The chart below explains the specialized system we’ve used for writing Urdu words in the . We’ve prioritized making the pronunciation clear and unambiguous, while also minimizing the number of different letters. Some sounds that are distinguished in Hindi script but not in Urdu script, like ष and ण, are absent. See Appendix B for the complete Urdu alphabet, together with formal .
|a||अ||up||ḍ||ड||d, as in anḍā ‘egg’||ī||ई||seat||o||ओ||over||th||थ||aspirated dental t, as in thālī ‘platter’|
|ā||आ||tall||ḍh||ढ||aspirated retroflex d, as in ḍhā’ī ‘two and a half’||j||ज||jet||p||प||spill||ṭ||ट||retroflex t, as in kāṭnā|
|ai||ऐ||hat (sometimes also pronounced like ě or a‘i)||e||ए||say||jh||झ||aspirated j, as in jhūṭh||ph||फ||aspirated p, as in pill or phal||ṭh||ठ||aspirated retroflex t, as in ṭhīk|
|au||औ||aur||ě||(written as either अ or ए)||meh||k||क||scan||q||क़||voiceless uvular stop, as in qalam||u||उ||look|
|b||ब||big||f||फ़||first||kh||ख||aspirated k, as in can or khānā||r||र||rolled r, as in roṭī||ū||ऊ||hoot|
|bh||भ||b, as in bhā’ī ‘brother’||g||ग||gift||ḳh||ख़||voiceless velar fricative, as in ḳharāb ‘bad’ or German Buch||ṛ||ड़||retroflex flap, as in baṛā||v/w||व||weevil (v and w are interchangeable)|
|ch||च||change||gh||घ||aspirated g, as in ghī||l||ल||love||ṛh||ढ़||aspirated retroflex flap, as in būṛhā||y||य||yes|
|chh||छ||aspirated ch, as in chhěh ‘six’||ġh||ग़||voiced velar fricative, as in bāġh ‘garden’; similar to French rouge||m||म||mill||s||स||see||z||ज़||zebra|
|d||द||d, as in dil ‘heart’||h||ह||hat||n||न||nail||sh||श||she||zh||ॹ||garage|
|dh||ध||aspirated dental d, as in ādhā ‘half’||i||इ||sit||ñ||◌ँ||nasal vowel, as in donoñ ‘both’ or French maison||t||त||dental t, as in tīn ‘three’||’||(N/A)||separates sounds, as in ka’ī ‘several’ or is’hāq ‘Isaac’|
The script used for English; also called the Latin alphabet.
Writing the same words in a different alphabet.
Pronounced with the tongue against the back of the teeth, as in thālī.
Breathy, as in thoṛā or jhūṭh.
Pronounced with the tongue curved back against the roof of the mouth, as in ṭhīk.