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Do you want to learn Urdu but don’t know where to start?
In this guide, I’ll show you the best resources for studying Urdu from the complete beginner level to advanced. If you want to become fluent in Urdu, you’ll need to develop all language skills. To help you, I’ve included both modern and traditional study methods to get you started. You’ll find the best apps, online courses, books, tutoring platforms, YouTube channels, and podcasts to learn and practice Urdu.
Our team at Langoly has over 5 decades of combined language-learning experience, and our goal is to make your Urdu journey easier. We have personally tested and reviewed over 600 language products to ensure we only offer high-quality tools. After you read this guide, you’ll have everything you need to develop your Urdu skills.
Urdu is the official language of Pakistan and is also widely spoken in India. With a population of over 220 million people, Pakistan is the sixth most populated country in the world. Learning Urdu can help you communicate with a large number of people in these and other countries. Urdu is also spoken in many expatriate communities in the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom. Speaking Urdu can also be a gateway to learning other languages like Persian, Arabic, and Sanskrit.
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How to Learn Urdu: Use These 6 Resources to Become Fluent Fast
To achieve fluency in Urdu, it’s necessary to develop all language skills. This includes vocabulary, grammar, listening, speaking, reading, and writing. Combining two or more resources can ensure that you fill in the gaps and your study. This way, you can make constant progress and reach your goals faster. That’s why we included six different learning on this lists. Mixing and matching can help you practice all language skills necessary to speak Urdu fluently.
How Long Will It Take You To Learn Urdu?
What is your current level?
What level do you want to reach?
How many hours will you study each day?
But, finding the right tools for your learning style can be confusing and time-consuming. To save you time, we have created this list with the 6 best resources to study Urdu. We applied the same strict methodology we use to review all the products included on this website. After you read this guide, you’ll be ready to start studying Urdu in the most effective way.
Use the Best Urdu Apps
Language learning apps are a convenient, accessible, and popular way to learn Urdu. They include a variety of features and methods that suit different styles of learning. Some apps focus on specific language skills, like vocabulary, grammar, or pronunciation while others provide complete courses and lessons. Some incorporate gamification elements to make learning more engaging. Pimsleur, Mondly, and Mango Languages are three apps that excel at teaching Urdu.
The Pimsleur Urdu course is structured to encourage you to speak Urdu instead of just memorizing vocabulary and grammar rules. The audio-based lessons emphasize listening and speaking, and focus on practical vocabulary to help you communicate. You can try Pimsleur for free for 7 days, or read more about it in this Pimsleur review.
Mondly is a language app that uses interactive activities and speech recognition technology to help you practice speaking and listening. It focuses on conversational skills and offers personalized feedback and corrections to help improve Urdu pronunciation and grammar. You can try a lesson for free daily to see if you like the app, or learn more about it in this Mondly review.
The Urdu course on Mango Languages offers a range of learning materials, including vocabulary, grammar, and cultural lessons. The app has a feature to record voices and compare them to native speakers, as well as memory-building and critical-thinking exercises. Regular assessments and goals track progress, making it an effective, user-friendly, and affordable choice for learning Urdu. You can try some of Mango’s content for free or read more about it in this Mango Languages review.
Take an Online Urdu Course
Online courses are one of the best ways to learn a language because they are convenient and flexible. They allow you to study at your own pace but provide structured lesson plans. You can study vocabulary, grammar, pronunciation, and culture. Udemy, Class Central, and Aamozish are 3 platforms with high-quality Urdu language courses.
Udemy has tons of Urdu language courses designed for students of different levels. The courses are created by independent tutors who set their own prices and build their own lesson plans. Udemy offers lifetime access to its courses, which means that users can revisit the content at any time in the future. The videos are usually pre-recorded, so you can watch them at your own pace. You can learn more about the platform in this Udemy review.
Class Central provides Urdu language courses from different qualified institutions like the National Council of Educational Research and Training. The courses on Class Central are usually free, but you need to pay a fee if you want to get a completion certificate. You can take courses for complete beginners, study easy vocabulary, learn Urdu script, and more. “Urdu Language for Non-Native Urdu Speakers Beginner Level“ and “Urdu Language Script Learning“ are some of the highest-rated Urdu courses on Class Central.
Aamozish is an online platform with well-structured Urdu courses. You can begin by learning the Urdu script or choose the Alfaaz course to study Urdu vocabulary. The courses provide real-time progress tracking, audio cues, text animations, and videos. Also, they are free and designed to be self-paced, which means that you can take as long as you need to complete the course.
Find an Online Urdu Tutor
Finding a tutor to teach you Urdu has many benefits. A tutor can give guidance and feedback, which eases the learning process. Tutors can also provide cultural insights and help you work on your Urdu pronunciation. While there are many places to find language tutors online, some platforms stand out. italki, Preply, and Amazing Talker are the best platforms for finding Urdu language tutors. They have a wide selection of qualified tutors, flexible scheduling options, and offer secure payment methods.
italki is a language learning platform that can connect you with Urdu tutors from around the globe for online lessons. You can filter tutors by nationality, other languages they speak, the type of lessons that they offer, and price range. Each tutor has a bio and past student reviews that you can read to make sure that you are choosing the right tutor. Most tutors on italki offer a trial lesson at a discounted price so you can try their lessons before you buy more classes. You can also read more about the platform in this italki review.
Preply lets you take video lessons with Urdu tutors from the comfort of your home. You can browse and filter tutors by their specialties, what languages they speak, where they are from, price range, and availability. Preply also lets you read each tutor’s bio, past student reviews, and see their schedule to book the timeframe that fits your schedule the best. There are currently 320 Urdu tutors available for online classes. You can learn more in this Preply review.
Amazing Talker connects you with experienced tutors. The platform offers a range of features, including lesson plans, interactive quizzes, and a communication tool that allows you to communicate with your tutors outside of lesson time. Amazing Talker also offers a free trial lesson and a range of pricing options to fit all budgets.
Study with High-Quality Urdu Books
Textbooks are a familiar study method. They are a great reference tool that doesn’t require you to use technology or buy subscriptions. Most books offer extensive grammar explanations and practice material to help you remember what you learned. Complete Urdu, Beginning Urdu, and Read and Write Urdu Script are three great books to learn Urdu. They offer high-quality content and a structured lesson plan that you can easily follow.
Complete Urdu covers everything you need to know to reach the intermediate level. The book is divided into 17 units that help you work on Urdu vocabulary, grammar, and sentence structure. There are also cultural notes about the Urdu-speaking regions of India and listening activities. This book is an excellent resource for those who want to have a deeper understanding of Urdu. You can learn more about Complete Urdu here.
Beginning Urdu is a book designed to help you develop your Urdu writing, reading, listening, and speaking skills. Each lesson teaches language useful for real-life situations like going to the market, talking about your family, or traveling. The book also includes engaging activities like role-play and games to keep you motivated. See what you think about the book here.
Read and Write Urdu Script introduces you to the Urdu script, teaches you how to read and write basic words, and provides practice exercises to reinforce what you’ve learned. Overall, this book is an effective resource for learning how to read and write the Urdu script. The author’s explanations are clear and concise, and the exercises are well-designed. You can read more about the book here.
Watch Urdu YouTube Videos
YouTube has different channels dedicated to language learning, providing vocabulary tutorials, grammar explanations, and interactive exercises. Through entertaining content such as vlogs, interviews, music, and cultural showcases you can improve your listening and comprehension skills. Urdu Academy Jakarta, Naush Kitchen Routine Channel, and Urdu Kids offer a wide range of high-quality content, unique characteristics, and engaging teaching methods, making them top choices for anyone looking to learn Urdu.
Urdu Academy Jakarta offers instructional videos for students of all levels. You can begin studying essential Urdu vocabulary, grammar, and pronunciation or watch videos about language structure and idiomatic expressions if you are more advanced. The channel is arranged well so you can find a playlist for exactly the type of lesson you want, such as Urdu for beginners and even Urdu for kids.
Naush is a Pakistani woman who shares her recipes and cooking tips completely in Urdu. She covers a range of topics from traditional Pakistani dishes to international cuisine. Her easy-to-follow recipes and clear instructions make it easy for viewers to replicate the dishes at home. Naush’s channel has gained a large following because of her engaging personality and her ability to make cooking seem effortless. Whether you are a beginner or experienced in Urdu, you can practice your listening skills and vocabulary by visiting this channel.
Urdu Kids is a YouTube channel dedicated to providing educational and entertaining content to help children learn Urdu. The channel features animated videos and educational content designed to keep children motivated and entertained. Urdu Kids is an excellent resource for parents who want to introduce their children to the Urdu language or reinforce their existing skills. This channel is no longer uploading new content, but they have 269 videos for you to enjoy.
Listen to Urdu Podcasts
Podcasts can help you develop your listening skills and understand Urdu better. Some podcasts are designed to teach the language, while others allow you to immerse yourself in Urdu through real-life conversations, narratives, and discussions. UrduPod101, Urdu Seekhiye, and Urdu Adab are three popular podcasts with high-quality content that can help you work on your Urdu language skills while you are on the go.
UrduPod101 offers courses and materials that, apart from teaching you the language, provide cultural insights and real-world conversations. The podcast lessons feature native Urdu speakers to teach you the correct pronunciation and intonation for the language. There are additional resources available such as lesson notes, vocabulary lists, and a dictionary. You can try UrduPod101 for free for 7 days to see if you enjoy using it.
Urdu Seekhiye focuses on giving you practical language for everyday communication. The podcast uses interactive dialogues and real-life scenarios to develop your speaking and listening skills. Each episode covers a specific topic like greetings, food, or weather. Urdu Seekhiye takes a communicative approach to language learning, emphasizing the importance of functional language. The podcast’s engaging format and relatable content make it an excellent resource for those who want to learn how to speak conversational Urdu.
Urdu Adab is a unique podcast that talks about the cultural aspects of Urdu. The podcast explores Urdu literature, poetry, and storytelling, and presents discussions by experts. Urdu Adab offers insights into famous Urdu writers, their works, and the historical context behind them. Urdu Adab lets you immerse yourself in the world of Urdu literature, and appreciate the beauty of the Urdu language. If you are an advanced student and want to learn more about Urdu’s literary and cultural heritage, Urdu Adab is a great option.
How to Learn Urdu: Final Thoughts
Studying Urdu can be a fun and fulfilling experience if you use the right resources. For example, language apps give you the freedom to practice Urdu on the go and let you focus on particular skills. Online tutors can give you individualized instruction and help you practice conversation, but online courses offer comprehensive learning materials and set lesson plans.
Books let you follow your own pace and provide useful references. Podcasts improve listening comprehension, and YouTube videos can include a variety of immersive video content. By combining these six effective methods, you can create a well-rounded language-learning approach to speed up your path to fluency.
How to Learn Urdu: FAQ
According to the U.S. Department of State, it takes about 1,100 hours of study to reach a proficient level in Urdu. However, this time may vary depending on your ability to acquire new languages and if you already speak a similar language.
Check our Fluency Calculator to see how long it will take you to learn Urdu.
The fastest way to learn Urdu is through immersion. This means surrounding yourself with the language. You can watch Urdu movies and TV shows, listen to Urdu music, and read Urdu books and newspapers. You can also find language exchange partners online that can help you practice speaking Urdu. Taking intensive courses or hiring a tutor can also help you learn Urdu quickly.
Learning Urdu at home on your own requires discipline and dedication. You can start by using online resources such as language learning apps, websites, and YouTube videos. You can also find textbooks and workbooks to learn Urdu grammar and vocabulary. Practicing speaking, listening, reading, and writing in Urdu every day is crucial for making progress. You have to set an amount of time per week to study Urdu and stick with it.
How hard it is to learn Urdu depends on your native language, learning experience, and dedication. If your native language shares similarities with Urdu (like Hindi or Punjabi), you could have an easier time learning Urdu. But learning any language requires effort and persistence, so it is essential to set realistic goals and be patient.
To learn Urdu fluently, you need to focus on four language skills: speaking, listening, reading, and writing. You can practice speaking by hiring a tutor. Listening to Urdu music, podcasts, and YouTube videos can improve your listening skills. Reading Urdu books, and enrolling in Urdu courses online can help you expand your vocabulary and improve your reading comprehension. Writing in Urdu every day, even if it’s just a few sentences, can improve your writing skills.
Learning Urdu for free is possible with the abundance of online resources available. You can find free language learning apps such as Mango Languages which you can access for free through thousands of public libraries, schools, and other organizations. YouTube has a variety of videos on Urdu grammar and vocabulary. You can also find free podcasts in Urdu. Joining online language learning communities and forums is another way to learn Urdu for free and connect with Urdu native speakers.