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7 Strategies will make learning Arabic easier
7 Strategies will make learning Arabic easier
It's obvious that many people claimed that Arabic language is one of the most difficult language in the world. Briefly, the reasons why people claimed that are: Arabic has lot of grammar rules, the shape of Arabic Alphabet is not like Latin languages which takes time to learn how to write them correctly, Arabic has sounds which are not found in some languages. Due to these reasons, some people think Arabic is the most difficult language all time. In this Article you will get some strategies which help you a lot to learn Arabic and give you the push you need forward your goal, these strategies are practical, proven and well established to help Arabic students to understand the requirements of learning a language like Arabic.

  1. Have a desire which keeps you motivated
I put this strategy at the top of the article, because I believe that you wouldn't show improvement in any field, unless you have a desire for learning.
Unfortunately, many students start learning Arabic and then they quit learning easily, the question is why they don't continue! They actually don't have good desire for learning.
For example: "Danny started learning Arabic because he once listened to an Arabic song, and this song makes him feel amazed. Month later he stopped learning Arabic; he felt bored."

How to have a good desire?
• Be aware about your goals, why you want to learn Arabic! Maybe you need it to have a work, travel to Arab country, or you like to learn it.
• Write your goals in a paper (in Arabic handwriting), put the paper in a place where you can see it every day.
• Meet with persons who have the same interests as you.

  1. Go step by step
Sometimes, Arabic learners ask for intensive syllabus, they want to learn Arabic so fast, it's nice to have like the motivation, but keep in mind that learning a language isn't like learning how to ride a bike, it can't come from a day and night. Be patient and don't lose your motivation.
For Example: "Danny's level in Arabic was zero. However, he started learning Arabic with reading Newspapers, Danny was motivated, and he wants to learn Arabic in one month. After a while, Danny left learning Arabic because he though Arabic is so hard"
The easy and the efficient way to learn a language is going step by step, If Danny learnt first the Arabic Alphabet and then how to pronounce letters with short vowels (Harakat): Fatiha, Dammah, Soukon and Kasrah, and then how to create a sentence, he wouldn't find Arabic hard and never quit.

  1. Find a teacher
The little bird learns how to fly depending on its mum, the bird's mum has much experience in flying. On the other hand, learning Arabic requires a good teacher who has experience in teaching.
Why you need to find a teacher?
• Teacher saves your time to reach the information you want.
• The time you spend learning a language by yourself is longer than Learning with a teacher.
• You need him to correct your mistakes.
Example: "Danny bought a book for learning Arabic, he doesn't like the classical way of following a teacher, and he studied the book, watched some videos on YouTube, once he meet with an Arabic teacher, The Arabic teacher noticed that Danny has did his best to learn Arabic but Danny did a lot of mistakes in speaking, reading and writing"

  1. Learn Fusha not a colloquial
Each Arab country has its own dialect, but when a news presenter speaks, he speaks in Fusha that all Arabs can understand him. He doesn't speak his own dialect.
Of course, if you learn Fusha, Algerians, Egyptians and other Arabs will understand you easily, you will find that easy to communicate with Arabs all over the world.
For example: "When Danny started to learn Arabic, he learnt Algerian dialect; he found it cool, but when speaks with Egyptian people, they hardly understand him."

  1. Don't let your language affect you
  Your mother language has a significant impact on you, it's the first language you learn, the language you heard your parents speak with, and the language which allows you to explain anything you want. However, learning a new language is a challenge for you to know new culture, new pronunciation, and new grammars.
Arabic has different grammars, pronunciations, and expressions, when you learn Arabic, Don't let your language affect you.
Don't forget: "when in Rome, do as the Romans do"

  1. Act as a child with Arabic
Child speaks his mother tongue without thinking too much about grammars, Child doesn't have to worry his mind about grammars, and If he pronounce the words correctly.
Child doesn't understand things like adults, however he speaks and understands his mother language.
How he could make that?
• He does that naturally without thinking of making grammars.
• He doesn't care about people opinions about him.
• He doesn't care about making mistakes.

  1. Enjoy learning with stories
We are humans, we like to read stories and novels these kind of books affect to our feelings and emotions, some of us don't forget words or quotes which we heard from a story, it is an amazing feeling to listen or to read a story, it's an easy way to remember vocabularies and grammars.
Arabic literature is full of great novels and stories. I recommend these books below:
• One Thousand and One Nights (Arabic: (أَلْفُ لَيْلَةٍ وَلَيْلَة‎‎
• مَقامَات بَديع الزمَان الهَمَذاْنِي
• كَلِيلَة ودِمْنَة

I hope this article will motivate you to learn and understand Arabic, with my best wishes for all Arabic learners.

May 27, 2020 10:05 AM
Comments · 4
You’re absolutely right. The book-centric approach, if it works, works for advanced learners.
May 27, 2020

Your experience is incredibly common. Many Arabic teachers will tell you that you should learn fusHa “because all Arabs speak it”. But the truth is that we understand it but do not speak it. It’s simply not a spoken language. There’s a misconception that it’s a “formal” register, but many non-Arabs don’t understand what this means in relation to Arabic. FusHa is spoken formally in the sense that it’s the language of speeches, sermons, and news broadcasts. However, no one has a conversation in standard Arabic. The only time I had conversations in it in my entire life was during Arabic lessons. Even if I met the king of Saudi Arabia tomorrow, I would not speak to him in fusHa. That’s not what its being formal means. I would simply speak to him in a more respectful manner using my own dialect.

Many learners are made to believe that if you speak fusHa, you will just sound formal. But you don’t just sound formal; you sound off. This is difficult to describe to an English speaker, because there’s nothing in English that is comparable. The native speakers you spoke to weren’t pretending not to understand; they were either taken aback by what was happening or had no idea how to respond—or a combination of the two.

I love fusHa—I love writing in it, love teaching it. But as a teacher, I believe that students should learn what is most useful to them, based on their needs, not on my opinions and biases. I wish people used fusHa more, but it would be disingenuous of me to try to convince students that it’s used more than it actually is. Learn fusHa if you know what it’s used for and that’s what you want to use it for.

I also agree with your point about Arabic teachers being too book-focused. Arabic pedagogy is outdated. I’ve been developing a method of teaching Arabic using a more contemporary approach that’s backed by research in the field of second-language acquisition—namely through deductive learning and visualization.
May 27, 2020
I will add my two cents here as an Arabic learner. I started learning Arabic for a specific reason (living in a certain country). I started learning Fusha for the reasons you stated! People just looked at me and often pretended not to understand. I think if you want to learn the language for its own sake then yes, but if you are, as I was, moving to a country that speaks a particular dialect, then the dialect is the best option.

Desire and motivation are necessary in all languages, but we have to keep in mind that life is never simple and our motivation will ebb and flow depending on what else is going on. Personally, mine has varied from very determined to learn, to weeks without bothering.

Teachers, true. We always learn better with help. But finding the right teacher can be difficult. Arabic maybe has the added disadvantage of many teachers having a very formal methodology (as education is very much in the model in the Arabic speaking world) which may not work with everyone. All the teachers I have talked to are very book focused, which is not bad in itself, but is not a way I find very conducive to learning.

The key to learning any language is to understand your own learning style, your own limitations that can affect your progress, and to find a teacher or language partners that you can work with.
May 27, 2020
Abdala, thank you! I think the book-centric approach can really put a lot of even quite motivated students off.
May 27, 2020
Language Skills
Arabic, Arabic (Egyptian), Arabic (Modern Standard), English, French, Russian, Spanish, Turkish
Learning Language
English, Russian, Spanish, Turkish