Hindi & Urdu

Hindi and Urdu are when spoken almost exactly the same language, with only some differences in vocabulary and accent; recent history has however driven them apart as each one was equated with particular religious and political views. In written form, हिन्दी and اردو are both beautiful but mutually unintelligible, using the Devanagari and the (slightly adapted) Arabic alphabets, respectively. As exotic as they might look and sound, the languages are actually classified under the Indo-European family tree, so their structures might appear familiar. However, a language in which ‘haha’ is an affirmative answer, ‘or’ means ‘and’ and ‘tomorrow’ is the same word as ‘yesterday’ will surely make for a learning journey that is puzzling like the Indian head wobble: even when you know what it means, it still every time causes a second of utter confusion before understanding hits.

A Door Into Hindi and A Door Into Urdu 
This is a complete course developed by the US Department of Education in a Hindi and an Urdu version. Perfect if you (like me) want to learn both side by side! I learn grammar through Urdu (as I already knew the Arabic alphabet) and note new vocabulary in the two writing systems, learning Hindi along the way. The comparison of the two alphabets is not as straightforward as you might hope; I’m still working on a table comparing the two.

Learning Hindi
The most complete collection of Hindi grammar explanations I know of after the above mentioned course, this website does a nice job making your language learning struggle a bit easier.

Transparent Hindi and Transparent Urdu
Transparent Language has educational blogs in a range of languages, the best thing being the word of the day option: sign up for Urdu or Hindi for a daily new addition to your vocabulary right in your inbox.

Hindi in three minutes and Urdu in three minutes
These YouTube playlists offer the basic sentences you will need to get by. Nice to start with, but it offers no grammar.

Rekhta Foundation
This Pinterest page is a beautiful collection of Urdu words and poetry.

Bollywood
Hindi is the main language of the largest entertainment industry in the world: Bollywood. I assembled some of my favorite songs in the Spotify playlist on the right!

The difference between Urdu and Hindi
Confused about the relation between the two languages? I found this a nice informative clip (as are most of this guy’s other videos!).