• Introductory Urdu 101 is offered in Term 1 (Feb-Apr) and Term 3 (Aug-Sep) each year pending sufficient student enrollment.

  • This course is offered as an in-person course at the EarthDiverse Centre in Hamilton, New Zealand, live-streamed via Zoom if you live elsewhere, and as video recordings of the live sessions if you cannot attend the regularly scheduled class.

Date & Time:

  • Our 2023 Term 1 course is offered on Thursdays 1:00-2:30pm (NZ time) beginning Thursday 16 February 2023 and meets for 8 consecutive weekly sessions.

  • If you live outside of New Zealand and wish to Zoom in to our live class sessions, check the nearest local Time Zone equivalent below.

Time Zone equivalents:

for live-streaming Zoom Sessions from New Zealand. If your Time Zone doesn't suit our live-streamed class, you can also access our courses by watching the live-recorded sessions that are posted to the course webpage each week, usually the next day.

  • Honolulu, Hawai’i: begins Wed 15 Feb 2023, 2:00-3:30pm

  • US Pacific: begins Wed 15 Feb 2023, 4:00-5:30pm

  • US Central: begins Wed 15 Feb 2023, 6:00-7:30pm

  • US Eastern: begins Wed 15 Feb 2023, 7:00-8:30pm

  • London, UK: begins Thu 16 Feb 2023, 12:00-1:30am

  • New Delhi, India: begins Thu 16 Feb 2023, 5:30-7:00am

  • Bangkok, Thailand: begins Thu 16 Feb 2023, 7:00-8:30am

  • Singapore: begins Thu 16 Feb 2023, 8:00-9:30am

  • Tokyo, Japan: begins Thu 16 Feb 2023, 9:00-10:30am

  • Sydney, Australia: begins Thu 16 Feb 2023, 11:00am-12:30pm


Our Urdu 101 course focus on Urdu literacy for new learners of the Urdu language, native Urdu speakers who wish to learn to read and write, and Hindi speakers who wish to learn the Urdu script.

  • Our Introductory Urdu 101 course focuses on learning the Nastaʿlīq script and basic reading and writing capabilities. As such, it is suitable for both new learners of Urdu, and for native Hindi speakers who may wish to familiarise themselves with the Urdu script. This course also introduces some basic introductory grammar & vocabulary and gets students speaking with some basic conversational ability.

  • Native Hindi speakers can easily learn the Urdu script during the eight one-and-a-half hour sessions in this Urdu 101 course. Those who already understand and speak some Urdu, but who do not know how to read and write, may also chose to enrol in the Urdu 101 course.

  • Subsequent Term courses of Introductory Urdu (i.e. our Urdu 102-104 courses) continue with reading and writing practice, introductory grammar, vocabulary, and conversation.

YouTube Stars Karl Rock & Manisha Endorse EarthDiverse!

8 January 2023

Meet our Instructor:

Executive Director, Senior Lecturer Dr Todd Nachowitz, PhD

Dr Todd Nachowitz, PhD, is the Founder and Executive Director of EarthDiverse. Todd is a Hamilton-based lecturer, anthropologist, environmentalist and diversity educator. He previously taught in Religious Studies at the University of Waikato, teaching courses on Comparative Religion and Religious Fundamentalism & Extremism. Todd holds a Masters Degree in Development Anthropology from Syracuse University in upstate New York (1991) and a PhD from the University of Waikato (2015) in Political Science and Public Policy where he completed his thesis on diversity governance and the Indian diaspora in New Zealand. Prior to settling in New Zealand in 1995, Todd lived and worked in the United States, India, Pakistan and Nepal. He spent 11 years in South Asia as the Academic Director for university study-abroad programmes in Varanasi, India (for the University of Wisconsin-Madison); Lahore, Pakistan (for the University of California-Berkeley); and Kathmandu, Nepal (for School for International Training, based in Brattleboro, Vermont, USA) focusing on language, culture and religion. Todd speaks Hindi and Urdu, and is a specialist in comparative world religions and the history, religions, languages and cultures of South Asia. He also currently teaches our Hindi and Urdu language courses and the Religious Diversity courses at EarthDiverse.


This class is a hybrid class with both in-person sessions in our classrooms and streamed live via Zoom.

All in-person classes are held at the EarthDiverse offices and classrooms located at 401 Anglesea Street, Hamilton Central, Hamilton (located just north of the Hamilton Central Bus Station) (entrance is located on the side of the building, see map below). Those looking for parking for our evening classes can park just in front of the building in any of the available car parks. Daytime parking can be found in our dedicated car parks, or free 2-hour on-street daytime parking can be found just in front on Anglesea Street.

Distance Learning:

This course has distance-learning options for those unable to attend the live class sessions in Hamilton, New Zealand. Students have three options for attending our courses once they have registered:

  • Attend in-person classes in our Hamilton classrooms at the regularly scheduled day and time.

  • Attend our live on-line classroom sessions via Zoom at the regular scheduled day and time.

  • Watch the live-recorded class sessions at your leisure, at a time, day and place more suited to your schedule.

Distance-Learning options:

  • In addition to our in-person classes in Hamilton, our courses offer distance learning options for those unable to attend classes in-person. Live-streamed Hamilton classes are available via free Zoom software for those living outside the Waikato. Live-streaming allows you to participate fully in your own learning, ask questions of the instructor and participate fully in the same way as if you were in the physical classroom.

  • Those unable to attend the scheduled date and time of the actual class sessions, or those who need to miss a class or two due to previous engagements or unexpected illness, can watch any or all of the live-recorded video sessions on their computers, laptops, tablets or mobile devices and study at their own pace and in their own time.

  • Detailed instructions on how to access our distance learning components will be sent after completing your registration. There are no additional fees for this service. However, distance learners will need access to a desktop or laptop computer with a good quality web-camera (tablet devices and mobile phones can also access our live-streamed classes), a built-in microphone (most modern laptops have built-in microphones) or a headset with a microphone. You will also need to download and install the free Zoom software on your computer or device. Those accessing the video recordings will be able to do so with a simple web browser on any device.

Pricing options:

All prices in New Zealand dollars and includes GST. Unwaged includes students, seniors and retirees.

Course curriculum:

Week by week new material will be posted throughout the duration of the course. Video recordings of each weekly session will be posted here after 1-2 days after each class.

    1. EarthDiverse Course Information

    2. EarthDiverse Zoom instructions

    1. 2022 Term 3 EarthDiverse "Introductory Urdu" text by Todd Nachowitz, PhD

    2. Link to access Quizlet EarthDiverse Urdu flashcard sets:

Additional course info:

  • Videos and PDF content of class presentations or whiteboard notes are uploaded weekly after each live session
  • Begins on Thur 16 Feb 2023
  • NZ time: Thursdays 1:00 - 2:30pm


  • Those who cannot make the class meeting day and time via live Zoom sessions may consider accessing this course through the weekly recorded video sessions. Class videos are posted within 24 hours of each live class session and are available for your own personal learning session on a day and time of your choosing.


  • The course fee includes all teaching materials.

  • An “Introductory Urdu” text, written by Dr Todd Nachowitz, is included in the course fees. These are currently being distributed as PDF files as the courses progress and will eventually comprise a completed Introductory Urdu textbook.

  • You will only require a pen or pencil, a notebook for taking your own class notes, and a loose-leaf binder. Any notes that our instructor writes on the class whiteboard will be emailed to you as a digital PDF file so that you can print these out at home and add them to your own notebook.


  • There are no prerequisites for this course.