Notes on Urdu
Urdu is mutually intelligible with Hindi, sharing vocabulary and with very similar phonology and syntax. The biggest difference between them is that Urdu uses a Persio-Arabic script, while Hindi uses an abugida script.
As I have written in General tips for learning languages, it’s okay to put the script aside if you want to focus on conversation. There are resources available that use English romanisation.
There’s a book specifically teaching you how to read and write Urdu script:
For beginners, you can start with these two books:
- Complete Urdu Beginner to Intermediate Course, audio available for download here
- Beginning Urdu: A Complete Course, more expensive, but highly praised.
and supplement your learning with this essential grammar, dictionary, and graded reader:
- Urdu: An Essential Grammar. A reference grammar for advanced beginners and intermediate learners of Urdu.
- Essential Urdu Dictionary: Learn Urdu with Teach Yourself
- Learn Urdu with Beginner Stories: Interlinear Urdu to English
and other books!
- Cambridge O Level Urdu as a Second Language Skills Builder: Reading and Writing. I think this is probably for intermediate level learners of Urdu who can read and write/type the script.
- Urdu Reading & Writing Course: A workbook for non-native speakers. This book seems to be geared towards beginners.
- Urdu Nouns made easy: A bilingual book for beginners to learn and speak Urdu