Word for the Travel Wise (02/02/06)

PakistanFlagAdventure and Pakistan are synonymous. Period. I’m not the only one who feels this way. A visit to the country is an undertaking several will think about and few will dare pursue. Many of you in some point in time have probably dreamed of climbing K2, the second highest mountain in the world while others wishing only to go only to experience the country’s film industry, Lollywood. Pakistan ain’t all mountains and happy-go-lucky sing-song films though, the northern part of the country is known for a portion of the famed Silk Route, Gandhara heritage, and ancient civilizations. On the other hand communal violence and the media’s look at Islamic fundamentalism keeps even the most adventurous travelers wandering. Whatever your reasons, mentioning Pakistan to the lesser explored family members will probably raise an eyebrow or two.

Today’s word is an Urdu word used in Pakistan:

khatarnak – dangerous

Chances are Grandma, Aunt Edna and Uncle Bob will all try to talk you out of your Pakistan endeavor. If you’re lucky they’ll make a little travel kit, pat you on the back, and send you packing without the worry and concern. Who likes going on a trip knowing dear old mom’s poor heart might under go cardiac arrest because you’ve gone off braving the world in some of the most ‘khatarnak’ or dangerous locales? Show them how carefully planned your travel itinerary is and woo them with a few Urdu phrases before you go.

Urdu is the official language of the country, spoken by some 61 million natives and 104 million total. The language falls under the Indo-Aryan family, developed under Persian, Turish, and Arabic. From my own Persian studies I’ve noticed several closely related if not exact same word. Unless someone out there has a few recommendations on learning Urdu on the web other than what is provided here, this could be a small challenge. For some basics on the script and general background info visit UK India. Otherwise I’d say it’s time to head over to My Language Exchange to find some native speakers looking to swap your lingo knowledge for theirs. Click here for a pretty good blog on a world of Urdu topics.