Learning a new language is never an easy task, which is especially true with more distinct languages from English like Arabic. Luckily, in these times there numerous engaging ways how you can learn Arabic. You can try to find a private tutor, language school or classes. Although depending on the area where you live, it might be difficult to find a professional teacher or classes. Also you should keep in mind that these mentioned options might be very expensive. If you prefer to learn at your own pace and at home, a better option would be to buy some books, online course or find free apps and studying resources. To decide which way is the best for you, highly depends on your budget, time you can dedicate and the level you want to achieve.
As each person has unique learning goals and study best in different way, there is no one method that would work best for everyone. Hence it is important to research all possible ways to study and chose the most suitable ones for you. This article lists 7 effective and engaging ways to learn Arabic. For the best studying results, try to incorporate at least a few of them to your learning routine.
Learn via Books.
When it comes to foreign language learning, there are at least a couple well-known book series available to help with studying. For learners who are only starting, a good place to start might be books like Arabic for Dummies or The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Arabic. The titles of these books don’t sound very proficient, but it can add potential readers additional confidence that everyone can learn Arabic. Both of these books are very beginner friendly, easy to understand and have some humor in the material. Studying content in these books mostly focuses on different topic vocabulary and basic grammar. Hence for intermediate or advanced students it is better to start with book series like Assimil or Living Language.
The main benefits of books in comparison with other resources are that they provide longer and more in depth explanations. Also you can be sure to find some cultural notes that are advantageous for learners who want all-inclusive cultural experience. Of course, most books are not free and they have learning disadvantages as well.
2. Watch Arabic TV Shows and Movies.
Watching video content can be a great way to improve your Arabic comprehension skills. Hearing conversations in Arabic with native speakers will help you get familiar with different accents and sounds of this foreign language. Whenever possible, try watching movies with subtitles as it can be beneficial for your Arabic writing skills. Some good choices for Arabic films are “The Square“, “Theeb“, “Heaven Without People“, “Wajib” and many others. The list of available movies in Arabic is extensive, hence you can have endless recourses for improving your language skills.
When it comes to TV shows, you can start with familiar international shows like “Arabs got Talent“, “Who Wants to be a Millionaire” and others. This way of learning Arabic can be not only enjoyable, but also very informative as you can learn more about people and culture.
3. Arabic Language Courses Online.
Online courses are becoming more and more popular way of learning new languages. There are many reasons for that although in most cases it is because people are busier these days and can dedicate time going to traditional classes. Also it’s cheaper and more fun.
When it comes to Arabic there 3 well-known courses that can help you start learning. The first one is Rocket course, which offer various features for learners like audio lessons (with culture notes), different software’s and games. It is an ideal course for those who are just beginning and want to learn in fun and dynamic way. Also it’s one of the cheapest options for the features that it offers.
The second one is Pimsleur program, which offers audio lessons for different dialects (Eastern, Egyptian and Modern Standard Arabic). It’s a good option for those who want to learn how to speak and understand this language without learning grammar or writing.
The third well-known software is Rosetta Stone, which offers unique image-word association learning method. It’s interactive and fun way to study Arabic, although doesn’t include culture lessons or explanations in English. All of the mentioned courses have some weak and strong sides therefore before choosing one read my reviews in this website.
However, keep in mind that some language courses online are up to some limit. So if you do not need to become professional at it, it’s most likely the best way to go about it. And if you want to become somewhere close to professional level you might need a personal teacher or find Arabic language school. Also, keep in mind that you need to be disciplined in order to succeed and progress in learning a language online. No one will tell you how much to study so you need to be motivated yourself.
4. Mobile Apps.
As mobile phones became one of the most important tools in our life, they can be used for studying Arabic as well. The list of available mobile apps for studying foreign languages is extensive. For Arabic language in particular, there are numerous apps that can help you build your vocabulary, learn basic grammar rules, improve your writing skills and etc. Other apps work as flashcards, dictionaries or language partner finders. While most of these apps don’t provide in depth studying material, they are mostly free as well. Hence you can install at least couple of them on phone and at your convenience use them to improve different areas of Arabic. Some popular apps for Arabic learning are Drops, Memrise, Duolingo and others.
5. Use Language Learning Exchange Websites.
Once you get familiar with Arabic, it can be very useful to find native speakers of this language to talk to. By talking and listening to native speakers, you can greatly improve your Arabic skills. One great way to do this is to visit language learning exchange websites such as Italki, MyLanguageExchange or Lang-8. The purpose of these websites is to bring together students learning different languages. In exchange for teaching someone English (or any other language), you would get a possibility to learn Arabic. Depending on your selected website, you can practice writing (Lang-8), speaking & comprehension (Italki) or all skills (MyLanguageExchange) in your target language. These websites are completely free to use when you participate in teaching others. Nevertheless, you can choose to buy extra credits or premium features for some fixed fee. Exchange websites like Italki also offers possibility to buy lessons from your selected Arabic teacher for a hourly fee. You can select from a wide range of teachers who offer to learn different dialects and at different hourly rates.
6. Listen to Radio, Podcasts and Arabic Music.
What better way to tune your ears to Arabic sounds when listing to music? Constantly hearing spoken Arabic can help you better distinguish between sounds and recognize words. Hence spend some time and find a list of radio stations and Arabic artists that are preferable for your music taste. Some mobile apps even allows to select radio stations based on region, hence you can select channels that are spoken in your preferred Arabic dialect.
If you are not a big fan of music, a great alternative can be podcasts. You can find extensive list of Arabic podcasts in this link. Podcasts are recorded in different dialects and they cover various topics like culture, religion, history, movies, music and etc. Hence you can enhance your knowledge in different subjects and also learn some Arabic.
7. Signing for Classes.
Depending on availability in your area, you might also consider finding classes for learning Arabic either in school or collage. This way of learning languages is one of the oldest and yet one of the most effective ones. The main benefits of classes are that you can hear spoken Arabic at least a couple of hour per week, ask tutor questions and get explanations on more difficult aspects. As Arabic is considered difficult to learn, classes might turned out to be one of the most efficient ways to study. Instead of spending hours looking for answers on your own, you can get help from your tutor or other classmates.
While this method of studying comes with many advantages, it has some downsides as well. Some obvious are that you need to dedicate your time each week at certain times, it can be quite expensive and your topic selection depends entirely on your tutor. Also availability of Arabic classes can be quite limited in some areas, hence you might need to travel to other cities to get access.