Rosetta Stone Language Software

Introduction to Urdu

Before beginning the Itty Bitty Urdu course, there are a few things you should know.

1. The Urdu given here is not 100% accurate in terms of spelling or grammar. Rather, an effort has been made to give simple patterns that will get the job done in getting your meaning across in a way you can pronounce and remember with a minimum of trouble.

2. Urdu is from the same source as Hindi, but with a lot of Persian and Arabic vocabulary mixed in, as it is spoken in the Muslim areas of the Subcontinent. On the plus side, the British have given it a fair number of English words.

3. Urdu has gender. Simple rules:
If the masculine form ends in -â, it changes to -î in the feminine and -e in the plural. Otherwise, leave it alone. There's more to it, of course, but this will get you through.

4. Some common verb forms consist of a form of the verb that changes for masculine, feminine and plural (like an adjective) followed by the verb to be. For example, to talk about understandig, you use "samajhtâ" followed by "to be". So:
maiN samajhtâ hûN - I understand - for a man
maiN samajhtî hûN - I understand - for a woman
ham samajthe haiN - we understand - for plural

5. The polite form in Urdu is to use the plural for "you". This means that when you use an adjective or a verb form that acts like an adjective, you will need to change the masculine singular ending -â to -e when addressing someone.