A look at Urdu Blogging

pakistan-flagBlogging is a favorite past time for many people here in Pakistan. WordPress and Blogger are amongst the most visited websites in the country.

Amongst these bloggers, many people treat their blogs as a personal journal; others try to cater to a wider audience in an effort to generate some money on the side while others want to share their experiences with the internet.

English is by far the most dominant language in which these blogs choose to communicate, which is understandable since it’s the one of the most widely understood languages and easiest to manage.

However many people amongst us would prefer if that content were available in Urdu. The validity of that statement can be verified by the fact that for every person who reads an English newspaper, seven people read Urdu newspapers.

So to cater to that audience, many blogs have come into existence which provide all their content in Urdu. Such blogs are needed because firstly, Urdu is our national language and we need to promote it. Secondly, there is a large market for people who just aren’t comfortable with or don’t understand English.

The challenges for Urdu blogging are numerous. Firstly, you’d be providing for people who understand Urdu. For the rest of the world, your site is irrelevant and might even be in Chinese for all they care. Because of this, unless you are offering standout content, your website might get off to an extremely sluggish start which can discourage people who intend to generate revenue from it.

Another thing is that you’d have to have a good grip on Urdu if you want to start a blog in it, because nothing would kill you faster than going to the trouble of starting an Urdu blog and using incorrect grammar or expressions.

Writing in Urdu (with not much fluent keyboard styles) is another hurdle to be tackled. Indexing in search engine isn’t possible, so one can’t count on search engine traffic.

(A detailed article regarding the problems associated with Urdu Language on Internet can be found here)

The prospect for such blogs is good however. There are many examples of successful Urdu blogs such as Dufferistan, Cricnama, Abushamil to name a few – a detailed directory of Urdu blogs can be found here.

One only needs to analyze what they’re getting right, and keep that stuff in mind when you’re starting your own website/blog.

In the end what it really comes down to is this: Urdu is our national language. Unfortunately many people just lose touch once it ceases to be a compulsory subject.

That is worrisome because a language is supposed to represent the culture of a people. There is also an inferiority complex amongst students in schools, colleges and universities as well as among people in offices etc; anyone who can speak English is considered superior.

Already, our official language is English and if we choose it over Urdu when we go online too then it will just bring its demise closer. Steps need to be taken to ensure that it doesn’t happen and providing content in our local language is the step that can be taken right away.

Talal is a Director and the Chief Content Officer at ProPakistani. Reach out at [email protected]


  • Correction please!

    Official language of Pakistan is Urdu & English,, not just English.

    For the people intended to generate revenue from such sites should consider providing the contents in both languages, i.e. Urdu and English. That way one can spread the message to masses, generate traffic, searchable in search engines.

    Who Created the inferiority complex? Me and You. On the other hand, Ministry of Education is the major culprit in de-moralizing the use of Urdu language. There are some great people raising the issue with their work. e.g. http://globalscience.com.pk/

    These guys are working to promote the Urdu as the primary medium of teaching and providing Science and Technology info in Urdu.

    The success of Chinese and Arabic contents online and their penetration in OS/application level, points out that Urdu support and content is possible and can be widely adopted.

    Regards!

  • جی ہاں، اردو بلاگنگ کو ابھی بہت آگے تک جانا ہے اور اس سلسلے میں سب سے پہلا قدم اردو لکھنے میں آسانی پیدا کرنا ہے۔

    قارئین کیا آپ جانتے ہیں کہ اردو لکھنے کے لئے اب آپ ان پیج کے محتاج نہیں رہے؟ اب میری اور بہت سے دوسرے اردو کے عاشقوں کی طرح اب آپ تقریبا ہر جگہ اردو لکھ سکتے ہیں۔

    مگر اب بھی اردو کو ایک لمبا سفر طے کرنا ہے اور اس کے لئے اردو آپ کی محتاج ہے۔

  • واہ بہت خوب۔۔۔! یہاں تو میرے دوستوں کے نام دکھائی دے رہے ہیں۔ بہت خوشی ہوئی۔

    جعفر حسین کا بلاگ بھی پڑھنے سے تعلق رکھتا ہے۔

  • Pakistanis must start Urdu blogging.

    Urdu main apnay alfaz dosron tak pohanchana bohat asan hay aur yeh english blogging ki nisbat nihayat easy hay. Pakistani users ke reach bhi ziyada ho ge aur users comments bhi.

  • Another good article related to local content on internet after this, I must say.

    If we talk about personal blogging, then it is totally depend on and right of blogger which language he or she fluently use. But when a blog claimed that it was design for the sake of ‘people of Pakistan’ then why using English rather than Urdu? I simply don’t know.

    There are many important points raised in this article about problems associated with Urdu but some of them really need clarifications.

    1. The hurdle of writing Urdu is not a big issue anymore. M. Bilal, an Urdu blogger, develop Pak Urdu Installer to easily install Urdu Language with few clicks and write anywhere you want while using Windows (any) with Phonetic Keyboard. Linux users can also avail easy to use installer from here.

    2. Google not only allow to search Urdu terms via google.com.pk/ur but also index Urdu websites and blogs too. If you want to check, just try searching شاہد آفریدی or عثمان خواجہ or even عمران طاہر and you will find that the cricnam.com will be on top while BBC and Jang are in lower position. It is worthwhile to mention here that CricNama got PR4 within 7 months after beginning.

    Hope Syed Tala or any one else will mention the ‘solutions’ of mentioned problems in next articles. I am very positive that the other hurdles related to Urdu will be solved soon.

    P.S.
    Sorry Administrator for too many links :)

  • The claim about search engines not being able to index Urdu pages is a myth. You should have at least tested your claim with major search engines before you published your article.

  • Yes.. Search Engines would be unable to index pages from such blogs… and also, urdu is not support every where so it could be a problem while sharing blog on a social network

  • I see no merit in this feature. It merely touches the surface of issue (which is, in this case, Urdu blogging), provides some statistics and a couple of dozen URLs, asks some naive questions and moves forward. I think the qualitative — as well as quantitative — analysis of Urdu blogs could have served the purpose much better.

  • Nice article.. though I hit it very late, but I am seeing my all Urdu blogger friends over here.. :)
    Urdu blogger community needs to be high lighted frequently on such sites and prominent blogs.

    PS: started waiting for your Urdu blog.

  • I agree with the author, no doubt a great article indeed. But problem here is that most webmasters face towards earning perspective that urdu is not supported language by many adnetworks like Google adsense, adonion etc.

  • Assalam-O-Alaikum! Bradar Admin! Aap nay acchha article likha hay, lekin kuch batain abhi bhi ghor talab hain jo ALEEM, MUHAMMAD ASSAN & SHAMSHEER nay bataye hain.

    Leking is k elawa bhi ek baat hay, (jo khas tor pr mujh jeso k liye hay), k yaha ye nahi bataya gaya k wo log jo blogging shuru kar rahay hain (meri tarah) wo URDU mein blog post kis tarah likhain?

    Monetise karna or search engines mein index karna to baad ki baat hay, agr URDU mein blog bana ho to kesay banaya jaye, e.g Blogger mein URDU ka post kesay likh jaye ga???

    Ye meray or meray jesay or bohat say dosto k liye ek bari mushkil hay.

    me or shayed kafi doosray log bhi INPAGE mein urdu type kar letay hain, matlab PHONETIC keyboard achhi tarah istemal kar letay hain. lekin ye nahi pata k BLOGGER mein kis tarah URDU likhtay hain?

    Agar AAP (or doosray URDU GURUs) is maslay pr roshni daal sakain to bohat achha ho ga meray liye khas tor per or baqi dosto k liye bhi.

    SHUKRIYA!


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