When you sign up for a class in literary Arabic, you’ll often start to have quite a few questions about the best ways to learn the language.
How much time will it take to learn to speak Arabic?
Can I learn Arabic in one month?
You’ll need at least the next 30 days just to learn the basics of Arabic.
The only thing is, you don’t know anything about this language, the script looks nothing like anything you’ve ever seen before, and what the heck are these sounds which are words in Arabic?
So how are you supposed to learn Arabic in 30 days?
Superprof walks you through a few tips in this article to help you succeed in your efforts during your intensive Arabic class, and learn the language quickly.
Intensive Arabic Language Classes at a Language School
The Arabic language is regularly included on lists of the 10 hardest languages to learn.
It’ll take an estimated 2200 hours of classes to speak Arabic properly…that works out at 3 years of studying for two hours every day.
It’ll be pretty difficult to learn to speak Arabic in one month, even for the most dedicated students.
However, all is not lost. With a good teacher or a good language school, you’ll be able to walk through some of the basics, including learning to write the Arabic script and reading the letters of the Arabic alphabet.
In order to achieve this though, you’ll have to head to the classroom to study Arabic every day.
This intensive period of study will help you learn the basics of the Arabic language.
Here are some of the top Arabic language schools in the US:
- Middlebury College’s Intensive Arabic Summer program: located on Middlebury’s leafy Vermont campus, this summer intensive course will have you in the classroom for five hours each day, and the school promises to teach you vocabulary, syntax, and “how to use the language to engage effectively with Arabic culture.” The intensive offers lots of optional extras too, including tutoring in different spoken dialects, and lessons in Arabic calligraphy.
- Georgetown’s Summer Language Institute on the university's campus in DC’s trendy neighborhood. Classes are three hours each day and “offers students the opportunity to acquire skills in reading, writing, listening, and speaking in Arabic.” Georgetown’s program promises small class sizes and incorporates technology into learning.
- University of Michigan’s Arabic Summer Language program - is a 10 week summer intensive course that requires students to have already completed at least one semester of Arabic. The summer intensive intends to bring them up to the same level as if they’d completed a year of intermediate study and is a good option for students who’ve mastered the basics and feel like they’ve lost momentum.
The popularity of these immersion courses shows there’s something to it - by showing up and studying Arabic every day for one or two months, you will be immersed in the language and progress quickly.
Here’s a list of some of the things you’ll cover in an intensive Arabic language course:
- Learn the Arabic alphabet, with its 28 letters and all of their different forms, depending on if they fall at the beginning, middle, or end of a sentence, or if they stand alone.
- Gain a basic understanding of how to pronounce all of the Arabic letters - vowels, consonants, hamza, and guttural consonants
- Learn to write short words in Arabic script
- Learn to read Arabic letters
- Begin to learn some Arabic vocabulary
- Conduct basic conversations
If you work hard and study regularly, you can easily get through the beginners level and begin to read and write in Arabic.
Learning Arabic in One Month With a Private Teacher
Private Arabic classes are a good alternative to a language school, as they’ll give you direct access to a teacher who can come up with a personalized curriculum for you to learn Arabic at home.
A private teacher will be able to adapt to your needs and adjust to your level. Also, you can decide how many hours a day you want to study Arabic (within reason, of course!)
Browse Superprof for Arabic classes London.
Your teacher will work with you on the letters of the alphabet, and help you master Arabic pronunciation and script.
Above all, they’ll be there to gently correct your errors and stop you from picking up bad habits.
The advantage of taking private courses is that it’s easy to find a good teacher - and you’ll have your choice of native speakers for whichever spoken dialect (Egyptian Arabic, Syrian Arabic, Moroccan Arabic etc) you decide to learn.
By imitating your teacher and the sounds they make, you can work on the form of your mouth, (and the vibrations in your throat for all the guttural sounds), and memorize different Arabic words by ear.
Private lessons will give you a personalized and intensive introduction to the Arabic language, and there are also many other learning tools that you can also pick up - newspaper articles, online videos and cartoons, children's books in Arabic, easy dialogues…
Check out our database on Superprof where you can find an arabic teacher or private teacher and follow an accelerated course of study of Arabic, whether you decide to study a spoken dialect or Classical Arabic.
The one thing is that taking intensive private Arabic lessons could be costly.
Speak to your teacher and see if they could work with you for a discount. Depending on where you live and your level of Arabic, classes will be at least $20-40 per hour.
Let’s suppose the normal hourly rate for private Arabic classes in $30. If you’re doing four hours every day for a month, even if you skip weekends, the bill will mount quickly - $600 per week, or $2400 for a month of intensive Arabic study. It’s expensive to take the time to learn Arabic!
If you don’t have the time or the money to invest in learning Arabic this way, check out some of the options - Arabic courses online.
How to Learn Arabic Quickly for Free: Arabic Courses Online
There are many different websites where you can go to learn Arabic online. Some of them are free and others cost money, but they’ll all offer complete courses for beginners, and intensive Arabic classes that cover the alphabet, reading the script, writing in Arabic, and basic conversations.
If you type ‘online Arabic classes,’ you’ll get plenty of different websites on the first page of the Google search results:
Online Arabic classes are often a good way to test your level of Arabic.
It’s a window into the lives of experienced native speakers who grew up speaking Egyptian, Tunisian, or Moroccan Arabic, and all without needing to leave your home or worry about the time.
Courses on literary Arabic are often individual or collective, fun and simple, and you can find different Arabic classes online for all levels.
The internet is also a great resource if you want to learn more about religion, Islam, Arabic culture, Muslim culture, or the Quran. There are plenty of websites to introduce you to the Muslim religion at the same time as you learn Arabic, if you’re interested.
There are complete curriculums to learn Classical Arabic quickly and for free. Interactive listening exercises will help you master the different sounds of the Arabic language. Other segments will teach you to recognize the letters of the alphabet, learn how to write the Arabic script, and how to say it all.
Online resources are also great for improving your grammar and working out just how possessive pronouns, personal pronouns, verbs, conjugations, and diphthongs work in the Arabic language.
Even if you only have 30 days, working on your Arabic every day will help you improve.
And finally, here’s my favorite learning tool, which I used to learn a few phrases in a Slavic dialect before a trip to the Balkans. It’s called Teach Yourself.
By regularly listening to different phrases that build on one another, and one lesson a day, you learn the different elements easily without really having a sense of studying a new language.
Teach Yourself costs between $20-50 on Amazon and will bring you right through the intermediate level of Arabic in order to learn the script, grammar, how to read the language, as well as some easy every day phrases.
It’s a great way to learn Arabic in one month without any stress and at a very low price!
Study Abroad in an Arabic Country
We’ve saved the best for last - there’s no better way to learn a language than to go and spend some time abroad living in it.
In order to learn Arabic in just one month, take a vacation to an Arabic speaking country. While the Middle East might seem far away, you can get to Morocco from the East Coast in just 8 hours.
As soon as possible upon your arrival in Marrakech or Cairo, try to detach yourself from the Latin alphabet. It’s a bit radical, but if you want to learn the Arabic language in just a short time, hard challenges are necessary.
If you can’t manage to immerse yourself in the script, at least immerse yourself in conversations with locals.
This will require that you have at least some basic skills in Modern Standard Arabic, but you can also use English, or French if you know any. In most of the large North African cities, many young people use English as a professional and commercial language.
Therefore you can always make sure you’ve been understood in English after you’ve at least first tried to express yourself, in written or oral form, in Arabic.
Going abroad to study a language requires a mix of different techniques to make you as successful possible. In order to improve your skills in reading and writing Arabic, express yourself verbally in Arabic, you’ll need a host of resources , like intensive classes, private Arabic lessons at home, free online Arabic classes, or studying abroad…
And one last thing if you can stand any more - read the papers and listen to the Arabic media. Remember, learning Arabic can be difficult, but if you do everything we’ve suggested, you’ll be bilingual in no time at all!