Why Aren’t You Reading a Blog in Arabic Yet?
There are plenty of blogs out there for just about any subject you might be interested in from sports blogs to make-up tutorial blogs to blogs on how to make better blogs. And these blogs on just about every subject come in just about every language – including Arabic.
Now, you may be thinking: “Sure, I know there’re Arabic blogs out there, but I don’t think I’m ready for that level of Arabic yet. Besides, I like your blog and it’s really helped me out a lot.”
Well, first of all, thanks! We like having you around, too, and we’re glad to hear that you enjoy our blogs. Second, though we really like all of the attention you give us and love providing you with what we hope is the best content available to help you be successful in your Arabic language journey, we’d like you to see other blogs. More specifically, we’d like you to see other Arabic blogs.
You see, reading Arabic articles written by other Arabic bloggers is a chance for you to learn about topics you love from a viewpoint you won’t often hear in English. Not to mention, you’ll be sharpening your key Arabic language skills while reading blogs in Arabic, too!
These are just a couple of reasons why you should start reading another Arabic blog or two. Here’s more:
Blogs Are More Engaging Than Textbooks
Tired of the same old same old when it comes to the subjects in your Arabic textbooks? If you’ve been learning Arabic for a year or two, you’re probably finding that the readings in your course curriculum feel monotonous and stale. The authentic material you’ll get in Arabic blogs will truly expand your horizons and get at topics that matter to you.
Vocabulary Sticks Like Glue
While there’s debate on exactly how many times you need to come across a new word to remember it, a blogger making regular updates will expose you to vocabulary you’ll essentially use from a subject that interested in. Furthermore, actually using the words you’ll be exposed to while reading the blog is vital to improving your Arabic vocabulary, and ultimately, you’ll learn Arab language skills that you’d never learn from a textbook. Again, you can learn lists and lists of vocabulary words, but without seeing it used—and repeated—in a context, those words will fall right out of your head.
They’ll Help You Climb Another Rung on the Arabic Language Ladder
Unfortunately, you’ll have to put in a lot of time and effort into learning Modern Standard Arabic before you can read Arabic literature? Why? Well, because almost all Arabic literature is in Modern Standard Arabic. Think about it this way – it would be like trying to teach someone English by having them learn Shakespearean English instead of contemporary American English. There are many blogs that use formal Arabic. Challenge yourself once in awhile and practice reading them. Afterwards, watch your Arabic skills skyrocket!
Okay, all of that sounds great, but how can I get started reading Arabic blogs?
Well, you’re going to have to tweak your usual study habits to get the most out of the Arabic blogs you read:
1. Make your own vocabulary lists.
Unlike reading textbooks or blogs that are meant to actually teach you Arabic, you’re not going to have a ready-made vocabulary list waiting for you to glean. Look up any new words you see, but only those that you’re actually going to use in the future. For the love of shawarma with garlic mayonnaise, please don’t study every single new word because some of the words you’ll see, you’ll literally only see once and never use anyway. Why put yourself through all of the trouble?
2. Watch out for idioms.
Just like English, and pretty much every other language out there, you’ll come across Arabic phrases known as Arabic idioms. Do not Google Translate them because Google will translate them literally. For example, شو لونك؟ / shu lounak literally means “What is your color?” but is really an Iraqi Arabic idiom for “How are you doing?” or “What’s up?” Instead of translating, look up idiomatic phrases on one of your favorite websites, or ask help from a tutor or language forums. If you think you’ll use any of the idioms you come across, write them down in your vocabulary book along with the new words you’re learning.
3. Go beyond reading.
There are four language skills you’ll need to master before using any language like a native, including Arabic —reading, writing, speaking and listening, With that in mind, make sure you’re engaging the rest of your Arabic language skills while studying written materials. For example, you can record yourself reading a paragraph aloud to practice speaking. Listen to your recording a couple days later without the blog in front of you to practice listening—find out if you still understand the text after it has left your short term memory. Copy the article yourself longhand or by typing if you’re so adept at the Arabic keyboard. By re-writing the text, you can pick up some of the author’s style and use it to express your own thoughts.
4. Finally, expect MSA, but be aware of Arabic dialects.
As we mentioned before, most articles in Arabic are going to be in the formal Modern Standard, but at the same time you might want to keep an eye out for indications that something you’re reading is in dialect, such as verbs beginning with the letter ب, terms you know that are more common in dialect (يعيش instead of يسكن to say “he lives”), or “Arabizi”—using the Roman Alphabet to write in Arabic (e.g. had moo 7ilu instead of هاد مو حلو to write “that’s not nice”).
Finding a blogger in Arabic that you have something in common with can be a great way to supplement the Arabic you’re already learning or it can help reinforce the Arabic you already know.
In the meantime, if you’re looking for more tips on the best way to learn Arabic, check out our website. While you’re there, why not download our Arabic learning app and start learning Arabic today? Even if you’re already learning Arabic, the Kaleela Arabic learning app is a great way to supplement what you’ve already learned because it lets you learn Arabic language skills on your own, at your own pace, whenever and wherever you want. Visit our website and find out how you can download our Arabic learning app to your IOS or Android mobile device and start to learn to speak Arabic today.
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