Zabaan offers Urdu script classes for Hindi speakers and beginner Urdu classes for expats at its centres in Delhi and Mumbai.

Certificate Course in Urdu Script

Learn how to read and write Urdu in five weeks! This course is the first in a series of Urdu courses for Hindi speakers. Designed for speakers of Hindi, this course will teach you to read and write the Nastaliq script in just five weeks. The course comprises five weekly sessions in which the script is introduced and practiced. In addition to class work, the students are expected to submit three to four homework assignments every week for the duration of the course. 
  • Proficiency Level Reached: A1 (reading/writing)
  • Prerequisite(s): intermediate level proficiency in Hindi (B2)
  • Course Materials: Materials created by Zabaan that specifically correspond to each lesson
  • Frequency: Once weekly
  • Duration: 5 weeks, 7.5 class hours


Urdu Reading and Writing

The second in our series of Urdu courses for Hindi Speakers, this class is for those looking to practice reading and writing the Nastaliq script. Students will reach intermediate level of reading fluency and will learn uniquely Urdu vocabulary by reading Urdu short stories.
  • Proficiency Level Reached: A2 (reading/writing)
  • Prerequisite(s): Completion of Urdu Script course and intermediate level proficiency in Hindi (B2)
  • Course Materials: Introductory Urdu (Volume II) by C.M. Naim, 2011
  • Frequency: Once weekly
  • Duration: 5 weeks, 7.5 class hours



Urdu Private & Online Lessons

For students with specific goals or a unique schedule, private lessons are custom tailored to improve your language skills at a pace and learning style that’s right for you.  Lessons plans and materials are custom designed to fit your needs and help you reach your goals.  Available for individuals, couples, or small groups, private lessons can take place at Zabaan’s language centre or at your home or office in Delhi or Mumbai (travel costs apply), or online via Skype or Google Hangouts.


My capacity to read, write and speak Urdu has developed tremendously under the guidance of Zabaan’s patient and attentive teachers.”

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I studied at Zabaan June-July 2011, taking an intensive Urdu language course in preparation for my research as a PhD student working in Indian archives. I benefited tremendously from the course, which Zabaan was able to structure so that it suited my budget and particular requirements: I was able to take grammar lessons as well as conversational classes, looking at the language both in its contemporary usage as well as in a more historical context (very useful for my archival work!). The teachers I had were inspiring and helpful, not to mention patient considering my minimal prior experience with the language. I progressed very quickly in reading, speaking and writing throughout my time in East of Kailash, and found the school in general to be a friendly and comfortable place to study, retaining lots of personality due to its size and wonderful staff. I’ll be returning to Zabaan in future travels to Delhi, and look forward to doing so. *UPDATE* 30 October 2013 My original review of Zabaan was posted in 2011, and I thought it might be useful for visitors to the comment board to hear about my continued experience with the school. Two years later, I continue to work with the teachers I first met in June 2011, and remain inspired by their commitment to pedagogy and their love of languages. I have progressed a long way since that early intensive course: I relocated to New Delhi in October 2011 and spent a year taking weekly classes at Zabaan, arranged helpfully to complement my research work. Following my return to London, I have continued my classes online, accustomed now to hearing the sounds of Delhi over Skype rather than outside the office window. My capacity to read, write and speak Urdu has developed tremendously under the guidance of Zabaan’s patient and attentive teachers: the school has been very responsive to my needs as a student – helping me with conversational issues as I request them, or focusing on questions of translation and archival documents as necessary for my PhD work. More than this, they have known when to push and challenge me, bringing me to a level of skill I now feel proud of. I am glad to call these teachers friends, and remain grateful for all their work.
Chris Moffat, 30 Oct 2013

“Almost one year has passed at Zabaan and my world has totally changed. I have started to speak in Hindi and Urdu in my daily life here.

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About one year has passed since I started my individual Urdu classes with Ali at Zabaan. I am a Japanese PhD student researching the history of India, and learning Urdu is necessary for my research. When I knocked on the door of Zabaan for the first time, I possessed an inferiority complex about learning foreign languages, especially about Hindi and Urdu: When I was in Japan, I had attended Hindi class for three and half years, and I had been practicing my Urdu by reading historical Urdu newspapers with a specialist’s help for three years, but I could not acquire a good command of Hindi or Urdu at all. So, even after I came to India, I used to talk to Indian people only in English and never used to use Hindi or Urdu I learned. I had been supposing that I was poor at Hindi and Urdu (and English also) because I was not serious, or that there were some defects in my brain, but as my Urdu class with Ali went on, my mind changed about this. I noticed that I had forgotten the joy of communication, which Ali reminded me of in the class. Ali is like Lionel Logue, a character in my favorite movie “The King’s Speech”. In the story of that movie, the Duke of York, who was later to become King George VI, had been suffering from stammering and had been scared of making a speech. The Duke visited Lionel Logue, who is a unique speech therapist, and Lionel made the Duke recover his confidence. Like Lionel, Ali has talked with me on an equal footing, and removed my fear of using Urdu. Ali’s way of teaching is very professional – it is logical, clear and quick. He chooses a task which is suited to the situation of a student, as if he were a good doctor who prescribes efficient medicines for a patient. One year ago, I was reviewing grammatical rules with a textbook, and nowadays, in addition to doing regular exercises, I summarize and memorize every main story of the textbook and recite it back to him. Additionally, I have kept a diary in Urdu for the past five months and Ali has gladly checked it in every class. He has welcomed and enjoyed every independent effort I have made in addition to the course work he assigns. This open attitude encourages me to take on further challenges. Almost one year has passed at Zabaan and my world has totally changed. I have started to speak in Hindi and Urdu in my daily life here. When I would speak in English to Indian people, they would look tense, but now when I speak to them in Hindi and Urdu they are cheerful, which makes me both happy and surprised. Indian people and I have started to accept each other’s existence through talking in their language. I have started learn about the lives and histories of rickshaw drivers, shopkeepers, security guards, basically everyone I speak to. I heartily thank Ali. I highly recommend Zabaan to all who are curious about learning foreign languages.
Kaori Mizukami, 15 July 2016

“My teachers were absolutely exceptional; they were knowledgeable, extremely communicative and patient.”

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I studied Advanced Hindi/Urdu with Zabaan in December 2013/January 2014. I absolutely loved my time studying with Zabaan. My teachers were absolutely exceptional; they were knowledgeable, extremely communicative and patient. I found that my teachers were able to explain complexities and idiosyncrasies within the language itself, as well as in readings, in a way which was easily understandable for a non-native speaker. My teachers also approached classes in a fun and interesting manner, and tailored classes to help with specific needs that I had. Overall, my experience with Zabaan has been absolutely fantastic. I would highly recommend Zabaan to anyone wishing to study Hindi/Urdu at any level.
Justine Smith, 07 Feb 2014