

(f.p.)

~;:

are these
your
our

harjagah everywhere

o~o/

bikhri-

scattered

J/

pari
koi

some, any

..::.,.~

bat

matter,

koi bat

it doesn't

children?

-i, -e

{:--"r'-"n

things

children
(m.p.)

{:--L,-~ yihdp ke

ciz, cizm thing (f.),

hamdrecdr we have

thing {f.)

vf.,:..~JI

bacce

four

hain

children

aurkyd

so what?

v.t {:--L ,_ r

nahin
dpke

matter
do you

bacce

have

hain

children?

..Jil} qavti'id Grammar
Polite commands: 'please do thlsl'; the Urdu verb
The Urdu verb is referred to (e.g. in dictionaries) by its infinitive, which is
the equivalent of the English 'to tell', 'to see', 'to come'. The infinitive always
ends with~ -nd:~l4 batdnd 'to tell', b{'J dekhnd 'to see',~ ca!nd 'to come (on)'.
By removing the ending ~ -nd, we find the stem, the part of the verb from
which all other parts are formed. A parallel in English might be: 'to love'
infinitive; 'love' stem; 'loved', 'loving' other parts of the verb.
We met the verbs ~14 batdnd 'to tell', b{'J dekhnd 'to see', ~ ca!nd 'to come
{on)', in Unit 1. In Dialogue 1 of this unit, we have four more verbs: tf and
'to come', ttJ land 'to bring', ~ rakhnd 'to place/put' and b.l. milnd 'to meet'.
The stems of these verbs are: fa-, tJ /d-, /'.; rakh-, mil-.

J

The polite command form (imperative) is formed by adding the ending ~
-ie to the stem. When the stem ends in a vowel, e.g. 1- -d, the junction is
effected by~ hamza: ~ dekhie 'see!' but ~14 batdie' 'tell!'.

22

..-~..

1 ,,e

Polite imperative of verbs met so f.ar are:
Stem

Infinith'e
f,--

tc

batcinci

~14

"-)

PoUte imperatiw

t;;..tc

batci-

~

dekhnci

f

dekh-

I?!.,

calnci

J'

cal-

~f

cinci

1

a-

t;;-1

Ieino

tJ

Ia-

1;;-tJ

~tJ

c/;

rakhnci

~

milno

"-'
J

4

")

rakh-

~

mil-

bataie

tell!

dekhie

see!, look!

calie

come on!

ciie

come!

laie

bring!

rakhie

put/place

milie

meet!

Polite language
In the past Urdu was heavily influenced by the Persian of the Indian courts
and still has many rather flowery polite expressions, which in normal
conversation are used in place ofeveryday words. When asking someone into
your house, as well as saying t;;-1 die 'come (in)', you can also say 1;;- tJ
taJrifUiie, which literally means 'bring (your) honour'. When asking someone
to sit down, as well as the ordinary 4;; bai!hie from ~ bai!hnti 'to sit', you
may also say ~J-..i,! talrifrakhie 'place (your) honour'.

...fiJi

~~ se m/lnd 'to meet'

The verb ~ milnti 'to meet' is always used with the postposition .::;.... se. In
Urdu, you 'meet .from someone'.

~.::;...,JEtJ.;(
~.::;.,..~(.,~~

meri begam se milie

(Please) meet my wife
(may I introduce you?)
(Please) meet Mr Khan

Xlin sahib se milie

Plurals
Urdu nouns fall into four major groups.

Masculine nouns which end In I -d or 'silent' e -a

'(j

larka

boy

..f

bacca

child

~

be!d

son
tea shop

Masculine nouns which end In any other letter

.)'

ghar

house/home

")

r

iidmi

man

Unlta PluMcamelnMCitlllateMet

23

Feminine nouns which end In 1.5 -i
girl

daughter

Feminine nouns which end In any other letter

.:;,,;/

'aurat

":"C(

woman

kittib

book

Nouns in the first group form their plural by changing I -d and ' -a to '- t:

'(j

~
~
..:~Lr

larka
bt!d
bacca
cdtxdna

boy

LJ

son

?.
~
,

child
tea shop

L~Lir

,.

!arkt
bt!t
bacct
cdtxdnt

boys
sons
children
tea shops

Sometimes the plural of nouns ending in ' such as ~ bacca is written simply
with ' - ~ - but the plural is still pronounced bacct. In other words, the
written form does not change but the pronunciation does. In this book, the
plural is alway written with '- - i.e. ~ bacce.
Nouns in the second group make no change for the plural:

/

ljJi

ghar
iidmi

house
man

/

ljJi

ghar
iidmi

houses
men

Nouns in the third group form their plural by adding l)l-dn:

Jj

~

lark;
bt!i

girl
daughter

ui/J
u~

tarkitin
bttian

girls
daughters

Nouns in the fourth group form their plural by adding U:. -m:

.:;,,;/

":"cr

'aurat
kitab

woman
book

,J,;/
~cr

'auratm women
kittibm books

~ malq Exercise
2.1

Complete the list using transcription and the Urdu script

'(j._fl

LJJ
~.Jf

uLfJ,J
24

ek !arka
tin !arkt
cdr bacct
do tarkitin

one boy
three boys
four children
two girls

stit 'auratm

seven women
Ave daughters
seven sons
eight books
six houses
ten men

plural adjectives
Adjectives must agree with the noun they precede. Adjectives ending in I -a
such as 1(1 accha 'good', I~ bara 'big' 'elder' form their masculine plural by
changing I -a to '- -e:

(.:JI(I accha larka

good boy

/r~ bara ghar

big house

L.:JL!1 accht larkt
/'-~ bart ghar

good boys
big houses

The feminine form of the adjective in L5 -i makes no change for the plural:

,:0:

•

v,:LS~ bari btti

..;;.,.J/J!I acchi 'aurat

big/elder
v'~LS~ bari bttitin big/elder
daughter
daughters
good woman d.~1J(1 acchi
good
'aurattn
women

Adjectives ending in any other letter make no change for the plural:

JyJJ
..;;.,.JI:t_.fr

dilcasp Iahr

interesting
town
angrtz 'aurat English
woman

~ yih 'these~

jyJJ

di/casp Iahr interesting

d.~l:c_.lr angrtz
'aurattn

towns
English
women

u vuh 'those'

Before plural nouns,

=yih means 'these', u vuh means 'those':

~o;, yih kitabm

these books

L.:Ju vuh larkt

those boys

Personal pronouns
In Unit 1, we met the pronouns,;! main 'I', ,.J ap the polite word for 'you',
vuh 'he, she, it'. We now look at some of the other pronouns.

:f ·, yih,

i

tU 'thou', 'you' is a singular pronoun which is used to address only one
Person. It is now used rarely in conversation, but is frequently used in poetry

Unltz ,...__lnendUire•MM

25

and film songs. It is also used when talking to animals and addressing Goc:J..
The form of the verb tJ'i hond it takes is 7 hai:

ftl:)~u~·7 t,JL(i

tU kahan hai, meri jan?

Where are you my
darling?

( tum 'you' is a second person plural pr~>noun, which like English 'you' may
be used to address one person or more. ( tum is used for people 'lower' in the
social order than you are. It may, for example, be used for children, younger
relations, waiters, taxi drivers, servants and often for your mother, wife and
very close friends. It is never used by a woman for her husband, who like her
father, boss and most equals, would only be addressed as "f" 1tip. When males
are addressed, the pronoun requires plural agreement in both the noun and
the adjective. The form oHJ'i hond it takes is J'i ho:

J'i~hr(

tum acche bacce ho

you are a good child

Obviously, this sentence could also mean 'you are good children'. The
context usually determines the meaning, but if any confusion is likely to
arise, this is avoided by placing the masculine plural word J,J log 'people'
after the pronoun:

tum log acche bacce ho

you (people) are good
children

When one female is addressed, however, the noun remains singular:

,..,f:JJ!r(
.tit,J'f:JJ(rJ,J(

tum acchi larki ho
tum log acchi larkian ho

you are a good girl
you are good girls

The same considerations apply to "f"1 tip, which is used for people to whom
respect is due. "f"1tip is obligatory for elder male relations and for anyone who
is addressed as~!, sahib 'Me' or-?!, sahiba 'Mrs/Miss'. In practice, it is
better to use "f"1 to any adult, eve~! to waiters, servants, etc., although you will
often hear Urdu speakers using ( for_ such people. It must be remembered
that "f"1 is a plural pronoun and like ( requires plural agreement:

vtJJ 1"-!/.J,,,.. r.~~,(i as/am sahib, tip vaqa'i
ftVJ j ~~.., t.r "'~

26

bare admi hain
begam sahiba, tip
pakistani hain?

Aslam Sahib, you are
really a great man
Madame, are you a
Pakistani?

:0 begam

can mean both 'wife' and 'lady'. A woman whose name is not

Cown may be addressed as~¥ begam stihiba 'Madame'.
"( r dp may also be 'pluralized' by adding J,J log:
~\).! jt:f~J,J"' r tip log pakistani haifz?

Are you (people)
Pakistanis?

f ham ~~ a plural pronoun like English 'we'; the form oft.rr honti it takes
is iJ.I ham:

v;,Ji':(.f,(i,I.J!~I(i
Again,

ham amrikan haifz;
We are Americans;
ham ang;rez nahin haifz we are not English

J,J log may be added to (i to show the plural:

I.J!fijl.f-l;)..JJ,J(i

ham log landan men
r/fikfar haifz

We are doctors
in London

-.: yih and u vuh, the words we have met for 'he, she, it', when used with the
plural verb I.J! haifz 'are', mean 'they'. Again the word Ji may be placed after
the pronoun to emphasize plurality:
i,)J './V~J ftI.J! (j/J,~/u

vuh 'auratm kaun haifz? Who are those women?
vuh sindhi haifz
They are Sindhis
Who are those
i,)J ~~fl:' fi.)J (;)/~= yih bacce kaun haifz?
yih mere bacce haifz
children? They are
my children

The verb t.rr honti 'to be' is used with the personal pronouns as follows:

........
Unl.)!

.:__;i

'

<;-e''=

--

mairlhiirl

lam

tii hoi

you are

yih/vuhhai

he, she, it is

Plural

I.J!(i

rtf

I.J!.,..r

. .

I)Juc..,

ham hair!

weare

tumho

you are

cip hair!

you are
(polite)

yih/vuh hair!

they are

Unit :a Please come In and take a seat

27

Leaving out tr. hond

i,).nd

In negative sentences such as
j~; ...f. main pakistani nahifz hun
'I am not a Pakistani' or ...a,.#ji!JJu vuh log tfiiktar nahin haifz 'they
are not doctors', the verb 'to. be' is often dropped. These ~entences could
equally well be expressed: ,_iJ~; ...f. main pakistani nahi'n vijl!JJu vuh fog

t/iiktar nahifz

. 'f koi bat nahi'n 'some matter (is) not', which
Note the expression v;f.::.-LJ
can be translated as 'it do~n't matter'.
Possessive adjectives: 'my, your, his, her, Its, our, their'
The possessive adjectives corresponding to the personal pronouns are:

v!

main

i tU
-: yih

r"

?

!-"' mtra

my

f,i

ttra

your

(l.f!

is ka
us ka

his, her, its

his, her, its

vuh

(I.)' I

ham

lJit2

hamiira

our

lA,:'

tum

r..,r

tumhara

your

ap ka

your

..,r

ap

-:

yih

(~!

in ka

their

vuh

(~I

un ka

their

"

The possessive adjectives form their feminine and plural like other adjectives
ending in J -a:
lJit2

(I.)' I

(~I

hamiira
us ka
un ka

J')~tz

J'vl
s~~

hamari
us ki
un ki

'-ilt2

Lvl
L~l

hamiirt
us kt
un kt

our
his, etc.
their

Plural of respect
As we have already seen, Urdu is much more polite than English and many
other European languages. Along with the three words for 'you', the use of
which has social implications, and the honorific phrases which we have met
for 'come in' and 'sit down', there are many other ways of indicating respect.
One of these is the use of the plural when referring to one person to whorn
respect is due, e.g. the sentence 'this is Mr Aslam; he is my good friend; his

28

e is in Karachi' must be translated into Urdu as 'these are Mr Aslam;
hoUS are my go00 fr'1ends ; theu
• house .1s .m Karach''1:
Jtey

-'f-v!~IJ./(~:JI<v!~,Jhl'-~~·v!-:->~(1~
yih as!dm sahib haHz; yih m~ acche dost haHJ; in kii ghar ltariici men hai
fhe 'plural of respect' must be used when talking about people who are
present in your company and people who are known to and respected by the
person to whom you are talking. Thus you would always say:

.::...~(t(~:JI•v! ~!)~~
'

\'~ i,}!~l.hJI,L'T' f~

~~:Ji~cfll.::.f.(-"~

yih meri begam haHz.; This is my wife;
in kii niim bi/qis hai
her name is Bilqis
kya ap ke valid kariici Is your father in
main hain?
Karachi?
begam rahim bahut
Mrs Rahim is a very
acchi xiit:Un haHz
good woman

The word ~:~i~ xiit:Un 'woman' is respectful and is used in preference to ..:;,,~/
'aurat in circumstances in which respect is due. Remember that feminine
nouns, when referring to one person, remain singular even though the verb
is plural; masculine nouns, however, have the plural form:

\''f-k'(t(~:JI\'v! i;.L.,., ~

\''f-k'(t(~:JI\'vt~J''T' ~

yih iip ke befe hain?
in kii niim kyii hai?
yih ap ki bep hain?
in kii niim kyii hai?

Is this your son?
What is his name?
Is this your daughter?
What is her name?

When referring to your own son or daughter, it is more usual to use the
singular, although some people use the 'plural of respect' even for their own
children:

yih merii befd hai;
is kii niim iqbiil hai

This is my son; his
name is Iqbal

Relations
Urdu has no verb meaning 'to have'. 'We have two sons' is expressed as 'our
sons are':

two

'-l.7 l.)~w,li;.'J'-Aa

hamiire do befe aur
do be!iiUz hain

We have two sons
and two daughters
('our sons and
daughters are')

f v.t' ~L . rJ~

~~'-"Ia'~~

~
2.2

kya tip ke bacce haHz?

Do you have children?
('your children are?')
No, we do not have
children ('our children
are not')

ji nahHz, hamare bacce
nahHz

masq Exercise
Plural of respect

The following sentences all demand 'plural of respect'. Give the correct plural
form of the adjectives and the verb 'to be' written in brackets. For example:

_(t.ri)j-'1;(~1).::.(.1,}!~1)~~~

-~j-'IJDI.:-(.1,}! ~~)~ ~(-;
_(t.ri)o_,f(VI)->~d(p.

.

1

\'( t.ri )(;:)i)T' t-:> ~~

2

_(t.ri )(jt:JL )ul/f(t.ri )d/dji~e'

3

.,

.,

M

.

_(t.ri )U"'J*':.JI,((T' f) 4

...

-<t.ri)J!.I(VI)a(lz)((dl)
s·
.,

30

,J)(,.
4

muktillma do Dialogue 2

CD 1, TR 4, 01=40

While dinner is being prepared, John asks Hamid about his school.

'VI DIJf,<tc,tl/~c--~~~~(1
_$~J~~... tr'-'Lt6{~...~r..T-v~tc~...~~~c/-.v~&S

cJir•

-~~n~~~Jj.J,

...~r

'T-vi/JI-u.~t,i_f~,... ~r_,Jj.J,~

c,llr

-T-Jf'cN"%-T-<tJii'JI-u~

...~r

-VI~~~r;,~,J.t.I~J~

'VI ~i!v~'-.n<tJI-'~'f-1('

-VI~J1iJ,_VI~~
\"LJLJ/~VIJ!vti'Jv~,

-vivifJ-VILJJ/
t.nJJ(,.I.JI-1.1,,
-VIJJ~v•,..Ar~v~«>
"+-"'}~v~tctr-vl/~,,
-T-~~'Jlr"'}Jr~v~~v~&>

(I

.

C)lr

•

...~r

.

C)lr

...~r
cJir•

...~r

cJir•

...~r

Unlt:a Pleue-lnMMIIMe•.-t

31

as/am sahib, yih bataie. karaci men iskill acche haW

!jcin

Ias/am

Fhanlekin mera befa, hiimid, yahan hai. hiimid se pilchie. ehiimid 1
tum idhar ao. yih hamare angrez dost, ismith sahib, haili
assalamu 'alaikum, ismith sahib.
va 'alaikum assalam. hamid, yih batao. tumhara iskill kahdn hai?
mera iskill kliftan men hai. baro amrikan Iskill hal.

~ hcimid

lJdn

l hdmld

i jcin

~ hdmid

!
!

bahut bacce hail'l. do tin sau bacce hail'l.
vahiin larkian bhi hain ya sirf Iarke?
sirf Iarke hain. la.rkion nahin.
aur iskul men tum xus ho?
ji han, ham log vahdn bahut xus hail'l.
aur kliftan kahan hai? yahan se dilr hai ?
ji han, yahan se kofi dilr hai, lekin acchijagah hai.

1 jcin
~
~
~
~

!
!

hdmid
jcin
hamid

jan

j hdmid

~

~ John
1:.

As lam Sahib. Tell (me) this. Are the schools in Karachi good?
Yes. But my son, Hamid, is here. Ask (from) Hamid. Hey,
Hamid! Come here. This is our English friend, Mr Smith.
Hello, Mr Smith.
Hello Hamid. Tell (me) this. Where is your school?
My school is in Clifton. It's a big American school.
I see. You're in an American school. How many children are
there?
There are a lot of children. There are two (or) three hundred
children.
Are there girls there too, or only boys?
There are only boys. There aren't (any) girls.
And are you happy at school?
Yes. We are very happy there.
And where is Clifton? Is it far from here?
Yes, it's quite far from here. But it's a good place.

Aslam

~ Hamid

1 John

! Hamid
1:.

i:.:

John
Hamid

1 John

l Hamid
~ John

1 Hamid

! John

1 Hamid
:..................................................................................................................................:

Jft isku/
¢{t:::-

i
~

&

Yl

~

ho

are (familiar)

kitnti?

how much?

~~.

puchna

to ask

a

kitnt?

how many?

'-'

t

hey!

~

bahut

many

tum

you (familiar)

sau

hundred

idhar

to here, here

do tin

two (or) three

?

/'Jf
~1/JI

32

school (m.)

St piichit ask (from)

idharao come here
(familiar)

,

n,;in

sau

hundred

.;:/JJ

51.4

!)Li
~

dost
batao
tumhara
kiift.an

~

friend (m.)

vr

ya

or

xu/

happy

&.

tell (familiar)

r
JJr

ham
we
ham log we (plural)
place(£)
jagah
~

your (familiar)
Clifton (a
Karachi
suburb)

,. ''''}•>

3d,

~~
'

'

'I

,':

:

,,

.Jilj qava'id Grammar

4;-

hijje Spelling
&.

A!rhough the word I)'? xuJ 'happy' is written with
pronounced short.

J

vau, the vowel u is

In words taken from English beginning with an 's' followed by another
consonant like 'Smith', 'school', etc., Urdu adds the vowel i before the s.
Here are a few common examples:

iskul
isfeian
bas is!tip
ismith

school (m.)
station (m.)
bus stop (m.)
Smith

~ {.;:;