Is Urdu Hard To Learn?: 10 Useful Facts To Consider

Is Urdu Hard To Learn

Remember that everything sounds difficult initially when you start learning a new language. So, stop worrying about the questions like “Is Urdu hard to learn?” Aim to learn Urdu if you want to visit a new country, relocate or explore a new language.

Urdu, an official language of Pakistan, is gaining popularity rapidly. India acknowledges Urdu as one of the country’s twenty-two recognized widely spoken languages. If you intend to go to these countries or even do business there, you should learn Urdu using the Ling app

Urdu As A Learning Language

Urdu is a cultural language that originated in north India, most likely in the Punjab region. Urdu poetry, Ghazals, and Qawallis are now famous.

Any other populous native language spoken in Asia cannot compete with the popularity of the Urdu language, even in India.

Urdu has a rich literature, and a working knowledge of Hindi, Punjabi, Persian, Turkish, and Sanskrit can help an individual better understand the languages mentioned. According to the difficulty scale, we can safely say that Urdu as a second language is a moderately difficult language to learn.

It is more challenging than learning English but far easier than learning Chinese or Arabic. Research says 720 hours of serious study is required to attain basic proficiency in Urdu (10 hours per day). Furthermore, to achieve complete mastery of Urdu, a dedicated effort of 1100 hours (44 weeks) is required. 

It is time to put aside your concerns about “Is Urdu difficult to learn?” and concentrate on learning Urdu. Use the best possible practices to master a new language.

Is Urdu Hard To Learn What Makes It Difficult

Is Urdu Hard To Learn? What Makes It Difficult?

Because of its completely different writing script, Urdu is difficult to master for native English speakers and Europeans. On the other hand, Urdu will be much easier to learn for Persian and Arabic speakers. It is because Urdu has a few terms from both of these languages. 

It has some terms from other languages like Punjabi, Pashto, Turkish, Sindhi, Spanish, and Sanskrit. So, do not worry, thinking, “Is Urdu hard to learn? 

Facts That Make People Question “Is Urdu Hard To Learn?”  

1. Complex Grammar And Urdu Sentences

Urdu grammar, word creation, and sentence structure are all fairly organized, yet Urdu has its own set of difficulties.

It contains formal and informal Urdu verb forms and masculine and feminine genders for each noun. Do not worry if you make mistakes first; no one will count your fault as a learner. Difficulty in learning Urdu is present for those whose native language has written from left to right. Such people must learn to read from right to left.

The pronunciation of Urdu is not always consistent. For example, the word: definitely” is written بالکل (bal kul), but it has pronounced, “bil kul.” Thus, memorizing vocabulary with the exact pronunciation is recommended. It is similar to English in this regard, which has a lot of weird spellings.

 Some other examples of Urdu words that makes Urdu difficult are below.  

English WordsUrdu WordsPronunciation
Leaveچلے جاناChalay Jana
Eighty-eightاٹھا سیAtthasi

2. Difficult Words And Tongue Twisters

Unlike Urdu and Hindi, many words in other languages fall low on the difficulty scale. That is why native English speakers find both languages a bit tricky. 

However, Hindi speakers can learn Urdu more quickly than those learning English. Urdu is the common language among the Indian and Pakistani people. So, people of two languages always find Urdu worth learning, irrespective of its difficult words and tongue twisters.

There is a reason people ask, “Is Urdu difficult to learn?” People have heard that the Urdu language has many tricky tongue twisters that a native English speaker could hardly understand. 

Moreover, to fluently speak these twisters, you have to master the language. But you cannot say that you will never learn these words, as nothing is impossible. It is all about your will and hard work. Some of the twisted Urdu sentences are below. 

English phrasesUrdu Phrases Pronunciation
In an understanding way, understand the understanding. Understanding the understanding is an understanding in itself. He who does not understand the understanding, in my understanding, is a ‘non-understanding.’
سمجھ سمجھ کے سمجھ کو سمجھو سمجھ سمجھنا بھی اک سمجھ ہے سمجھ سمجھ کے بھی جو نہ سمجھے میری سمجھ میں وہ ناسمجھ ہے
Samajh samajh ke samajh ko samjho Samjh samjhana bhee ek samajh hai Samajh samjh ke bhee jo na samjhe Meri samjh mein wo naasamajh hai.
Uncooked poppadum, cooked poppadum.
کچا پاپڑ پکا پاپڑ
Katcha papad pakka papad.  
The little boy’s uncle made the little boy’s auntie lick the sauce with a silver spoon on a moonlit night.
  چنو کے چاچا نے   چنو کی چاچی کو چاندنی رات میں چاندی کی چمچ سے چٹنی چٹائی
Chunnu kay chacha ne, chunnu ki chachi ko, chandni raat mein, chandi ki chamach se, chatni chatai.

3. Confusing Urdu Verbs

There are three common Urdu verbs. These verbs are very similar and often confuse the beginner Urdu learner. These three verbs are کہنا (Kehna), to say, کھانا (khana), to eat, کرنا (Karna), to do. 

Is Urdu Hard To Learn Informal Words

4. Informal Urdu Words 

Similarly, there are some informal Urdu words that you cannot use everywhere. It is just like slang that is present in every language. But in Urdu, you cannot understand the Urdu slang so easily. The reason is slang words in Urdu have more than one meaning. So, you must know the meaning of the word you are using, especially when talking to elders. 

An example of everyday slang is اوئے (oey.) Here oey means, “Hello!” It is very informal and unprofessional. Thus, you cannot use it anywhere other than with your colleagues. Some different common slang is below. 

English wordsUrdu WordsPronunciation
Excuse meسنئےSunye
Ladyبی بیBibi

5. Complicated Sentences In Urdu Books

If you intend to master the desired learning language, you need to read books with the same vocabulary. However, the vowel marks and aspirated consonants sound different in Urdu compared to any other language. 

Take the example of the first Urdu book سب رس (Sabras), written by Mullah Asadullah Wajhi. The book is the translation of a Persian edition. The book was written centuries ago and has many complex words and phrases.

Is Urdu Hard To Learn Weak Understanding Of Developed Words

6. Weak Understanding Of Urdu Developed Words

Learning a language by speaking practice is a bit easier than writing. When you are writing Urdu, you must care about the tense and the nature of the sentence structure. You will write Urdu only after practicing, as writing is the most complex part of learning Urdu. 

7. Urdu Vowels Are Not Part Of The Alphabet

Urdu and English have different personalities.

The first thing an English speaker must understand about Urdu is that vowels are not included in the alphabet.

Vowels in Urdu are read by linguistic instinct. An English speaker may have difficulties pronouncing some consonantal sounds in spoken language. These sounds are not present in English (and most other European languages).

For example, there appears to be no phonetic difference between the sentences in English, but in Urdu, the difference is visible. You can get the difference between Urdu and English languages from the examples below. 

English phrasesPronunciationUrdu Phrases
She criesWho roti haiوہ روتی ہے
That is breadWho roti haiوہ روٹی ہے

You can see that T is soft in the first case; that is not present in English. While in the second example, T gives a retroflex sound. So, you see that the most significant difficulty in Urdu comes in speech. 

Urdu employs both aspirated and double consonant sounds. The ordinary English speaker, for example, cannot pronounce ABBAS correctly; instead, he pronounces it as AY-BUS.

Is Urdu Hard To Learn Masculine And Gender

8. Gender And Masculine Make Urdu Difficult

There are just two genders in Urdu. Males, including humans and animals, are all masculine. Femininity exists in all-female humans and animals. Inanimate articles and abstract Urdu nouns are also masculine or feminine, which Urdu speakers must memorize.

If a word’s ending is a vowel, it usually helps gender classification. If a word ends with a, it is usually masculine. A word that ends in ī or it is usually feminine.

Gender in Urdu works in the same way as in most Indo-European languages with grammatical gender. In Urdu, all nouns are gendered by nature, which causes agreement with adjectives and Urdu pronouns. If a noun is feminine, modify it (not all Urdu adjectives inflect) and take a feminine ending. However, if a noun is masculine, they take a masculine ending.

Possessive adjectives function similarly to other adjectives in other languages. But, verbs in Urdu are a bit different. Many verbal forms have their origins in participle. Participles act in the same way that verbs and adjectives do. Thus, they’re inflected for gender and number, just like adjectives. 

As a result, the verbal forms produced now do as well. For example, mā̃ dauṛ rahī hai ماں ڈور رہی ہے “mother is running” expresses feminine agreement. It is because mā̃ is feminine. But it should be like mãĩ dauṛ rahā hū̃ میں ڈور رہا ہوں “mien Daur Raha hun” because we both are males and we identify it as males. 

Is Urdu Hard To Learn Opposite Sentence Structure

9. Urdu Offers Opposite Sentence Structure 

Urdu has a different sentence structure as compared to any European language. In English, the sentence structure is “Subject-verb-object,” but in Urdu, the case is the opposite. Urdu represents its sentence structure as “Subject-object-verb.”

The opposite sentence structure of Urdu also confuses the learner sometimes. So, if someone asks you, “Is Urdu hard to learn?” do not mind. Give the learner some time to grasp the concept of the Urdu language. 

Is Urdu Hard To Learn Opposite Writing Style

10. Urdu Has An Opposite Writing Style

All Proto-Indo-European languages are present left-to-right. Moreover, all contain letters placed one after the other within words as wholes. Urdu uses half-letters, quarter-letters, and sometimes only a dot to indicate a letter within a word. Urdu employs a modified Arabic alphabet, which adds to the intricacy. Urdu is written from left to right.

In Urdu, a word appears as a connected chain of marks. Only the final letter of a word is in its whole. The script is called Nast’aleeq, which means “hanging garland” in English.

Sindhi is the only other language in the family that uses such an approach. On the other hand, Sindhi uses the original Arabic script, known as Nashik.

Best Practices To Learn Urdu

The Urdu language is one of the most sophisticated languages spoken, and it is a widely spoken language in Pakistan (official language). You can learn Urdu in many ways, including colleges and universities and private Urdu sessions. Do you want to have lessons to incorporate into daily conversations? Then, practice Urdu with your family, such as using Urdu words for family.

You can also hire a private language instructor to help you learn the Urdu alphabet and other fundamentals. 

One of the best methods to learn this Indo-Aryan language is to travel to India or Pakistan and immerse yourself in the culture and everyday life of the Urdu people. You can also learn Urdu through online resources. Via this method, you can talk with a native speaker in South Asia. There are plenty of websites that teach people the basics of writing the Urdu language. 

Study With Ling To Check “Is Urdu Hard To Learn?”

The Ling app is a language learning platform that offers innovative learning through fun games and quizzes. Here, you can learn any language you want. There is an option for a chatbot in the app that you can use free of cost. Moreover, you can make a free lifetime account to learn the language anytime on the app.  

In addition, Ling is one of the top language learning portals. You can learn the Urdu alphabet, Urdu words, and Urdu vocabulary with native speakers. You may better comprehend the Urdu script and literature by watching recommended videos from YouTube channels. Thus, learn the Urdu language with the Ling app and explore more about this unique foreign language.

So, what are you waiting for? Open your browser or phone to download the app on the Play Store or App Store to master the beautiful national language of Pakistan!

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