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Punjab and Pakistan / آزادی مبارک ہو Posted by on Aug 15, 2018

With our world today so defined by national boundaries (قومی سرحدیں/qaumi sarhaden, fem. pl. noun) that we have come to perceive as rigid and existent from time immemorial, it is difficult to conceive of a time when such boundaries existed only in the imaginations of a few and most people’s lives and perspectives (نظریہ/nazariya, masc.)…

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Common Greetings and Farewells Posted by on Jun 23, 2018

When you start learning a new language, one of the main things you may want to know is how to greet people and say farewell. It’s natural to want to want to know the basics on addressing others politely when you’re learning a language and common greetings and farewells are a great way to do…

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Conversational Urdu: بول چال کی اردو Posted by on Jun 4, 2018

When learning a language, especially a South Asian one such as Urdu, it is important to appreciate differences in registers. A register simply refers to a social level of speech, like the formal speech you would use in a term paper or while delivering a presentation at work as opposed to the informal/colloquial speech you…

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Dressing Up in Style Posted by on May 13, 2018

This week, we’ll talk a bit about traditional Pakistani and Indian dress. Although many people nowadays, especially men, wear Western business and casual attire, such as t-shirts, jeans, button-down shirts and slacks, people still wear traditional clothing from time to time (especially on special occasions like weddings). Traditional clothing is especially common amongst rural people…

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Coke Studio Pakistan Posted by on Apr 26, 2018

Inspired by my recent post on Transparent Language’s Hindi blog about Coke Studio India, I wrote this companion post on Coke Studio Pakistan. I was introduced to Coke Studio through my Pashto lecturer while in college and have been hooked ever since. The songs she shared with me were all from Coke Studio Pakistan, a…

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Meena Kumari Naaz – مینا کماری ناز: “The Coquet” Posted by on Apr 11, 2018

Meena Kumari (مینا کماری), born Mahjabeen Bano (ماہجبین بانو) on August 1, 1933, is recognized today as one of the finest actresses the Hindi film world has ever known. In addition to her stunning beauty, this actress was famous for her multifaceted talents as an actress, singer and poet who published verse under the pen…

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Kaifi Azmi’s “The Son of Mary” (Part 2) Posted by on Mar 28, 2018

This week, I will go into more depth with the poem we discussed last time: “The Son of Mary” (ابنِ مریم) by renowned poet and lyricist Kaifi Azmi (کیفی عظمی). In this second half of the poem, Azmi’s tone becomes progressively more intense and combative, as you’ll see in the following lines. Comment below if…

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