July 17, 2020

Teacher’s tips for learning Arabic language — Part 1

By: Haytham Ibrahim

Arabic is the 4th most spoken language in the world, with nearly 470 million people speaking it ‎worldwide. Learning a new language is always a big undertaking, but when the new language doesn’t ‎share a root with your native tongue, it’s even more difficult.‎

With any new language, there are keys to success in becoming fluent. You learn vocabulary, verb ‎conjugation, grammar, sentence structure, and then practice, practice, and practice. ‎

You immerse yourself in the new language. You may watch movies and listen to music in the new ‎language, speak it as well as you can as often as you can, and seek out native speakers and converse with ‎them.‎

Or at least that’s the idea. However, Arabic can present some unique challenges for new learners that can ‎slow the learning process down. ‎

Here are some examples:‎

‎1- Arabic uses new and strange alphabet.‎

‎2- There is no much shared vocabulary ‎المُفْرَدَات‎ between Arabic and Latin-based languages.‎

‎3- Arabic is a highly inflectional tongue.‎

‎4- There are 10 verb patterns and must be memorized for the active and passive voices.‎

‎5- Plurals ‎الجُمُوع‎ and their agreements with numbers are difficult compared to what are used to in Latin-‎based languages.‎

Thankfully, there are steps that you can take to make the learning conversational Arabic much easier. It ‎will take hard work, dedication, and time, but it’s certainly achievable.‎

Tip #01: You need to decide which Arabic you want to learn

Actually, there are many types of Arabic language. It is the mother tongue and official language of nearly ‎‎30 countries in the middle east and northern Africa. There are different accents. If you’re planning to ‎spend time in certain area, you’ll want to choose the accent of the people of that region.‎

Example the Egyptian Arabic ‎الدَارِجة المِصْرِيّة‎, which is the most widespread regional Arabic dialect ‎العَربِيّة ‏الدَّارِجَة‎ and is most often used in TV and Cinema.‎

However, you should consider learning Modern Standard Arabic ‎العَرَبِيّة الفُصْحَىٰ, the official language of 22 ‎Arab countries and one of the official languages of the United Nations ‎الأمُم المُتّحدة‎.‎

Tip #02: Start with the basics

It’s easy to fall into the trap of trying to learn Arabic by transcribing words instead of learning the Arabic ‎alphabet first. Think about how we learned English back in school. First, you learn your letters, then you ‎form those letters into words, then you learn how to form sentences, and then you learn more about ‎proper syntax and grammar. Taking shortcuts will only slow you down.‎

Tip #03: Learn to use the Arabic dictionary effectively

This is not as easy as it sounds. In an Arabic dictionary, words are generally organized around three-letter ‎or four root letters. To look up a word, you need to know what the root is and what letter the root starts ‎with – which is not necessarily the first letter in the word. ‎

Using the dictionary takes practice, but the sooner you learn it the better. It will make the entire learning ‎process easier and fruitful.‎

Tip #04: Immerse yourself in studying and practicing Arabic language

This is an important step in learning any Arabic language. The best way to learn a new Arabic word is to ‎see it, hear it, write it and speak it, so combine learning those skills as much as you can.‎

One of the most popular methods for beginners to learn a foreign language is to watch children’s TV ‎programs in the target language. The vocabulary ‎المُفْرَدَات‎ is simpler, and the educational nature of those ‎programs can be extremely helpful to new students of any age. ‎

Another method is to watch movies in the Arabic language with English subtitles on. That way you gain a ‎better “ear” for listening, and the subtitles give you the translation for what you’re hearing. ‎

Tip #05: Speak the language

It’s important that you converse in Arabic with other people. Actually, It could be difficult to find a ‎conversational partner if you’re not acquainted with native Arabic speakers. Thankfully, modern ‎technology like web and apps can do a lot to help you with this.‎

There are many Facebook groups you can join to learn Arabic language online, and it’s become much ‎easier to find tutors online who will coach you and help you in your learning journey. ‎

Tip #06: Never stop learning

It’s easy to start the journey of learning Arabic language, but the challenge is to continue. Mastering any ‎language requires years of study and learning Arabic language is not an exception, but gaining ‎conversation skills ‎مَهَارَات المُحَادَثَة‎ can be quickly if you dedicate yourself to the pursuit.‎Ready to start your journey of learning Arabic language? Try out our free App Aralingo. It will help you to ‎take your first steps to learn Arabic Right!

Haytham Ibrahim

Haytham Ibrahim, Prof. is a highly qualified Arabic language lecturer. He is an expert in TAFL (Teaching Arabic as a Foreign Language.) Maybe — If you are interested in learning Arabic Language — You have come across his name before. Know more about Haytham from his official website.

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