In case you still haven’t decided what particular foreign language to study it is definitely worthwhile to consider Arabic. Arab countries have a rich & interesting culture, the language itself has a long history and there are various economical, religious reasons to study it. Bellow you can find a list of some good reasons why learning Arabic is a good choice.
1. Arabic – 5-th Most Spoken Language.
The number of speakers can be one of the most important factors when choosing what foreign language to study. The larger the number the more beneficial it becomes to study one particular language, after all you want to learn a language that would be understood by as many people as possible. When it comes to Arabic, it is being spoken by about 280 million that makes it fifth most spoken language in the world. This number of speakers is being distributed through 20 different countries, which is another great benefit of learning Arabic. Being able to speak this foreign language will enable you to communicate in various different countries throughout Middle East and North Africa.
2. Understand Religion – Islam.
Since Quran is written is Arabic, many people are interested in learning this foreign language due to religious purposes. In Arab world, Islam is the most widespread religion and many Arabs live and understand the world through it. Ability to understand Muslim culture and traditions will enable you to develop stronger relationships with most people. Basically learning Arabic language can be a great way to learn more about the whole Muslim culture.
While Quran is being translated into other languages, reading the original script is more beneficial because there are no distortions in the meaning. Translations of Quran are allowed and accepted; however they are only being considered as translations of the true meaning.
3. Arabic is Easy to Learn.
Believe or not, but Arabic is not that difficult to learn. While alphabet of this language might seem quite intimidating for most English learners, it is actually quite easy to learn. Most learners are able to learn within just a day. Arabic grammar is also significantly easier when compared with most European languages. What makes it easy is the fact that there are only two tenses (past and non-past), two genders (no neuter), most words have roots and verb system is relatively simple too.
4. Easier to Learn Other Foreign Languages.
Based on classification Arabic is a Semitic language. Other languages that fall into the same group are Hebrew, Tigrinya, Amharic and Aramaic. Due to many similarities between these languages it would be easier to learn them once you know Arabic. In terms of vocabulary quite a lot of words are the same or similar in Persian, Turkish and Urdu so it would be easier to study these languages too. It is also worthwhile to mention that languages like Urdu, Persian, Kurdish use Arabic alphabet so you would be able to read in these languages too (although not necessary understand).
5. Employment Opportunities.
Having a good knowledge of Arabic language and culture can be just what you need in order to be successful at your career. This is especially true if your job is associated with fields like consultation, journalism, business, translation, Foreign Service and etc. It can be said that particularly in these areas there is a shortage of workers who would have a good knowledge of Arabic. Based on statistics only about 1% of students in USA choose to study Arabic, which means that there is low supply of future workers who will be able to speak and understand this language. So by having fluent skills in Arabic you would have a large competitive advantage in job market or you would be hard to replace in your current work.
6. More Destinations for Traveling.
As it was mentioned earlier Arabic is spoken in 20 different countries, which means that it can be a very beneficial language when traveling. By knowing Arabic you would be able to communicate in Middle East and many North Africa countries where it is either official or co-official language.
While spoken Arabic vary in some countries, dialects like Egyptian are understood widely due to its common use on media. So by choosing Egyptian or other widely understood dialect you would be able to communicate in many countries without too much trouble. The number of English speakers is also constantly increasing in Arab countries; however there is still a large part of people who only speaks Arabic.
One great benefit of speaking at least a little Arabic when traveling is that local people tend feel honored when they hear foreigners making an effort to speak their language. It doesn’t have to be very professional, but at least a few phrases can guarantee that your stay would be more pleasant. Ability to understand written Arabic can be also a great benefit since you would be able to read signs and travel significantly easier.
7. Business Opportunities.
Arabic speaking regions tend pay a lot of attention to global economic development in recent years. All this opens a lot of new opportunities for people who want to do business in this region. Some of the most popular areas for investment is Gulf region where many business invest in telecom, construction as well as finance. Also population of these regions tend to increase each year, which makes it a great destination for exporting services and various goods. In order to conduct business more successfully in Arabic countries it is, of course, necessary to have a knowledge of Arabic language and culture. This can give a great advantage when negotiating and conducting trade.