The Secrets to Urdu Interpreting: Understanding the Language of Pakistan

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Knowing the history of the Urdu language makes Urdu interpreting a fun and exciting activity that you can enjoy. Urdu is a language that is being spoken by 60 to 70 million people. It is definitely overwhelming to imagine how a lot of people speak a language that sounds so foreign and rarely spoken, but what will surprise you even more is that Hindu-urdu, which is mainly composed of the Urdu language, is actually the fourth most spoken language in the world! – Just right after Mandarin, English, and Spanish.

Fun Urdu Interpreting Facts:

The Urdu language makes use of both informal and formal verb forms. Its nouns also have either a masculine or a feminine gender. This can be quite confusing to learn and interpret as a beginner, and it will definitely give the locals a laugh.

Another challenge when it comes to interpreting Urdu is that you have to train yourself to read from right to left. Most people read from left to right, but it would be a fun and exciting challenge to learn this new and interesting reading pattern.

Hindi interpreters are at an advantage when wanting to learn how to interpret the Urdu language. This is because spoken Hindi and Urdu are very much alike and there are only a few words that mean differently. Written Hindi, however, is definitely a different script than Urdu and it will only leave you dizzy if you try and find commonalities between the written forms of these two languages.

The Do’s and Don’ts of Urdu

Saying ‘hey’ or ‘hello’ in Urdu can be quite confusing. ‘Oey’ means ‘hello,’ but you should not use it to greet strangers in the street as it is an informal and intimate word that is only used for people that are close to you! Use ‘bhai’ (brother) or ‘dost’ (friend) instead, so the people you meet don’t get the wrong idea.

Being polite is very important especially in Urdu speaking countries. If you want to get someone’s attention, you can say ‘bhaii jaan’ (older brother) or ‘sanab’ (sir) for the males, and ‘baaji’ (older sister), ‘behen jee’ (sister), ‘bibi’ (lady), or ‘amma jee’ (dear mother) for the women.

Take Urdu Interpreting as a fun and exciting challenge as this widely spoken language has a rich and ancient history. Moreover, you should also be prepared to encounter a mix of Hindi and English terms used together with Urdu due to Indian and American media influence in Pakistan.

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