Some advices for learning arabic:
1. Never start with grammar rules and you don't know more about the words in arabic
2. you have to know how to read arabic at first by its letters, because the latin letters don't make the real sound of the arabic letters, and another reason, the latin letters will make you confused about the words in arabic; example:
كتاب === in latin: kitaabun / kitaab (by using the latin, you'll think the both words are different, but by using the arabic letters you"ll understand they're the same. )
3. Memorize the words by using the pictures and anything else expect using the translation, because they are many arab words has no sense in the other languages.
4. learning arabic for fun not because I must to learn it because... Be sure, if you do something like, you'll never continue learning.
5. choose a good person who is serious to help you and someone who is honest to help you as well in Arabic.
6. Plan your time, don't say, well when i am free i'll learn something new, because doing like that, after a short time, you'll not continue. You can plan 1 hour for every sunday for example.
7. ask a lot, and start with vocabulary and how you can read this and that.
8. you should contact someone who teaches, because learning arabic by yourself, it will be really hard doing, and even if you understand, after a short time again, you'll lose that you got before.
That's my views, thanks all.
I think that Arabic is difficult because nobody knows what "Arabic" actually is.
Is Arabic fus7a? Well, nobody actually speaks fus7a. So which dialect should one study if they want to study "Arabic"? Egyptian? Moroccan? Tunisian? Saudi? Iraqi? All are different, and some (Algeria vs. Iraq, for example) are almost totally different languages. But they're all "Arabic."
And good luck finding books and materials for learning dialects. 90% only teach fus7a, which you need for reading but isn't useful for speaking (because while other people will understand you, you won't understand their dialect, so it's not a real conversation!).
So I think that Arabic isn't harder to learn than a lot of other languages (hello Chinese), but the problem is figuring out what the word "Arabic" means. And once you do that, finding good materials for ACTUAL SPOKEN ARABIC (i.e. dialects) is very difficult. I don't think the language itself is harder, but the process of studying it is very confusing and frustrating.
the standard arabic [العربية الفصحى]
the standard arabic is the origin of every word using in the dialects. Therefore, we don't use the standard in our dialy life, we speak to each others by our own accent. For example:
in Egypt: Egyptian, in Morocco: Moroccan, in Saudi Arabia: Middle east ......
The standard arabic is using in books and some TV programms, and you can find some movies and series, and the important is about quran, because Quran must be read by arabic, for example, for the muslim poeple who don't speak arabic, they should read read the quran with arabic, and they can use the translation to understand the verses, or they can learn something about arabic, because it's not necessery to learn grammar to understand the Quran, quran is too easy to understand.
In addition, learning Arabic means learn everything about the language, grammar, spoken, vocabulary.... and it can help you to understand the other accents, because we usually change the sound of the words and that make them differenlty in spoken, which makes the others confuse about the words.
Hello, [السلام عليكم]
I do agree with everything said before; grammar is difficult to learn but it's not impossible.
I am not going to answer about your question " if arabic is most difficult or not", but I think it's better to tell you my views about teaching and learning arabic for foreign people, because I was exchanging my Arabic, and french since a long time with english speakers and that makes me thinking how I can help the others for Arabic.
About learning Arabic, it depends about your motivation and how the native speaker teaches you.
the second part is about what Rob teacher said. He's right, when the person wants to start with arabic, he doesn't know which one should learn. Well, I think the better way is:
1. the native speaker should ask and explain to the learner about arabic and its accents, and make everything clear for him or her at the first time. Therefore, they are many people who think a specific accent is arabic, and that's wrong！ [I am going to explain more my point]
2. the learner should fix the reasons of learning Arabic, like : I want to learn arabic to travel, to work, to learn about islam, to read quran, to communicate with arab....
to be continued (about the difference between the standard arabic, and its own accents]
Well my native language is Arabic ,, i think if you put some effort in it you will learn it ^^;;
if you want to learn Certain Accent , learn the Jordanian one , which is mine .. :D
Because The Jordanian Accent is the close one to " Fus7a " and if you studied the Arabic language and talked to Jordanian they will understand you , most Arab well ..
Good luck with learning it ,, if you want any help just tell me ^^