Learning a language like Arabic is an amazing process, and every stage of it can be very fulfilling. But time is money, and I am sure that you would like to know how long it takes to learn Arabic!
So how long will it take to learn Arabic?
This is one of the first questions anyone interested in language learning asks, and unfortunately, there’s no easy way to answer it. Learning a language is a complex process that is different for each individual based on several different factors. Let’s take a look at these different factors and how they impact how fast you learn Arabic:
- Your Previous Language Learning Experiences
- The Arabic Language Itself
- Your Learning Methods
- The Time You Dedicate to Learning
- Your Attitude and Motivation
1. Your Previous Language Learning Experiences
If you already speak a foreign language or were raised bilingual, you may save yourself some time as you learn Arabic. Bilinguals find it easier to learn a third language, as several linguistic studies have proven. This is because they are naturally more accustomed to being exposed to different languages. Fluency and skills in one language aid fluency and skills in another.
2. The Language You Are Learning
Even if Arabic is considered one of the most difficult languages for English speakers to learn, this fascinating language actually borrows a few words from English. These words can save you time when learning some Arabic vocabulary. Let’s take a look at some of them:
- كومبيوتر – [kombiouter]: Computer
- تليفون – [telifone]: Telephone
- ميكرويف –[ maycrowayf]: Microwave
- ميكانيكي –[ mikaniky]: Mechanic
- مليون –[ milyoon]: Million
3. How You Are Learning
Your learning methods also play an important role in how fast you learn Arabic. If your language learning is limited to a classroom setting, then it will probably take you a little longer to learn. If, however, you also are exposed to Arabic outside of classes, then you can cut down the time needed to learn it. Reading, listening to the radio or eBooks, writing, speaking, watching movies, and traveling to Arab-speaking countries can all help to speed up your learning process.
4. The Time Dedicated to Learning
Naturally, how long it takes you to learn Arabic also depends on how much time you plan to dedicate to language learning daily, weekly, or monthly. Studies have proven that learners who are willing to dedicate an hour a day to language learning–whether that be by studying grammar, memorizing vocabulary, watching a movie, or reading a book–learn significantly faster than those who just attend a weekly class.
5. Your Attitude
Your attitude also plays a huge role in how fast you learn Arabic. If you approach language learning with a positive attitude and see it as a fun and fascinating opportunity to broaden your horizons (and to sound like a native when you sing your favorite Arabic song), you’ll be more open to learning. You’ll be more motivated to study and learn as much as possible, and the entire process will be more enjoyable and, consequently, faster.
6. Your Motivation
It’s no secret that staying motivated is key to learning a new language. There have been so many studies proving the importance of motivation in language learning. Staying motivated is the number one reason why many people have language success, and also the number one reason why some fail.
7. Guided learning hours required to learn Arabic:
Realistic estimates in the field of linguistics have studied the number of hours really needed to learn a language like Arabic. The Common European Framework for Reference for Languages, for example, uses the “Guided Learning Hours” framework to measure the amount of classroom time total needed to reach a B2 (high intermediate) level. It assumes that for every one hour of classroom time, learners will spend two hours of independent study time. In the end, this equates to a total of between 1,000 and 1,200 hours.
Let’s take a look at this in several different scenarios:
Scenario and the time needed to have an intermediate level of Arabic:
1.One 3-hour Arabic course per week for 8 weeks, plus a weekly homework assignment (1 hour), plus independent practice of any type (2 hour). 3 courses per year. You will need between 25-30 courses. At 3 courses per year, it may take you between 8.3-10 years to reach an intermediate level.
2. One year of Arabic language learning in school. (4 hours per week + 2 hours of homework + 2 hours of independent practice X 12 weeks X 2 semesters). Between 5-6.25 years to reach an intermediate level.
3. Dedicated independent study (1 hour per day).
Approximately 3 years to achieve an intermediate level of Arabic.
4. Total, active immersion (8 hours per day).
Approximately 3 months to have an intermediate level of Arabic. This calculation neglects so many factors, however, and still isn’t a very accurate way of determining how long it could take you to learn Arabic.
Arabic may be one of the most difficult languages for English speakers to learn, but that makes it all the more rewarding! In the end, YOU decide how quickly you become fluent in Arabic and how good your skills remain. With the right attitude, dedication, situation, and motivation, any language is within your reach. There’s an amazing new way to learn Arabic! Want to see what everyone’s talking about!