National Council for Promotion of Urdu Language, an autonomous organization under the Ministry of Human Resource Development, Department of Secondary &amp;amp;amp; Higher Education, Govt of India, has been set up to promote, develop and propagate Urdu language. Urdu is one of the important national languages of India and is spoken throughout the country. In order to further popularize Urdu language NCPUL is running a One year Diploma Course in Urdu through English and Hindi medium on Distance education mode. This Course has received on overwhelming response throughout the country with thousands of learners getting themselves enrolled in this course.
It has been the endeavour of the Council to prepare Linguistic oriented courseware to suit the objectives of the course. Different materials have been developed and used for this course so far. Based on the experience of past several years of running this course and suggestions and opinions of learners, members of Council and other concerned experts, the courseware is revised from time to time and new components are added. The present material is part of an effort towards that direction to provide the best possible learning material to the learners.
This course has been conceived, designed and edited by my colleague Dr. Roop Kirshen Bhat, a trained Linguist who has been engaged in linguistic research at CIIL Mysore for more than two decades and has developed several such teaching material in many languages.
I am thankful to Dr. Bhat and to all other experts who have contributed in preparation of this Course. I hope that this material shall go a long way in popularizing Urdu not only in India but in the entire world.
While linguistic studies had begun much earlier but the world wars first and secong accelerated the process of learning and teaching of languages across the world. Need for communication increased resulting in the preparation of different types of teaching materials across the world. In India too several language institutions have been set up to study Indian languages, carry out research work and prepare materials in languages.
Last few decades of linguistic research has resulted in several new theories of linguistics, bringing in new methodologies of language teaching i.e. grammar-translation method, communicative method, direct method, audio lingual method, eclectic method etc. The learning of all four language skills i.e. listing, speaking, reading and writing simultaneously is being stressed upon now.
So far as the Urdu language is concerned it enjoys a considerable clout not only in Indian sub-continent but in the entire South Asia. It represents a rich heritage of India draw from last 800 years. There are large number of text books, dictionaries, grammars and other books available in the language besides a vast ocean of Urdu literature full of beautiful poetry and lucid prose. The level within the country and also forms an important part of teaching programmes abroad.
There is a vast demand for learning of the language locally as well as internationally. Though a lot of learning material are available, however, a good material for teaching of Urdu pronunciation is scarce. Being conscious of this need the present “A Course on Urdu pronunciation” has been conceived and designed to cater to the needs of larger segments of people across the world especially in India and South Asia who love and admire Urdu language, appreciate its importance and are eager to learn it. Though this course has primarily been prepared, keeping in view the needs of our learners, who are enrolled for one year Diploma in Urdu language being run by the Council on distance mode, however, it is expected to be useful for learners in general, readers of Urdu, researchers and all those who link Urdu to their professional needs like media personalities. In Indian context knowledge of Urdu helps improve one’s communicative skills.
While as the speech systems of Urdu and Hindi like their grammars are not much different, however, the presence of some specific consonants in Urdu makes it a difficult task for Hindi learners to master the pronunciation. The thrust here is that learners should pay special attention to Roman transcription that illustrates the correct pronunciation of Urdu speech sounds. Listen and repeat the minimal pairs of words to understand the difference in especially with Volumes do not pose much problem to the learners especially with Hindi background as both Urdu and Hindi share the same vowel sounds. However, the six consonant sounds which are not part of Hindi speech system need special attention. These are z zh x f q and y. Learners should spend extra hours to learn their pronunciation.
This course has been presented in such a way that this can be used as self learning material, though occasional guidance from a linguistically trained teacher or a native spealer of Urdu shall be very useful. The course comprises of two parts recorded material or an audio in the form of CD and the printed text. Learner is expected to listen to the audio and read the text simultaneously.
The course was developed through several workshops conducted at NCPUL. Scholars who participated in the workshops, provided inputs and data deserve a mention here. They are Dr. J.C. Sharma, Mr. Nazir Hassan, Dr. K.S. Mustafa, Mr. Abdul Rasheed, Dr. S. Ekhteyar Ali, Dr. Usha Sharma, Dr. Mazharul Haq and Mr. Ayaz Ahmed. Council is thankful to all of them. The workshops at NCPUL have been organised by my colleague Ms. Shama Kausar Yazdani who deserves special thanks.
We would like to thank all the artists involved in the recording of the materials, and preparation of the audio.
We would appreciates comments from readers and learners of this Course which would help us in its future improvements as there is always scope for improvement. Suggestions in this regard could be e-mailed at email@example.com
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