Islamic Voice A Monthly English Magazine
Muharram / SAFAR 1424 H
April 2003
Volume 16-04 No : 196
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Trends and Traditions


Stay in Touch with Urdu!


Stay in Touch with Urdu!

An amazing collection of websites today are showcasing Urdu poetry, profiles of great poets and offering ways to read and write Urdu, creating a sort of renaissance in Urdu language!

By Mohammed Hanif

If you want to learn to read Urdu, write Urdu, want to know what Urdu shairi is and who are the great Urdu poets, want to know the Urdu equivalent of English, Kannada or Hindi words, all you have to do is to be online.

The elegant language Urdu, many say, is dying. But its protagonists Ghalib, Mir, Iqbal and Faiz are now much more accessible to the world than ever before, thanks to the Internet. And it is not only for those who know the script, but also for all those who love the language that evolved in the 13th century due to a strong Persian influence. Poems, novels and essays of many leading Urdu scholars are available on Internet sites that also have English translations. Urdu lovers in the US, Pakistan and India have hosted most of these Websites with the intention of popularising the language across the globe. Today, one can use the Internet without using much of English. And researches are being conducted on how Urdu-knowing people can benefit. And there are so many Websites in this language. There is a Website called Langoo.com from where one can download an Urdu keyboard without paying anything. You can even e-mail in Urdu and post your own poems and write-ups.

Another website ukindia.com/zurdu1.htm provides 20 lessons on how to learn Urdu in simple steps. The unique point of these chapters is its simple methodology and practical examples. UrduWord.com is the award-winning interactive English to Urdu Dictionary on the Web. The site provides you with an instant search for Urdu equivalent. It’s “Quick Look Up” is the fastest way to find Urdu language equivalents of English words that you want. All you have to do is type-in an English word in the designated textbox and click Look Up. The Urdu translation will be displayed on your browser. You don’t even need any Urdu font! http://www.cs.wisc.edu/~navin/india/urdu.dictionary, this gem of a dictionary contains all you need to know about Urdu words to post lyrics properly. From word origin, to correct pronunciation, it has hundreds of words. Numerous websites in Urdu have focussed on famous poets like Ghalib, Iqbal and Faiz, whose works have been translated into many languages and are known the world over. shairy.com is also an Urdu Web Media resource with 100 pages full of poetry and profiles of great poets such as Iqbal,Mir,Ghalib,

Faiz, Ismat,and others given in simple language. The website urdustan.com gives a brief introduction of Urdu to those who do not know it. Some of its contents are in the Roman script. The website has debates on different topics and poems and articles of individuals who contributed to the site, mostly aimed at the layman, urducards.com has a good collection of greeting cards for all occasions in Urdu. From Idd greetings to Islamic culture and architecture, the site has a good collection. Many sites are good for the language. These sites are good for beginners or those who want to know the language. Most people can speak and understand Urdu, but they cannot read it. For them, the Internet is really useful because there are many websites which have Urdu content written in the Roman script. Mehfil-e-Mushaira is a non-profit website dedicated to Urdu poetry. It is the first site in the world to present Urdu poetry from mushairas (poetry readings) on the Web. The site contains audio clips of Urdu poetry recited by poets themselves in various mushairas held in Pakistan, India, the Middle East, Canada and the United States. The audio files are in RealAudio format. Mehfil-e-Mushaira has won many awards. It has been among the Top 10 Sites picked by the Internet magazine, Spider. urdulove.com provides opportunity for those who like to share their Poetry with others. The site has a bank of Muslim names. It has a section on Urdu literature. Works of Premchand,Rajender Singh, Amarnath Prem and others are loaded on the site.

This new treasure trove could well be seen as a sort of renaissance in Urdu Language. According to Eminent poet and writer, Gulzar, Urdu has revived in the last three to four years. “The National Council for Promotion of Urdu Language in Delhi, is doing a great job. Now, Urdu software is also available. But its script and publication have suffered. Urdu calligraphy is majestic, but it is not seen since Urdu writing is published in Devnagari. That is the sad part,” he said. “Out of prejudice, we should not attach the language to any religion. Urdu is an Indian language, it is born in India. It is not even a Pakistani language, it belongs to us. It’s not a language of Muslims, but of Indians”.

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News Community Roundup Editorial Readers Comments Capital View Taliking Peace Community Development Muslim Perspectives Men, Mission and Machines Book Review Chennai Diary Trends and Traditions Children's Corner Quran Speaks to You Hadith Our Dialogue Reflection Religion The Month Of Safar Opinion Living Islam Person Of The Month Young Muslim Islamic History Journey To Islam Matrimonial Jobs Archives Feedback Subscription Links Calendar Contact Us

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