- How to Learn Arabic: The Basics
- Develop Your Knowledge of the Arabic Language
- Maintain your Linguistic Proficiency
- Travel to an Arab Country to Learn Arabic Faster!
- Don't Want to Go Abroad? Opt for an Intensive Arabic Language Course
- Tricks to Learn Arabic Quicker
- So How Long Does It Take to Learn Arabic?
Arabic is one of the most important languages in the world today.
Indeed, nearly 300 million Arabic speakers practice it everyday in a region that spreads across various countries and continents around the globe.
Arabic is one of the 10 most widely spoken languages in the world.
Naturally you want to learn Arabic in the fastest way possible, right?
Superprof wants to help you succeed in this daring goal. Before you start, you should know the Arabic language is very different from English, both in its form and structure.
The Arabic alphabet is completely different to the one used in the main European languages of French, German, Spanish and Portuguese. This makes the Arabic script unlike anything native English speakers will be used to.
What's more, Arabic differs between different countries in the Middle East and North Africa.
Each country has it's own specific dialect which means that some of the Arabic words, phrases and expressions used will be different depending on which country you are in.
To make this even more complicated, there are two different forms for written Arabic. One is called Modern Standard Arabic, and the other, Classical Arabic.
Luckily the difference between these last two is very small and most Arabic speakers use them almost interchangeably.
How to Learn Arabic: The Basics
As we have just mentioned, written Arabic differs from spoken Arabic. You must therefore be careful not to confuse the two.
Modern Standard Arabic is used widely in the media, press and most books. Basically any product that has an international audience. Classical Arabic is that which is used in the Islamic Holy book, the Quran.
Wanting to master all aspects of the Arabic language is synonymous with a very long process and a lot of work that will surely take years and many Arabic courses.
By focusing on a goal like learning modern literal Arabic, you can have success on your side and not waste too much of your motivation.
Find an Arabic course London
Buying a Good Language Book
You can't just choose any edition. It's better to buy a trusted edition in order to learn Arabic.
This language is different from French, English, Spanish or German, and it is therefore essential to have a grammar book with you at all times when learning Arabic, especially if you are a beginner.
Here are some recommended books:
- Let’s Talk Arabic: Second edition (Arabic Edition)
- Alif Baa: Introduction to Arabic Letters and Sounds [With DVD]
- Arabic for Nerds: 270 Questions on Arabic Grammar
- Arabic for Dummies: a Beginner’s guide to Arabic
Opting for Online Resources
The internet is a great breeding ground for powerful tools when it comes to learning the Arabic language.
Certain online programs and guides can help you in your learning adventure.
Here are some free tools to help you learn Arabic online that you can count on:
- Arabic Speak 7: This is an online language training program created to help with Arabic grammar.
You will find lists of verbs, pronouns, words, and other useful sentences with clear and simple instructions on how to memorize them.
- Salaam Arabic: This is a very well designed site offering various free guides for learning Arabic.
Each lesson is divided into categories, namely, days, numbers, religion, polite formulas, subjects, pronouns, and so forth...There are also seven grammar sections for beginners and intermediate students.
- Madinah Arabic: Another website offering free online Arabic courses.
This site focuses more on numbers, common vocabulary, and real situations.
The most advanced users will be able to take part in discussion forums.
Basic Vocabulary Knowledge
To learn Arabic quickly, you have to first learn basic daily words that could help with conversation and understanding.
Familiarize yourself with some basic Arabic words like "marhaban" for hello, "ma'a ssalamah" for goodbye, "aahlan wa sahlan bika" for welcome, "kabeer" for big, "sagheer" for small, "Alyawn" for today, "akala" for eating, or "dahaba" to go.
Apps such as Duolingo are great for learning Arabic vocabulary on the go on your smartphone.
Learning the Arabic Alphabet
It's one of the bases for learning Arabic quickly and efficiently.
It's impossible to speak the Arabic language without knowing its origin.
The letters of the Arabic alphabet and written texts are read from right to left.
Some sounds are found in Arabic and not the English language, and vice-versa.
Use websites like Salaam Arabic to memorize the singular alphabet. They have audio pronunciation guides to help you step by step in the pronunciation of each letter.
Note that the vowels are not written in Arabic but are represented by symbols called "fathas."
Create Vocabulary Sheets
The best way to learn a foreign language--and especially Arabic, which is deemed difficult--is to memorize Arabic vocabulary.
An effective way to do this is to write thematic lists of vocabulary words on worksheets or flashcards.
Begin by writing the word in Arabic on the front, with its translation on the back in order to memorize it.
The advantage is that these cards don't take up much space. You can take them with you anywhere and test yourself as soon as you have a free moment.
Then, with time, you will group together the words you learn by meaning, theme, genre, and nature.
Unlike the English language, Arabic uses roots that often indicate the meaning of the word, which will allow you to anticipate the Arabic word's meaning.
Time to discover Arabic educational games and other fun ways to learn Arabic...
Develop Your Knowledge of the Arabic Language
To quickly improve your knowledge during Arabic language learning, pay attention to the 4 pillars that will help you whatever your level is:
- Take Arabic courses: if possible, try to take university courses because these courses are at a high very quality and demand more than other classes. You will most likely have to pass tests to assess your knowledge and determine your level. Or you can take tutoring classes with a private tutor who will travel to your home to teach you the basics of Arabic. Again, this professional will evaluate your level and adapt his or her course and language program according to your strengths and shortcomings, making courses more personal which enhances quick progress.
- Read texts in Arabic: The best way to learn Arabic is to read in the original language. The more you read in the new language, the more your brain will get accustomed to the sounds and turns of phrases. It will start to know how the words work with one another. Why not try to read a version of the Quran? You can also find English or bilingual versions.
- Listen to the Arabic language: It's important to immerse yourself in Arab culture and to hear Arabic native speakers in order to learn the language and boost your beginner level. Don't hesitate to listen to online radios in Arabic or watch TV in Arabic, such as Al Jazeera for example.
- If you have DVDs, you can opt to watch your favorite movie in Arabic or have Arabic subtitles switched on. This will help you better understand conversations and what is being said.
- Regularly consult a dictionary: to improve your written and oral comprehension, an English-Arabic dictionary will be of great help to remember words. The more vocabulary you learn, the more you will be able to master the language.
Maintain your Linguistic Proficiency
When learning any language, immersion is essential. The more you are exposed to a language, you more you absorb, both consciously and unconsciously.
Through immersing yourself in Arabic you will learn new words and vocabulary, as as well as the context and grammar within which they are used.
So make sure you open yourself up to as much cultural, religious and educational information as you possibly can!
It is not only important to memorize Arabic vocabulary, but to read Arabic texts as well. You have to hear yourself speak it, and keep practising pronunciation.
Immerse yourself in the culture with native speakers. This can be at a coffee shop, a bar, a library, or even when you have a direct conversation with shopkeepers when abroad.
Join a Discussion Forum
The internet is full of forums and places to discuss the Arabic language. It is also a great opportunity to discover associations or workshops offering Arabic student meet-ups around you.
Visit a Cultural Center
In most major cities, there is at least one Arabic cultural center.
Don't hesitate to venture there in order to discover the new language or deepen your knowledge of Arabic.
As you can see, there is not just one single method, but several different ways to learn Arabic quickly.
There's no age to learn Arabic. Although adults will have less of an advantage, teaching young children Arabic is effective because of their sense of observation and adaptation to new linguistic contexts are not as strong as those aged 0-9. But don't let that discourage you!
Learning Arabic alone is certainly not an easy task: the specificities of this language require the presence of an Arabic tutor, or at least someone who knows and speaks the language perfectly.
Learning it on your own may cause you to pick up bad habits with regards to grammatical structures or pronunciation.
Travel to an Arab Country to Learn Arabic Faster!
Do you dream of learning the Arabic language as quickly as possible?
Immersion will put you in the best conditions to progress quickly, whatever your level.
Learning Arabic Abroad: The Quickest Method?
Are you hesitating on traveling to an Arabic speaking country to learn literal Arabic (or classical Arabic or an Arabic dialect)?
You shouldn't do, especially if your wish is to progress quickly!
If you want to learn Arabic in record time, the quickest path to success is to speak Arabic to native speakers. "Arabic for Dummies" is fine to start. But at some point, students will have to confront the reality of language!
When we move to a country for a few weeks or months, we begin to learn the rhythm of the language. This brings about multiple benefits. By staying in an Arabic speaking country (Morocco, Tunisia, Qatar, Algeria, Egypt, Lebanon ...), you will naturally:
- Make the effort to speak the language on a daily basis,
- Set aside your mother tongue,
- Improve your pronunciation to make yourself understood,
- Get used to specific sounds,
- Be exposed to natives, and learn to speak like them,
- Discover more than just a language, but a whole culture,
- Adapt to the Arab world's lifestyle,
- Learn colloquial vocabulary and expressions
Where Can You Learn Arabic?
The Arabic language is spoken in a large number of countries. It is the 5th most spoken language in the world, with almost 300 million speakers, and is an official language in 26 countries.
So you have a wide choice of countries where you could learn the language through immersion: Morocco, Tunisia, Egypt, Jordan, Algeria, United Arab Emirates, Turkey, Comoros, Mauritania…
Now you just have to make a choice. To make this choice, consider the following:
- Your personal goals,
- Your budget,
- The host structures of the country,
- Opportunities for on-site courses,
- The administrative formalities,
- Cultural differences
Going to Morocco, for example, is quite affordable, and for several reasons...
When you travel to a new country in order to learn the language, one of the main objectives is to have a great trip, rich with new experiences. In Morocco:
- Rates remain affordable,
- The country has a rich heritage (medinas, mosques, fortified towns, palaces, museums...)
- You will discover sumptuous landscapes, whether it be the sea, the desert or the Atlas mountains,
- You can take Arabic courses whilst experiencing the diverse culture,
- You will discover the culture, gastronomy, and traditions,
If you are a beginner, equip yourself accordingly before your trip: a dictionary, mobile applications, and some conversation guides to start with... Take all the materials that will be useful to you to speak Arabic in your daily life, and don't forget a good tourist guide in order to really enjoy your stay and discover the country.
What Not to Do When Learning a Language Abroad
You're traveling in order to learn a language, so with this perspective in mind, you need to have everything in your corner in order to reach your goal. Not only will you progress faster, but you will also enjoy a more authentic stay off the beaten track.
For this, you must absolutely avoid:
- Tourists: Your goal is to meet the locals, not to tour with other English-speaker and spend your time speaking your own language,
- Hotels: privileged accommodations that will ensure you are living a lifestyle closer to your country than that of your host country (which you could discover best through homestays, couch surfing ...),
- Speaking English: always make an effort to speak Arabic on a daily basis. Do not try to find out whether your interlocutor speaks English or any other language you already know.
Don't Want to Go Abroad? Opt for an Intensive Arabic Language Course
If you can't go abroad to familiarize yourself with the Arabic language, you can opt for intensive learning. Even if you stay at home, it's possible to adjust your daily life in order to bathe as much as possible in the Arabic-speaking world.
Intensive Arabic Learning Groups
- Do you have an Arabic language private tutor?
- Are you in an Arabic group class?
With both methods, you can increase the pace of the lessons in order to progress faster. By repeating new Arabic words daily, you will start to memorize them. By learning Arabic phrases that you often use, you will start to pronounce them more and more easily.
By avoiding spacing out your Arabic courses, you will automatically make faster progress. Two of the secrets in learning languages are repetition and regularity. This mode of learning will allow you to have the following daily practice:
- Learning new vocabulary,
- Quickly bettering oral fluency,
- Developing automations,
- Overcoming your apprehensions,
- Avoiding demotivation,
The use of an Arabic language private tutor or a language school is essential to develop intensive practice. By being supported and encouraged, you will more easily overcome the difficulties of taking new steps in learning the Arabic language and save a whole lot of time!
Allow Arabic into your Daily Life
There are some solutions to complement your daily immersion if you are not able to travel abroad.
Fill all aspects of your life with Arabic:
- Listen to Arabic TV, or Arabic radio stations,
- Spend time on Youtube watching videos that complete your Arabic lessons,
- Read in Arabic to familiarize yourself with new words and improve your writing skills,
- Listen and repeat Arabic vocabulary, train yourself to speak, even if it is alone in front of your mirror. And to track your progress; don't hesitate to record yourself,
- Immerse yourself in Arabic culture: cooking, museums, literature, music...All these domains will bring you further into your journey in order to speak Arabic better,
- If you have friends who speak Arabic, have fun practicing with them. They will help you to perfect your language skills.
If you want to learn a language quickly, you have to be passionate not only about the linguistics, but the whole new world opening itself up to you!
Tricks to Learn Arabic Quicker
- Are you a beginner?
- Do you need a method in order to learn the Arabic language ASAP?
Arabic for Dummies is not a miracle solution. You shouldn't delude yourself: correct Arabic pronunciation requires time and practice. However, some logical tips will help you to approach learning a new language in a positive way.
One of the keys to success is seeing the glass as being half full. Do not focus only on what you have left to learn, but look at everything you've already learned.
So How Long Does It Take to Learn Arabic?
Everyone learns languages at different rates. Some people will pick up the Arabic alphabet quicker than others, which others will excel in learning Arabic words and phrases.
It is therefore difficult to say how long it takes to learn Arabic, due to the differences in skills, the ability to learn and the motivation of each person. However, the U.S Foreign Service Institute suggests it takes about 2,200 hours to learn Arabic.
What is for sure, you want to learn Arabic as quickly as possible.
So to finish up this article, here are some bonus tips for learning Arabic quickly:
- Be motivated and above all, stay motivated! In preparation for learning Arabic, we always have good resolutions. But to achieve our goals, it's important to be constant and not lose our initial motivation. Find goals that will move you forward and keep you challenged.
- Do not try to learn everything at once: if your goal is to fend for yourself during a trip for example, concentrate on phonetics to learn Arabic daily life vocabulary and phrases...the things you'll need! Then, you can improve your language level by learning to write and read Arabic: start by learning the 28 letters of the Arabic alphabet and the 3 variants of each letter!
- Learn 500 words of vocabulary: once this is over, everything is possible. You will immediately feel like you can finish your learning, and improve your grammar and conjugation...
- Listen, listen and listen again: learning a new language means familiarizing yourself with new sounds and a different pronunciation...Listen, repeat, listen again, until you are comfortable with the pronunciation of a new Arabic sentence.
Once you have acquired the basics, you will enjoy deepening your knowledge at your own pace. The beginning is always pleasant, but when you give yourself the means to progress and discover the secrets of the Arabic alphabet, Arabic writing, Arabic reading, and learning the Quran's Arabic, you will feel a real sense of accomplishment.