» » Teach Yourself Urdu (Teach Yourself)

Download Teach Yourself Urdu (Teach Yourself) epub

by Mohamed Kasim Dalvi

Download Teach Yourself Urdu (Teach Yourself) epub
ISBN: 0340958847
ISBN13: 978-0340958841
Category: Reference
Subcategory: Foreign Language Study & Reference
Author: Mohamed Kasim Dalvi
Language: English
Publisher: Teach Yourself Books; 4Rev Ed edition (2007)
Pages: 381 pages
ePUB size: 1305 kb
FB2 size: 1433 kb
Rating: 4.6
Votes: 104
Other Formats: doc mobi docx lit

I am a native English speaker and I bought this book to learn Urdu at home, rather than in formal classes. While I agree with many of the reviews that state this book provides a sound grounding in reading, writing and speaking Urdu, I have two major reservations:

1) The book only devotes 20 pages at the start to introducing the alphabet and the various independent, initial, medial and final forms of the letters. No clear guidance is given on how to construct words from these letters (particularly as the Nasta'liq form of the Urdu script is written on the diagonal and letters can look different when written as words rather than individually). There is limited opportunities to practice writing the script and the accompanying aural exercises on the CD only give guidance on pronounication (not surprisingly!)

2) The size of the printed Urdu script in the text is so small as to make it almost illegible. This is particularly problematic when trying to identify individual letter forms in any given word. I found myself getting extremely frustrated and unable to understand the relationship between letters and words. This only serves to make it even more difficult to learn a complex alphabet in the already limited space.

My partner is a native Urdu speaker and after reading the book himself, he felt that this book was not suitable for a complete beginner *unless* they had experience of Arabic script as the Urdu script in this book is taught in a shorthand that is not obvious to newcomers. Looking at the reviews already posted, I think that the majority of the 4/5 star reviews come from those who are already familiar with Arabic script and therefore do not need to learn in the same way as an absolute beginner.

I have now purchased the Delancy book, 'Read and Write Urdu Script' (also in the Teach Yourself series), which appears to be much more suitable for absolute beginners like myself as it focuses solely on learning the Urdu alphabet and numbers and how to write the script rather than jumping straight into the language proper (although I still have some issues with the size of the text). I would recommend that other absolute beginners start with this book and I think the Complete Course book would benefit from directing students to this book first.
On the box it says that the goal of this book was to reach "all-around confidence". It did that and more. This book covers a variety of subjects while following the story of John and his wife Helen as they travel through several sites Pakistan and North India. There were even several situations and vocabulary words that they covered that I thought I would never need to use, but found myself using in conversation shortly after. Also, the culture notes were a very nice touch as well. And as a Muslim I really liked the Islamic culture notes they brought up also.

I was 100% sure that the best way to learn a language was to be in a class all day, or immersion in the specific country, or among friends. This book proved me wrong. The content is difficult, especially after the 5th chapter because they remove the English transliteration and you are stuck reading the Urdu script and can only "cheat" by going to the back of the book. It seemed like every five chapters it got REALLY hard and seemed not gradual enough in the level of difficulty. But it took me three weeks to finish this book (I will admit, I should have gone slower) and after wards I was speaking and thinking in Urdu and the overall goal of "all around confidence" was definitely met.

That being said, I want to share the downsides, which are few. The errors that a lot of the reviewers talked about, I didn't notice until the last few chapters, and most of the students will probably notice this because by that point they are familiar with the Urdu script and it won't be a problem. Also, I learned Arabic script first from "Teach yourself Arabic Script" and "Very Simple Arabic Script" so I can't comment on their Urdu script introduction, which is needed for the rest of the book. You can't fake it past chapter five without knowing the script!

Finally, I would like to add that if you are *really* serious about learning Urdu, this is THE book to get, but still there is a long way to go. I *highly suggest* following up by getting "Urdu - An Essential Grammar" by Ruth Schmidt afterwards. I was so confident in Urdu after this "Teach Yourself" course but the Grammar book will make your realize that there is still a whole bunch more to learn and clear up the fuzzy spots. But overall, I very highly recommended "Teach Yourself Urdu Complete Course" very, VERY well done.
It is as compact as it gets... I was amazed to see myself reading and understanding (!) websites in Urdu after 3 weeks max (i have to mention tho, that i am a native Turkish speaker with some knowledge of Persian.. that certainly helped me memorize words much faster and eaily). The topics are well chosen, giving just about info you'd need for a daily conversation (and survival). The repetition pattern helps a lot to keep words in your mind. And no matter how much I want to complain about it's load of grammar and structure, in the end, it proved successful.

pros: has a mini dictionary, there is no english transliteration after unit 6 (but included as an appendix- it pushes you to try to understand), includes info about the culture and traditions as well.

cons: the dictionary could've been more comprehensive (a seperate verb list would be good), not enough chance to exercise what you've learned.
blac wolf
This is a great book for students who want a solid base in both written and spoken Urdu. My main interest at the moment is in Urdu sufi literature and this course really gives a great start (although its focus is mostly on more useful, everyday language it's not hard to jump to more complicated texts once you have a sufficient base). The "Teach Yourself" series is generally good and targets the most useful and relevant parts of the language to teach. This book is another great example.Mujhe bahut pasand hai!