Learning Arabic

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Six Steps for Beginners for Mastering the Arabic Language

What is the charm of the Arabic language? Why would anyone invest effort and time to learn it?

Is it difficult to learn Arabic? Yes, it is a challenging but rewarding endeavor. Arabic is not just a spoken language among people, like other languages, rather it is the language through which Almighty Allah spoke with to our prophet Muhammed (peace be upon him). It is the language of the Qur'an.

Arabic is one of the Semitic languages, the fourth most spoken language in the world, with nearly 467 million people speaking it worldwide and the official language for the Arab and some other countries.

Indeed, learning a new language is always a courageous step, but when a new language does not share roots with your native language, it is even more difficult. So, as a beginner, how can one learn Arabic? What are the most useful steps that simplify the learning process?

Arabic has an entirely different system of alphabets, and there are almost no shared words between it and the English language. Fortunately, there are useful steps for a learner to make the learning method easier. Without a doubt, these steps need perseverance, commitment, hard work, and time. 

b2ap3_large_78 Six Steps for Beginners for Mastering the Arabic Language - Blog

Step 1 - Decide Which Form of the Arabic Language You Want to Learn

You have to choose which type of the Arabic language you need to learn since there are three types; which are:

The old standard Arabic language

The new standard Arabic language

The non-standard Arabic (which has many dialects such as the Egyptian, Levantine, Moroccan, Iraqi, and others)

Sometimes an Arabic speaker cannot understand other dialects even if both have the same origin, Arabic. A very critical reason that may help a foreigner to choose which type to learn is the purpose he/ she seeks. For instance, if you are a Muslim and you want to learn how to read the Holy Qur'an, to feel the sweetness of the words of the Almighty Allah, and to understand his teachings, you need to learn the old standard Arabic. Also, if you want to learn Arab history or science, the new standard Arabic will be sufficient for this purpose. Whereas if you want to know the Arab culture, understand their music and films hence the dialectic language should be your choice. You need to choose which one is suitable for you to learn; the Egyptian and Levantine are the most popular ones.

Step 2 - Mastering the Arabic Alphabet

"Faith is taking the first step even when you don't see the whole staircase." ~ Martin Luther King, Jr.

Knowing the letters is the actual first step in learning Arabic and the hardest one, but you will be able to achieve your goal by following organized guidance. Firstly, you need to download the alphabet chart of the Arabic language and practice Arabic letters. Secondly, familiarize yourself with the vowel diacritics and other symbols. It is important to mention that the diacritics in the Arabic language are almost equal the vowels in English. Since a speaker pronounces them after each letter and at the beginning of any word - the Arabic language starts with a vowel, not a consonant letter. The diacritics, for example, are the fat-hah, the kasrah, and the damma. Thirdly, you need to study the changes of the letterforms; Arabic has ten usual verb patterns. Finally, you have to listen to the Alphabet spoken by the native speakers.

Step 3 - Immerse Yourself in the Language

After being familiar with the Arabic letters and their sounds, you need to start to get involved in the language. Many linguists have said that the principal role for learning any language is by exposure, and that could be achieved through dealing with the language; especially, through listening to the native speakers. First, you should listen to Arabic broadcasts to familiarize yourself with common words and phrases. Another thing is to watch and listen to television interviews and news; so, you get involved in actual situations and everyday conversations. You will find most films used the Egyptian and Levantine dialects- then you can proceed to the documentaries, and historical and Islamic films, which are in standard Arabic.

Another important tool is to label the items around you, whether in your house, office or car, with their equivalents in Arabic; and, whenever you see them, repeat aloud until you memorize them. Finally, you can read children's books that have stories with simple and basic words until you could improve your level gradually by reading more specialized books that interest you. 

Step 4 - Practice Listening and Reading Comprehension Texts

Practice, practice, and more practice is the most effective method to gain any skill. As a beginner learner of a foreign language, you need to practice the skills you have learned and ensured a full understanding and comprehension of passages in that language. Studio Arabiya (http://studioarabiya.com/) offers learning resources in primary language to help you with a comprehensive understanding of Arabic. Visit the website and you can find native teachers who can teach you very effective methods of learning their language. They will test your level and work with you to achieve higher levels of mastering the language.

Step 5 - Speak Arabic with Natives

​A careful listener is a great speaker. If you listen carefully to your teachers' instructions, to the sounds of the letters you have been taught, to the passages you have heard and read silently; then, you will be able to speak the language. And, what is the benefit of learning a language without speaking it? For that, the most prominent benefit you can gain from speaking a language will be through speaking with its natives. By that, you will practice the authentic language within real situations, be exposed to the correct ways of the pronunciation of the words, and be familiar with the different sounds of the letters. Find a partner and practice with them. We should, therefore, thank technology for making practicing a language with the natives, possible and available. Studio Arabiya (http://studioarabiya.com/) provides this possibility.

Step 6 - Never Quit Learning

Many find this step unreasonable, or at least do not consider it to be a step-in basis. But, in my modest opinion, it is the most challenging step which if being missed, your efforts will go in vain. Therefore, you may need to enhance what you have already learned and learn something new each day.

So, are you ready to dip your toes in the water? Glad to hear that.

Please download the Arabic Alphabet Chart, start memorizing it. You could practice for 20 to 30 minutes with a single letter or two each day; after that, try to immerse yourself with the language; listen to as many sources of the native language as you could, watch news and documentaries, practice comprehension passages available through online resources, try to speak the language with its native speakers and finally keep practicing and learning as much as you can. Need a hand, we at Studio Arabiya (http://studioarabiya.com/)will be more than happy to start with you on this fabulous journey.

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