What are some tips for mastering Arabic?
The liturgical language of 1.8 billion Muslims, and Arabic is one of six official languages of the United Nations. Arabic, a southern-central Semitic language, is spoken in a large area including North Africa, most of the Arabian Peninsula, and other parts of the Middle East. Clusters containing more than two consonants do not occur in the language. Arabic uses a completely new alphabet. Classic or Literary Arabic is the language of the Qurʾān and Hadith and the religious language of all Muslims. Colloquial Arabic includes numerous spoken dialects, some of which are mutually unintelligible. The chief dialect groups are those of Arabia, Iraq, Syria, Egypt, and North Africa. With the exception of the dialect of Algeria, all Arabic dialects have been strongly influenced by the literary language. Arabic, in its standard form, is the official language of 26 states. The sound system of Arabic is very different from that of English and the other languages of Europe. Arabic words always start with a single consonant followed by a vowel, and long vowels are rarely followed by more than a single consonant.
There are many different ways of mastering Arabic. In my opinion, the following methods should make your language learning journey much easier:
- Listen to audio resources to familiarise yourself with the Arabic language, the accent and the words spoken.
- Aside from coffee (qahwa) and algebra (al-jabr), there aren’t many English-Arabic cognates. This means you can’t guess at vocabulary the way you might in Spanish or French, and you have to get extra-creative to make the vocabulary stick in your brain.
- Don’t assume that a word is too rare or weird, and you’ll never see it again. Make a flashcard for it. Work it into your repertoire—it will be back, even if just as a joke among fellow students.
- Set appropriate and realistic goals. Goals act as motivators and progress analysers. Therefore, its extremely important that you are reasonable with yourself.
- When reading newspapers, you’ll find set phrases with very particular meanings. Learn these. Learning a phrase makes you sound more fluent.
- Learn to use the Arabic dictionary This task is not as easy as it sounds. In an Arabic dictionary, words are generally organized around three-letter roots. To look up a word, you need to know what the root is and what letter the root starts.
- One way for beginners to practice a foreign language is to watch children’s television programs in that language. The vocabulary is simpler, and the educational nature of those programs can be extremely helpful to new students of any age.
- Speak the language with native Arabic speakers. You can seek them online via Italki or in your neighbourhood
Arabic is a highly inflectional tongue. Subject, tense, and mood are communicated by how you inflect your tone. There are ten usual verb patterns, and students must memorize the conjugation and vocalization for the active and passive voices. Plurals and their agreements with numbers are more difficult and complex than what we are used to in English. Arabic is foreign to English speakers in every sense of the word. In my opinion, opting for online classes will definitely benefit you, and when we talk about incorporating the above-mentioned tips along with that, your language learning journey is going to be a cakewalk.
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