11 Great Arabic learning tool
Arabic is a Semitic language, like Hebrew and Aramaic. Around 292 million people speak it as their first language. Many more people can also understand it as a second language. The Arabic language has its own alphabet written from right to left, like Hebrew. Since it is so widely spoken throughout the world, it is one of the six official languages of the UN, the others being English, French, Spanish, Russian and Chinese.
Many countries speak Arabic as an official language, but not all of them speak it the same way. The language has many dialects or varieties, such as Modern Standard Arabic, Egyptian Arabic, Gulf Arabic, Maghrebi Arabic, Levantine Arabic and many others. Some of the dialects are so different from one another that speakers have a hard time understanding the other.
Arabic is also becoming a popular language to learn in the Western world even though its grammar is sometimes very hard to learn for native speakers of Indo-European languages. Many other languages have borrowed words from Arabic, because of its importance in history.
There are dozens of websites and tools which provide free online Arabic learning. Here i have given list of best websites and tools to make your learning journey easier.
Two sworn resources!
Multibhashi is an impressive online language learning website. Arabic is one of the languages which can be learnt with the help of this website. The audio-visual interactive approach makes learning Arabic really easy. The Arabic Language learning course is divided into different levels, which are further divided into lesson modules. The beginner’s lesson starts with basic conversation tools, such as greetings, feelings, pronouns, etc. As you move to Elementary and Intermediate levels you get to learn the Arabic language better. Once you are finished with your daily lessons, you can go to the Practice tab and improve your Arabic writing skills. You can practice writing on a picture/video, or you can chat with an online native speaker of the Arabic language. You can keep complete track of your progress as you learn Arabic.
Rosetta Stone: Does It Work for Arabic Learners?
With Rosetta Stone holding the number one rank for most hype, one must consider if it’s the right product to use.
To know if it’s right for you, you must understand its approach to language learning.
The Rosetta Stone course views language learning in its natural form. In other words, it approaches second language learning as if the learner were a baby learning his or her first language because kids are great language learners.
It doesn’t use your native language as a base from which to build. Instead, words come with representative images.
Immersion experience at home
Living Language: Can I Just Take the Traditional Approach?
One useful tool to learn Arabic is the Living Language Arabic program. This course takes a traditional approach to learning the language as if you were building block upon block in a college course. It uses vocabulary and grammar exercises to build the basis for reading and comprehension.
The approach is systematic: First you learn words, then enough grammar to make a sentence with those words, then enough combined sentences to form a paragraph, etc.
The product itself comes with several options. You can get the basic “Essential Edition,” which will get you started with general language needed for travel: food, airports, hotels, etc.
It’s interesting to note that the “Essential Edition” contains an additional valuable resource for new learners: Besides the general book and accompanying audio discs, the product includes a reading and writing guide to the Arabic script. This resource is one of the most thorough tools available on the market today for learning the Arabic script. (As a bonus, check out these YouTube videos for learning the Arabic script as well. They’re valuable tools to help you get started with the alphabet.)
And if you believe the traditional grammar and vocabulary way to language learning is the best approach, then Living Language Arabic is probably the best tool on the market for such an approach to learning Arabic.
Another world's best online available resource
Pimsleur: Can I Learn Arabic Without Actually “Learning” Arabic?
Maybe you feel that learning a language is more about communicating with people than it is about investing precious time into boring, outdated grammar and vocabulary drills.
The idea of “learning” a language makes your teeth cringe, especially one written like this: اللغة العربية الفصحى.
Additionally, you’re very busy. The demands of work coupled with the kids make studying a list of vocabulary words a burden not worth the effort.
If that’s the case, there’s a perfect Arabic learning tool for you: It’s the Pimsleur Arabic program.
This program is strictly audio. It has three levels, each containing 30 lessons. You can play it in your vehicle during a commute. You may not have the chance to go abroad, but with Pimsleur you can surround yourself with Arabic at least in your vehicle. And one of the most effective methods for learning is to surround yourself with the language.
With Pimsleur, there are no books, no studying and no homework. Pimsleur allows you to start speaking Arabic immediately. This course will not teach you to read or write, but it will have you speaking and understanding conversational Arabic from day one.
Music? Training the ears!
Arabic Singers: So, Who Are Amr Diab and Tamer Hosny, Anyways?
Arabic has several sounds that are completely foreign to English speakers.
There are, for example, three different Arabic letters that all sound different but are all transliterated into English with the letter “h.” Come on, really? How many different ways can you pronounce an “h”? Well, the three sounds are quite distinct to native Arabic speakers.
So, how can you perfect your accent and learn to speak Arabic like a native while having a blast in the process?
The answer is with Amr Diab and Tamer Hosny. Both are Egyptian singers. Amr Diab is a pop legend in the Middle East, especially to older generations of people. And Tamer Hosny is “the new kid on the block.” Both of them sing catchy-sounding songs that blend traditional Middle Eastern music with modern pop.
But how do you listen to music and learn Arabic? It just sounds like a bunch of strange noises to the uninitiated.
The secret to actually learning Arabic while listening to these artists is to search for the lyrics online. Most websites provide the Arabic script of the songs, the English translations and the transliterations of the Arabic words into an “English” script. Listening to the songs while following along with the words will train your ears to hear the proper sounds that accompany the Arabic letters. This will then have a great impact on your pronunciation.
Listen to Arabic songs
Listen to some Arabic playlist on Spotify and focus on pronunciation and meaning. It helps to listen to the songs multiple times. Arabic places usually play songs in their native languages.
New and unsure?
“The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Arabic” and “Arabic for Dummies”:
It’s hard to feel like an intelligent linguist or an advanced polyglot while holding “The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Arabic”or “Arabic for Dummies” in your hands.
And you may not know a lot of Arabic right now, but these two resources are really good ways to make sure you’re not an idiot or dummy when it comes to speaking Arabic.
The funny thing is that the books’ main potential advantage and downside revolve around the same issue: The books offer a lot more than just Arabic language guides. There are plenty of cultural notes and long explanations that take a while to read through before you get to the actual study of the language.
They are basic, however, and don’t delve deep into grammar, history or culture. They provide more of an overview. The exception to this is vocabulary. Both books are excellent resources for developing a strong foundation of words. They present vocabulary in chunks of words centred around a topic, which is a great way to learn vocabulary words.
And just think, after you’ve mastered the contents, you’ll be like a “Complete Genius’s Guide for Other Idiots Who Don’t Know as Much Arabic as You.”
Back to College with Self Learning
College Courses: Do I Really Have to Go to School?
You may be considering taking a college course to learn Arabic.
There are actually a few pros and cons of this option. First, let’s look at the pros.
Unless you go to an Arabic-speaking country or live in an area where you have the opportunity to interact with native Arabic speakers, this is probably your best option to get exposure to the language from somebody in person. You’ll hear the language spoken for several hours a week and will be able to ask your questions rather than dig through endless pages of books to find your answers. Additionally, you’ll have the accountability that the in-classroom environment provides.
Furthermore, Arabic is an extremely difficult foreign language to learn comparatively. Learning Italian, which uses the same Latin alphabet as English and is a phonetic language, is manageable on your own. But Arabic adds a whole new dimension of difficulty in learning foreign languages.
So, having a professor available for several hours a week would be a huge benefit to progressing in your Arabic studies.
If you’re interested in this approach, you’ll want to attend a university with a reputable program for learning Arabic.
Make a journal for yourself or write a diary
You must write down all new words you come across, especially focusing on those that are related to day-to-day conversations and ones used to describe objects situations in everyday life. Writing down everything will help you track your progress and you’ll have all the words at one place.
Fun while learning? Perfect recipe!
YouTube: Why Pay for College Classes When This Is Free?
There is a way to listen to someone explain the Arabic language and teach it to you without going to college: YouTube.
In fact, most of the videos will teach you in modern ways that relate more to you than a professor would anyways. And it’s free!
There are some great reasons why using YouTube to learn Arabic is a great option.
The first reason this option is great is because many YouTube videos are fun, engaging and easy to understand. Additionally, videos are offered in different Arabic dialects. Most of the Arabic learning resources available are in Modern Standard Arabic. But if you want to learn a specific Arabic dialect, YouTube is full of selections.
Depending on the YouTube videos you use, the approach may not be systematic unless you follow one channel that uses a very organized approach. If you take a college course, use immersion software, etc., the programs are designed to build one thing upon the previous thing. Relying solely on YouTube is more of a scattered approach. You will learn something here and something there. The only problem is that you could end up with big chunks without any glue to connect them as a whole.
Watch Arabic TV with English subtitles
Watch Arabic movies with English subtitles or English movies with Arabic Subtitles. Write down any words you don’t know, and translate them in a translation app. Like Google Translate, to find out what they mean.
True with every Language Learning and more, Arabic isn’t a language you can learn as quickly. It requires a significant investment of time mastering the written, spoken language besides training your ears to listen correctly. Reading could possibly be your best friend but the others will need perseverance, commitment, motivation to try again after multiple failures! At the same time remember nothing is impossible! So go ahead and follow your passion to master the subject.