Help in finding urdu resources for friend that is heritage speaker, please!

Hi, I have a friend that is a heritage speaker of urdu and I was going to get him a book to improve it. A few problems:

  1. I don’t know how good he is at it. He tells me that he understands most/almost everything that his parents say to him when they speak to him in urdu. He is not a receptive bilingual, but understands a good amount of what is said. But he doesn’t speak much and he told me that he doesn’t read or write much.

  2. Do you know of any good books for him? On amazon I couldn’t find any books for heritage urdu speakers. I don’t want to give him something that is offensively easy, but I also don’t know how good or bad his urdu is. I would like to give him a book to improve his speaking skills more than reading/writing since he has expressed interest in improving his urdu to teach his kids the language. (You can teach a language orally without knowing how to read/write, obviously)Thanks!

  3. This is the only “ok” book that I found. The others seemed to suck.
    “Read and Write Urdu Script: A Teach Yourself Guide (Teach Yourself: Reference) Paperback – October 14, 2010
    by Richard Delacy (Author)”

Bump. Looks like no luck for me…no Urdu speakers/learners here. :frowning:

I know that Hindi and Urdu are very similar, if not dialects of a single language. Maybe expanding your search to Hindi resources would help?

Hmm, I don’t think it would be the best idea. His listening is apparently very good but doesn’t speak much and doesn’t read/write much. I don’t think he would benefit too much from learning Hindi since it isn’t his family language.

The few things I found on amazon were either just books, Pimseleur (which I don’t like too much), or too basic. Something for advanced learners (heritage speakers) focused on audio would be best…

…but I’m probably putting the cart before the horse. If it is a big deal to him, he is going to find a way to learn his family language well. I doubt a small gift by a friend would make him spend a lot of time on it. I think that you either want to do it or you don’t; that you can’t force the horse to drink water from the stream. Unless he needs somebody to push him towards the stream…


I absolutely agree with your last paragraph.

So should I get him something? I was thinking about getting an urdu movie or something for him and his future kids. He was telling me how he wants to teach his kids the language. But he himself has to learn it very well or do something like send his kids to urdu school or hire a nanny that speaks urdu.

Do they do gift vouchers at Maybe you could get him some gift vouchers for points there. Maybe enough to have a few lessons with a teacher of his choice. There are some Urdu teachers there (native speakers of course). This would get him speaking, and if he likes it, he could then start paying for his own lessons or find language exchange partners.

That sounds like a good idea :slight_smile:
A teacher might know some good materials as well.

Yeah, I could give him a voucher. But the thing is that I don’t if that would be the best use of his time. There are only a few urdu teachers on italki and he probably doesn’t have a headset and all that jazz. I think I’ll just give the book…

Hindi and Urdu being very similar languages,written in different scripts can be learned in easy Roman script or via script converter.

Roman Urdu - Wikipedia