urdu alphabet letters

How Many Letters In the Urdu Alphabet? (PDF & Chart)

How Many Letters In the Urdu Alphabet? Urdu is a widely spoken language, with millions of speakers worldwide. It is one of Pakistan’s official languages and the national language of Pakistan.

urdu alphabet letters

Urdu is written in a modified form of the Perso-Arabic script, which includes 36 letters. The alphabet does not have upper or lowercase letters.

No. Of Letters 36
No. Of Consonants 36
No. Of Vowels 10
Urdu Meaning Army
Script Persian
First & Last Letter Alif & Bari Ye

Urdu Alphabet: How Many Letters? 

The Urdu alphabet has 36 letters and is written from right to left. The alphabet is based on the Persian alphabet, which is based on the Arabic alphabet. 

The Urdu alphabet shares many features with the Arabic and Persian alphabets. 

However, there are some notable differences, such as using different characters for certain sounds and adding four extra letters to represent native Pakistani words.

No. Of Letters 36 or 39/40: Controversy 

There is a debate among scholars about the total number of letters in the Urdu alphabet. Some say there are only 39, while others claim there are 40. 

The main reason for this discrepancy is that some scholars include certain letters only used in loanwords from other languages. For example, the letter ژ is only found in words of Persian origin.

Other letters, such as ے and ﮫ, can be written in multiple ways depending on the context. In addition, some Urdu speakers use different Arabic-based scripts, such as Nastaliq, which can lead to further confusion about how many letters there are.

It doesn’t matter how many letters there are in the Urdu alphabet.

Meaning of Urdu

 It is derived from the Turkic word Urdu meaning army. 

The language developed in the armies of Central Asia and was spread by soldiers and administrators throughout the Muslim world.

Script of Urdu

Since the 18th century, Urdu has been written in a version of the Persian alphabet. This was done to make it easier for speakers of different languages to communicate with one another. 

However, several letters specific to Urdu have been added to the Persian script over time. This can confuse those who are not familiar with the language.

The good news is that, despite these changes, the Arabic alphabet is still used in Urdu writing. Most people should be able to read and write Urdu without any problems.

Cursive letters can appear differently depending on their context and position. In an isolated form, cursive letters are typically uniform in appearance. 

However, they may be slightly different when they are in the initial position (starting from the left). The same is true for the medial position (in the middle) and final position (at the end).

First & Last Letter 

The initial character of the Urdu Alphabet is “alif,” while the concluding character is “Bari Ye.” Within this range, 34 additional letters constitute the fundamental framework of the Urdu language.

Regarding vowels in the Urdu Alphabet, there exist ten plain vowels and ten nasalized vowels. Each vowel can be represented in four distinct forms, contingent upon its position.

There are several types of consonants in Urdu which are divided into two categories, Aspirated and Unaspirated. 

The Aspirated consonants are pronounced with an ‘h’ sound, while the Unaspirated consonants don’t have this sound. 

Both types of consonants are important in the language, and each has its unique function.

Urdu Alphabet with English (Table)

The Urdu alphabet has 36 basic letters and 13 extra characters. It is written right to left, with a direction indicator at the beginning of texts. Letters are connected within words, but there are no spaces between words.

Since Urdu is written in a modified form of the Arabic script, it can be difficult for English speakers to read and write. 

However, with a little practice, it can be easy to learn the basic shapes of the letters. Once you know the alphabet, you can read and write simple words and phrases in Urdu.

The table lists the Urdu alphabet with the corresponding English letters. You can use this table to help you pronounce words in Urdu.

  • A – Romanization Of Alphabet
  • B – Urdu Alphabet
  • C – Contextual Form (Initial Medial & Final).
Alif ا ‍ا
ب ب‍ ‍ب‍ ‍ب
پ پ‍ ‍پ‍ ‍پ
ت ت‍ ‍ت‍ ‍ت
Ṭē ٹ ٹ‍ ـٹ‍ ٹ
S̱ē ث ث‍ ‍ث‍ ‍ث
Jīm ج ج‍ ‍ج‍ ‍ج
چ چ‍ ‍چ‍ ‍چ
Ḥē ح ح‍ ‍ح‍ ‍ح
K͟hē خ خ‍ ‍خ‍ ‍خ
Dāl د د
Ḍāl ڈ د
Ẕāl ذ ذ ـذ ذ
ر ر
Ṛē ڑ ڑ ـڑ ڑ
ز ز
Zhē ژ ژ
Sīn س س‍ ‍س‍ ‍س
Shīn ش ش‍ ‍ش‍ ‍ش
Ṣwād ص ص‍ ‍ص‍ ‍ص
Ẓwād ض ض‍ ‍ض‍ ‍ض
T̤oʼē ط ط‍ ‍ط‍ ‍ط
Z̤oʼē ظ ظ‍ ‍ظ‍ ‍ظ
ʻain ع ع‍ ‍ع‍ ‍ع
G͟hain غ غ‍ ‍غ‍ ‍غ
ف ف‍ ‍ف‍ ‍ف
Qāf ق ق‍ ‍ق‍ ‍ق
Kāf ك ك‍ ‍ك‍ ‍ك
Kaf ک ک‍ ‍ک‍ ‍ک
Gāf گ گ‍ ‍گ‍ ‍گ
Lām ل ل‍ ‍ل‍ ‍ل
Mīm م م‍ ‍م‍ ‍م
Nūn ن ن‍ ‍ن‍ ‍ن
Wāʼo و و
Small Hē ہ ﮩ ﮨ
Do-Cashmī Hē ه ه‍ ‍ه‍ ‍ه
Hamzah ء On the top of some vowels
ي ي‍ ‍ي‍ ‍ي
Small Yē ی ی‍ ‍ی‍ ‍ی
Big Yē ے ے‍ ـے‍ ے

Urdu Alphabet Pronunciation

The Urdu alphabet is written in a Perso-Arabic script and contains 36 letters. Urdu has four main dialects: Dakhni, Rekhta, Hindustani, and Modern Standard Urdu. 

The alphabet is generally pronounced as written, with a few notable exceptions. Below are some tips and points to help pronounce the Urdu alphabet.

The first thing to remember when pronouncing the Urdu alphabet is that the letters are guttural. This means that they are pronounced from deep in the throat, with little or no movement of the tongue or lips. 

The best way to practice this is to place your hand on your throat and make sure you can feel the vibration when you say each letter.

Learning the Urdu alphabet is essential for anyone who wants to study the language. Pronunciation can be tricky, but it will become second nature with a little practice.

Audio Clip

ا, ب, پ, ت, ث, ج, چ, ح, خ, د, ذ, ر, ز, ژ, س, ش, ص, ض, ط, ظ, ع, غ, ف, ق, ک, گ, ل, م, ن, ه, و, ی

This audio clip will help you learn the correct pronunciation of the Urdu alphabet. Just listen and repeat after the speaker. In no time, you’ll be on your way to speaking Urdu like a native!

Urdu Alphabet Chart

The Urdu alphabet chart is a great tool for learning this beautiful language. Here are some tips on how to use it:

  •  Start by learning the basic shapes of the letters. This will help you understand how the letters are formed and how they connect.
  • Practice writing the letters out in order from left to right. This will help you get used to the direction of Urdu writing.
  • Once you feel comfortable with the basic shapes and strokes of the letters, try writing words and phrases. You can find many resources online or in books to help you with this.
  • Finally, don’t forget to practice listening to and speaking Urdu! The more you immerse yourself in the language, the better you’ll use it.

Urdu Alphabet Copy Paste

If you want to learn the Urdu alphabet but don’t want to spend hours writing it out, this article is for you. Using the copy-and-paste method, you can have the alphabet before you.

ا ب پ ت ث ج چ ح خ د ذ ر ز ژ س ش ص ض ط ظ ع غ ف ق ک گ ل م ن ه و ی

To start, simply find a website or document that has the Urdu alphabet already typed out. 

Once you have found one, highlight all of the text and copy it (Ctrl+C on a PC or Command+C on a Mac). Next, please open a new document or word processing program and paste the text into it (Ctrl+V on a PC or Command+V on a Mac).

Now that you have the alphabet copied and pasted into your new document, you can begin practicing. Start by saying each letter out loud as you trace over it with your finger.

Urdu alphabet vs. Arabic: similarities & differences

There are many similarities between the Urdu and Arabic alphabets, as both are descended from the Persian alphabet. Both alphabets have 36 letters, with 22 being common to both. The main differences lie in the way the letters are written and pronounced.

Regarding pronunciation, there are some key differences between Urdu and Arabic. For example, the letter ‘ain in Arabic is a glottal stop, whereas, in Urdu, it is pronounced as a short ‘a’ sound. 

Additionally, some letters can have different sounds depending on where they appear in a word. For example, the letter ‘ha’ can be either a soft ‘h’ or a hard ‘h’ sound, depending on its position within a word.

How the Urdu alphabet could benefit Americans

The Urdu alphabet is very different from the English alphabet, but that doesn’t mean it couldn’t benefit Americans. 

The Urdu alphabet has 37 letters and 12 vowel markers, making learning to read and write in Urdu challenging. However, there are some advantages to using the Urdu alphabet.

For one, the Urdu alphabet is more phonetic than the English alphabet. This means that words are pronounced more consistently, making learning to read and write in Urdu easier. 

Additionally, the use of vowel markers makes it easier to identify where one-word starts and another ends.

Finally, the Urdu alphabet can help improve your pronunciation of English words. 

Because the sounds of the letters are so different from those in the English alphabet, you’ll be forced to slow down and pay attention to each sound you make when speaking English.


Are you looking for information on the Urdu alphabet? If so, you’ve come to the right place. Here, we’ll provide frequently asked questions (FAQs) about the Urdu alphabet.

Question (1) – Is Urdu an alphabet?

Answer: Yes, we must first understand what an alphabet is. An alphabet is a set of symbols that represent the phonemes of a language. 

For a set of symbols to be considered an alphabet, there must be a one-to-one correspondence between the symbols and the phonemes. 

In other words, each symbol must represent a single sound, and a single symbol must represent each sound.

Question (2) – How Many Letters Are In Urdu Alphabet? 

Answer: The Urdu alphabet consists of 36 letters from right to left. 

Question (3) – What are the benefits of learning the Urdu alphabet?

Answer: There are many benefits to learning the Urdu alphabet. For one, it can help improve your pronunciation and understanding of the language. 

It can also help you become more proficient in reading and writing Urdu. 

Furthermore, knowing the Urdu alphabet can make learning other related languages, such as Persian or Arabic, easier. 

Finally, being able to read and write Urdu can also be a valuable asset in business and other professional contexts.

Question (4) – What is the first letter of the Urdu alphabet?

Answer: The first letter of the Urdu alphabet is alif. It is a consonant pronounced like the English letter “A.”

Question (5) – What does the Last letter of the Urdu alphabet stand for?

Answer: The last letter of the Urdu alphabet, yeh, stands for the sound /j/. 

This sound is typically spelled with a y in English, as in the word “yellow.” In Urdu, this sound is represented by the letter yeh.

Question (6) – How many vowels and consonants are there in the Urdu alphabet?

Answer: There are a total of 36 letters in the Urdu alphabet. The total number of vowel sounds in Urdu is 10. 

Question (7) – What alphabet does Urdu use?

Answer: The Urdu alphabet is derived from the Persian and Arabic alphabets and uses a modified form of the Perso-Arabic script. 

The letters are generally written in Nastaʿlīq calligraphy, although other styles are also used.

Conclusion Points

How Many Letters In the Urdu Alphabet? The final answer is a total of 36 letters in the Urdu alphabet. This includes both the independent and dependent vowels and the consonants. 

The writing system is based on the Perso-Arabic script, also used for other languages spoken in Pakistan, such as Punjabi and Pashto.

Urdu is a rich and beautiful language with a long literary tradition. Learning the Urdu alphabet will help us better understand the culture and history of Pakistan and the subcontinent.

Urdu Alphabet PDF Download

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