Learning Arabic

Six Steps for Beginners for Mastering the Arabic Language

Six Steps for Beginners for Mastering the Arabic Language

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

Arabic is not just a spoken language among people, like other languages, rather it is the language through which Allah سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَى spoke with to our Prophet Muhammad . Most importantly, it is the language of the Quran.

Arabic is one of the Semitic languages, and the fourth most spoken language in the world. With nearly 467 million people speaking it worldwide it is 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 letters, 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.

How To Learn Arabic Language?

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:

Classical Arabic

Modern Standard Arabic 

Colloquial Arabic (which has many dialects such as the Egyptian, Levantine, Moroccan, Iraqi, and others)

Sometimes an Arabic speaker cannot understand other dialects even though they are both derived from Arabic. A very critical reason that may help a foreigner to choose which type to learn is the goal for studying. For instance, if you are a Muslim and you want to learn how to read the Quran, to feel the sweetness of the words of Allah, and to understand His teachings, you need to learn classical Arabic. Also, if you want to learn Arab history or science, modern standard Arabic will be sufficient for this purpose. Whereas if you want to know the Arab culture, understand their music and films, then the dialectic language should be your choice. You need to choose which one is suitable for you to learn. Egyptian and Levantine are usually the most popular ones people choose to learn.

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 an organized curriculum. First, you need to download the alphabet chart of the Arabic language and practice Arabic letters. Second, familiarize yourself with the vowel diacritics and other symbols. It is important to mention that the diacritics in the Arabic language are almost equal to 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 fethah, the kasrah, and the dhamma. Third, you need to study the changes of the letterforms. Arabic has ten usual verb patterns. Each root word can be transformed into a part of speech. Once you memorize a root and its accompanying forms, you are on your way. Finally, you have to listen to the letters pronounced by 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 more involved with the language. Many linguists have said that the principal role for learning any language is by exposure, and that could be achieved through interacting with the language; especially, through listening to 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 that you get involved in actual situations and everyday conversations. You will find most films use 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. 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 progres gradually by reading more specialized books that interest you. 

Step 4 – Practice Listening and Reading Comprehension Texts

Practice, practice, and more practice. It 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 to ensure a full understanding and comprehension of passages in that language. Studio Arabiya offers learning resources in your 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 for 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 primary benefit you can gain from speaking a language will be through speaking with its natives. By doing so, you will practice the authentic language within real situations, be exposed to the correct pronunciation of the words, and be familiar with the different sounds of the letters. Find a partner and practice with them. Thanks to innovative technology, practicing a language with native speakers is possible and doable. Studio Arabiya provides this possibility.

Step 6 – Never Quit Learning

Many students of Arabic miss this step, or at least do not consider it to be one in the process of learning. It is the most challenging step and if you miss it, your efforts will go in vain. After some of us reach a certain level of reading fluency and hazy general understanding, we stop exerting ourselves to a higher level. Try not to stop studying the language, even if your formal classes have come to an end. Try 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, and then start memorizing it. You could practice for 20 to 30 minutes with a single letter or two each day. After that, immerse yourself with the language. Listen To as many sources of the native language being spoken or read  as you can. Watch news and documentaries, practice comprehension passages available through online resources. Then try to speak the language with its native speakers. Finally, keep practicing and learning as much as you can. Need a hand? We at Studio Arabiya will be more than happy to start with you on this fabulous journey.