Learning Arabic could be overwhelming and daunting at the same time for some Arabic learners. For learners who speak Latin languages, the idea of having three types of a language: Standard, Classical and Colloquial Arabic is daunting and relatively confusing for some Arabic students.
Sometimes the fact that there are more than one dialect and type may lead learners off the right track as they do not know which dialect or type to learn in order to speak and conduct conversations, read literature and newspaper and soak into the Holy Qur’an. Here are some tips offered by foreign speakers of Arabic narrating their own experiences in a bid to help learners acquire the language fast and efficiently.
1. Choose which Arabic course you want to take
Unlike languages of Latin origin, Arabic is a diglossic one; it has three types: Modern Standard Arabic, Classical Arabic and Colloquial Arabic. First of all, if one is pondering over the three opinions before him, one can learn Modern Standard Arabic; it is the most used one across the Middle East and North Africa. Modern Standard Arabic paves the way for one so they can absorb the Arabic culture; it enables one to understand the newspaper, literature, television and radio. However, Classical Arabic is used to comprehend verses of the Holy Quran and Hadeeth. Classic Arabic, thus, is the perfect option for those who want to read into Islam, understand and interpret its verses.
2. Take time to learn the Arabic alphabets
Arabic alphabets and English alphabets are chalk and cheese; Arabic is written from right to left. However, English is written from left to right. At the first glance, Arabic alphabets may seem daunting. However, they are easy once one takes one’s time learning them. The problem lies in the dots that change the way one pronounces the letter.
3. Look up words in Arabic dictionaries
Arabic words are set in lists in accordance with their roots. If one wants to look the word “مكتبة” up, which means library; one will search for the root “كتب”, which means write. Then, one will find the word “مكتبة” listed under its root of three letters. Similarly, English words have similar tools like “un-interest-ed”.
4. Study Modern Standard Arabic before Colloquial Arabic
One understands if Arabic learners want to hold their grip on Arabic, so they focus on learning Modern Standard Arabic to have an insight into the Arabic culture and learn Colloquial Arabic language in order to get an insight into the Arabs and Muslim’s mentality and approaches as well. However, learning more than a dialect at the same time will lead the learners astray; Modern Standard Arabic and Colloquial Arabic are different in matters of vocabulary, grammar and punctuation.
Australian Blogger Donovon Nagel, who claims that it took him three years to “feel comfortable speaking Arabic, narrates his experience of being fluent in the language. Nagel states tips that would have let him learn Arabic faster, He says.
5. Read Arabic Newspaper
Reading Newspaper written in Arabic enables you to learn Modern Standard Arabic which opens the gate for you to speak in any Arab country one visits. Moreover, you will keep on track with the political, economic and cultural atmosphere in the Middle East. The language in which some famous Arabic Newspaper is polished. One, thus, has to detect articles and novels written in Modern Standard Arabic in a bid to be eloquent and fluent in the language.
6. Find a private Arabic teacher
As soon as you digest basic grammar, you should find a private Arabic teacher to guarantee that you are practicing the Arabic language with someone who will correct each mistake you make. Moreover, getting private lessons is an essential tip if you are willing to learn Classical Arabic, the language of Qur’an; for the fact that the Holy Qur’an contains direct words from Allah and Muslims deem that it would be unacceptable to mispronounce words or to make any mistakes reciting it. Thus, getting a private tutor will keep one aloof from unacceptable mispronunciation and avoidable mistakes.
7. Refer to the internet
The internet has paved the way for language enthusiast to learn new languages and even get familiar with common mistakes and tricks. There are multiple blogs written and videos made by native speakers who are willing to offer help to those who harbour interests in their culture. Sometimes online classes save money and time; it costs less than courses conducted by university programs. Furthermore, you will be granted the opportunity to practice the language one or two hours a day, according to your own schedule.
Arabic is like any language; it relies on vocabulary, grammar and sentence structure. However, it also relies on practice and several contexts that help you be eloquent and acquire polished language. Moreover, learning Arabic is not efficient if one is not using it with a practice buddy or a tutor. Thus, take the tips abovementioned in consideration so one can be on the right track of acquiring such overwhelming language of exotic cultures and a Holy Book.