5 Common Arabic Mistakes to Avoid When You’re Learning the Arabic Language
One of our favorite quotes is by the late Dr. Weston Agor, once a world-renowned professor of public administration. He once said, “Making common Arabic mistakes simply means you are learning faster.” However, if we believe the dear professor’s sage words are true, then most of us should have been speaking Arabic after only two weeks. Or at least that’s how we’ve all felt at one time or another while learning the Arabic language.
The fact is, whether your new at Arabic or a practiced professional in the language, you’re going to make common Arabic mistakes. Everybody does. And you’ve probably grown tired of people telling you to learn from them. But if you knew the common mistakes new learners make, wouldn’t you be more likely to avoid doing the same? Well, that’s what we’re going to show you today: Common mistakes people make when learning Arabic. Learn them, and avoid them.
Making common Arabic mistakes won’t help you learn Arabic faster, but learning to avoid these will help you learn Arabic smarter.
Mistake #1 Thinking That Learning Arabic is Just Like Learning Any Other Language
All languages are not created equal. In fact, some are a bit more difficult to learn than others. For example, German might be a bit easier for a native English speaker to learn because it shares some similarities with English. However, Chinese, is about as far from English as you can get, making it more difficult.
Arabic is one of those difficult languages to learn, actually ranking second behind Chinese. It’s also a rather unique language with many dialects. For instance, Classical Arabic is a bit like Old English. It’s usually reserved for the media and literature and nobody uses it in their everyday life. On the other hand, however, colloquial Arabic is the language used by the majority of people in Arabic speaking countries.
As a result, going into Arabic thinking it will be a breeze to learn is a big mistake. It takes many months, and sometimes years to master the language, and you should approach it with that in mind.
Mistake #2 Not knowing Why You’re Studying Arabic
There are many reasons to study Arabic. Some learn it for work while others may study it simply because they are planning a vacation to an Arabic speaking country. Whatever your reason, the important thing to know is what you want to get out of learning the language.
You see, Arabic is full of different dialects and uses. As we mentioned before, Classical Arabic is used mostly in the media and literature. That means if you are learning Arabic because you’re planning on studying Middle Eastern History at the University of Jordan, Classical Arabic most likely won’t do you any good. However, learning the Levantine dialect would not only help you with your studies, but also help you speak to other students. Maybe you’ll also meet a few new friends along the way.
So, ask yourself, “What do I want out of Arabic?” Once you’ve answered that, then set it as your goal and go for it!
Mistake #3 Not Practicing Enough
There’s an old saying language teachers always use that says “If you don’t use it, you’ll lose it.” This is true for Arabic as much as it is for Chinese or those studying English as a Second Language. Sure, you can take an Arabic language course at your nearest Arabic language institute everyday for a year. However, if you forget about Arabic once you leave class, then you can forget to learn Arabic at all.
This is because, like any language, Arabic takes practice. And as we mentioned before, learning Arabic is difficult so you should practice as much as you can.
This means you have to practice outside of class. Find a language partner. Do Arabic grammar exercises online. Search for ways on how to improve Arabic vocabulary by labeling things around your house in Arabic. Download the Kaleela Arabic language app to help supplement your studies.
Do you know why people still use the phrase “Practice makes perfect”? Because its true!
Mistake #4 Not Finding Alternatives to Book Learning
If you really want to master Arabic, you’re going to have to get your nose out of your textbook. If everybody could learn Arabic just by reading a book, then self-study Arabic books would be flying off the shelves.
Want an alternative way on how to improve your Arabic vocabulary? Then find a native Arabic speaker to practice with, either at a local language center or on social media. You could also listen to Arabic songs, watch Arabic films on YouTube, or download an audiobook in Arabic. Are you from America and looking for some Arabic grammar exercises online? Then Google it! There are literally thousands of online exercises that feature Arabic grammar for English speakers. Oh, and you don’t have to choose something difficult. Choose what you like and what works best for you.
Mistake #5 Trying to Go it Alone
As the lyrics to a famous song by the Irish band U2 say, “Sometimes you can’t make it on your own.” That’s especially true of learning a language. Trying to learn Arabic from a book or online without any outside help difficult. However, you can make it easier by hiring a tutor to help you get over the difficult parts. You’ll also get great feedback on whether or not your pronouncing the words like they sound in your head.
Can’t afford a tutor? Well, downloading the Kaleela Arabic learning app is like having your own personal tutor in your pocket. Kaleela starts you with the basics of the Arabic alphabet and walks you through other Arabic skills that make learning easier and fun. You’ll be listening to audio that uses real Arab voices. You’ll also learn to speak Arabic like a boss thanks to our top of the line voice recognition software. And if you’re already learning Arabic in a classroom, you can still use the Kaleela app to supplement and reinforce what you’re already learning. Find out more by visiting us at kaleela.com.
Oh, one more thing: If you want to learn about Arab culture, the Arabic language, or how it improve what you’re already learning, then visit our blog at kaleela.com/blog today!
Kaleela – Learn Arabic the Right Way!