LangMedia

Urdu in Pakistan


Using a Telephone

Phone calls can be made at public phones that take phone cards or at a Public Call Office (P.C.O.) Purchase phone cards at small grocery stores. Be certain to verify the number of minutes the card will cover for various types of calls. It is not very practical to use phone cards for international calls which tend to be very expensive. At a P.C.O. an attendant will time the call and then the caller pays the attendant. To avoid surprises ask ahead how much a call of a certain length and to a destination will be.
International calls are very difficult and expensive to make. In general it is best to rely on e-mail since internet cafes are common. Making a long distance call requires booking a call with the operator and then waiting (sometimes hours) for the operator to call back and say the call has gone through. It is not unusual for the call-back to never occur (although it may later be billed regardless). It is not possible to make collect calls to or from Pakistan.
Because wrong numbers are common, many phone conversations start by verifying whether one has the correct number or establishment. When one is already acquainted with the members of a household, it is polite to carry on a brief conversation about the family's well-being before asking for whomever one is calling.

Videos


Audio

Click on the text to hear the spoken phrase.
  • "Is this 555-1234?"

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  • "Is this the Habib Bank?"

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  • "May I speak with Mohammad?"

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  • "May I speak with Mr. Amhed?"
    (female speaker)
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  • "May I speak with Mr. Ahmed?"
    (male speaker)
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  • "Who is speaking please?"

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  • "Goodbye"
    (used for goodbye on the phone and in person)
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Images

  • Close-up of a public phone
    Close-up of a public phone, there are several different phone companies each with its own phone and booth design
  • Public Call Office, a private phone service
    Public Call Office (PCO) privately owned service for making local and domestic calls, some may offer international service