How to learn Arabic Online?
In this article we’re going to focus on what it’s like learning the Arabic language., particularly online
When learning any language, a good place to start is your reason and motivation. Here are a few questions to think about:
– are you curious about the language and culture?
– do you need the language for study or work purposes?
– do you want a challenge?
– do you want to learn for a trip?
– are you looking for something to do?
All of these points above are genuine reasons so it’s a good idea to focus on your reason. Naturally some reasons are more
Learning a language can be fun but, like pursuits, it does require commitment. At times you’ll feel tired or on some days you simply can’t find any free time. For this reason you need the commitment to ensure that you make the time and gather the energy.
That’s why having a good reason is an ideal starting point for learning a language.
If you need some inspiration about learning Arabic with some good reasons then, watch our YouTube video:
So you’ve got a good reason. Now it’s time to get going!
We feel it’s important at this stage to give you the tools to start speaking and making inroads into the language. This is especially important for a language such as Arabic which is perceived to be difficult. Our approach has been to remove some of these barriers and blow away the filters. If you approach a task thinking it’s difficult, then it will have a psychological and phisological affect on you.
So make sure you are in a good state of mind and eager to learn. Studies have shown that simply by flicking through “National Geographic” magazines have helped learners because it puts their brains into a curious state of mind.
Regrettably, a lot materials, classes and courses start off with the alphabet and then move on to verb conjugation under the belief that, since Arabic is a logical language, once you have the logic, you can then start creating sentences! In this way, the language is taught as a dead language, like Latin. This approach requires a lot of cognitive reasoning. It isn’t much fun either, to put it blankly.
Our approach is discovery learning. Once you can start using forumlaic language such as set phrases you can explore other possibilities.
For example, if you can say:
I like to drink tea.
By learning one new word, you will also be able to say:
I like to drink coffee.
Equally, with some guidance, it won’t be a problem to say I don’t like to drink tea. At this stage you don’t need to all the present and past tenses of “to like” including the conjugations for dual and they female – and, in all honesty, you probably won’t be needing these terms for some time. But you will be able to express yourself and start using the language.
You’ll note that all the language we’ve included in our online course uses useful language. In other words, the phrases are related to situations that you are likely to encounter when you go to the Middle-East. Furthermore, as a beginner, you won’t be learning useless phrases such “please clean the floor” or endless vocabulary lists including “water fountain” (both are actual examples).
What about the alphabet?
Our approach, with ArabicOnline, has been to get you going with the language and gradually work with you to higher language levels and, during the course, build your confidence. Once you have the feeling that you can do it, your brain will naturally start becoming more curious. It will be like a void or vacuum opening in your brain and it will gladly soak up information! At this point learning the alphabet will be more natural.
We believe that the alphabet can be learnt during your progression through the course. Why not from the beginning? There is a danger that you will become overwhelmed by the “alien” script.
With ArabicOnline, you are mainly working with the sound of the language and the translations. We provide transliteration since this a good guide when listening and reassures some people.
In fact, learning the script in Arabic is actually quite easy – there are only 28 letters and it’s part of the course. But we don’t want you getting caught up in with the script – especially not at the beginning. Either way, you’ll be eased into during the course. An, of course, you can learn with the Arabic script if you prefer.
Structuring your time
In the full Arabic course we suggest that you spend 30 minutes each day (in the morning and in the evening) and then work through about ten sessions per unit. There are fifteen units in total. We then recommend you revise the content after every second unit.
We provide a learning guide which you can use to structure and track your learning. The guide also gives you an opportunity to write down new words. Don’t underestimate writing things down!
Ideally, once you have built up some confidence you need to start practicing with native language speakers.
This could either be friends or colleagues in your country.
A good option is to travel (but more expensive) to the country and simply start speaking. If so, look for people who are in a relaxed environment and are happy to help. There’s no point trying to engage a waiter in a busy cafe in a conversation as he might not have the time. You might feel shocked and dissapointed with his impatience. Generally, when people have the time and see that you are trying to make the effort, then they are happy to help.