Belfast is a great place to study languages. An increasingly good place, in fact. With an ever-growing international population, and lots of different types of institutions offering more and more classes in the subjects, there’s no reason to go anywhere else.
And whilst you’ll find organisations, schools, and companies on every corner offering classes in the European languages, you might it a little less easy to find Arabic language lessons in Northern Ireland.
You’d be right – but, as with most things, it’s actually becoming easier and easier. Colleges, universities, and specialist language training centres are beginning to offer Arabic as a foreign language, and you’ll now find ample opportunity to develop your fluency of speaking, reading and writing in the language of the Middle East and North Africa.
If you are already here, we’re guessing you are interested in pursuing studies in one of the main world languages. And we’re here to help you find the course that suits you best.
Learning the Arabic alphabet will be one of your first challenges when learning Arabic
In many ways, the correct response to this question is actually why not study Arabic? Learning languages is an incredibly good thing for you, quite simply, and Arabic may as well be the one you choose.
Yes, we said learning a new language is good for you. And we don’t mean this in some wishy-washy imprecise way.
No. Learning a second language has concrete positive effects on your brain. It can improve your life expectancy. It reduces the risk of Alzheimer’s and dementia. And, science seems to say that it makes you generally smarter.
So, there’s that. But there’s also the fact that learning different languages gives you focus, an interesting hobby, and a will to learn.
And it also helps social cohesion. Learning about a different language and culture makes you more tolerant, open-minded, and knowledgeable about the world.
But enough about languages in general. Learning the language of the Arab world brings its own benefits.
Across the world, there are over 420 million Arabic speakers, making the language one of the top six most widely spoken languages on the planet. It is also one of the official languages of the UN.
In this respect, Arabic is one of the most important languages of the world. And a knowledge of Arabic opens all sorts of different doors in life and work. You can enter the fascinating world of Arabic literature and Arab culture. You can explore the diversity and richness of Arab countries. And you’ll find yourself with a potential further four hundred million native speakers with whom to make friends, build relationships, and do business.
And by developing your language skills by building your knowledge of Arabic vocabulary and Arabic grammar, you’ll gain important insights into your own language. The Arabic script, the Arabic alphabet, and the structure of the language per se is so different to English. And whilst this makes the challenge harder, it makes the returns much greater.
Learn Arabic and then travel to the Arab world!
But given this more significant challenge, it is important to find the language instruction that is most effective for you. Luckily, the options that Belfast offers will make this task easy enough.
Given the unfamiliarity of Arabic writing and pronunciation to most people in Northern Ireland (as well as the rest of the world), learning the language by yourself is not the best option here.
Rather, you want to pursue your Arabic language studies through structured lessons – preferably with a native speaker. These will walk you through the complexities of written Arabic, as well as basic Arabic expressions, the grammatical issues, and everything you need for communicative success.
But whichever way you like to learn – with one-to-one tuition, in structured group classes, or in sessions based on conversation – Belfast has the resources to provide it for you.
So, without further ado, let’s take a look at some of the best options in Belfast.
With different options for Arabic learning all over the city, you’ll find an Arabic program in Belfast that is super convenient for you.
Because, unfortunately, if the timing or the place doesn’t work, this is going to get in the way of your commitment to your lessons.
So, here are some of the best options in town. Yet, do your research before you go. Language learning is a personal thing – and you should do your best to find the Arabic course that suits you best.
Good luck! We’re sure you’ll find it.
One of the first places to start in your search for an Arabic course in Belfast is at Queen’s University. A prestigious and recognisable educational institution, Queen’s is guaranteed to give you a solid grounding in the subject.
Whilst they don’t offer degree-level courses in Arabic, QUB has a whole load of different language classes at its Language Centre.
Their offerings in Arabic range from Level One to Five, with each level accounting for ten weeks of lessons. From your first class, you will be engaging with the sort of subjects that you need to manage in the Arab world – directions, food and drink, personal information, and numbers.
Sure, you’ll be learning the alphabet too, but this will be interwoven.
Just down the road from Belfast in Lisburn is the base of Interlingua, an organisation which provides language training to schools, companies, and individuals. From GCSE qualifications to casual adult classes, these guys cover the range of different language opportunities and class structures.
They specialise in Spanish, French, and Arabic, they run classes based on discussion, conversation, and interaction. It’s none of this old-fashioned learn-by-rote sort of stuff. And with dynamic and enthusiastic teachers, and an understanding of why you specifically might want to learn Arabic, they offer a tailored and sympathetic service.
If you are a business seeking to train your staff in Arabic, they’ll help you do that too. And, for those not living in Lisburn, they provide online Arabic training too.
Think of all the people you could meet if you could speak Arabic.
If it is more convenient for you, you can always attend the course in Basic Arabic at Belfast Met.
Every Thursday on the Millfield Campus, you’ll be engaged for two hours in learning the fundamentals of the language – from the script to the pronunciation, the grammar to the literature.
Belfast Met’s courses are casual – with no examination at the end. And following this entry-level course, you can progress to the next stage up.
This is a great option for those who like their language-learning chilled but focused, disciplined but friendly.
Here at Superprof, we connect budding students with the ideal tutors that they seek. And from the beginner looking to take their first steps in the language to the experienced speaker looking to brush up on their skills, our tutors are ready for everything.
Whilst we now cover over a thousand subjects worldwide, in Belfast we have three tutors specifically offering Arabic classes.
Lessons come in at an average of £20 an hour – and the first one is free, so that you can be sure that you gel with your new teacher.
From your home or theirs – or from your favourite café in town – they are flexible, qualified, and professional.
Just around the corner from the Ulster Museum sits the Belfast Islamic Centre, the first purpose-built space for the Muslim community in Northern Ireland.
These guys are seamlessly embedded in the wider Belfast community – offering all sorts of services and events for different demographics.
More relevantly, they offer a range of hugely popular Arabic classes to anyone who wants to learn. If you decide to study here, you will be learning from native speakers in a range of different dialects.
They also offer translation and interpretation services for people who might need such things in Belfast.
For those of you not living in the centre of Belfast, you might prefer to study at one of the campuses of the South Eastern Regional College in either Bangor or Lisburn.
Every week for two hours, you’ll be learning the basics of the Arabic language. From greetings, introductions, and descriptions to travel, accommodation, and food and drink, you’ll be given the skills and knowledge of Arabic – and the cultures of the Middle East – to travel successfully in the region.