Intermediate Urdu is a multi-layered language-learning site designed for students of the Urdu language at the intermediate level. Providing the student with reading passages, audio and visual components, as well as dynamic quizzes, the two primary goals of Intermediate Urdu are to move the student from the low to high intermediate level and prepare the student for advanced competency in Urdu, particularly in reading and listening.
Intermediate Urdu is the first website to fully utilize Nastalīq font as a web-based font so that the site natively displays Nastalīq, whether or not it is installed on the user's computer (see below for technical notes).
The material for the reading passages is taken from Gopi Chand Narang's well-known reader Urdu: Readings in Literary Urdu Prose as well as Khushboo by Nastaran Ahsan Fatihi and Sir Syed aur Urdu Sahafat by Mohammad Jahangeer Warsi. In order to provide a seamless transition between reading and vocabulary building, difficult words in the passages have been encoded with their English equivalents. By placing the cursor over a word highlighted in blue, the English equivalent is displayed on the screen.
The reading passages also are accompanied by English summaries that provide an introduction and added context for the student before reading the Urdu passage.
In addition, all reading passages are accompanied by an audio component. These recordings are spoken by native Urdu speakers, which allow the student to practice his/her listening skills and learn pronunciation of new words by following along in the text.
Finally, each reading passage is accompanied by dynamic quizzes that test the student’s knowledge of grammar forms stressed in the passage. These quizzes consist of approximately ten questions and provide the student with a score at the end of the quiz.
The site also includes thirteen video interviews of eminent Urdu scholars conducted in Urdu. The interviews are substantive with each lasting approximately fifteen minutes. From these in-depth discussions, the student is provided with a broad picture of the current status of Urdu today. These videos aid the student in practicing listening comprehension in the context of the cultural background of Urdu speakers in South Asia.
Technical Notes: Browser & Urdu Font Display
Intermediate Urdu utilizes new computer language in order to natively display Nastalīq font in the site without requiring the user to download a font. For this functionality to work properly, users (particularly MAC users) are required to install the most recent version of the Firefox browser (4.-).
In addition, users should install the most recent version of Adobe Flash Player.
We hope that students and teachers find this resource a useful and valuable teaching and learning aid inside and outside classroom. We are very interested in your feedback. You can contact us either at: warsimj at gmail.com or wright.samuel at gmail.com.
In addition to the South Asia Language Resource Center at the University of Chicago, Intermediate Urdu is grateful to a number of individuals and departments at Washington University that have been of invaluable assistance throughout the project:
- Professor Fatemeh Keshavarz - Chair, Department of Asian and Near Eastern Languages & Literatures
- Debra Sue Jones
- Dale Abernathie
- Vicki Carlson
- Jonathan Cohen
- Bob Chapman
- Saima Gulbahar
- Larry Kuykendall
- Marcia Mannen
- Nathan Woerheide
- Tom Simmons
- Olin Libraries
- Sadaf Jafri
- Tanweer Hasnain
- Toqeer Shah
- Murtaza Nisar
The Project team would also like to thank the following scholars and acknowledge their help in creating the Intermediate Urdu Website:
- Professor Mohammad Miyan, Vice Chancellor, Maulana Azad National Urdu University, Hyderabad
- Dr Shamsur Rahman Farouqui, Allahabad
- Professor Qazi Obaidur Rahman Hashmi, Jamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi
- Professor Irteza Karim, University of Delhi
- Professor Ghazanfar Ali, Jamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi
- Dr. M Hamidullah Bhat, Director, National Council for Promotion of Urdu Language, New Delhi.
- Professor Anwar Pasha, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi
- Professor Khwaja Ekram, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi
- Mr. Aziz Burney, Editor, Urdu Sahara, New Delhi
- Dr. Mushtaque Ahmad, Priccipal, Millat College, Darbhanga
- Firoz Bakht Ahmed, Writer and commentator, New Delhi
- Dr Shakeel Akhtar, Jamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi
- Stevenson James Winslow, Washington University in St. Louis
Special thanks to Professor Gopi Chand Narang as author and Director, National Council for Promotion of Urdu Languages, New Delhi as publisher for giving their copyright permission to use this book Urdu: Readings in Literary Urdu Prose for Online Intermediate Urdu Project. Their help is greatly appreciated.