Arabic is a hard language! Yes, it really is a hard language just like many other things in life. Sometimes the real challenge in learning it is in getting started and making the learning process as easy as possible.
In this article, we are going to look at five easy steps you can take right now to kick start your Arabic learning journey.
Step 1 : Understand your motivation behind learning the language. Why Arabic?
Before you start anything, take a blank piece of paper and a pencil and try to answer the following questions :
- How would learning Arabic make me feel about my self?
- Is learning the language going to help me progress in my career or my studies? -Do I have a personal connection to the language? Do I have Arab friends/ partner? Have I visited an Arab country and kept some really nice memories?
- How long have I been thinking about learning Arabic?
- How much time can I dedicate to learning Arabic?
These questions will help you understand your goals and your answers will keep you motivated along the way.
Step 2 : Get a really good book and teach yourself how to read:
One of the reasons why I usually do not teach my students how to read in Arabic is because it is something they can easily do on their own. There are many free resources ( such as my youtube channel here : https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCg-VCuXp-rZzJ2k-9KXPQhQ ) and textbooks that can help you learn how to read in Arabic quickly.
I will share in a future article my favorite Arabic textbooks and you can choose the one that you like from that list.
I do of course teach my students to improve their reading skills, but when it comes to learning the alphabet and how to combine sounds, I usually provide free materials and ask them to get a head start on their own.
Step 3 : Find a good teacher who speaks your native language well:
I want to be completely honest with you here. It is really really hard to effectively learn a language if you do not find a good teacher who can communicate in your native language/ or a language you speak well.
The goal is to have a strong motivation and keep it and if you can not communicate with your teacher at the beginning, you probably will lose interest in learning after a while. Your teacher doesn't have to be fluent in your language, but they should be able to speak it and understand what you are saying to them.
Step 4 : Music!
When it comes to learning languages music is your number one best friend! Not only does it make words more memorable but it will also give you some insights on the culture of the language you are learning.
When I first started learning English, I used to print out the lyrics of my favorite songs and look up the difficult words in the dictionary and then translate them into Arabic or French. That method helped me develop my vocabulary and become familiar with sentence structures easily.
Step 5 : Watch cartoons your already know in Arabic:
Although as a beginner, you might not understand much of what will be said but a great deal of language acquisition happens unconsciously. Watching cartoons that you already know will also help you focus more on the pronunciation and the rhythm of the language rather than the story-line.
Cartoons usually use easy Arabic which will not be very difficult to understand.
These were my five tips on getting started with Arabic right now! Stay tuned for more articles!