How To Learn Arabic

By optilingo

So you’ve decided to learn Arabic. Maybe you’ve already read our other post on learning Arabic. Now you need to set your strategy to determine how to learn Arabic. Well, you’re in the right place.

Learning any foreign languages requires some measure of discipline and practice. Of course, this requires a concerted strategy. With this in mind, here are my suggestions on how to learn Arabic:

Step 1) Start with the Arabic alphabet

Step 2) Pick up a few core words

Step 3) Expand to a few core phrases

Step 4) Make sure you enjoy yourself

Here’ a breakdown of how to go about each of these suggested steps on how to learn Arabic.

Start with the Arabic alphabet: Arabic has a very beautiful and unique alphabet. Some might even call it intimidating. We don’t think it’s so challenging, and we have a pretty easy to read post here if you want to learn the Arabic alphabet.

Pick up a few core words: Once you’ve learned the Arabic alphabet, your next step is to move on to a few core words. The exact words you chose will depend on why you’re learning Arabic (e.g. work, pleasure, etc..), but we’d suggest beginning with the basics like hello / good bye, personal pronouns (I, you, he, she, it), and a few basic verbs (want, need, have, wash, eat, sleep, play, work, etc…) For basic words like these, I usually suggest using Google Translate and using the speak out loud feature.

Expand to a few core phrases: Once you have some core vocabulary under your belt, if you’re really serious about how to learn Arabic, I’d suggest expanding to a few core phrases. There’s no need to go crazy here. Just pick any low-cost phrase book, and within the first few phrases, there are typically a few sections on “survival phrases”. I typically do not suggest using Google Translate for phrases. The reason is two-fold: Firstly, what you write in English may not commonly be said in Arabic. Secondly, for basic vocabulary, Google Translate is ok, but for more complex phrases, you might get some odd results.

Make sure you enjoy yourself: This is the most important step in the process. Whether you’re interested in how to learn Arabic for work or for pleasure, remember that the journey counts just as much as the destination. Also, it’s not about quantity (of words you know), but quality (of your ability to express yourself and be understood.)