Politeness and Respect in Urdu

Posted on 09. Nov, 2014 by in Uncategorized

Urdu is a delicate and sophisticated language and many of its words are used to show respect and civility. This emphasis on politeness in vocabulary is known as Adab, respect or Takalluf, politeness. This polite vocabulary is generally used when talking to seniors or people you’re not familiar with.

For example, the English pronoun you can be translated into three words in Urdu:

Tu – informal, extremely intimate or offensive

Tum – informal and showing closeness

Aap – (the plural form) formal and respectful Similarly, different request forms of verbs can be used to give degrees of formality in three ways. For example, when telling someone ‘to go’, using the verb Jaana to go, there are three forms you could choose from:

Jaa extremely informal, very intimate, but also derogatory depending on who it is addressed to Jaao informal Jaaiye formal and respectful Some small things are considered very bad manners in an Urdu speaking society – even in the family circle. For example, smoking, sitting cross-legged or shouting in the presence of elders, not standing up and paying regards when an elder appears or talking while eating.

Urdu writers have focused a great deal on the mannerism and etiquettes of pretty much everything. There are books on proper manners on pretty much every topic under the sun. The first book in Urdu is known to be Sabras, written in 1635-36 by Mullah Asadullah Wajhi. It’s an allegorical mystical romance translated from the Persian Masnavi Dastur-e-Ushshaq and Husn-o-dil by Mohammad Yahya Ibn-e-Saibak, written about two centuries earlier. The copies of Sabras were handwritten as the printing press had not yet reached India at that time. The first Urdu book printed by a printing press brought to India by the Portuguese, was Bagh-o-Bahar by Mir Amman, published in 1801. Back then Urdu writers had already started writing about aspects of Urdu literature formalities related to grammar and culture.

Useful Urdu Vocabulary

Posted on 08. Nov, 2014 by in Uncategorized

Adjectives in Urdu:
good achha
bad bura
hot garam
cold tandha
young javan
old boorha
fast tez
slow aahista
clean saaf
dirty ganda


this week is hafte
next week aglay hafte
yesterday kal
today aaj
tomorrow kal
this morning iss subah
this afternoon iss dopehar
tonight aaj raat
in the morning subah may
in the afternoon dopehar may
in the evening shaam may
At what time? kiss vakt
midday dopehar
midnight adhi raat

Eating Items: 

cup piali
bottle botal
knife chaakoo
fork kaantaa
spoon chamach
salt namak
pepper kali mirch
sugar chini
vinegar sirka
sauce chatni
mustard sarson

Animal Quiz Questions in Urdu

Posted on 07. Nov, 2014 by in Uncategorized

Conversation about Animals

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