The First 5 Steps in Learning Arabic for Beginners
So, you’ve decided to learn Arabic? Well done! You’ve probably heard from some that Arabic can be a challenge to learn and indeed, it can be. However, learning this rich and fascinating language will also be the most rewarding thing you could ever do for yourself. After all, Arabic is the fifth most spoken language in the world with around 420 million people speaking the language. Anyway, learning any language can be a bit daunting at first, especially if it’s not related to your mother tongue.
And like any other language, Arabic has its own key factors when it comes to being fluent. For example, you’ll first have to start with the basics by knowing how to learn Arabic alphabet letters and numbers, Arabic vocabulary, and Arabic grammar followed by lots of practice. In fact, in the end, lots of practice is truly the fastest way to learn Arabic. This means you have to immerse yourself in the language, especially as you learn to read and speak Arabic for beginners. Watch Arab films and listen to Arab music. Find a native speaker and talk to them. Before you know it, you’ll be using the language as fluid as if it were your mother tongue.
Fortunately, anyone can take just a few steps that will make learning how to have a conversation in Arabic easier. Of course, you’ll have to put in some effort just the same, but speaking Arabic fluently is certainly possible. Here are five steps to help you get started that you likely won’t find in your Arabic for Beginners book:
Step 1: Choose Your Arabic Dialect Wisely
Arabic is the official tongue of 25 countries most of which are located in the Middle East and North Africa. What’s more, these countries are spread out across a wide area of the planet. One could, therefore, assume there are different accents and a mixture of local Arabic pronunciations.
And one would be correct.
As a result, if you plan to spend time in a certain area, you’ll want to choose the Arabic dialect of that area. For instance, let’s say you’re learning Arabic as part of an exchange program at the University of Cairo. In that case, wouldn’t it make sense to study the Egyptian Arabic dialect?
Nevertheless, you should also consider Modern Standard Arabic, also known as MSA, if you’re not sure where you’ll end up. This is because MSA is the official language of most Arabic speaking countries even though it’s not their spoken dialect. This means, although you might have trouble understanding the dialect of some people, most people will be able understand you.
Step 2: Learn the Basics First
Yes, we understand that you want to learn Arabic as quickly as possible. This means some will try to jump into trying to learn Arabic words rather than learning the Arabic alphabet first. Don’t fall for this trap. Instead, try to approach Arabic the same way you were taught English in school. In other words, learn your letters first. Then, turn those letters into words, words into phrases, phrases into sentences and so on. Thousands have come before you thinking they have discovered a magic shortcut by skipping the basics. Later, they’ve found that they have to go back to learn some of what they skipped to move forward. As a result, what they learn is skipping the basics only slows them down in the end.
Step 3: Get an Arabic Dictionary (and Learn How to Use It)
Much like words in English consist of root words, Arabic words consist of root letters. Moreover, it’s these three letter words that the Arabic dictionary is usually organized around. This means when you want to look up a word in an Arabic dictionary, you have to understand what the root letters of the word are. (And here’s a hint: they’re not always the first letter of the particular word you’re looking for.) Of course, once you figure out the technique, it becomes easier to find the exact word you’re looking for.
Step 4: Use It or Lose It
This step is perhaps more important than learning Arabic vocabulary itself. Once you’ve learned a new word, use it!
Besides writing it down and speaking it in conversation, look and listen for it as well. You can look for it in Arabic newspapers and other print media. Moreover, you can listen for it by watching TV and listening to the radio. And if you’re watching TV, remember that it’s okay to use subtitles at first. After you practice for awhile, you’ll be able to understand what’s being said without them anyway.
However, also remember that seeing and hearing your new vocabulary isn’t enough. You also have to learn how to use your new words in daily conversation. This means you have to get out there and meet other people who speak Arabic, even if “getting out there” means going online. There are many social media platforms out there where you can meet both fellow Arabic language learners and native speakers. Use them! Otherwise, you risk losing everything you’ve already learned.
Step 5: Learn for Life
These steps are just the beginning of your Arabic language journey. However, much the same as any other language, the Arabic language is a lifelong learning process that will take years to master. Gaining basic conversation skills now, however, will help make your dedication to learning that much easier.
Ready to get started? Then head on over to our website and download the Kaleela Arabic language learning app now. Beginning with the basics, you can start speaking Arabic today! For more information on how to learn Arabic, go to Kaleela.
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