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Colloquial Urdu: The Complete Course for Beginners (Colloquial Series) Paperback – 18 May 2000

3.7 out of 5 stars 7 customer reviews

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Paperback, 18 May 2000
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Product details

  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Routledge (18 May 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0415135400
  • ISBN-13: 978-0415135405
  • Product Dimensions: 21.3 x 13.9 x 2.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,043,382 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

3.7 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The two best Urdu courses currently available are this one and 'Teach Yourself Complete Urdu'. They are both excellent, but in different ways, so I'll make some comparisons to help you choose. I'll refer to 'Teach Yourself Complete Urdu' as 'TY' and 'Colloquial Urdu' as 'CU'.

Audio material
-------------------
Both courses come with CDs containing recordings of the dialogues, and much additional audio material. Be careful when ordering - it's not always clear from the product information whether you're ordering the book, or the CDs, or the pack containing both.

The TY audio material is much better - the actors really do act, and the dialogues flow well. Some of the actors in CU speak in a halting, disconnected way, which makes it hard to get a grip on how a sentence should flow. If you decide to buy CU, beware - the old-style plastic presentation box packaging, containing book and CDs, is hopeless inadequate because the CDs become detached from their anchor points and rattle around in the packaging, which means that they can get so scratched as to be unplayable.

Dialogues
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The TY dialogues are far more useful and practical, dealing with a wide range of everyday situations. The CU dialogues are good, but somewhat wayward in their choice of subject matter.

Writing Urdu
----------------
If you want to learn just to speak Urdu, without learning to write, then TY is not for you, because later lessons do not contain transliteration of the dialogues, and you are left to fend for yourself with the Urdu script.
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Format: Paperback
This is an OK book but could have been far better if they had included the Urdu script along with the transliteration. The grammar could have been better explained. However, there are far better books out there where the grammar is explained really well and the book also has transliteration followed by the Urdu script. For example, "learn Urdu in two months" is much better than this book and the teach yourself Urdu book, and only costs £2-£4 depending where you buy it from. I am disappointed that there are so many people out there trying to rip people!
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Although this book introduces to the Urdu language and gives many useful alternative words or phrases the lack of cursive script examples is very limiting particularly for learners accustomed to reading Arabic or Farsi for whom Urdu pronunciation is made easier by the shared indicators. Value for money but it falls short of high expectatons
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Format: Paperback
Overall, this is a great book. Perfect for the beginner, you will get a good grounding in the language and will people to get by in Urdu, in many situations, after a 5 or 6 chapters. I think the structure is excellent as well, with use of Romanised Urdu for most of the book, before moving on to learning the script, and further lessons. This is especially useful if you are short of time to get the basics and you just want to get on with speaking.

However, there are a few things to watch out for. There are quite a few mistakes throughout the book, most commonly, spelling mistakes, inconsistencies, accents etc missed in various places. There are also a few issues of organisation. For example, many of the words used in exercises or even in dialogues used for teaching are not in vocabulary lists or the glossary/dictionary at the back of the book, which can become frustrating. Some of the grammatical explanations have inconsistencies too, for example, mixing up of similar grammatical terms that actually explicitly different meanings.

That said, if you are even half paying attention, you should be able to spot these issues and the grammar sections are generally very good and very clear. I would recommend buying a separate grammar to get a little more detail and clarification if you want to get deeper into things.

In summary, well worth it, I would absolutely recommend it for beginners. If it's a choice between this and Teach Yourself Urdu, go for this one.
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