The Urdu Accent: Your #1 Comprehensive Guide

Urdu Accent_ling app_learn urdu_Couple Speaking (1)

The Urdu accent, also known as the “Pakistani” accent, is characterized by a few distinct features. Not knowing these will undoubtedly affect your communication with the locals. That’s why it’s essential to set aside time to practice your Urdu speech as much as possible. To help you out in this aspect, we’ll look at these features in this post so that you can set off on the right course in mastering this Asian language.

Urdu is the national language as well as the official language of Pakistan. Technically, Pakistanis speak Urdu, Punjabi, and English, but that doesn’t mean you have to rely on your English skills only! If you want to connect and express yourself truly, then learning Urdu’s basics can help you! But first, here are some things to know about Urdu.

Pointers When Learning The Urdu Accent

For non-native Urdu speakers, some sounds, such as the retroflex consonants (like “t” and “d”) and the glottal stop, may be difficult to pronounce correctly. It takes practice to perfect these, so don’t feel disappointed if you don’t say them right in the first instance. You see, Urdu has a vital distinction between voiced and unvoiced consonants, which are pronounced differently. This can be challenging for non-native Urdu speakers to master, as this distinction is not present in all languages.

  1. Listen carefully to native speakers: This is the easiest way to get a sense of the language’s rhythm, tone, and melody.
  2. Practice pronunciation regularly: Repeat words and phrases until you can say them correctly.
  3. Study phonetics: Learn the basic sounds of the Urdu language and focus on making the correct mouth movements and pronunciation.
  4. Use pronunciation guides: There are many resources like books and recordings available online that can help you learn the correct pronunciation of Urdu words and phrases.
  5. Imitate native speakers: Copy and pay attention to the mouth movements of the native speakers and the way they articulate words.
  6. Get feedback: Practice speaking with native speakers or a language teacher, who can give you feedback on your pronunciation and help you correct any mistakes.
Urdu Accent_ling app_learn urdu_Whispering words
Urdu Accent – Speaking Urdu Clearly

Unique Features In The Urdu Accent

The retroflex consonants (like “t” and “d”): They are pronounced with the tip of the tongue curled back towards the roof of the mouth.

UrduPronunciationEnglish
بیٹا BetaSon
تقدیر TakdirDestiny
برخوردار BarkhurdarPossess
تبصرہ Tafsira Comment
اصطلاحاتIstillahatTerminology

The “s” and “z”: They are pronounced “sh” and “zh,” respectively.

UrduPronunciationEnglish
زہر zeher poison
ساڑھیsarisari
شاید shayed maybe
ایک شرط ek sharta condition

The symbol “‘” (apostrophe): This is a glottal stop in the Urdu script. This sound is made by briefly stopping the airflow in the throat and is similar to the sound in the middle of the English word “uh-oh.”

UrduPronunciationEnglish
سؤال Su’aal Question
مؤنث Mu’anasThe female
گئے Ga’ye Gone
آئیں Aa’yen Came
Urdu accent_ling app_learn urdu_talking through cup phone
Urdu Accent – Communicating With Proper Urdu Accent

A strong emphasis on the distinction between voiced and unvoiced consonants, which are pronounced differently in Urdu.

Here are some examples of voiced consonants: بھ،دھ،ڈھ،جھ،ڑھ،گھ, which is gh, Rh, jh, Dh, dh, and bh.

UrduPronunciationEnglish
گھر Ghar House
باگھ BaaghTiger
پڑھنا ParhnaaRead

Here are some examples of unvoiced consonants – کھ، ٹھ، چھ، پھ، تھ th, ph, ch, Th, and kh.

UrduPronunciationEnglish
تھوڑے ThoreFew
پھر PhirAgain
آٹھ Aath Eight
پیچھے Pichey Behind

The use of a very short pause before starting a sentence, which is known as جھنکار jhankar in Urdu, meaning tangs.

UrduPronunciationEnglish
ذائقہ Zaika The taste
ایک قسم کی سمندری گھاس Ek qisam ki samandari ghaasA type of seaweed
چاقو کا پھل Chaku ka phal Knife fruit

Famous Urdu Speakers To Follow

  1. Faiz Ahmed Faiz: He is considered one of the most famous Urdu poets of the 20th century. His poetry is known for its beauty and complexity, and his works have been widely translated and read worldwide.
  2. Allama Iqbal: He is another famous Urdu poet and philosopher who is known for his inspirational poetry and speeches.
  3. Ahmad Faraz: He is a famous Urdu poet and a progressive intellectual from Pakistan. His poetry is known for its simple, yet powerful language and strong imagery.
  4. Abida Parveen: She is a famous Pakistani singer who is known for her unique voice and ability to convey deep emotions through her singing.
  5. Mawra Hocane: She is a Pakistani actress and model known for her work in Urdu-language television dramas and films.

Improve Your Urdu Accent With The Ling App

Learn Urdu with Ling App

And there we have our complete guide! As we learned in this article, mastering an accent takes time, patience, and practice. It’s important to be consistent and persistent in your efforts to improve and to focus on specific sounds or aspects of the accent that you find challenging. But aside from the accent, another thing that is difficult to find is the right resource to use.

But hey! You’re in luck! I highly recommend that you try out the Ling app. It has specialized lessons to learn the Urdu language through immersive games and in-depth lessons. The best part is the Chatbot feature and the chance to speak to a local! Curious to try it out? Find it on Apple Store or Google Play Store, today! Start learning with Ling and count yourself among native Urdu speakers in no time!

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